3 February 2020

Zixuan Zeng takes us through her impressions of Edinburgh from its natural wonders to stylish homes.
Students on Arthur's Seat | Photo By Alan Shedlock

The Perfect Place to Get Closer to Nature

The reason why I chose Edinburgh University over other prestigious universities in London is simple: Edinburgh has the most scenic natural wonders, and it provides great opportunities to embrace the beauty of nature. This is exactly what I expected from choosing to live in Edinburgh for my one-year master's programme (along with academic and professional development).

Probably I'm not a city girl who can truly enjoy the hustle and bustle of big cities. My ideal college life involves immersing myself in intensive learning, occasionally taking inspiration from nature. Whenever I feel tired, depressed, stuck, lonely, or any other negative emotions, I go to climb Arthur's Seat, walk around Salisbury Crags, or simply sit on a bench beside a lake. I get real peace almost immediately as soon as I feel embraced by nature. Somehow nature has the magic to make me happier, kinder, calmer, more creative, and more forgiving. This may sound cliché, but it's true. If there's one thing I strongly recommend people in Edinburgh do, it is to walk more to connect with the natural beauty of this city.

A Place with Lots of Charity Shops

Quite honestly, I had never had any charity shopping experience until I came here. Second-hand shopping is not common in China. To be more specific, there are no thrift stores or charity stores. People in my hometown might be afraid of being judged for buying garments second-hand. I used to be one of them, but now my attitudes have completely altered.

One of the great joys of my life now is shopping in charity shops; Edinburgh has an abundance of them! I sometimes feel guilty for spending a large amount of money at the shopping mall, buying things that are brand new but super expensive. However, every time I get something from a charity shop, I feel proud of myself (this may sound ridiculous).

Buying second-hand clothes is not only a sustainable and affordable way to update my wardrobe but also a socially and environmentally responsible behaviour. Every purchase I make in a charity shop is a sign of support for hunger relief or breast cancer research through the purchase-based donation. This kind of shopping makes me feel good about myself and proves that I'm more than just an economic being, and consumption can be beyond a purely financial transaction.

A Stylish City with Sweet Homes

When visiting a new place, I pay attention to everything and I become an acute observer. Taking a bus is usually the cheapest way to observe a new city and get a taste of what it's like to be a local. What impressed me most on my bus travels was the old but lovely houses in Edinburgh. I don't mean the property value of these fancy houses, but their creative wall colours, desirable features, artistic interiors, lush and vibrant front gardens, warm lighting, and so on. All of these give me a beautiful dream of building my own happy family. How fantastic it must be to live with someone I love in such a sweet house!

Living in Edinburgh is blissful. People have a different understanding and perception of this city, but I love it. And I know there are a lot more amazing things out there that are waiting to be explored.

Zixuan (Julie) Zeng, Marketing and Business Analysis