The End Of An Era: Thank You Everyone

I’ve been thinking of writing this post for a while now. I knew that my time in Falmouth would come to an end at some point, I just never thought it would be so hard.  I have truly fallen in love with this town, the people in it, and I’m happy with the person I have become since I arrived here.

Group Meru

Our Kenya group is one that I’ll never forget!

I got here last September, not knowing what to expect; all I knew was that I was here to do a Masters, yet I got SO much more than that.  Sure, I gained useful skills, additional field and lab experience, and potentially a publication to add to my resumé, but those aren’t even close to the most important/useful things I have gained.

  • Friendships that will live beyond my time here in Falmouth.  Between my coursemates and my lecturers, this is the most impressive group of people/collection of minds I have ever been exposed to.  It has undoubtedly left an impression on me that will drive me forever.
  • Memories… Peer reviewing each other’s work, all day stats sessions, living in the library, nights out on the town, big breakfasts the next morning, KENYA, seeing Cornwall for the beautiful area that it is, countless conversations about anything and everything … so many memories, and it all started with our first night out, when we talked about how we were   going to all change the world…. after this year, that doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility!

I heard about the Conservation and Biodiversity MSc program at the University of Exeter through a chance Email, and it turned out to be one of the luckiest moments I’ve ever had.  Being based at the Penryn campus, as part of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation I was so fortunate to be taught by and interact with academic professionals at the top of their respective fields.  The taught component of this course didn’t only pushed me to my limits, it allowed me to define new limits for myself.  I conducted most of my research in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, which is a brand new, state of the art facility.  It was like playing in a brand new playground (playing while adhering to all safety protocols, of course).  Overall, the academic experience I received here was above and beyond what I ever could have expected.  I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the educators who have helped facilitate this educational experience, too many to name all of them.  However, in particular:

Professor Brendan Godley– the man, the myth, the legend.  He was my first point of contact and        encouraged me to apply.  As the head of the course, and someone in the limelight of sea turtle science, his name comes with a massive reputation.  He definitely surpasses that and is a real inspiration to any who want to work in science!

Group Mt K copy

We literally climbed mountains together! -Up on Mt. Kenya

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Kenya and Grassholm really did have some spectacular sights to offer!

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Dr Steve Votier– my supervisor, and the person who made my thesis possible.  He always set me up to succeed, and gave plenty of encouragement and constructive criticism so that my final thesis would be the best it could be.  Not to mention, the amazing trip to Grassholm, something I will always remember.  I can’t even express how much I appreciate everything he has done for me.

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Fieldwork on Grassholm was intense, but so much fun!

Finally, to my coursemates, who are truly too numerous to name, thanks to all of you.  I truly love each and every one of you!  This past year would have been NOTHING if it wasn’t for the fact that we went through it all together.  I wish all of you the best of luck on all of your future endeavors, and hope that we can meet up again (conferences maybe???).  I really hope we will all stay in touch!

The aura in this place is amongst the most amazing I have ever experienced; there’s a certain buzz that is always present on campus.  I hope that the next cohort of students to come and call this place ‘home’ for a year realizes what a special experience it is.  This is more than just a Masters program, it’s preparation for life.  It lets you develop as a person, as a human being.  Thinking back on it now, it’s almost like a dream that I’m about to wake up from.

My time here has been more than memorable, and has truly been life altering.  I have learned a great deal about myself, and I think I’ve become a better person throughout the time I’ve spent here.  My most heartfelt thanks and love goes to everyone I’ve met along the way.  In my usual style, I’ll definitely be leaving Falmouth the same way I arrived to it ….

Smiling and excited for what’s about to come!

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Thanks for reading!
Hint to the next post: “Three points where two lines meet”- With all of the amazing people I have been around for the last year, there are 2 that have become closer to me than I ever could have imagined – this next one is for you.


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Thanks for taking the time to read this!  I blog here mostly about personal, life related stuff.  But I also blog for Conservation Careers about, as you might have guessed, conservation!
For science updates, and what I’m up to in general, check out my website
Also…Follow me on Twitter: @sharkynichol

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About mdnichol87

Marine Biologist studying towards a Master's in Conservation and Biodiversity at the University of Exeter.
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