Sarah Freeman studied English Literature and is now Head of Features for Yorkshire Post. It was during her time at the university that she learned to be proud of her love for poetry and to not spend summers in broom cupboards.
|Degree Course||English Literature|
|Year of Graduation||1997|
Your time at the University
My brother Ben is six years older than me and in pretty much everything I followed in his footsteps. It's because of him that I still have a soft spot for Bob Crosby and Bob Hope films and Marmite sandwiches. It's also down to him that I ended up in Edinburgh. He went there to study maths and while he only lasted a term, from the day we dropped him off I knew that's where I wanted to do my degree too. There was something of the fairytale about the city and I've always been a bit of a sucker for happy endings.
It was everything I hoped it would be. In Edinburgh it felt like anything was possible. It was while at university that I decided to hitch-hike to Amsterdam and back with a medical student I’d only known for a couple of hours, it was there that I spent one festival living in a broom cupboard and it was there in Teviot Row student union where I first fell in love. I also studied a little English Literature and it was in the brutalist tutorial rooms of David Hume Tower that I realised it was ok to admit to reading poetry for pleasure rather than to just pass exams and that being a bit bookish was something to be celebrated not embarrassed about. The degree certificate was nice, but that was priceless.
...it was in the brutalist tutorial rooms of David Hume Tower that I realised it was ok to admit to reading poetry for pleasure rather than to just pass exams and that being a bit bookish was something to be celebrated not embarrassed about. The degree certificate was nice, but that was priceless.
Tell us about your experiences since leaving the University
From Edinburgh I headed to Cardiff University to study for a postgraduate journalism diploma and within two years of leaving behind Arthur's Seat, the Castle and Carlton Hill I found myself as a trainee reporter in a rather unlovely East Midlands town. There were days when I wondered where it had all gone wrong, but in truth those years were the making of me as a writer and a journalist, a journey which had really begun in Edinburgh. Today I am Head of Features for Yorkshire Post Newspapers as well as moonlightingoccasionally as a freelance writer and author. I've written books about Charlotte Bronte, crumbling seaside piers and the history of York and while newspapers have changed beyond recognition in the last 10 years it's still a privilege to be part of an industry which has the power to give ordinary people a voice.
Make sure that at least once a term you walk up Arthur's Seat. It's the perfect place to gain a bit of perspective on life. And if someone offers you a cupboard to spend the Edinburgh Festival in, say no. I still have the scars.