This week, Scotland eased its restrictions and started edging its way out of lockdown. I err on the side of caution, and my behaviour hasn’t changed much since Friday. However, despite not really craving getting a haircut or sitting in a crowded beer garden there is one freedom we gained this week that I’m absolutely buzzing about – the freedom to leave our local authority area. 

During lockdown, I spent at least eight hours a day staring at my screen. And honestly, it easily could have been more. I didn’t even take advantage of my daily walk. When I did, I wasn’t particularly grateful to walk up and down the main road that runs by my house. It was all too easy to spend weeks on end doing nothing memorable. Just getting through. 

Despite these rules being tentative baby steps, I’m leaping into responsible travel. Obviously, I’ll be avoiding the thousands of others heading for their nearest mountain or loch. But waking up early and taking a freezing dip in the Scottish water, or heading out when others stay in for long rainy walks and scenic views sound amazing after months of being confined to my less than picturesque local authority area. 

While I don’t want to encourage anybody to put themselves or others at risk by heading to busy areas, I do want to encourage all students to get outside. With never-ending deadlines and looming exams, many of us will be telling ourselves that we’re too busy for adventures right now. But after a year of demotivating online learning, and none of the pub fun or balls that usually come with university, all students should put themselves first and go out and have some fun. 

For those of us that are, we are so lucky to be in Scotland. We have beaches, lochs, mountains, and forests all waiting for us to explore them. I might have had more fun in the last few days than in the whole of the last few months, just because I’ve got some sun and explored somewhere new. And after this year, we all really deserve to have some fun.