James Crosby - My Geochemical Life (so far...)

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My First Blog Post

Here, I have decided to elaborate on my transition from the University of Manchester to the University of St Andrews. I have approached this blog post from two different angles:
1. The research transition
2. The personal transition

In all transparency and honesty, the research transition was completely necessary. In my undergraduate life, I chose to specialise in organic geochemistry. I had chosen to do this because Manchester had a world-class department with many leading research and PhD members of staff. I enjoyed my time here working on my dissertation in the Organic Geochemistry Laboratories as part of the Williamson Research Centre for Molecular Environmental Science and being an employed research assistant. However, I decided that organic geochemistry was not for me and I would pursue other forms of geochemistry. It is in St Andrews I decided to pursue Earth geodynamic evolution, which I personally found more interesting. I have always looked at the natural world and asked questions of what I am seeing, how it formed and how this might change in the future. The University of St Andrews had a wealth of academic staff who provided me research opportunities to investigate these questions. And so it began, how does diamond form and what impact does that have for geodynamic processes? 

I would say the most challenging aspect of moving to St Andrews was the personal transition. I had developed many close friendships in Manchester (which I proudly try and continue) and I felt well integrated into the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. I realised that all that I had worked so hard to create for myself in Manchester, I was effectively starting again. Thankfully, the department in St Andrews has a strong Geological Society (GeolSoc) and my peers in the MSc Geochemistry department were some of the friendliest people I have ever met. This, combined with communication with the very approachable department staff, welcoming societies available in the town and my willingness to meet new people ensured that my transition to St Andrews was enjoyable.

Although I have not developed the same depth of friendships I had in Manchester, St Andrews has welcomed me with open arms and it is a shame that I am the so called "honeymoon sweetheart" and only able to enjoy one year in this town. 

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