The Home Stretch

     When time gets chopped into nice semester-sized chunks, it seems to pass quicker. Though I’ve still got over two months left here, the fact that we’re in the second half of the second semester, with only a short break and a small minefield of exams to cross before we get to skip through the long grasses of summer, the last-day-of-school feeling has already started to appear, and with it a kind of desperation to tick more things off the list.

     You know the list. The one you made, probably with the help of your mum or a another wisened traveller such as yourself, which includes all the things One Should Do On One’s Erasmus Year. Now we’re on the home stretch, how many of them have you done ? We’ve talked before about climbing mountains and making the most of free bus trips and cheap flights, but what about things closer to home ? Have you been to the art galleries ? Have you been to all the cafés ? Have you at least done the free walking-tour which shows you all the places in town associated with that famous artist? No ? Then what on earth have you been doing ?

     If you’re anything like me, you’ve locked yourself in your room and worried about returning to Edinburgh, finding a job, a flat, a dissertation superviser, and tried to figure out what to do with those long grasses of summer. Do you just skip through and enjoy them, or do you harvest and try to make something useful out of them ?

     Unfortunately, dear fellow erasmus-student-slash-reader, these questions are not rhetorical. They are the ones I’ve been asking myself for weeks now, long before I reached the home stretch, when I started to realise that after the long grasses of summer come the clouds of reality and the comforting rains of Being Home. By all means these questions shouldn’t plague you all the time, and it’s easy to find a happy medium. Go to the cafés, the art galleries, the walking tour, but once you get home spend just ten minutes casting a thought back to Auld Reekie, and know that this year will last no more than that. By all means enjoy, but be sure to prepare a little, too.

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