I finally managed to make it back to London a couple weekends ago. Having lived just outside London when I was younger left me with a familiarity with the city, but through the eyes of childhood. Getting to go back and return to both the familiar and new was a great opportunity, but also really cemented how much I feel at home in Edinburgh.
While in London, I stayed with Anna, a 2012 MHC grad who is largely the reason I’m in Edinburgh. While working together on the design team for a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in my first year, she told me about her fantastic experience in Edinburgh, which propelled me to learn more and build upon my plans to study abroad. As a US transplant into the UK, it was lovely to talk with someone who understood exactly my motivations for wanting to return to Edinburgh after graduation.
I also stayed with a friend of a friend who is currently at LSE (my second choice program after Edinburgh), which further solidified my knowledge that I am where I’m supposed to be at this moment. LSE is a wonderful institution, but I don’t think I would be thriving as much there. It was still nice to get to see pieces of the campus and I can appreciate its central location.
As to the things I did while in London… I did mostly touristy things, albeit the touristy things that are more secondary, like going to the V&A (I could happily spend my entire life there), Kensington Palace, Camden Markets, the Tate Modern, 221B Baker Street and the Churchill War Rooms, as I’ve already done things like Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, toured the Globe, etc. I also spent far too much time attempting to get to and from Camden, as the section of the Northern Line that I needed was out for construction and the buses I needed were far and few between. I also spent a brief period in the British Museum, which, although pleasant, was more crowded than was ideal. Pictures are below!
In other news, I’m part of the novice squad with the archery team here! Essentially, this means I have a bow on loan from the team, I have kit (which makes it the first team uniform I’ve worn in a good 7 years… Have I mentioned how much of a non-athelete I am?) and I spend more time in the range than I probably should. And yet, the time I get to spend down in the underground room that is the range is some of the time I look at most fondly and look forward to. I (think) I’ve found a home within a home, and that’s the best feeling.
Classes (or the reason why I’m here) continue to go well. Adjusting to the self-study mentality has been interesting, but something I think I largely prefer, as it allows me to manage my time on a less memorization focused way of learning, without having to worry about how many papers I have due in a week. It’s not a perfect system, but I currently see it as a more flexible one. I managed to get into a feminist history debate in one of my classes, and it was really great to see how a group of women (who are the minority in the class) could take control of the classroom (albeit with the support of the professor), and completely override the common narrative. Definitely something I have MHC to thank for!
Anyway, I promised some pictures, and here they are! I have many more, but in the interest of not overwhelming the post, my favorites are below.