A month ago today, to the hour in fact (and I mean the hour that I’m writing this, not posting it, because, you know, editing takes time), I arrived in St. Andrew’s.
It’s been a whirlwind ride. Life is only now finally fitting itself into a routine, and, for better or for worse, that routine actually involves a lot of school work. The first few weeks were like a vacation, but now I spend most of my time in my room hunched over a book. Things should get better in a few weeks, though, once my two major essays are handed in and I’ve written the Old English Vocabulary test.
(Old English Word of the Day: anfloga means “solitary flyer” and its only recorded use is in an elegy known as “The Seafarer.” I’m not quite sure why I love this word so much, but I think it’s because its flowing sound captures both the sadness and beauty of being alone.)
I realized the other day that being here for one month means that I have already lived through a 9th of my time in Scotland. Now, I know that a 9th isn’t exactly a huge fraction, but it is a substantial chunk. I’m not a complete newbie anymore… and I don’t have unlimited time ahead of me.
I don’t think too much about how many days I have left, though, because I simply don’t have the time to mope about how my time here won’t last forever. Aside from school work, I’ve settled on these activities:
Christian meetings such as bible studies, worship nights, and prayer meetings happen nearly every day. The Christian community here has just been so welcoming and kind that I felt right at home from day one. Definitely an answer to prayer! The Christian Union also lets me get a little more involved in giving back to the town, by volunteering at Toastie bar (which sells 50p toasties and donates the proceeds to charity) or doing yard work for elderly neighbours.
Performing Arts are also a huge part of my life here. While I’ve had to drop my dance class due to a scheduling conflict (sadness…), I landed a lead-chorus role in the Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s Iolanthe, which rehearses twice a week until the show in mid-November. I’m also co-directing (and possibly teching) one of the Freshers Plays (plays put on entirely by Freshers), and auditions for that start next week. Finally, the St. Andrew’s choir, with over 150 members, is singing Handel’s Messiah this year, so I’m considering joining.
I’ve been trying to write a bit, by keeping this blog going and writing for the student newspapers of both St. Andrew’s and King’s back in Canada. The creative writing society, Inklight, frequently hosts workshops, which I attend whenever possible. A couple people I’ve met are also into writing, so we’re trying to encourage each other and might end up collaborating on a play, if we can get our act together (no pun intended).
Getting so involved in St. Andrews has made me realize just how silly it was of me not to be more active in student life back home. I may have had an excuse—the school workload was definitely heavier—but I missed out on so much by not auditioning for plays or going to writing workshops or volunteering or joining Campus for Christ. Academics were definitely a priority, but there was so much more I could have done at Western. And now I’ll never get the chance…
Well, then. No use moping over a couple partly wasted years. Time to stop blogging and head out to paint the elderly neighbour’s fence, then off to Iolanthe read-through, and then Bible study…
(NOTE: The random flower pictures are from an afternoon when Kayla (one of the other Canadian exchange students) and I visited the Botanical Gardens and I went a little crazy with the macro setting on my camera.)