Every mistake you’ll make as an English student in Aberdeen
You’ll get used to the granite
Although they're part of the same land mass, moving from England to Scotland can feel like entering a whole new world at times. I decided to make the move because the course was exactly what I was looking for, and that felt more important to me than distance.
I knew I didn't want to stay too close to home so grabbed the opportunity to explore somewhere new. It's super exciting, but can also be pretty scary and take you way out of your comfort zone.
Here are a few things you probably didn't prepare for when moving to Aberdream.
Trying to pronounce words in Scottish
You naively think that Scottish pronunciation can't be that different to the English – after all, we all speak the same language, don't we? In actual fact, it will probably take you a while to get into the local dialect.
You'll likely find yourself offending the locals when drunk. If you think you've mastered Doric, trust me when I say you haven't. "Far div ye bide" is harder to pronounce than it looks.
Be careful with names too – my colleagues roared with laughter when they overheard me asking for a "Mr Farr-Quarr" instead of Mr Farquhar (actually pronounced "Fackar" to us English folk).
Thinking you will be surrounded by mountains
Scotland is famous for its mountainous landscapes, so you may have packed with the intention of going hiking on your days off. But unless you feel like wearing your waterproof trousers and walking boots around Duthie Park, I'd save them for a Highlands holiday.
Sure, that walk to uni can be a bit of a hike, but Aberdeen is pretty flat by Scotland's standards. Seaton Park's hills are about as steep as they get in the city, even if they do feel like a mini Ben Nevis at 9am.
Assuming you can eat outside
If you think you know seagulls, think again. Seagulls in Aberdeen are the largest in the UK and sound like flying foghorns. You will soon resent the fact that they will swipe your chippy from your hands as you walk down the beach promenade – and your car will definitely need another wash by the time you get back.
Slipping on cobbled streets
Whether its because you wore heels on a night out, or because you wore shoes with no grip in the rain, you'll soon learn that those cobbles can be super slippery.
Believe me, you don't want to be the girl that tries to run up the hill out the back of Underground on a night out and falls on her face. Neither do you want to be the one that slips on the way to the William Guild Building on a rainy day.
Trying to spend your Scottish money when you go back to England
At first, it will look like Monopoly money – and it will take some getting used to. You'll feel like an idiot searching for the right note to pay for your drinks at The Bobbin, only to realise it was the one you had in your hand all along.
Then it becomes normal and English notes begin to look old fashioned, so you automatically go to pay with your Scottish notes back home. They won't like that! (Even though it is legal tender).
Eating too many deep-fried mars bars
In Scotland, anything can be deep-fried, and it's only natural that you'll want to try it. The problem is once you try one, it's hard to stop. You'll make new discoveries every time you go to the Carron Fish Bar in Stonehaven – they even deep-fry teacakes and pizza! My latest discovery is the Braveheart Butter Bomb: frozen balls of butter fried in either Irn Bru or whisky batter.
When all is said and done, Aberdeen is a wonderful place to study and a beautiful city. I've made some great memories up here and now it feels more like home than England – something I never thought I'd say.