Moving to Scotland for university has always been my dream, even more, it’s been part of my grand plan. Of course, you can’t just dream and make it happen, it takes a lot more work than that.
I wouldn’t say that I’m a particularly courageous person. Just the other day I accidentally cut my finger with a knife and pretty much passed out. What I am however, is determined. Once I get something in my head, I make a plan and see if it’s feasible. Heck, it might not be feasible, but I’ll probably plan for it anyways. Moving wasn’t a matter of having enough courage to live three thousand miles away from my friends and family. It was a matter of fulfilling a promise I’d made to myself through years of hard work and determination. So when I stood in front of the ‘#mtlmoments’ sign at the airport on September 16th 2014, I was ready to claim my reward. However, It wasn’t just years of hard work I was rewarding myself for. It was for making it through years of feeling “other”, my parents separation and the recent death of my grandparents. While people had a lot to do with making me want to leave my home, I couldn’t have done it without the support and love of many individuals.
The flight itself wasn’t very eventful. We’d been upgraded to first class at the check in desk, which was a lovely surprise. I’d planned to make myself a whole playlist for the seven hour flight to Heathrow, but in the end, I only chose two songs: “Goodbye England (Covered in Snow)” by Laura Marling and “Born To Run” by Bruce Springsteen. I tend to come up with nice little ideas, but don’t always have the time to fully complete them. While I kind of ran out of time with the playlist (literally syncing the songs onto my iPhone an hour before leaving my house), I only really needed those two songs. They captured the bittersweetness of leaving home, and also how ready I was to move. After a short flight from Heathrow to Glasgow, my mum and I made it to our hotel exhausted.
The following day, I met up with a few of my new classmates and we went to Byre’s Road in the West End to scour the charity shops for plates, cups, cutlery and other cheap essentials.
I made it a point to purchase a pair of tea cups and saucers. I couldn’t possibly live in the UK and not own a proper tea set!
It was a great way to meet some of my new classmates – we got to know each other over cups of hot chocolate afterwards. I could tell right away that I’d finally met people who were a lot like me.
Almost six months later and I still feel the same way about my classmates. I’m so lucky to be in an amazing programme, with people who I work so well with. Sure, we aren’t always going to agree and yes, we are competitive, but it brings out the best work in all of us.
Am I still happy that I moved so far away from home? Yes, without a doubt, it’s been the best decision of my life. Leaving home and getting a fresh start was cathartic. I wouldn’t say I’ve grown as a person, but I finally feel like I can be myself. Back home, people saw my potential, but in Glasgow, I’m proving myself by pursuing my dreams.
So my advice? Don’t be frightened of taking chances. If you are thinking about going to university far from home, do it! You won’t be alone in being new and in the process you’ll learn more about the world and yourself.