Edinburgh: Graduation.

Earlier this week I returned to my beloved Edinburgh, if only for a mere 18 hours. Graduating from the University of Edinburgh meant reuniting with my fellow graduates in order to celebrate our hard work and achievements. Visiting Edinburgh at this time of year also means getting to experience the European Christmas Market that spreads itself along Princes Street, from The Scottish National Gallery, past The Scott Monument to Waverley Station. My parents, my partner and I arrived in Edinburgh the evening before the graduation ceremony – allowing us to enjoy the beautiful spectacle that is Edinburgh by night; indulging in the food and drink found at the market. We spent the evening warming up with Glühwein and haggis whilst soaking up the sights of the city during Winter. I felt overcome by how much I miss my city. Of course returning to Scotland’s capital was joyous, but it also filled me with an ache and a longing to move here permanently. The graduation proceedings themselves were thoroughly enjoyable. As well as being filled with pride at completing my M.Sc I was also filled with relief. This has been my toughest year in education and therefore the one I am most proud of and most thankful to be moving on from. My time in education has come to an end, for now. I am excited to move on to working within the cinema sector – programming and hosting live cinema exhibitions in my Lancashire hometown. Come January, a new chapter begins for me as a post-graduate. My time as a student has always been enhanced by the great people and places I surround myself with, whilst studying. My time in Leeds as an undergraduate was made great by not only my studies but by my friends and the hours spent in the Hyde Park Picture House. Edinburgh provided me with the Filmhouse, the Cameo and a new group of diverse and enigmatic individuals.

I was thrilled to be reunited with my course-mates this week and can’t wait to see where we all end up. It’s time to move on from my education and finally put all my passion and knowledge to good use somewhere else. I apologise for this highly self-indulgent entry but now and again I like to reflect on what drives me to run Reel Insights in the first place. I’ve grown as a student and a person during my four years in higher education but one thing has remained unchanged – my unyielding passion for watching and talking about films. I hope that never changes. So thank you to everyone who has supported my site, my studies and my love for film. Thank you to all the friends I’ve made and for all the engaging cinema conversations you’ve indulged in with me. Thank you to my lecturers who’ve always encouraged my desire to learn more, and thank you to all the places I’ve lived that have taught me more about the world and the importance of culture and community. Thank you to my loving family whose relentless belief in me and unbelievable generosity allowed me to pursue my dream of higher education. Finally, a great big fat thank you to the worst job in the world. My bar job in Edinburgh made me cry, temporarily lose faith and threatened to damage my academic work but it kept me humble, determined and self-aware. Most of all, my job in Scotland taught me to never be ashamed of working to fund what you love and that working hard for something makes it all the more enjoyable when the goal is achieved. About a year ago I was cleaning the grubby toilets at work when a customer complimented me for working so hard. She told me to be proud of myself and not to be discouraged because we all started where I was and that it’ll pay off eventually. A year later, she was right. It was all worth it.

Thanks for reading and let’s all keep supporting our beloved film industry.

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