Tomorrow, I’ll be hopping on a plane from Lagos, Nigeria to Edinburgh, Scotland to begin my Master’s Degree program. I’m blessed with a full scholarship and the soul of a nomad so this is another opportunity to invest in my career development and cultural experience.
Ever since I got the admission in 2013, I’ve been looking forward to this day. By the time this year runs out, I would have been to four different countries and on fifteen or so planes but this trip promises to be one of the longest plane rides of my life. And o-boy, how much I dislike long plane rides or multiple stop-overs. Ideally, I would get to everywhere in the world with a 2-hour direct plane ride. What’s weird is that Edinburgh is no more than seven hours away, but with the way my flight is routed; I will be traveling for almost eighteen hours and making two stops to what should be a stone’s throw away. On the bright side, I’ll be able to finish a good book, watch two good movies and spring up fun games with my neighbors on the plane. I’m feeling a lot of things – I could barely articulate them – but Edinburgh is the light at the end of this tunnel. Literally.
While I’m visibly excited, I’m barely anxious. I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the University in April with my family and I was pleased with the feel of the city. It is eerily similar to Boulder, CO, where I lived for four years during my undergraduate degree and I’ll gladly take that experience over and over again. I had a wonderful time! I noticed how bicycle friendly Edinburgh is, just like Boulder, and how relaxed the pace is compared to bigger cities like London and Denver. In fact, some of the very qualities I sought in choosing to come to Edinburgh were animated during my visit. But, I know two cities, especially so distant and distinct, cannot be the same. Of course, silly me expected to see one or two kilted men on the streets but what was I thinking? I still eagerly wait to see this traditional sight. Below are some photos from my April visit:
To help me prepare, I created a check-list weeks ago to help me complete my last minute tasks. I know that so many things compete for my attention in the last few weeks before a long trip so I’ve learned to simplify. In writing my check-list, I put down in chronological order the things I had to do in order before going to school. This morning, I was pleased to tick off all the things I had written except, of course, get on a plane and go to Edinburgh. I can do pretty much anything using an excel sheet so instead of a conventional check-list, I used green highlights to indicate completion.
As for the calendar countdown, I did it to make my last stretch of days seem less lengthy. Every evening, I would highlight in red each completed day. This was just to satisfy the “planner” in me.
So, as I leave for Edinburgh, I’m looking forward to the rigour of school again. For the last one year, I’ve missed the structure that school offers and cannot wait to be immersed back into that. Also, I’ve moved around quite a bit and enjoy learning new cultures and meeting diverse people. Edinburgh is just the place for me to add to my wealth of cultural knowledge and share my experiences with others, of course. More importantly, the School of GeoSciences is top-notch and who wouldn’t be excited about getting a degree from here? Personally, I have set goals for myself with regards to my musical instrument skills, my foreign language skills and my career development.
Edinburgh promises to offer me a majestic, cultural and scenic backdrop to reach these goals. In Edinburgh, I expect to be EDified, EDucated and inspirED. Let’s go!