International Endeavors: I’m just in love with the idea of life abroad

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By Jennifer Constable, Web Editor


Like most blissfully ignorant seventeen year olds, I had my life planned out before I’d even gone to uni; I’d graduate (with a first class honours degree, of course), move to London or New York, walk straight into a high paying job, shop exclusively at Waitrose, and live in a bohemian (but modern) studio flat, with my soulful, artisan actor boyfriend, and our Norwegian Forrest cat, Norman.

Flash forward three years, however, and the reality is very different. I’m in my third year of uni, buckling under the ever-increasing weight of constant deadlines and tight budgeting, woefully single, and most importantly, still live with my parents in my hometown; barely on the map, and still about as far away from my dream job, and city, as I was when I left high school.

As a journalism student, I will admit that my initial “dream job goals” stemmed partly from a deep love of the film ‘Devil Wears Prada’ – where gawky, aspiring journalist, Andrea moves to New York to become assistant to the career-driven, dragon Lady, Miranda Priestly, editor-in-chief of high-end fashion magazine, Runway. For those not acquainted with the film, (where have you been??) during her time at Runway, in her quest to break into the world of professional journalism, Andrea has to work her way up the patented leather career ladder, carrying out an endless number of lengthy and ludicrous tasks for her relentlessly demanding boss, attending a variety of high-society parties, and getting an expensive looking head-to-toe makeover to boot. It was intense, no doubt, but the life style she had looked so fast-paced, so exciting, and so glamorous. I wanted it; to live in one of those cosmopolitan, sleepless cities, like they do in the films, and wait for the inevitability of success to fall upon me.

Blind to the reality of the adult world, I was convinced that this was the life led by all journalists, and eagerly awaited my own transformation from awkward, blundering duckling, to a stylish competent swan of the news industry, biding my time until I could move to one of the aforementioned city of dreams, and being my climb to fame and fortune.

Alas, as so very often happens, life doesn’t always work the way we envision. As the months went on, and the competition for student jobs grew tougher, I was forced to face a grim reality; I couldn’t afford to move a few miles into Glasgow city centre, let alone upping sticks and relocating to another country altogether, no matter how essential I had assured myself it was.

The realisation that I was “stuck” at home was pretty demotivating. The bright lights of places like London, New York, and Paris called out to me like a beacon of hope; to me, they promised a wealth of opportunities; a richer culture; a better chance to make something of myself. I had put my international endeavour dreams on an unattainably high pedestal, convincing myself that living anywhere else would doom me to a life of failure. Was I deluded? Of course. Had I fallen victim, like so many others, to the unrealistic expectations portrayed to us as the norm in films? Without a doubt.

I used the fact I couldn’t move to a big city as an excuse to be lazy- to not push myself to do the best with what I had available to me. Scotland is a county brimming with a wealth of opportunities and enterprises ready for the taking, what it lack it good weather, it makes up for in creativity and diversity.

Golden opportunities can be found wherever you live; the onus, however, is on you to take advantage of them, and not to rely on your postcode to do the work for you.