Page Forrest (C’17) is a junior at Sewanee, studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland this semester. She serves as Managing Editor of the Purple and will be writing a regular column for the paper while she is away.
Yesterday, at the urging of my flatmates, I looked up how close the nearest “Chipotle” is to Sewanee. Having never defined the school by its proximity to make-your-own burritos, I was surprised by their screams of horror when we saw the closest one was 58 has always been a point of pride for me. I love that we’re on top of a plateau in “middle of nowhere, Tennessee.” Living in a city, albeit a small one, has been a surreal experience. I can walk to the Tesco, our closet grocery store, in 2 minutes. Admittedly, there’s a lack of 40-cent cans of Mr. Pig, but you learn to live without the necessities. I’ve discovered many cultural differences be-tween the British and Americans, but one major similarity is our gift for passive-aggressive YikYak posts. For instance, the other day someone posted “Want to know why that group of students in Flat 5 is so loud? They’re American.” I have to say, I was a little proud. Maintaining stereotypes while abroad seems important. I plan to continue perpetuating the clichés on Thanksgiving and my 21st birthday, both of which are completely irrelevant here. Classes have started, and while most of it is just learning the basics of the British political system, I have picked up a few interesting facts. Republicans here are quite different. Rather than identifying as a member of America’s most prominent right wing party, a republican (with a small “r”) is one who believes in the abolishment of the monarchy. It only gets confusing when your professor refers to himself as a republican and supports increased welfare in the same sentence. There’s talk of a second independence referendum within the next few years if Britain votes to leave the E.U. That would only require an English majority, and as Scotland is largely in favor of staying in the E.U, that difference could be the impetus for another referendum. Scottish politics do not entirely revolve around independence, but the question is not off the table. Alas, by the time that occurs, I will be back home, but Sewanee prevents that from being too much of a disappointment. Cheers until next time, YSR and EQB!