Multi Story Edinburgh

Episode 36: Class of 2021 - Rosie, MA German and History

August 20, 2021 The University of Edinburgh Season 2 Episode 4
Multi Story Edinburgh
Episode 36: Class of 2021 - Rosie, MA German and History
Show Notes Transcript

Episode 36 takes us to Rosie who discusses finding your feet, coping with pressure and making decisions for yourself. 

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. 

Multi Story Edinburgh has been created and produced by the Alumni Relations team at the University of Edinburgh. If you are interested in telling your story, please get in touch and let's talk.

Music: Since When by Mise Darling from 
Artwork: Vector created by redgreystock from

This is a snapshot, a moment, a sneak inside the minds of our graduates. This is season two, Class of 2021. A little bit the same, but quite a lot different.

My name is Rosie Shackleton. I'm from Bradford and I recently graduated in German and History from Edinburgh University. I'm feeling good right now actually, so I moved into like a proper, like, human flat not like a student flat. So like the grottiness levels have reduced and so has my rent funnily enough, which makes me just, you know, it just kind of hits it home how much Edinburgh landlords really do love to exploit [laughs]. I got a job, which is quite jammy, I feel, which is at Jupiter Artland, which is like kind of perfect because I want to work in the arts, like that is my goal. And I did have a bout of being on Universal Credit which was not very pleasant but I got the job through a scheme they run, it's, it's one of those things really. But now I've got this job. And I've started and, you know, it's brilliant. I'm really, really enjoying it.

I'm very aware that a lot of other people I know are getting kind of quite long term grad jobs, like the job I've got is a six month contract. But I think for me, it's perfect. Because when you've just graduated, I think it's such, like, a tumultuous time where you don't really know what's going on. I think, actually, six months to kind of ground yourself after and try and find your feet a little bit, it's actually perfect for me. I was very much, I want to finish my degree and I want to finish my degree well and that is more important to me than scrambling to find a grad job right now. And, you know, I talked to my Mum, my Mum was on like, my Mum had to go to the job centre, like in the carbon shift, probably like the 80s. She had a completely different image of what the job centre was. And I think it was tricky, because essentially, what I'd done is I'd spent my last year of uni being, I get very stressed, so I'd put myself under a lot of pressure to do well. And then when I'd gone on Universal Credit, it was kind of a similar experience. So that kind of pressure to do exactly what they told you to, you know, they would make appointments for you, you have to be there because you're unemployed, and you do nothing. And I really hated that because I-- you know, I've just graduated, I don't just do nothing. And that took a lot of adjustment of me kind of being like, no, this is-- you've just got to do it, you just kind of got to, you're doing it for a reason. I felt quite, made small by it which is very unpleasant. It's more of a ticking boxes kind of scenario when you go. But I think maybe that's just because I was not prepared for what it actually meant being on Universal Credit, you know, like, what, what does that mean? It was an interesting shift from putting pressure on myself from uni to the government essentially putting pressure on me to do something. I think that was, that shift was quite intense. I mean, the job I've got now was from a Universal Credit scheme that is, like, it's called a kickstart scheme. So I think they're quite new actually, it's like six month contracts with quite good employers. You know, I ended up getting an interview for the National Gallery of Scotland, like, there was a few jobs for the university, and this one for Jupiter Artland. So that was, that's great. And that's such a great opportunity. And that's-- something good has come out of it.

During my year abroad, for example, you have to go out and find your own internships and jobs and everything. And the experiences I got and the opportunities I got, that I'd gone and found, I was like, well, I can do that - I've had that in the past so I don't need to compromise right now. I'd gotten my degree results. I was like, I've got a good degree, I have, you know, got great experience. And I'm pretty sure I could get myself a good position within the arts and the heritage, if one was available to me or like I would be in a good place to prepare myself for something like that. And I think where I am now, I don't want to be doing a job that I would be unhappy in. Because my like, last year at uni was tough, it was really tough. And I felt very low at times, I think just just kind of the pressure in the whole, the whole scenario, got COVID and everything and I think I want to do something that I'm going to get joy out of or like, at least have interest in in the future. And I mean, I'm very lucky that I've managed to get that now, you know, it could it could have been that I didn't get anything and in a few months time, I would have been asked that same question and I would have backtracked.

