Teviot nachos, Hive and David Hume – a second year reflects on life at Edinburgh Uni so far

I’m halfway through my degree and never want to leave

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It feels like only yesterday I was pulling up outside halls as a fresher. I remember waiting in line for my first Big Cheese, dancing my shoes off to Beyoncé and swinging off my new flatmates. I actually don’t remember any of this as I was throwing up outside McEwan hall by 11:30 and every time I look up at its grand stature I say a small apology in my head.

Two years in, I still think Edinburgh is the best – and I have no regrets in coming here. As someone who is halfway through their degree, I think it’s time to reflect on my nacho-fuelled Edi adventure so far.

Scotland's elective system

Unlike many other UK universities, Scotland is rather extra when it comes to standing out from the crowd. For example, an elective system which encompasses subjects that pose absolutely no relation to your core course. A brilliant idea. At the end of the second year you’re thanking the lords above for finishing that Economics course that sounded good at the time, but couldn't be more unhelpful to your studies in English Literature.

Though, I must say, it does sound pretty cool when you get to say "sorry I have to rush, my statistics lecture it about to start!" Even if you only take one piece of information from it, make sure it is something you can tell someone in a pub, or shout it as a stab in the dark on University Challenge.

Ah yes, the Negression Coefficient

The length of the degree

Then we have that extra year – a blessing and a curse. The thought of scrolling through Facebook seeing your home friends graduate the year before, whilst knowing you haven't even started your dissertation, gives a little hit of FOMO. Yet, this soon goes away when you realise you can put real life on hold for another year whilst they enter the world of responsibility. Also, we graduate with a Scottish Masters – fancy. Just don’t tell anyone this is the exact same as an English Honours.

The Scottish sense of pride

Tennents, Tunnocks teacakes and Buckybombs – I have unknowingly developed a new Scottish identity. I even feel my Lancashire accent being tinged with new dialect as I say words such as ‘cannae’ and ‘wee’. I am proud of our Edinburgh heritage and like every good student, am offended when tourists bypass everything Edi has to offer. I wouldn’t be changing my new identity for the world – Edinburgh has shaped who I am and if anyone decides to insult my city – you'll get it. Square-go like.

All bow to our boy, Adam Smith

University is universal

One of the best things about Edinburgh is the diverse community. I thought never in a million years I would have friends from America, Hong Kong and Singapore. Being in such a diverse place has taught me more than I ever would have learned by staying at home. Having conversations with people from across the globe encourages me to achieve things I never thought possible. With 140 nations to mingle amongst gives you the reality check that you were never cultured until you came to Edi.

Of course, we also have our good ol' friends from closer by who obviously don't receive the same respect as the others simply on the basis that you can mock their accent.

A northerner, a southerner and a northerner who sounds southern x

Just Edi things

Sometimes I cannot pinpoint a certain thing that makes Edinburgh so unique – rather, it's a mixture of small things that really make me smile. The sound of the bagpipes you hear when walking down the Royal Mile, the countless closes off every pavement waiting to be discovered, cobbled streets that catch your heel when you're off to a fancy ball. The years of history which immerse you as you look up at the architecture, the taste of the guacamole on Teviot nachos and the uneasy feeling you get when you hear "are you coming to Hive?" Without these, Edinburgh would simply not be the same.

No, we will not be coming to Hive

All in all, I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you Edinburgh for making my last two years so memorable. You have already had such an impact on me and it's only been two years. It saddens me that one day I may have to leave. I never want to leave – perhaps I never will.