… by Tom / from Edinburgh / BSc Mathematics / 2nd Year (UG)
‘Uuugh, why would you want to do that?’ This was definitely the most common response I got from people when I told them I was off to study Mathematics at Edinburgh. We all know that maths doesn’t have the best reputation. However, I will say that I have always been a fan of the subject. Throughout my time at secondary school, I really enjoyed most of my time in maths lessons and, as a result, I’ve ended up here – at Edinburgh – still trying to ‘find x’.
I’ve met people from all over the world here. People have literally travelled thousands of miles to come and study at Edinburgh. However, I have a less exotic background. I simply have to hop on the bus and I’ll be home in an hour. Yeah, you guessed it: I’m from Edinburgh.
In my opinion, I’ve had a very similar student experience to school friends who have moved to other cities like Dundee or Glasgow. I live in a student flat that never functions properly and I spend my days attending the same classes as everyone else. I had to learn how to cook, budget my money and that staying up till 3am chatting is a bad idea if you have to get up for your 9am class the next morning. To dispel some concerns about studying in your hometown, I live 40 minutes away from where I grew up. I pop home occasionally but I hardly bump into my mum and dad every week whilst doing my shopping. Secondly, the city is large enough that there is still plenty to do now that I’m at the other side of Edinburgh. I have still had to branch out and meet new people and try new things as a student – similar to anyone else who had moved away!
Why did I choose to stay in Edinburgh? Well, when I was deciding between universities I knew I wanted to study in a city. The idea of a campus university didn’t really appeal to me. Then, it came down to more academic reasons (e.g. course flexibility) when choosing between places like Edinburgh and Glasgow. Overall, it was the draw of the university itself rather than the surrounding city that led to my decision to study here!
Of course, I am also a massive fan of Edinburgh itself. Having lived here for so long, I am often oblivious to many of the buildings and attractions but I have heard numerous compliments from other students about the many unique sites here like Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat. Furthermore, there are fantastic places to eat (at reasonable prices too) all around the student areas of the city and it is small enough that most places are accessible by walking or a short bus journey. As you can probably tell by this point, I am very fond of Edinburgh!
To finish up, would I recommend the local student experience? Well, yes. Even though I am from Edinburgh, I would that say my experience of university so far has been very similar to that of someone from out with the city. Overall, I have hugely enjoyed my time here. Of course, if you are a prospective student from Edinburgh and you wish to go and explore another city then that’s great but I wouldn’t dismiss the idea of coming to study here simply because you think it’ll be boring studying in your hometown. It definitely doesn’t have to be!