Caterpillar Cakes and International Relations…

…by Hannah / from England / studying History / 1st Year

When I realised on results day that I had 3 weeks to prepare to move to Edinburgh, a whole new city, 6 hours drive away from home, I was undoubtedly envious of the friends I would be leaving behind in Birmingham. They not only had an extra two weeks at home to prepare for the move to University, but were mostly only an hour or two away from their families. With my grandma lovingly reminding me that this was the first time in thirty-one years she hadn’t been living in the same city as one of her grandchildren, I found myself in Welcome Week wondering if I had made the right decision in moving so far away. This was until I started talking to people in my accommodation.

Sitting around the table at dinner in Pollock Halls, I am part of a group that spans over 10 countries. That’s over 10 different cultures, customs and traditions gathered around one table. Interacting with my friends is the most positive experience I’ve had while at University. From debating political structures and laws in different countries to a thirty minute discussion about why a caterpillar cake is appropriate for any birthday and why every British person seems to automatically refer to it as ‘Colin’, my conversations with such diverse people have allowed me to both appreciate other countries, and to appreciate the things I take for granted within Edinburgh itself.

Perhaps the most interesting question to ask everyone is, why come to Edinburgh? Within every answer there are recurring themes; beauty, education and experience.  It is impossible to walk through Edinburgh and not appreciate the nostalgic beauty of the stone buildings and stunning architecture, and learning more about this unique city only makes me enjoy my time here more. Talking to my friends often reminds me that even though I may have felt far away from my home at first, I am very fortunate to be learning in a familiar structure and in my first language. University is about new experiences for everybody and opportunities that simply don’t present themselves outside of the university sphere, such as attending three ceilidhs in one week.

My friends and I, on the surface, are just a group of teenagers eating dinner, but in every conversation we have, we bring together a wealth of global experiences that shape our attitudes towards Edinburgh, the University, and each other.

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