Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to the 'Burgh

Tomorrow I will be flying back to college for my senior year. You would be correct to assume that gray stone pictured here cannot be found in Washington D.C. Instead its in Edinburgh's New Town. These photos were taken all the way back in October of 2010, when I will still acclimating to single glazed windows and realizing that a shot of whiskey was more likely to keep me warm than my radiator. By late December, the snow hadn't melted, but I warmed up to Edinburgh. The University welcomed me with open arms even if I was forced to call papers "essays". I had friends to enjoy that whiskey with in the local pubs. Even if I couldn't find half&half in Tesco, Edinburgh felt like home. When I returned to my real home in Minnesota for the holiday break, I knew I wanted to stay in Edinburgh for as long as possible. After determining whether it was possible to graduate from the University of Edinburgh on time (due to my extreme geekiness in taking an abundance of English literature courses at any university I attend, it was), I knew I had already made my decision. Edinburgh officially made their decision after I passed all of my exams. Hence my boarding pass tomorrow says Edinburgh and not DC as its final destination. Although I will miss my enthusiastic professors back at the GW English Department and all the opportunities they have given me, my sarcastic friends who will hunt down the perfect cupcake from Baked & Wired with me, and killing a slow afternoon with a stop at a Smithsonian museum- I know transferring to the University of Edinburgh is the right choice. In just my junior (or third) year: I joined the Literature Society to insure I had people to argue about books with regardless of whether I was in class or not and to meet some of my closest friends. I also started editing for the film section of The Student (the University's student newspaper) which gave me more than just free films, clippings, and something to add to my resume, but a thriving social network including some of the most fun people I know. I made friends with people from Germany, Austria, Australia, France, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, etc. I debated with professors in my lectures about everything from Catcher in the Rye to The Alchemist. I sipped lattes at 25 cafes, drank at 23 pubs, and ate at 8 restaurants. Most importantly, I honed my sardonic sense of humor.
But my time in Edinburgh is more than just lists of everyone I've met and everywhere I've eaten (although they are good incentives for visiting the city), it's a place of opportunity. For a girl who appreciates the idea of running into authors over politicians (I literally walked into Ian Rankin once. I only realized this after my friend said, "That was Ian, you know."), Edinburgh is the place to be. I've never felt like I fit into an environment so well. It's not perfect nor a panacea to my occasional DC apathy, but if I can spend an extra year there, why not?

What this means for you is that I will be keeping this blog up. Expect more rants about the wind, snarky observations on my travels (Ich reise im September), and modern day still lifes (or excuses for me to try even more cafes this semester). I can't wait to see what happens this year. Thanks for reading!


  1. Congrats Tess! I'm glad you've found a place to feel at home, wherever it is!

  2. have fun at your next year in school! looking forward to your travels and other musings

  3. So happy that everything worked out for you in Scotland, Tess! Have a fun year!

  4. This is so exciting! Congrats on this new chapter of your life. I'm sure that the previous year just teased you for the even great year you are about to experience! Reading this post just makes me jittery about starting school in scotland in a few weeks time. I look forward to reading your posts :)

  5. have a great year and happy posting!

    i've just read your nantucket post, and it made me laugh. but honestly, i can empathize with the workaholic Nantucketer (on rare occasions, that is). vacation's great, but i think it gets pretty boring fast. it's great to feel productive and uber-energetic and although i've enjoyed my lazy summer, i'm more than ready to get back to the hustle-bustle of the city and the school. overwrought conditioning.