Things I wish I’d Known: Work, Rest, Play

In my last post I shared six things I wish I’d known sooner about the Library. But there’s more to university life than studying! Even though in the depths of essay season you might feel like you should be paying rent to the Library staff rather than your landlord, when you’re working hard it’s important to remember to rest and play too! So here are five tips for taking care of yourself and enjoying your time at Edinburgh… 


1. Get out and about 

An evening swim at Portobello…

Edinburgh is one of the most stunning cities in the UK (I’m not at all biased). It is also one of the greenest cities – with more green space than any of the UK’s other big cities. We literally have a 650-acre Highland-esque landscape ten minutes’ walk from central campus… visit Holyrood Park if you haven’t already! 

If you’re lucky enough to be living in the city during your studies, make the most of it. Grab a few pals and plan a hike up Blackford Hill after a big essay deadline – or a meander through the Meadows after a library session. Maybe even take a cold plunge at Portobello Beach before your morning tutorial. I found getting away from screens and into nature one of the best ways to rest and escape throughout my studies.  


2. Explore the new Wellbeing Centre 

Take moments for yourself and your wellbeing

The university has just opened an amazing new Wellbeing Centre in Bristo Square. Right now, it’s by appointment only – you’ll find details about the Student Counselling Service, Student Disability Service, and the University Health Centre on their website. If you ever feel you’re struggling, don’t suffer in silence, there is help available.  

COVID restrictions allowing, the Wellbeing Lounge, a space where you can take a moment out of your day to relax, will be open and accessible to students.  


3. Coffee 

Press, Buccleuch Place

Edinburgh has endless beautiful cafés serving delicious coffee – I have graduated a complete bean juice addict. Although coffee is arguably not restful (anyone else hear that buzzing?) the act of taking a break from work, maybe meeting a friend, and going out to a grab a hot drink is a great way to refresh and reset your mind. 

Why not try… 

  • The Library Café – Bet you didn’t see that coming! Literally at the Library, there’s no excuse not to take a break. There’s also one at the Murray Library down at King’s Buildings!
  • Uplands Roast – In the Meadows, right next to the Main Library. Enjoy some tunes while you wait from their record selection. Their hot chocolate is also immense, sometimes they whip out a blowtorch for the marshmallows… 
  • Press Coffee – Sat at the top of Buccleuch Place. Another fabulous spot for hot chocolate… I still dream about it.  
  • Cult – Not a cult, but there is some kind of witchcraft making this coffee so tasty.
  • Detour Espresso – A 10 minute walk from the Main Library through the Meadows, but worth it for the coffee – it’ll have you zooming through your reading! 


4. Move your body! 

Stunning views from Peffermill playing fields

I hate that it’s true but doing some exercise and drinking water really does make life better… stupid science, making us take care of ourselves. There are endless sports clubs you can join at the university. Taking a break from studying to run around and see people is fun, fulfilling, and will put you in a better mood… it’s science!

Intramural sport is a great way to get involved with sports for the less-than-ultra-sporty. It’s all about fun, not winning and losing, and you can meet people from your subject. Disclaimer: this isn’t to say the competitive juices won’t kick in when you’re two-nil down to Biology at Sunday morning netball (this story is *not* based on real-life events).  

If you’re looking for something more low-key and less cardio-heavy, the Yoga Society run amazing classes at such a reasonable price. Going to a yoga class, whether in-person or online, was one of the few places I’d find myself forgetting work, instead just focusing on moving, breathing, and not falling over! 


5. Access film, TV and Theatre through the Library   

The Library is not just books, you know! The Online Library is massive – alongside 2 million e-books, you can also access more than 850 licensed databases. These databases are not only great for your studies, but there are also some where you can watch telly! 

If you’ve had a long day studying, why not watch something amazing? Try… 

Just search on DiscoverEd and start watching! 

Thank you for reading, I hope you’ll find some of these tips helpful once the deadlines roll in this semester. Good luck and take care of yourself! 

 RELATED POST: Things I Wish I’d Known: Graduate Reflections on using the Library

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