Keep the Heid

Sarah Mason University of Edinburgh, Scotland


December 30, 2015

“Keep the heid”: a Scottish phrase meaning to “stay calm”, that also sounds incredibly applicable to me as I hit the 5-day mark in my countdown to study abroad. In just 5 days from today, I’ll be sitting on a plane en route to Edinburgh, Scotland. After nearly a year and a half of planning, it seems unreal that my trip is finally here, and I am filled with a combination of nervousness and excitement.

Since I was young, I’ve always had an urge to travel. Though I’ve lived in Ohio all of my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel around the U.S. with my family. From Boston to Colorado to San Francisco, each trip was a new adventure for me. I’d count down the days, eagerly planning out the trip and meticulously packing my suitcase. At the end of each trip, I would always find myself with a simultaneous sense of nostalgia for the place I had just left, as well as a desire to explore somewhere new.

This continuous urge to travel made my decision to study abroad in college an easy choice. As soon as sophomore year rolled around, I immediately began looking into the study abroad process, and was overwhelmed by the multitude of options available to me. For such a small school, Denison has an incredibly wide range of study abroad destinations, which made narrowing down my final choices difficult.

However, something about Edinburgh stood out to me. The gorgeous, historical architecture and beautiful Scottish countryside, combined with the bustle of a big city was every travelers dream. I could perfectly imagine myself in the city, and decided that Edinburgh was where I wanted to spend 5 months of my junior year.

After several mishaps with arranging my flights, finding Biology classes that would transfer back to Denison, and attempting to fit 5 months worth of clothes into 2 bags, I think I am finally ready for Scotland. Though the nerves are finally setting in, they are outweighed by my excitement and anticipation for the many adventures waiting for me.

I am so grateful for this opportunity, and want to thank my parents for their continuous love and support throughout this process. I’m going to miss my family and friends over the next few months, but I know they are wishing me the best on this journey. I’m so excited for the independence, exploration, and adventures awaiting me as I depart, and can’t wait to share my experiences on this blog. Until May, Ohio! Or as the Scots would say, “Haste ye back”!


Pre-Departure Scotland