Those who’ve followed this blog for a while will probably be aware that since 2010 I’ve been living and studying in and around the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. While the past year has been spent at the University of Glasgow completing my Master’s degree, I never actually moved out of Edinburgh itself. Despite that, it wasn’t until I received my welcoming email from Edinburgh last week, inviting me back for another three years of History PhD study, and saw my account on the student website revert to its “glory days” full of course tabs, timetables and event plans, that I really understood how much I’d missed being at this University.
I won’t labour the point, but sometimes you can go through such fundamental life changes in certain places and institutions that they remain forever imprinted on your psyche. When I first moved to Edinburgh I arrived as a 18-year-old country kid who’d never been in a relationship, never worked a day in his life and never lived in a town of more than 3,000 people. Now, five years later, it’s quite incredibly to look back and ponder not just how much as changed, but spend a moment reflecting on how much of that change has been a truly enjoyable experience. So often change is associated with pain and difficulty, even if it’s painted as some sort of necessary evil. But the last five years have both sown and reaped an abundance of joy and discovery in my own life. And I link all of that, directly and tangibly, with Auld Reekie and the Good Old Uni. My only hope is that the next three years here turn out to be as memorable as the last five.