Tom Ingleby - IB Earth Sciences A and B
When applying to universities, I had the intention of becoming a physicist. I loathed the fact that if I got into Cambridge, I'd have to study some other subjects in first year as well. So I rather begrudgingly took IA Earth Sciences as my fourth option, unsure what to expect.
I soon realised that physics was not the subject for me, it was too abstract; instead, I was converted to Earth Sciences. Earth Sciences is an excellent subject because it allows you to study bits of physics, chemistry and biology in a real world context. The department is smaller and has a real sense of community; I know very few departments where the whole year knows each other or where I'd feel perfectly at ease asking world experts to help me with my work.
This all meant that by the end of the second term in my first year, I was seriously considering studying Earth Sciences. The first year field trip to Arran sealed the deal for me - it was great to see all the concepts we'd learnt about in lectures and practicals actually represented in reality, and it was a lot of fun!
Earth Sciences is not just the study of rocks (and rocks are actually far more interesting than you'd think), it is the study of our dynamic planet in space and time with a friendly social scene on the side.