In episode 34, Paulina discusses feeling disconnected, pride and the joy of the dance floor.
Each episode is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. As the world emerges from pandemic paralysis, are our Class of 2021 feeling inspired or inhibited, glad or gloomy, chaotic or calm?
Welcome to Season 2, a little bit of the same but quite a lot different. Subscribe now and find out what everyone is up to and how they feel about life, the last 12 months and future plans.
All opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Edinburgh.
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Music: Since When by Mise Darling from freemusicarchive.org
Artwork: Vector created by redgreystock from www.freepik.com
This is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. This is season two, class of 2021. A little bit of the same, but quite a lot different.
So my name is Paulina, I've just graduated from the University of Edinburgh, doing a joint degree of Psychology and Business. I've just come home from work. So I'm an employee of BMW, BMW Mottorad, so the motorcycle department. So I'm a full time employee, I go to work every day, I'm trying to enjoy summer as much as I can, alongside my job. It's pretty good actually, it definitely wasn't the thing I wanted to do. I was sort of angry maybe at how it turned out for this moment. But now I feel like it was it was the right choice for the summer at least, I was fed up with home office. And with staying at home, I prefer to go to the office, meet people, especially because I'm new there. So it's nice to see my colleagues and also let them know that I'm part of the group as well.
The office is always half empty. And then like when someone comes suddenly and they see me, so it's a weird feeling because I know that they don't have a clue who this person is. It's a strange feeling because I still feel a bit like a stranger over there given that I only met a couple of people.
It would be a lie if I said that I'm okay with that and it doesn't bother me at all. What bothers me more than like, starting a new job like this, is finishing my uni like that, like I feel, yeah, I feel we're up for that year, when we were supposed to go to uni and, and meet friends and meet people in general and just like really live students life. So I feel like I am wondering if I'm ready to settle. I'm actually still really considering this graduate opportunity for like Erasmus. So I really want to go for six months to Spain. My boss doesn't really know about it [laughs]. But I'm really working towards it. If it's possible, I will definitely try to go because I, I was so ready to head this last year. I always wanted to come back to my country to Slovakia, but I don't think I'm ready for that right now. So I would really like to have some extra time abroad.
I felt so disconnected and maybe especially because I'm joint degree or like I was doing joint degree, because I stayed in touch, of course with my friends from uni life in general and my Psychology people, but then wasn't in touch with anyone from Business. And I feel like everyone was already fed up with online world and everyone just really tried to confine it to very few people. And for me, there was no one from Business. So I was really struggling. I was really lagging behind all my set dates in terms of dissertations, like I kept working all the time. Which I didn't really know if it was like, right kind of work to do. Like I just kept doing stuff. And like researching and writing. And so but then I didn't have anyone to discuss it after class. But I was really lucky with my supervisor so I honestly, I had the best supervisor ever, communication with her kept me going and sure after that year I can again say that I wouldn't change a thing. I think I put into it everything I could.
I applied to Amsterdam uni for MSC programme. And I'm definitely not the kind of person who is like confident about themselves. I usually try to stay quiet and I'm like, ah, I don't think it's gonna work out. And this was the only time I really felt like, okay, like I got these wonderful grades from a really great uni. And I was so sure. And then I didn't get and it just really hit me. And I was I was feeling really down but afterwards, we got our marks released and like I got the category of degree. And I felt, I felt very proud. And somehow I didn't really care if I got in or didn't then because I felt like I achieved everything I wanted. That's what matters for me and like I know that I tried to do my best and I did that.
Well, it's it's very easy to get frustrated, I think ,and get negative. And for example, my current job, as I said, it's definitely not something I wanted to do. So it's very easy to start thinking negatively about all of this and see failure in all of that. But then yeah, on the other hand, I feel like, so many people are just trying to find a job and they can't, or because it's not possible, finding any kind of job is great. No, I keep meeting all these wonderful people. And they seem to have it all sorted. And then they tell me about their failures. And they tell me like, Oh, my God, I started, like working on, I don't know, gas station, you know, washing cars. And now they have all these amazing positions, and they're changing the world around them. So I guess like, it's okay to not have it all sorted.
For example, I really like the field of sustainability. And that's the field I would like to work in. And I worked for a couple of innovation companies in [unintelligible] like, in my past. And I know that that's, that's the direction I would like to take. But right now it's not really possible, because they don't really pay much [laughs]. And I can't afford to live like a student. Right now I have to work and saving the world and doing what I want needs to wait a bit and any experience can just move us forward. So I'm trying to take this positive angle, but I admit that it's very easy to get back on the negative track. It may take one year, it may take five years, but yeah, I need to get get to the point where I'm okay by myself, and then I can turn the things I always wanted to do.
Right now I I feel grateful. And I actually feel proud. And it's, it's a nice kind of pride, because it doesn't really stand up like people cheering you or like, like very few people know that, like, Oh, I graduated and what kind of you need is ... Like people here [laughs] tend to ask me like, Oh, is it some kind of university? or What is that, right? And I always laugh at it. And but this is like sort of inner pride that you, you made it, you made it through.
We also ask our graduates to share a place, somewhere special, somewhere we can get together when all this is finished.
So I was thinking about this a lot. It's not a place like a physical space, per se, because I would take everyone to danceflorr. And that might be wherever they are right now. But I've been dancing all my life like since I was four years old. So I started with modern dance. And then it's sort of proliferated in salsa, bachata and Latin dances. And I can dance like in shopping mall as well. So like, it doesn't really matter. But for me, dancefloor is the place where I can be myself, I can switch off my mind. And even if there is like loads of work to do, I can like have those 15 minutes to focus on what I want to do. Like I used to have this like, since I was a child, I was always like, very anxious about my, like studies and tasks and the workload and so on, just like running from one task to another. Like when I when I was on stage with all my friends, like it all disappeared. And I think that's the thing we, we all need. So that's my place to go to always.
When I was leaving to Scotland, I was still on the edge, like thinking of like, if it was good decision, that I have these beautiful people in my life back at home and like I might lose them, like, I'll be away. And then I was coming back for the summers. And I got to the point where I felt like oh my god, I keep spending time in so many places. And it got a bit overwhelming in the sense that I didn't really feel at home. That's when I tried to understand or like, come to peace with an idea that home doesn't need to be tied to like wall and building that you can find it in your friend. You can find it in the thing you like. So I guess that's why I also chose dancefloor because it's not really tied to any specific place. You can find it anywhere you are and you want to be.
Thank you for listening. Join us next time for another graduate and another story.
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai