Fresher’s Week Recap
Well, I’ve made it through to the end of Fresher’s Week. I think I (and all the rest of us, really) deserve a medal.
Although the beginning of the week was largely spent doing things like setting up a bank account, buying a few things for my room/basic dishes and getting acquainted with the city I now can call home, I got to start really enjoying the Fresher’s Week events on Wednesday. I began with a trip to the Edinburgh Zoo, which included a portion where we got to hold various animals, including a hissing cockroach and snake, as well as getting to pet an armadillo. I also saw the potentially pregnant panda, although she was sleeping. The best part about the zoo, in my opinion, was getting to see the penguin parade. First of all, it was adorable, and second, I have never been that close to a penguin outside an enclosure before, which was fantastic.
Later that evening, I went to my first ceilidh! It was hosted by the Christian Student Union, which one of my flatmates belongs to. It was one of the first chances I’d had to meet students who weren’t freshers, and, (pardon the semi-pun), it was very refreshing to meet students my age! If you know me, you know I’ve danced almost my entire life and have a lot of love for contra-dance. Ceilidh dancing, while obviously very different, is similar to contra with the social group dance aspect, as well as ensuring that I leave the room in a blissful state of exhaustion. I hope to attend many more ceilidhs in the future!
Thursday, I went to the National Museum of Scotland (talk about an interesting insight into Scottish Nationalism) and the societies and sports fair. While at the museum, I got to see Dolly the sheep (albeit in a preserved, very dead form) and a couple of fascinating exhibits about imperialist Scotland, as well as go to the rooftop garden and see some absolutely breathtaking views of the city. Have another selfie with the castle in the background.
Is it just me, or does the inside of the museum remind you of the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park at the 1851 world’s fair?
The societies and sports fairs were insane. If I ever thought the org fair at MHC was slightly nuts, this one takes the cake. All said and done, I managed to find a choir (yay!) and get more information on joining the archery club and yoga society. As much as the wine society and chocolate society appealed to me, I think I’m better off joining the gym instead.
Finally, I hit Friday running (although not literally- I dislike running), going to the Scottish Parliament and the big ceilidh. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a tour of parliament, but since entry and tours appear to be free, I’m hoping to make a trip back there soon. As the vote on whether or not Scotland should be independent is coming up in a year, it’s an interesting time to be here, especially for my little nation-state and nationalism geeking-out heart. It’s interesting to hear the opinions, while also forming my own (not that I get to vote, but I will always have opinions).
I had big hopes for the big ceilidh, especially after Wednesday, but I think the event was inappropriately placed. The room was just a bit too small to have so many dancers, and while the band was fantastic, the number of people who knew the dances was too few for it to be efficient until the end when some people had left. Although I had only attended one ceilidh prior, I somehow was one of maybe a third of the room who was doing more than stumbling along. I also never thought I would hear “Turkey in the Straw” or “Eye of the Tiger” played at a ceilidh…. By the end though, all that were dancing were having fun, and that’s really what matters.
Saturday was spent running errands and finally, queuing for Fresher’s Ball. While the ball was interesting, it’s not something I’d ever go to again. I don’t often feel older than my age (I’m only 20 after all), but at this event, I felt closer to 40. I’ve seen much better attempts at alcohol smuggling and it was embarrassing how poorly the freshers attempted to pre game. Additionally, while drinking is fine, I personally dislike high levels of intoxication in large masses, and that’s largely what this was. As a result, I spent my evening in the ceilidh attempting to find semi-sober partners, and when that was no longer possible, went home at 1 am.
Finally, I met up with a fellow MoHo today for a late brunch, which was a refreshing end to the week in preparation for the start of classes tomorrow. I’m hoping things continue to go smoothly and my meeting with my personal tutor goes well. Ah well, all I can do is wait and see!