While writing this column, I’m currently sitting at the epicenter of an explosion of clothes in my childhood bedroom. The collage of photographs, magazine cut-outs and concert tickets plastering my walls, in combination with the overflowing pile of ancient travel books and European pocket change on my desk, only adds to the disarray of my sanctuary for the past 19 years. I only have a vague memory of what my floor looks like. My dog won’t even walk in here.
But by the time you read this, I’ll be gone. My bags will be packed and my floor will be completely clean. My new Timberlands and I will have boarded a red eye flight, groggily trekked the entirety of the London Underground, boarded a real-life Hogwarts Express and landed in the very rainy seat of the Scottish Enlightenment. I’ll be 3,459 miles away.
Judging from the pictures online, my bedroom in Edinburgh — part of a connecting co-ed flat — will be the size of a shoebox, and honestly that’s just fine with me. I’m ready for something new.
Armed with a heavy-duty raincoat and enough flannel to clothe a small village, I’m ready for a semester seeped in literature, art and exploration, all to the tune of bagpipes or the wayward busker.
In between classes at the University of Edinburgh or cups of Earl Grey my local cafe, I’ll be investigating the nature of creativity and aestheticism in the world today.
What does it mean to be creative in the 21st century and how does creativity manifest itself in different cultures? How does art impact society and vice versa? As the cultural capital of Scotland and host of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh is as full of art as it is ghost stories and whisky. By the end of this semester, hopefully I will be full of stories as well — just not the ghost kind.
In Scotland, as along with wherever else I go, I will travel with an extremely expansive definition of art. Yes, I will study art in its classical understanding, and I am more than excited to visit the haunts of art history legends (and the places that inspired local legends), but I am much more interested in the greater concept of life as art.
By junior year, we seem to have mastered the art of being a college student, at least to some degree, but living in Europe is a totally different ball game. Within the next few weeks I’ll relearn all the ropes engrained in me during NSO, figure out how to navigate all of the closes and wynds (read: alleys) in Edinburgh and perhaps even discover what haggis tastes like. (Just kidding, no way.)
I’ll learn and appreciate the art of being me in Scotland. Life on the Fringe is the biweekly chronicle of this new adventure. But first, I have to get packing.
Margie Fuchs is a junior in the College. Life On The Fringe appears in the guide every other week in the guide.