Answers

What you 'should' be doing is never clear. University is such an expected obligation that any rebellion against it is immediately questioned. Placing yourself in the right environment is critical to success. At the weekend I was fortunate to be able to do some conservation out at Aberlady Bay which is on the west coast past Edinburgh. The sparse, open, beautiful expanse provided a welcome contrast to the hustle of normal Edinburgh living. A rare chance to think. 

It's incredible how we all see the world so differently. Any kind of superficial agreement is mainly down to being in a place which naturally joins people with common interests. In January I spent a few days at a eco community in the south of Scotland. I was volunteering with a group from the university and we were helping with conservation on the estate. It provided a unique insight on a way of life that was so far removed from my own. The people there had found a sense of belonging with the rest of the community who likewise shared their views of a outward society swayed by pride and greed. It was overly insular for my liking but provocative and attractive in comparison to the ugly ambition in many people at Edinburgh. I don't think there is a right way anymore. Most people continue in the direction where they have been led by their previous circumstances and the ones who get away from the route in which they have been led, usually find something else in which they believe works better but ultimately provides no perfect answer.

Those who continue down their predetermined route can often be content in their existence, so it would seem premature to condemn them for not questioning where they are heading. Alternatively those who attempt to break free of the 'status quo' can be left unfulfilled in where they end up. In the past couple of years I have mixed with wide range of people. Some of the friends I met on my gap year who are mid to late twenties have shunned the typical western lifestyle to travel the world with a wider aim to find ways to aid development. It's a more radical existence yet one I can happily relate to and understand. On the other side, I have friends at Edinburgh who are firmly focussed on a finance/city route after university. It's a world I'm familiar with and I appreciate the appeal of that lifestyle. They are typically talented and ambitious and are provided with  a range opportunities by the companies who are courting them.

I don't know which of the two areas I lean more towards. A more nomadic, free lifestyle is currently more appealing. But as I make my way through university, with requisite banking internships in the summer, I am placing more value in the standard graduate route. I don't think either is wrong or right but maybe one could be more subjectively healthy? You can have respectable intentions with both. Likewise it doesn't have to be polarised and you can attempt to blur many lifestyles into some kind of harmony. As I live in Edinburgh I have tried to keep doing many of the things that I discovered in my time away. While it can be frustrating to be not be as immersed or concentrated, the intention coupled with some tangible results is enough to provide some satisfaction.

For now, things won't be changing.

Aberlady Bay