You chose to go to uni in the capital, so please stop hating on Scotland and Scottish people
Haud yer wheesht (basically, stfu)
The Scots have been always been subject to a multitude of criticisms, from being shite at sport, for their men wearing "skirts", and for eating and enjoying creepy food such as the intestines of sheep; they seem to be ridiculed for almost everything.
Although we Scots can take it on the chin (the preceding triad is admittedly all valid) and are very much down with your stereotypical, self-deprecating British humour, the student body at Edi Uni arguably has a tendency to belittle and underestimate its Scottish students.
No matter how much we pay for our education, how we dress, or what we sound like, we are all students at one of the best universities in the world and all deserve our place here as much as the next person.
So, without further ado, here are five ways you can be slightly nicer to the Scots at the University of Edinburgh.
Stop mimicking the accent
You wouldn't imitate the accent of someone from Mumbai let alone take the piss of it, yet on an almost daily basis the Scots are asked to repeat certain words that deviate from the English pronunciation, only to be met with either laughter, intrigue, or both.
Obviously, it goes without saying that such interactions are of a jovial, friendly nature, and are in no way racist nor attacking. But when you find yourself thinking twice before saying certain trigger words (namely, castle, grass, path, trousers, water, down – the list goes on), knowing true and well that you are very likely going to be be mimicked in a (shocking) Scottish accent, it all starts to become a little tedious. Tomato, tomato, who really cares.
Don't take the piss out of men wearing 'skirts'
Taking the piss out of a country's national dress is simply a no-go. The kilt may not have the religious or ceremonial origins of items such as the kimono, but it constitutes a huge part of the Scottish national identity and has a greater cultural and traditional meaning than first meets the eye.
Wearing a kilt was even a crime under the "Dress Act" of 1746, which outlawed all items of Highland dress in effort to suppress Highland culture. The ban lasted 35 years and breaking it left you facing six months' imprisonment, but it was still worn by big, strong, haggis-fuelled Scots in protest. Hence, the kilt is a symbol of our heritage, and facing up to de facto English bullies. Not just a mere "skirt" then, eh?
Stop slagging off the bagpipes
They may be the marmite of the music world, but the amount of abuse thrown at the bagpipes is wholly undeserved. They're one of the most difficult instruments to play, let alone well, and any resentment should be fast replaced with recognition and admiration.
Don't lie, you're fully aware a tear came to your eye every time you belted out Jerusalem in Chapel at boarding school and some Scots may feel the same way when it comes to listening to a lone piper playing The Skye Boat Song (gis it a listen – it's fit) on the Royal Mile.
So, next time you walk past a Princes Street piper and very audibly compare it to the sound of Sinitta screaming on I'm A Celeb, remember there's a person behind the pipes who has feelings and happens to be very talented as well.
Refrain from bringing up how Scottish students get free education
Some students have to pay university fees and some do not. Yes, it may seem unfair, but who's fault is it not? The students themselves. Whilst the policy decision may err on the side of controversial and seem unfair to some, the worst thing you could do would be to make someone feel uncomfortable based on how much they pay for their education, especially when it's something entirely out of their control.
Comments made about the Scottish students complaining about last year's strikes when "university is free for them anyway", were totally insensitive, as no matter the monetary value of what each student lost in terms of missed lectures, we all lost the same in terms of our education and learning. Just because you pay fees for your studies, it doesn't mean you're more entitled to receive a better education than those who don't.
Stop comparing Edinburgh to London
“Edinburgh is nice, but it's no London” seems to be the opinion held and vocalised by a lot of the English students at this university. I would argue that London is nice, but it's no Edinburgh. It may be your temporary home – an oasis of education, self-actualisation, and, of course, the sesh, away from mummy and the gun-dogs back home in Kent – but for many students Edinburgh it is their home and people need to be more respectful of that.
Yes, the galleries and museums are smaller and there are far fewer shops, restaurants, tourist attractions, and no tubes (plot twist: walking or taking the bus isn't the end of the world), but the two great cities evolved in completely different ways and against completely different social backdrops and circumstances, so how can you expect them to be the same? Moreover, how can you want them to be?
Edinburgh currently holds the crown as the best city in the world to live in, and we're all terribly lucky to be living here, be it permanently in your family home, or temporarily in your student flat or Pollock Halls – debatably.
It's important to emphasise that any "oppression" the Scots have faced is totally incomparable to that suffered by other nations worldwide, and it would be ludicrous to describe the type of behaviour I have mentioned above as "racist" or attacking in any way. I'm neither a snowflake, nor launching some explicit attack on the English (I grew up there myself), but I stand by the fact that we should all be making an effort to be kinder to each other.
It is, of course, true that the reverse happens, with some Scottish students deciding they're going to detest the stereotypical, signet ring-wearing Eton bloke in their "Introduction to British Politics" tutorial before he can get his first "yah" out. We're all jointly responsible for the English-Scottish divide.
For now, all I'm asking is that next time you think about mimicking your token Scottish friend's accent (TSFs exist, trust me), or slagging off how fancy the Scottish girls dress on a night out compared to their wavy-garmed Pollock counterparts, take a moment to reassess what you're about to say or do and think about how it may make others around you feel. At the end of the day, we're all deserved students at this incredible university and should unite over our differences as opposed to bringing each other down. There's nothing cooler in this world than being kind.