Yes it is true, as students we naturally embrace the stereotype of university drinking culture, as we should in our prime. However, with the beginning of Sober October and the continuation of nightlife restrictions and curfews, we have had to get creative and find new activities to replace our beloved nightlife.
This means earlier mornings, milder hangovers and let’s be honest, fewer outgoing payments that we regret the next day.
Once you remove the beer goggles, you find we live in a city that is completely tailored to our student needs, with so many activities to choose from.
During the day, I have found going for walks to be particularly entertaining. Hear me out: this doesn’t have to mean an aimless stroll around the Meadows, but if you can drag your flatmate along (or even go alone), pick up tea, coffee, cake, a bagel and take advantage of the October sun (I’ll try not to jinx it!), it can be incredibly enjoyable.
I feel like we have all aged at least ten years during lockdown and I’m trying not to sound like too much of a parental figure but long walks are a way of finding new local cafes and new corners of the city that you might not have visited before.
Also, let’s be honest, anything that involves food in Edinburgh is generally always a good idea.
Additionally, for people who want to venture indoors, there are bowling alleys, arcades and even cinemas which are adhering to social distancing and health guidelines, if you really fancy a return to childhood for the day.
As for the evenings, the seemingly perfect time for a drink, especially on days that have been particularly overwhelming, I have found retreating to my kitchen to be a good distraction. Pick a nourishing, comforting dish, ask your flatmates to chip in, play some of your favourite music and it makes for a very wholesome social event, something which is needed right now.
I have also found immense value in a classic movie night: old favourites as well as moorish TV series are ideal. Why not go to the extra effort and bake some cookies as well? The other, more convenient option is also just to open a big bag of crisps or popcorn, and there’s something rather comforting about that image.
On the other hand, if you come away from your computer after a long day feeling incredibly sluggish, as we all found out during lockdown, there are a variety of workout classes online. I have yet to feel like doing cardio after a long day, but there is something rather restorative about an online yoga class, especially if you are able to coax your flatmates into trying it as well. These are just a few, very simple but effective ideas.
I have found that there are actually so many activities available once you start thinking, they just require more thought and imagination.
It might not amount to a night at Big Cheese, however, there is something that can be said for doing the activities above. Sometimes I call it maturity, sometimes I call it old-age, but as long as they help make your day a little brighter, I think they are just as important.
Illustration Credit: Sophie Lamb