What does Scotland mean to you? Home? Opportunities? Progression? Or something else? The Herald posed this question to media students at City of Glasgow College, keen to hear the views of younger Scots starting out on their careers. The answers were strong and inspiring. Today, we hear from runner up Carly Louise McCabe.

Herald editor Catherine Salmond said: "Carly Louise entertained me with her fantastic expression and pace, making me smile and feel sentimental at times for the Scotland she describes (and I understand). Her piece is visual, lively and energetic."

Carly Louise McCabe

“To me Scotland is Malcolm Tucker, the best Bond, square sausage and Rose Leslie.” – A director, who’s lived all over Scotland and met some of its most interesting characters.

I can guarantee you that what Scotland means to me isn’t what it means to you, or to anyone else. Scotland to Scottish people, is less of a country and more of a feeling, a state of mind.

I asked people who live in Scotland, some for most of their lives, some for all of their lives, and some only a few years. I asked them what Scotland meant to them and I received varying answers, each different, some positive and some negative, but all from people who wouldn’t dare live anywhere else, and most of them have tried.

The dichotomy of Scotland, the war and peace that goes on every day, the difference between the Scotland we wish to show to the outside world and the Scotland some of us see all the time. Discover Scotland and its beautiful rolling hills and green, green grass or come to one of our cities, where the wearing of either green or blue could land you in the hospital.

“Sectarianism.”– A biomedical scientist who lived a year in China but still returned home to Scotland.

Scotland is where I grew up, Glasgow is where I call my home, and as rough and alcoholic-driven it may seem to other people, it’s the place I feel safest.

Walking the streets at two in the morning in a city where almost anyone will stop and talk to you, may seem strange and dangerous to folks who aren’t used to it, but not to us. Of course, you get your characters, but such is the interesting life of Scotland.

As someone who works in hospitality, there is a no more frightening a sight than standing behind a bar on game day and watching three dozen Scottish men, women and children approaching you, after already either reaching their high of the week or the lowest point. Think of a Scottish battlefield, but instead of kilts it’s striped jerseys and instead of axes, swords and blood, it’s beer, wine and blood.

Sporting events can cause situations in this country and those situations are usually broken down into the categories of either a ruckus or a riot.

I can admit that sports can be a negative quality, or rather, the reactions to sports, and although one can dress it up in a bucket hat that reads ‘Scotland is just a very, very passionate country’ – we all know that alcohol and extreme competitive spirit go a long way to the ruined streets and brimming hospitals.

But even in this, even in this great fatal flaw that we’re known for in other reaches of the world, even with this thorn is our blue and white side, there is still something to be said for standing in a crowd of deliriously happy drunk football fans, listening to them chant in unison as they fight their way through another week.

Sometimes tourists ask: ‘Oh, but is it really true that you can get stabbed for wearing the wrong colour in the wrong parts of town?’ And to that wild and malicious question all I can answer is... aye! But only on match days.

“Scotland is a freedom to me, the first real freedom I had from my family, my first time living independent and on my own.” - A South African who, after living in India, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dabi Bahrain and London, came to settle in his favourite place yet.

I always think of Scotland as such a welcoming place. Never has it happened that I’ve stopped someone in the street, in a queue, in a store or on the road where I’ve asked for help and not received it. For all our brash accents and mean demeanours, I can say I have never met a more helpful manner of people. Some of the kindest hearts, the funniest souls and bravest faces.

Scotland, to me, means pride and joy and something to shout when ‘Super Trooper’ comes on in a disco. It’s standing in a field with 40,000 other Scots people screaming at American bands that can’t understand us.

My Scotland is a place where I can pass businessmen on their way to work at the same time as girls carrying shoes, getting into taxis. Scotland is a place where I can be harassed by one man walking down the street and then protected by the next. Where women will threaten to scratch your eyes out until they see you in danger elsewhere, then they’ll help each other no matter what the circumstances and Scotland is where you will find bus drivers that would punch passengers as soon as charge them.

Not everything in Scotland is perfect. Not everything is nice and clean, but the sense of community and pride is strong enough to shake the rest of the world. We are as famous as we are infamous but in all that, one thing remains almost strikingly clear; no one in the world parties like the Scottish.

It’s home.” - An officer in the Merchant Navy who has sailed all around the world but always returned home.

Tomorrow: We hear from winner Donald Erskine