4 Things I Miss, and 4 Things I Don't Miss.

Now that I've officially been living in Edinburgh for a month (!), people often ask me what I like better: the US or Scotland. Quite frankly, I find that question to be rather ridiculous. The US is my home, and Scotland is this new exciting place that I've decided to study in for four years of my life (and maybe more...). But really, isn't it a wonderful thing to be able to love two different places so much in so many different ways?

So, while I won't pick a side when it comes to which country I like more, there are some things that I miss about the States, and some things that I'm quite happy to have left behind in my American pre-University life.

Things I Miss

Chipotle (and good Tex-Mex in general)

"What's a Chipotle?" my Scottish friends ask me. "Only the best thing in the world," I respond, salivating at the thought of a freshly made burrito bowl. Now, I'm not going to go into the whole Chipotle vs. Anna's vs. Tango Mango debate that all my friends at home know all too well, but the point is, I miss Tex-Mex. The one time they had "Mexican Night" in the dining hall, they served us guacamole from a bottle. I nearly walked out right then and there. Not to mention, Mexican restaurants here are few and far between, and the closest I'll get to any true Tex-Mex is the nachos at Teviot. Now I truly appreciate America's affinity for good Mexican food North of the border. 

That time when my burrito from Chipotle was the size of a newborn.

My Hair Salon 

If you know me at all, you'll know that I'm very picky when it comes to my hair. I always go to the same salon back home and see the same stylist (she's the best!). I really enjoy my monthly bang trims, and how my stylist will go the extra mile for me just because my mom and I are loyal patrons. Last week, my bangs (or "fringe") were so long that if they moved even the slightest bit out of place, I couldn't see. So I finally had to face reality and pop by a hair salon near my halls. They did a decent job, but nothing beats my regular place. 


Seriously, when will Europe get the memo that lukewarm drinks simply aren't satisfying? I understand that people don't want their drink to be watery when the ice melts, but ice should at least be an option. Two minuscule cubes of ice in my vodka cranberry just doesn't cut it. 

Whole Foods 

The Whole Foods at Four Corners is my Cheers- "where everybody knows my name." Well, at least one cashier knows my name for sure, the rest just know my face because I was in there at least three times a week over the summer. While I've become fluent in the grocery stores around the 'burgh (Sainsbury's, Tesco, and Lidl), and which ones have the cheapest wine, freshest fruit, and best pre-made sandwiches, there's really nothing like Whole Foods.      

My reusable bag showing some serious Massachusetts love. 

Things I Don't Miss 

Waking Up Early 

This is a huge one for me, seeing as I'm not exactly an early riser. When I told my friends about how in high school I had to be in class at 7:40 every day, they told me that was "inhumane." Pretty much all Universities start later than high school, but, at the University of Edinburgh, there is no such thing as an 8AM class. So if you're a student here, you never have to show up to class before 9. And me? I cruise into lectures no earlier than 10AM. It's a sweet, sweet life, my friends. 

Sharing A Sink

Before coming here, I never would have thought this would have been such a big deal. Having a sink in my room sounds kind of strange, but it's actually quite helpful. If I'm up late studying (or just out late...) I don't have to go across the hall to brush my teeth or take out my contacts. And most importantly, I don't have to worry about seeing anyone on my way there while looking like a mess in the morning. 

Can you tell that I cleaned up this area of my room just for this picture? 

Being Stressed Out 

I really hope other college students can vouch for me when I say that the academics are way less stressful than in high school. It's not that there isn't work- you're just more personally responsible for the work that you're assigned. For me, at least, my work is mainly comprised of readings, essays halfway through the semester, and exams at the end of the semester. There's no busy work or pop quizzes. And there isn't as much of a competitive spirit either. We're all here already, so we have nothing to compete for. I definitely feel like University is more about learning than about "achieving" in the traditional sense. 

Nobody Appreciating the Humanities

This may just be my personal beef with where I went to high school, but it always seemed like everyone was always gunning to be a doctor or a scientist. And while there's nothing wrong with that, I often felt like I wasn't taken seriously because I enjoyed English and aspired to be a teacher or a journalist. When I tell people here that I'm studying Sociology I don't get strange looks or stifled laughs. People at University seem to be studying everything: from Art History, to English Literature, to Neuroscience. I love the feeling that all fields are accepted and appreciated equally. 

College kids: Anything you're missing right about now? Anything you're happy to be living without? Let me know in the comments!  



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