Debunked: The Edinburgh Uni myths that simply aren’t true

Did you climb Arthur’s Seat in Freshers’ Week?

The University of Edinburgh not only has an aura of magic but also a selection of myths and legends that sometimes scare off those applicants or curious wanderers of their school’s career office. Most importantly, these fairy tales haunt the most impressionable group of all: freshers! If you belong to any of these categories and have been deprived of the truth, I’m here to debunk those folk stories and old wives’ tales. Call them as you wish, but they’re really just fake news.

There are loads of Scottish students”

You’re far more likely to find distant relatives (or upcoming stars) of the Made in Chelsea’s cast than somebody with their own tartan. It’s very disappointing for people like me who, upon meeting a Scot, are dying to know what their family tartan looks like.

Will it match my dream wedding colour scheme? Scottish students are hiding somewhere behind a posh accent and a hot chocolate moustache from Uplands Roast. Wear your tartans for me. Please.

You will fail your degree if you do not climb Arthur’s Seat in freshers week”

Right, this better be a myth, or I’m in serious trouble. If you were affected by Freshers flu like me, ignore those showing off their rock climbing/extreme sports equipment (this is what I believe you need).

It’s no Mount Everest; you will not find Brad Pitt with curtains from Seven Years in Tibet or motivation to do work up there. You will certainly find one of my lungs, but is that really what you’re looking for? It’s a stupid prank fourth years pull on freshers (this will be updated in 2024 when/if I graduate).

You will suffer from impostor’s syndrome”

Maybe on the first week, first month if you’re lucky. I say ‘lucky’ because I believe it’s a syndrome that really makes you see how fortunate you are with your present situation.

To some, it feels like guilt and a very counter-productive inferiority complex. It only slows down your road to success. While it is paramount to recognise one’s privileges and blessings, feeling like an impostor is just another way of saying you feel left out. You will find a way to belong; you will adapt and find like-minded people (not on Arthur’s seat).

“A gun is fired at one o’ clock every day from the castle”

Not everyone will agree that this is fake news, but it’s got to be, right? At least, not every day, surely? My best friend lived here for four years and never heard it. Have you ever heard it? This is a disappointing discovery for the Hunger Games amateurs out there.

I was once lucky enough to hear the one o’clock gun while walking home from uni. Dodging annoying tourists and their guide’s creative sceptres (closed umbrellas are out of fashion), I felt like Katniss Everdeen in a forest of selfie sticks. You will not hear the sound of a fallen tribute regularly (or ever) as opposed to bagpipes and Americans.

There are around 50,000 students”

This is an utter lie. I guarantee you that whenever you venture onto campus, you will bump into the same people (including that ex or Saturday-night romance) when you least expect or wish for it to happen – ever wondered why New York City felt so small? Everyone was always spotted on Gossip Girl. Only an Edi student can relate to Serena Van Der Woodsen and throw that phone into the bin.

You will experience all four seasons in one day”

I wish this saying were true, but some days, the darkness outside will make you feel Scandinavian and incite an intense desire to design Ikea furniture. On others, the wind and rain are so strong that you’ll seriously be concerned about wig-owners. Whoever said that the sun and warmth of summer would alternate with the Twilight Saga autumn or Russian winter is just voicing wishful thinking.

Get yourself vitamin D supplements ASAP. Even though rainbows always follow rainstorms (hang tight, you’ll get through midterm assignments), do not dress thinking you might tan on the meadows after your lecture; it’s just another myth.

If your favourite myth about Edi is missing from the list, I have bad news: it’s probably true.

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