And so it begins

As always, introducing oneself over the internet is both awkward and somewhat tedious, but still incredibly necessary. My name is Kat, I’m an international relations major from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. Although I’ve called Mount Holyoke home for the past two years, I’m most recently from Houston, Texas. So I’m not just words without a face, here’s a photo of me:

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Likely, you’ve found your way to this blog because a) you know me, b) you want to study at the University of Edinburgh or c) you have somehow magically found your way to this site without any connection to me or the university whatsoever. Whether you’re a, b or c, I’m happy to have you along for the ride!

Words cannot begin to express how excited I am for this upcoming year. Between the days beginning to fly away and the ever-growing to-do list, every spare moment is filled with the underlying thrum of anticipation. While I look forward to this experience as both a chance to learn and grow, my year in Edinburgh is a bit of a homecoming in some ways.

I was lucky growing up, and I had the wonderful experience of getting to spend some of my childhood living in the UK.  My family lived just outside of London, and I attended one of the American schools, but what made the entire experience memorable and part of who I am was having the freedom and ability to travel. So, even though I never lived in any part of Scotland and I am well aware that Edinburgh is nothing like the cozy little town I lived in while in England, the sense of returning to a country that I still think of as home and the ability to continue my love of travel has added considerably to my excitement about the upcoming year.

While my excitement knows no bounds, I’m still filled with the usual doubts of leaving my Mount Holyoke family for a year- will I lose touch with all my friends? What happens when I change and then have to reintegrate back into an environment that has also changed? I know these doubts are largely unfounded and I’ll adapt as I always do, the nagging at the back of my head continues. I was fortunate to travel to MA for a week before flying out to Edinburgh, and almost all of the doubts and fears that I’m experiencing are on their way to being banished. It’s not like I’m leaving forever after all.

Either way, I know that what I’m doing is the right decision, not only for my studies, but also for myself. I know that the time I spend in Edinburgh will ultimately make every doubt I currently have unimportant, and I know the potential for my personal growth is limitless. I look forward to what the year will bring.

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