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SPS student voices and experiences
Working in cafes, walking across the Meadows, and The West Wing: Indigo’s Day in the Life

Working in cafes, walking across the Meadows, and The West Wing: Indigo’s Day in the Life

Hello everyone! This blog post shows you an average day in my life studying at the University of Edinburgh. I’m basing it on my typical Wednesday. If you haven’t read my introductory blog post, my name is Indigo and I’m a fourth year International Relations student.

The first thing you should know is that I am decidedly not a morning person. There are definitely days where I sleep in until 12 or 1pm if I can. However, on Wednesday mornings this semester I have one hour tutorial from 10am to 11am, so I wake up, turn on the heating, and make a slice of avocado toast (sometimes I add a hard boiled egg). I bundle up and head outside – I’ve been wearing the same knee length puffy coat and wool scarf since first year and they’re definitely at the top of my Edinburgh necessities list (pro tip – buy a quality winter coat during the summer when they’re all on sale).

I live in Marchmont, a popular, leafy residential area close to campus, so I get to walk back and forth across the Meadows, Edinburgh’s main park, whenever I go to class. This is particularly nice right now because the foliage has come out, with Arthur’s Seat in the background and all the dogs out for their morning walks.

A photo of the Meadows at sunrise!
The Meadows is an Edinburgh student favourite

In my tutorial with about ten other students and our tutor, we talk about the readings for the week and the midterm essay we just submitted. After the tutorial I head back through campus and across the Meadows.

I’m not a caffeine person, but the coffee truck that sits between the Uni library and the park has a really good ‘Tropical Dream’ tea that I like. When it’s not too windy, I like to stop and sit on one of the many benches to soak up some sun. Because my degree has around six to nine hours of in-person class time each week, I have the freedom to schedule the rest of my life as I please, which is perfect.

When I get home, I sit down for a snack and then head out to go for a run. I started the Couch to 5K program a couple months ago and highly recommend it! The UK/NHS version is free and has actually made me look forward to running, which I didn’t think was possible. Spending time with nature is really important to me, so having a city with such easy access to parks for walking, running, and even studying is fantastic for my mental health.

After my run I come home and shower so that I can then head to to a meeting with my dissertation supervisor. Back across the park again! I get to pet someone’s dog which is such a nice little serotonin boost. The meeting gave me a lot to think about in terms of my research: my supervisor is an expert in the theory I’m basing my dissertation around, which is incredibly helpful.

Instead of going straight home I head to another cafe, this time Lady and the Bear at the eastern end of the Meadows. It’s full of light, chatter, and has the best lemon pie I’ve ever tasted. I like sitting at the counter they have running along one of the windows so that I can look out their big windows at the trees in between studying. I take notes on a few readings and do some research for an upcoming midterm. At this point, the cafe is closing so I head home along the edge of the park. I stop by to pick up some food on my way back, and grab some veggie dumplings for dinner (sometimes I do some actual cooking but this is my go-to quick, easy, and healthy meal).

At home I change into comfy clothes and eat dinner while watching The West Wing (in my opinion, it’s the best tv series ever!). After that I cozy up on the sofa, which is where I am now, writing this! I’ve got my fairy lights on, the flat is warm, and in a few minutes I’m going to have some peanut M&Ms while watching another West Wing episode. Some days are busier or more hectic than this and, like I said, some days I sleep in until noon. It’s really all about figuring out what makes you feel best physically and mentally, because while it’s ideal to come out of uni with grades you feel proud of, it’s (for me, at least) equally as important to find and start doing the things that set me up for a happy and balanced life!


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