‘If you didn’t do placement what did you do all year?” A question I was asked when I started final year in September and the answer is well instead of placement I moved to Scotland for the year (bit random I know). In May of 2nd year I realised I wasn’t ready to go straight into final year and that I didn’t want to do placement so instead I made the big decision to move to Scotland. Luckily for me I wasn’t just moving there knowing nobody my dad and step mum, brother and sister live over there so at least I had 4 friends.
Even though Scotland is only a 40 minute flight it isn’t in any way similar to northern Ireland and especially not my tiny village in county Tyrone. Everything is soo different, there villages are the same size as Omagh my local town in Tyrone, they have train stations everywhere so you can actually go places even if you don’t drive and there is soo many houses soo soo many. One thing that took me a while to grasp was how Scottish people speak and Scottish words.
Here’s a few words that took me ages to understand “Ken” means “I know”, “braw” means very nice, “smart” means that looks well etc.
I lived in a place called west Lothian and I was 25 minutes from Edinburgh and 30 minutes from Glasgow couldn’t have been any better. I worked 40 plus hour weeks in a Toby Carvery, Christmas dinner all year round basically (it was GREAT) and the tips were the best thing. There’s a saying that it’s the people you work with that makes you enjoy your job (or something like that) and it couldn’t have been any truer. Being the only Irish person I got asked atleast 5 times a day if I was from Dublin and each time I sadly had to say I wasn’t. I always told guests I was from Belfast because there was no chance Scottish people would know of Tyrone. Even though I didn’t do a Public relations or communications placement I still feel like I gained so much more experience than I would have if I stayed at home. Moving to Scotland made me more independent, more confident and also I got to experience something new rather than just being stuck at home. For me moving to Scotland was and will always be my best decision of my years at university. I’ll definitely be moving back. If you are considering moving away then these are my top tips:
• Definitely do it, it will be hard at the start but in the end it’s the best decision you will make.
• Home will always be there.
• To ease the home sickness visit home once in a few months don’t’ leave it 10 months, that one visit will make you want to move home even more.
• Go see the world, there is more to life than living in Northern Ireland forever.
Lena Coyle is a final year BSc in Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter: @Lena_coyle