by Luke Mitchell
University can be daunting. If you’re reading this you’ve been there. You know the anxious feeling you get before leaving almost everyone and everything you know. Nobody wants to leave their dog behind – wagging it’s tail – oblivious to the fact you might not come home again for months at a time.
I left home to fly up to Edinburgh on a rainy Monday afternoon. All I was sure of, is that I had a place at University and an Airbnb for a week. Was I scared? Sure. Was I worried? Absolutely.
I landed at Edinburgh airport, made my way to the taxi rank and stood in line. I thought they were all joking when they said Edinburgh is cold, windy and wet. I found this out the hard way hopping from foot to foot to keep warm.
Eventually I got to the front and was directed to the taxi. I hopped in and told him the address, not expecting him to talk to me too much. 5 seconds into the trip, he complained about students and how busy they were making the airport. Awkward. I laughed it off and told him I was a student. I’m not sure what it is about the Scottish accent, but that 20 minute conversation we were about to have completely relaxed me. The taxi driver (who shall remain nameless because I can’t remember his name) asked me all about my course, suggested some great beers and places to eat, told me all about the bus m-ticket system among other small talk.
We arrived, I got out and paid my fare. I stood there to open up Google Maps to find the Airbnb before a sudden wave of realisation washed over me. I hadn’t thought about how much I missed my family, or my dog, or even about the fact I still hadn’t got a place to live. This taxi driver – just acting how I assume he does every other day, selflessly helping out a newcomer to the country – had completely calmed my fears and anxieties. As I looked back to my phone, an email popped up as a banner across the top. My heart skipped a beat as my brain went into overdrive. “Tenancy of **** ****”. My palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy as I realised I had a flat to live in now. Everything was falling into place. Edinburgh wasn’t terrifying. I wasn’t scared. In hindsight, Edinburgh is one of the friendliest cities I’ve ever visited, with some of the most exciting opportunities I’ve ever had.
I’m not scared, I’m not alone, I’m excited. I can’t wait to see what this year brings.