All the absolutely awful things you go through if you attend university in your hometown
It’s shite, to put it frankly
For the most part, university life is all shits and giggles. It's incredible how quickly a place that was once completely alien can come to feel like a home away from home. But as much as we students love to smash a strawpedo in Big Cheese whilst surrounded by all our weird and wonderful new friends, there is no more comforting and appealing a thought than the prospect of returning to our hometowns in the holidays.
With our mums to make tea on tap, home-cooked food as opposed to meal deals, and time away from Edinburgh to chill and recover from the constant sesh, in one's very own double bed – there's nothing more bliss.
The idea of returning home, however, isn’t quite as desirable when all ‘going home’ entails is a simple walk up the road. Students always seem to forget that it is possible – albeit rare – for locals *gasp* to attend university in their hometown. It will come as no surprise to learn that it is as shite as it sounds.
Here are the reasons why you should add students who attend their local university to your prayers this eve.
There's a possibility of bumping into your parents on a night out
Or bumping into them at any time, at any place, for that matter. Edinburgh may be a city, but it is a very small one. You might be virulently hungover buying Irn Bru in Tesco, perhaps on a very obvious walk of shame, or on a coffee date with that creepily persistent Tinder boy – your parents could be anywhere, and if they're Scottish, the prospect of bumping into them whilst on the lash is scarily high.
Whilst it may be true that the chances of seeing your da giving the Garibaldi's stripper pole a twirl are admittedly negligible, it isn't too unthinkable a situation to be in the smoking area at Creme, minding your own business, only to then witness your mother – and her friends – emerge, trollied, from gals night at TigerLily. Stranger things have happened.
The bottom line is that uni should be about doing what you want, when you want, with who you want, with no chance of your parents finding out – or worse still, witnessing. For Edinburgh locals, this is sadly a dream too far-fetched.
The threat of encountering family friends/friends of your parents
Similar to bumping into your parents, but a far less desirable category of people to come across for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, you can't be rude to them, or ignore them like you can with parents and, secondly, you don't have the chance or the time to be rude, as they will rush over to say 'hi' within 5 seconds of clocking you, no matter where you are or who you're with.
You can quite easily give your parents the worst evils you can muster to ward them off, and they will most likely understand and lie low (unless you 'forgot' to empty the dishwasher again that morning), but there is no stopping Aunt Cassandra from excitedly running up to you in Costa and asking if the strange boy with whom you're sat working on a tutorial presentation with is your boyfriend.
To top off the outrageously awkward situation following your offensively fast objection, she'll give you a huge unmissable wink as she walks away. Subtle, Cassandra.
3. Uni experiences will quickly corrupt your innocent childhood memories
The route you used to take to meet your granny for afternoon tea in New Town is now corrupted by the memory of that time you witnessed your pal projectile vomit across the width of Hanover Street, or where you partook in a photoshoot dressed as a weirdly slutty-looking baby for some creepy social.
Edinburgh at night with its streets littered with junkies and drunks is a world away from the family-friendly image it projects during the day. It only takes one look at the carnage unfolding on George Street at 3am after WhyNot Mondays for Edinburgh's picture-perfect image to be shattered, possibly forever.
The city becomes a ghost town
With all the students having gone home to London/the home counties (seriously is anyone at Edinburgh actually Scottish?) and all your local pals still away and going large at their respective unis, the city becomes a very lonely place.
Of course, you could hang with your old great auntie and her abundance of rabid cats, or be bougie and order Deliveroo solely to get some chat with the driver who is hopefully below the age of eighty.
In reality, however, these pitiful attempts at socialising will always fall short of chatting shite all day and evening with your pals at the Pear Tree. At least you can observe them all having fun with their friends from home via IG and Snapchat stories. FOMO, you say? Never heard of her.
Thanks to Snapmaps it looks like you just really love uni
Snapmaps is great for many 'super important' things like stalking your ex, making sure your pals aren't hanging out without you, and finding out where exactly your best friend ended up sleeping after Hive till Five (wink wink).
However, it can become quite a nuisance – and a tad embarrassing – when you're the only person in Edinburgh after every single other person has gone home. For those unaware of the fact you actually live in your uni town, it can appear to them as if you're possibly the most keen student ever: first to arrive, last to leave… in fact, YOU NEVER LEAVE. Uni is fun but not that fun.
Of course, there is the obvious option of simply turning off your location tracker, but where's the fun in that? It is a truth universally known in today's society that snakes don't hiss – they leave their Snapmap location on ghost mode.
Your friends treat you like a walking, human iMaps
Your mates may sometimes forget that the fact you live in the city does not mean you know the exact location of each and every independent – and, not to mention, highly instagrammable – coffee shop of the thousands that Edinburgh has to offer.
The trek from Old Town to New Town can leave you feeling like a tour guide unfortunate enough to be leading a school trip full of boisterous and badly-behaved children, especially when your comrades are a tad on the tipsy side. Would definitely recommend investing in a few toddler safety reigns before commencing the long walk home from Gazza's at 3am.
The topic of navigating around the city can also strike a nerve where someone has the audacity to question – or even go against – your impeccable local knowledge. Look, mate, I know you did your DofE Gold in the Brecon Beacons last summer, battling sunstroke in 'extreme' heat conditions, but I can tell you now that George Street does most definitely not run alongside George Square.
There is no escape
Sometimes, life just gets a bit much and you need to get away from the bustling city of Edinburgh. There are just so many Mormons, rainy days, Communist occupations, and people shitting themselves on the dancefloor in nightclubs, that the prospect of leaving becomes almost as desirable as the thought of the McDonalds on Princes Street recovering its 24-hour license.
There is the option of changing the desktop screensaver on your Mac to a nice beach in the Bahamas, or, perhaps, trying (and probably failing) to befriend a couple of 'rahs' in hope of latching onto their weekend hunting trips to the highlands.
The reality is, however, that you will most likely remain in Edinburgh – whether in halls or at home – feeling claustrophobic, cooped up and cold, waiting for someone, anyone, to return home from their holidays and crack open a lowly VK with you.