Away Day 2017

At the end of September over 100 New College students, staff and family members went on a Day Away to Comrie in Perthshire. A new PhD student reflects on the day:

New College has a wonderful and lively community, which was well portrayed at the New College Away Day this September. As an incoming first year PhD student at New College, I can attest to the difficulty which accompanies orientation to a new college, school or program, and “a whole new world” in terms of culture and geographic location. The New College away day completely shaped my experience at New College and Edinburgh for the better. The timing of the event was perfect: beautiful weather and an organised escape into the breath-taking Scottish Highlands showcased the best of New College’s community-oriented nature and the beauty of the Scottish land and heritage. 

There are a few details which should be highlighted here, concerning the benefits of the Away Day itself:

- New College did a great service in planning the Away Day at a time when “academic busyness” had not yet overtaken schedules, and doing so while subsidising the cost which allowed many to attend

- The hospitality and community present during that day, and thereafter, were palpable.  

- The scheduled events of the day provided options for people of all ages and abilities while providing the backdrop to make personal and lasting connections. 

It is hard to name my favourite event for that day because in hindsight there are so many pleasant memories to choose from. The bus ride up yielded great connections and conversations with those I otherwise may not have connected with. The hospitality of our host church at Comrie was unparalleled in their kind food provisions and use of their space. The “wee” nature hike brought us to waterfalls and emerald moss-covered sights which literally brought tears to my eyes. The ceilidh yielded a spirit of joy and fun, as did the many professors and others who participated in the charades and other games of the day. This was perhaps the most engaging event of the day as we were able to see a more spirited and personal side to our great professors. 

Every single event of this day was designed to make us feel welcome and to provide an environment of hospitality and community. I am pleased to say the Away Day was successful in its endeavours and the community which was started there has continued to grow in subsequent days. New College feels like “home”, in part because of this fun Away Day experience!