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shetland - a good place to be under 30?


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I think it depends whether you've been away or not. I remember feeling restricted by living in Shetland when I was in my late teens and early twenties. It was important for my personal developement to go and live "sooth" for a few years. The time I spent away was good for me but it also gave me a new appreciation of Shetland and made me realize how lucky I was to be able to call Shetland home. When I moved back I didn't feel restricted anymore, I felt Shetland actully gave me more freedom. It can be a great place or a terrible place depending on what you need from life at the time.

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A lot of this question has to do with the boundaries we set for ourselves, and the opportunities we choose to exploit.

 

For an under 30 it can seem as if Shetland is restrictive in some ways, but at the same time the social aspect and security and natural resources are without compare anywhere other than another wealthy small island.

 

It may seem as if the 'real world' is far away, but this is only a mental block, the mainland is really only a few £££'s away. Many under 30's spend more on a weekend out up here than they would in going south and having a spree there! Or forget about going out 'every' weekend and save the money to go somewhere more exotic. Hard to grasp when you're

 

Appreciation is a major factor. We live in the middle of a real live nature documentary if you can be bothered to get out and see it, and you like that sort of thing.

 

From my own experience, staying south was great for a while, but it was also great to get back again. That paradox depends entirely on what you are doing at the time. What "Yowe" said pretty much hits the nail on the head. There are different types of "freedom". The kind you get here is pretty exceptional really.

 

This is a huge subject! I'm going to have to put the brakes on myself......screech! :wink:

 

One thing i will add though is that Shetland can be a 'talent vortex', whereby sometimes people of talent who can't escape that whirlpool remain unfulfilled, whereas elsewhere they may go far/may amount to nothing, never known until tried. :roll: Shetlanders generally do excel elsewhere(?) It's in da blood!

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Speaking from the perspective of a 17 year old growing up in Shetland all my life, I think that Shetland, especially country places (I grew up in Burra) are fantastic places to grow up in because you have the freedom and safety but as you get a bit older and you either go to the Anderson or move to lerwick (I did the latter, we moved aged; 7) I think growing up in Lerwick you just realise the potential that is the world and you should go 'exploring' different areas of the world just to experience different cultures and encounter different diversities. Maybe you'll find a good place to settle in, maybe you'll want to move back to Shetland, but at least you have seen past the horizon.

 

Or something like that.

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Guest Anonymous

From my persepctive, it depends on how you want to live your life. it can be a goldfish bowl, and that can be sufficating, everyone knowing everyones business etc. Socially can be great, and can be awful! it really depends on many factors. Drink and drugs certainly are factors in small island communities, and this is sometimes where the problems begin. Shetland can offer so much that other places can't; freedom of the fresh air for example, the isolation of the place. It also tests you, and can make you feel like you are a million miles away, even though its at most - 12 hours. I'm not sure, but Shetland is a strange place in a lot of ways. It captivates it excites, it angers, it does all those things. But then so do most places.

I've ran out of steam, can someone please finish this off?

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It captivates it excites, it angers, it does all those things. But then so do most places.

 

Absolutely!

 

And certain aspects of life in Shetland and Glasgow can both captivate and anger at different moments. One of the things that I like about city life is the buzz of a busy street, but at half five on a Friday when all you want is to get home the very same buzz becomes an annoying crowd, intent on slowing your progress.

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A tricky question. I know a good few 'Under 30's' who have come up to Shetland for a short period of time (Generally a week or two) and they have really enjoyed themselves. Would they want to live here though? That's another question.

 

As for it being a healthy place to live...we have more well-equipped leisure centres than most areas do (per population head) yet we have a very strong drinking/socialising culture.

 

It all depends what you mean by healthy. Mentally healthy it is probably better than most. Physically healthy? That would be down to the individual concerned and as most of the sporting groups I have witnessed decide to go to the pub after training I suppose the two collide. Employment healthy? For the under 30 bracket I would say that it is limited in many ways. There are not many jobs on the go where someone under 30 can progress their career, educate themselves, gain experience and move on.

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For me Lerwick was great until about 16, when I started to think of it as a place that's too small to get away from the people you dislike (or dislike you), yet too big to feel like you belong.

 

I went away to uni and it changed my perspective. Now I love the place, but still in small doses. I've had some amazing weekends and some of the best times of my life up there, but I'll never forget the boring Tuesday nights when there was nothing at all to do apart from 'borrow' my folks car and drive around the town repeatedly.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Anonymous

I left Shetland to go sooth to uni when I was 18, determined that I'd be back when I finished. 12 years later and now living abroad, I can't see that I'll return in the short term at least.

 

As others have said, everybody's different but from my own perspective, going away was one of the best things I ever did. I dont mean that in a bad way - Shetland was a great place to grow up after all - but it just opened my eyes to other cultures and ways of life, broadened my horizons and was a huge boost to my confidence. Although the negatives outweigh the positives for me at the moment, being away has helped to put into perspecive the many good things about Shetland that I now appreciate all the more when I'm home on holiday (the environment and scenery, a genuine sense of community and belonging, how well the Council have provided for the folk) but also the negatives (gossip, small mindedness, the concensus that everyone has to fit into a small number of stereotypes to fit in, a heavy drinking culture in almost every aspect of sporting or social life etc).

 

I know a lot of folk my age who have lived happily in Shetland all their days and fair play to them. But equally I know some who are completely stuck in a rut and fed up with the place but cant seem to get off their backsides to do anything about it - which is a bad thing even if staying in Shetland isn't.

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