The close of February marks the (almost) halfway point of my time in Glasgow… which is just crazy to me. I can’t believe how fast my study abroad experience is flying by! Since I will be returning to the States a month early for my brother’s wedding, I really only have March and April left to live it up in Scotland. If I thought February was busy, March is going to be a whole different level… Between essays that need to be written, friends that are visiting, and spring break with my parents, there’s a lot to look forward to as I head into the new month. So cheers to whatever adventures March brings!
- I went on three trips in the month of February, including a day trip to the East Coast of Scotland to visit Dundee, Aberdeen, and the Dunnottar Castle, as well as a day in Edinburgh and a couple of days at the Isle of Skye this past weekend. It’s exciting to have now visited each coast of Scotland and explored the Highlands a little bit. As Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns said, “Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, the hills of the Highlands forever I love.” When my parents visit me for spring break, we are planning on visiting Inverness and Loch Ness, too—so by the time I leave I will have seen so much of this beautiful nation!
- Probably the biggest change this past month is that a flat-mate finally moved in a little over a week ago, and another flat-mate is scheduled to move in today. It’s been an adjustment to go from having my own space for nearly two months to suddenly having to share it with two new people! But I am looking forward to meeting the new girl.
- Otherwise, it was another full, full month with lots of Scottish country dancing, pub quizzes, sub-crawls, and concerts. It’s also exciting that I have really started to solidify my friendships here. After my first week in Scotland of having met no people (due to a lack of roommates and in-person events), I was a little nervous about making friends. I am overjoyed to have now formed great friendships and to have plans with various people almost every night. It’s funny that I have way more of a social life here than I do back in Denver! I’m hoping to hang on to some of that energy and take it home with me.
Top Blog Posts from February
What I Watched + Listened To
- Spider Man: No Way Home—I technically saw this in theaters on the last day of January, but I forgot to include it in last month’s recap. I thought this movie was entertaining enough, although it had a bit of dumb humor. And honestly, I am kind of over Marvel… I could keep up until the second Avengers movie but now all the characters and storylines are too much for me.
- Season 4 of “Dynasty”—This show is a ridiculous modern-day soap opera that probably should have ended already, but I have to admit I enjoy playing it in the background when working on other things… And the fashion is sometimes really cool!
- “Money Heist”—This is a Spanish show that my friend insisted I start watching, and I’m really enjoying it so far! I haven’t finished season 1 yet, but it’s been fun to brush up on my Spanish skills a bit while watching. This is a very bingeable show, as every episode leaves you on the edge of your seat wanting more.
- No Time to Die—I finally watched the newest James Bond film on the bus ride back from Skye on Sunday afternoon. It was just so-so, in my opinion. I had some problems with the plot and found it really annoying that Rami Malek is only four years older than Lea Seydoux (Madelaine), which doesn’t make any sense given the age difference established in the first scene of the movie… but whatever. Casino Royale is my forever favorite Bond movie!
- “Ae Fond Kiss” sung by Eddi Reader—Of course, I had to have another Scottish folksong on repeat this month. I really enjoy the instruments, vocals, and constantly sad lyrics of this type of music. I actually used to love listening to Celtic Women when I was younger and even saw them in concert once. Guess it’s just the Irish in me.
- “I Wasn’t Expecting That” by Jamie Lawson—This song isn’t new to me, but I go through phases where I listen to it once a day. I just think it’s so cute and romantic, even with the ending.
To be honest, I’ve been a little disappointed by the school aspect here, especially considering that University of Glasgow is so highly esteemed. My classes have been incredibly boring, and I’m just not getting much out of them, unfortunately. I plan on doing a whole post near the end of the semester about the differences between University of Denver and University of Glasgow in terms of the educational system, but I have been a little surprised by how different they feel. At least I can rest easy knowing I didn’t really come here for the school, ha! I have been a *student of life* instead.
With that said, the schoolwork did pick up a little in February, as I had my first two assignments to complete and a test in my art history class. I’m not looking forward to the three essays I have to write in March! At least I have been enjoying chipping away (quite literally) at my glass project in the stained glass course. I will be missing the last two classes because I am flying back to the States early, and I accidently booked something on a Thursday during another one of the sessions… which means I am really on a time crunch to finish my project in the next three class periods. I think I can do it, though! Honestly, it’s not like I have much of a choice—I will get my project done by the end of March 17th.
Quote of the Month
- February’s Quote: “What may be done at any time will be done at no time.” -Scottish proverb
- March’s Quote: “May the dreams you hold dearest, be those which come true. And the kindness you spread, keep returning to you.” -Irish Blessing
I’ve talked about this a few times on the blog before, but the first month or so of being abroad was really stressful to me because I was fighting this constant internal battle about what I want to get out of this experience. Everybody has told me that studying abroad entails traveling to a different country every weekend, so that’s what I always imagined doing when I finally made it across the pond. However, due to Covid, location, money, etc., that will just not be the reality for me. It was difficult at first to come to terms with this—since I have been dreaming about studying abroad for years and years—but I’m glad to say that that feeling has started to dissipate over the last several weeks. I was able to enjoy most of February without feeling pressured to plan a trip every weekend or compete with my peers’ experiences.
With that said, I also realized over the past week that I am finally starting to feel a little homesick. Don’t get me wrong—I’m still having one heck of a time over here and am far from ready to return to the States—but there have been several frustrations building up that make me long for the comfort and steady routine of being home. And where will “home” be post-graduation? Being away has given me a lot of clarity about what I want once I finish undergrad. Aside from my family and friends, when I think about missing the States, I think about Denver… not Boise. So my heart feels set on moving back to the Mile High City after I graduate.
What I’m Looking Forward to in March
I just know that March is going to fly by… When I look at my calendar, I already have every weekend booked! This Saturday is the Scottish country dancing ball, next weekend my friend is visiting me and we’re going to the Lake District in England, and the weekend after that is when my parents arrive for spring break. It’s going to be really busy and filled with so much sight-seeing! I can’t wait.
This Month on Graceful Rags
- An Incredible Day Trip to Glenfinnan Viaduct
- Weekly Recap #5, 2022
- 2022 Plans and Goal Setting
- Weekly Recap #6, 2022
- A Day Along Scotland’s East Coast
- The Most-Asked Questions I’ve Received While Abroad
- Weekly Recap #7, 2022
- Tickle Me Pink
- Weekly Recap #8, 2022
What was your biggest accomplishment in February, and what are you looking forward to in March? Also, unrelated, but what do you think of today’s outfit? When my parents got me this beret for my birthday, I was SO excited to wear it abroad… but now I find it really intimidating! I’m not sure how to style it, and I worry it makes me look like I’m wearing a soufflé on my head. I do love it with the brooch, though, and it’s the perfect pop of color to go with my black tweed dress.
Anyways, thanks for stopping by, and have a great rest of your day.
Miles of smiles,
Black Tweed Dress: Maison Jules via Macy’s, $30 ($6.00 per wear), last worn here | White Knee Socks: DSW, $15 ($1.36 per wear), last worn here | Black Knee Boots: Clarks via DSW, $100 ($1.47 per wear), last worn here | Beret: Craft fair, gift from my parents | Maroon Circle Purse: Nordstrom Rack, $50 ($3.33 per wear), last worn here