PSA: Don’t Do What I Did

  • 7 December 2016, 09:26


Writing for a friend…

Just kidding, I actually did do all this stuff. I’ll admit it.

But I wasn’t as lucky as you to have someone writing a post about all the things you should and shouldn’t do while in Dundee to learn from. So, from here on out, if you happen to find yourself in one of these situations, I have full rights to a sweet and loving, “I told you so.”


Things to not do in Dundee. Also known as DunDon’ts.

DunDon’t Get on the Wrong Train

I bought a ticket for a Virgin Rail train and I got on a ScotRail train. You’re all like, “Duh, Court!” I know, I know. But can we all just admit this happens to the best of us? It’s what was the cheapest at the kiosk at the train station!

I thought the move to Scotland would be relatively painless but my first few hours in the country were starting to say otherwise.

My Virgin Rail ticket got me through the gates and onto the train platforms, I only saw ScotRail trains, but the digital sign above said one was going to Dundee so I hopped on it. I sat down, plugged in my headphones, leaned my head against the window, rested my feet on the seat across from me and revelled in the feeling of my eyelids closing over my tired and strained eyes. Moments later, I was tapped on the shoulder and thought, as I opened my eyes, that I was going to have to show my ticket and find out I was on the wrong train. But he just wanted to tell me to kindly take my feet off the seat. So, I obliged and plugged in my headphones, leaned my head against the…you get it.

And then I was tapped on the shoulder. They wanted to check my ticket. You know, the ticket that was for a completely different train company but I thought would work just fine? Yeah, that one. Naturally, he made me buy another ticket on the train and I was all upset inside that I never asked for help from the beginning.

The moral of the story is don’t be overly confident that you know how to do simple things like buy a train ticket because it’s not worth spending 20 Pounds in a way that was as good as making it into a paper boat and setting it sailing down the Tay.

DunDon’t Toss Your Return Ticket

No, I’m not still talking about trains. I’m talking about your store receipts that allow you to return all the stuff you impulsively bought because you found every justification under the sun and then buyer’s remorse set in a few hours later. I mean, that’s just what I’ve heard happens. Or perhaps this simple scenario:  buy two pillows at Primark, bring them home and remember you hate really fluffy pillows and prefer those closer to the pancake sort. What was I saying about admitting to this stuff?

DunDon’t Forget the Noodles

Made chicken noodle soup, went to add the noodles, realized I never bought any noodles. That’s all I have to say here.

DunDon’t Look the Wrong Way

Didn’t look for oncoming traffic. Actually this happens on a regular basis. We drive on the other side in America, kay? You know that confident step you take off the sidewalk as you start crossing the street while you happen to glance the opposite way at the car zooming with rocket speed toward your beautiful face which ends in a split second jump backward and the inevitable gasp? I do that all the time. OR, more commonly, my arms form 90 degree propellers and I take off with a faster shotgun start than an Olympian track star. Almost.

Things to do in Dundee. Also known as DunDo’s.

DunDo Compare Prices

Debenhams is for people who don’t have school loans and plan on keeping their things for a long time. Like adults with a spouse and kids and a mortgage. I don’t fall under any of those categories, so clearly I was out of my league when I purchased my kitchen and bathroom things there. In my world, Argos, Tesco, and Primark are single-person, kid-free, rent-paying, loan-accumulating, eternal-student havens.

DunDo Budget Really Liberally

You should budget so liberally that you think to yourself, “Wow, if i spend this much money I will actually be sick about it.” And then realize that’s probably only going to get you halfway.

For instance, a gym membership might be budgeted for, but then each workout class you want to attend is an additional 2 Pounds. Two classes a week could quickly double your monthly membership costs. You might get to your flat and find out it might actually be the set of any movie ever made with a prison scene and want to upgrade, doubling or tripling the amount of money you were going to pay for accommodation (and answering with great certainty your question how it could have been so cheap in the first place). You might forget you will be moving into a flat that only provides you with a cold fridge to keep your beer and a place or two to park your bum. Leading you to run to the store for a few pans, a toilet brush, a duvet, trash bags…you get the point. You might get here and realize you only packed one pair of jeans and nothing comfortable to sleep in. You might want to join more clubs than you thought of. Which means more membership fees than you thought of. You might be offered a field trip for one of your classes that costs 500 Pounds but is an investment you clearly justify. You might get here and want to completely deck out in Dundee gear including a vibrant selection of University hoodies and cozy socks. You might get here and think your flat needs a bit of color and life so you go to the garden store and buy them out of orchids and ferns. You never know.

DunDo Stay Busy

Do stay so busy that you think you’ve gone crazy, but also don’t deprive yourself of a good Netflix binge. It’s all about the balance. I promise.

DunDo Watch for Deals on Flights

And I’m not talking about beer, though I’m not denying those kind of flight deals would be nice too…I got a flight from Dublin to Edinburgh for 10 Euros! That’s not missing a zero…I really do mean TEN! The price I paid for my snacks at the airport were as much as my flight. Chew on THAT.  


If you’re new to Dundee or you just want to hear some more stories about this one student from America who knows all the right ways to do the wrong thing, you know who to come to. I don’t see myself ever being short of things to say! I should really write an advice column, shouldn’t I? Don’t answer that. 

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