I like traveling a lot. I like solo traveling a lot. Which like, I don't know, I really don't know where I thought I got the balls from to do that. But like I was just kind of like right I'm gonna do it and I'm going to do it alone. And then when I was on my year abroad, that's when the pandemic started and I decided to stay. So I think that really helped with my confidence, that bit of like, no, I'm going to stay in Germany and I'm going to live here and I don't care if the corona is on. And I-- it was the best decision I ever made. Basically, when you go on your year abroad they kind of just send you off. And you feel very like from the uni anyway -- from the uni's perspective, you're very kind of uprooted and kind of chucked out, essentially. I felt very much like the uni kind of don't really care, you're out of the country now, off you go. When the pandemic hit, and I was like, god, what happens if I don't go back? Like there was no information? I got no-- nothing, no one I knew from uni contacted me saying; Hi, Rosie, just to let you know, are you okay? You know, are you safe? These are the options you have. It was just so kind of -- I guess they didn't know what was going on either but I felt very kind of left. And I think a lot of other people did. And it you know, I had to go ring someone to say like, will I get kicked out of uni if I don't come back because you're like, oh, god, no, no, no, it's fine. Like you if you feel safer doing that, that's fine.

 I don't know what it's gonna be like for this year's third year going into their year abroad. But I do think if I was going to give advice is that make sure you're comfortable and happy where you are. The things that the uni tell you might not actually fit what you want to do. And going against that might actually be the best decision you will make. And you know, that's-- that took a lot of energy and a lot of confidence or a lot of kind of balls, I guess. But I think me making that decision and me coming out the other end, that really was the best thing I did. It did end up kind of making me quite disillusioned, I won't lie, with the uni because getting that quite automated response was very sad. Because I think going into my fourth year, that experience coming back was very much like I was very kind of skeptical about the institution. But that sounds really bad. Like I'd really did love my experience at uni. But I think that particular experience, which was no one's fault, in particular but that was very tricky for me to kind of navigate how I feel about the institution that I'm getting my education from. 

I wouldn't say I've changed personally, I think my attitudes to certain things have changed. You get up in that adrenaline of finishing uni, and everything that comes after it. So like I'd finished uni, I'd got over COVID, I had to move house, I had to do this, this I had to find a job, I had to do this. I think you're kind of running on adrenalin. And now that I've got this position where I've got a job and I've got, you know, I've got a few days off a week and I can relax. I think having that time finally, to realise that you need to kind of look after your pace, like you need to slow down, you need to kind of take time to just do nothing for a little bit and even your mind to not do anything for a little bit. That's definitely changed how I approach kind of my work ethic right now. You know, if I do a master's in the future, I will now be very aware of how I felt at the end of doing a degree which was exhausted [laughs]. And I think that's, that's changed. I wouldn't say me as a person though has changed. I think I've just adapted.

We also ask our graduates to share a place somewhere special, somewhere we can get together when all this is finished.

If my friends listen to this they'll laugh at me because I always talk about Leipzig. So I lived in Leipzig for eight months during my year abroad. And that was the first place where I'd been in Germany, and I've gone I can live here, like, I can tangibly see a life here with my German skills with everything with-- I met some amazing people out there. And there's a street in Leipzig called the Eisenbahnstraße which is in East Leipzig. I think at one point it was actually like named the most dangerous street in Germany, which is a side note but I never felt unsafe there. And there was a-- there's a little kind of bank and in the evening in summer, everyone would sit there with like a few beers and just kind of watch the world go by. And I remember that very, very fondly. Because like I'd finished uni for that year I had nothing to do and all I did was just cycle everywhere and get freckles and go swimming and speak German. I think that that was a very fond moment for me and I think all the friends that weren't there with me at the time, I really want to take you to Leipzig and I want to take you to where I used to live in Leipzig that was I feel like that was kind of peak Rosie Shackleton at that time. When I'm in Germany and speaking German and people are-- I'm living there and not needing to kind of rely on other people speaking English, I can rely on my German abilities, I am probably my most happiest, because like Germany is truly a passion of mine. And like, I think when I'm there, I just feel so at ease. The last, the past year has been so tough, and it was perhaps not being at my happiest. But I think that is always a fond image of-- there's a really great German word like kornan, like corner with an N at the end. And like, it literally just means to kind of sit around on the street corner and like, hang out. And like, I think that that really was just a very fond memory for me and where I felt very comfortable and very at ease. And I think right now we're all very not at ease. We're all very uneasy, and very -- no one show up what the crack is like, you know this there is that uncertainty. And I think at that moment in time, if I was going to bring everyone to that place, there would be that kind of ease, relaxed, that kind of chill energy about it.

Thank you for listening. Join us next time for another graduate and another story.

You're not on your own when it comes to planning for your future. Your University of Edinburgh community is here to support you. And this includes ongoing support for graduates from the Careers Service. Why not take a look at our website to find out more about how we can support you to get the future you want. Go to to get started.

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