A day in the life…
…by Scarlett / from the USA / studying MA (Hons) History and Politics / 4th year
It’s Wednesday, February 2nd…
8.00am – Typically when I wake up and the first thing to do is grab a cup of tea and breakfast. I can’t say that I’m always waking up this time or getting up right when my alarm goes off at 8.00 but I do have some mid-semester deadlines coming up so its up and at ‘em for me!
9.30am – I have arrived at the School’s Student Research Rooms, a study space reserved for History, Classics and Archaeology (HCA) students. After last year in the midst of a full lockdown it feels amazing to be able to come back on campus and enjoy these beautiful study spaces once again. I’d say we’re pretty lucky in HCA to have a study space just for us that is so atmospheric. There’s a huge glass ceiling over the space letting the sun shine through and I see so many familiar faces studying in the space as well. For the next few hours I’ll be working on one of my chapters of my dissertation in Medieval history.
12.00pm – My friend and I head out to one of our favourite coffee shops next to campus, Thomas J Walls, for some lunch. There are so many great food and coffee spots right on or next to our campus but today I was really feeling their avocado toast (they do it particularly well). As it’s so close to our building we run into several members of staff including the head of History and have a quick conversation. One thing I’ve always loved about the school is how welcoming and positive members of staff are. I feel that over the years I’ve really been able to cultivate positive relationships and found that they have been so supportive when I reach out for help!
1.00pm – And we’re are back in the Research Room! For the next few hours I’ll just be doing some readings for my special subject course ‘Early Medieval Sexualities c.500-1000’. Our next seminar is discussing Monastic purity and clerical celibacy in about the ninth century in Western Europe. We’ll be going over sexual sin in male monasteries and why sexual purity was so important in the cloister. One thing I really appreciate about the structure of the History Degree is the fact that in our final year the classes we take are a year-long. It really allows us to delve into the subject at more length and really niche down on our interests!
4.30pm – In need of a snack break. My friend and I head over to Teviot, the student union, for some hot chocolate. I also really love the cookies that they sell at all of the student union venues so I make sure to grab one.
5.00pm – I have a committee meeting with Edinburgh University History Society. I have been a part of the society since my first year and this year I’m the President! Being involved in the society has been a great way to be able to meet people in my course and stay active in the student community. Now out of the lockdown we’re able to resume some of our traditional events from pre-COVID! Last semester we held our annual ceilidh and we are currently in the works for planning our International Trip in the Reading Week (going to Krakow!) and our Annual Ball. This has been a really essential part of my student experience and I recommend everyone get involved in some way.
6.00pm – Look at me heading to the gym (a New Years Resolution). I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself an avid gym goer but Pleasance gym is great and has so many free classes for members. You can watch Netflix on the cardio machines and there’s a sauna in the locker rooms (I must admit this is my main motivation to go).
7.00pm – I head home and have some leftovers for my dinner before getting ready to go out to drinks with some of my friends. There are so many cool places to explore around Edinburgh and it is such a great city to be in as a student. Tonight, we’re headed to the New Town a little bit away from campus. I’ve genuinely really enjoyed my time here and am so happy with my choice to study here four years ago!
This blog was originally published on ‘SHCA: Blogs from the School of History, Classics and Archaeology’. To read more blogs from History, Classics and Archaeology students you can visit the site here: https://blogs.ed.ac.uk/shca/