Studying in St Andrews


Having not done much studying during my short time in St Andrews, the task of writing about studying here during the last eight weeks was fairly daunting. Like so many of my fellow Freshers, my free time has been filled with parties, sports clubs and making new friends; doing absolutely anything other than academic work. Not to mention I came to St Andrews fairly confident in the knowledge students never have to do any work at University anyway, and life would be one glorious drunken haze, going from one party to the next.

Yet despite this illusion, I have found myself doing work. With essay deadlines and class tests looming, I have even ventured into the library on numerous occasions – much to the disgust of my academic parents, with their exclamations of “I didn’t even know where the library was in first year!”

Compared to my prior educational experience, St Andrews is brilliant. The library is contemporary and efficient and has had enough resources to satisfy my undergraduate needs as of yet. However, there does seem to be a lack of resources when it comes to available copies of books, which has made me learn that one has to be quick when it comes to hunting down the relevant titles for essays.

As a learning environment, I have also been impressed with St Andrews. In addition to being beautiful, St Salvator’s has proven to be the perfect place to study. Regarding the tutorials and lectures, initially it felt as if I had been thrown in at the deep end, ciphering through an endless stream of information. This feeling passed fairly quickly, due to the help of staff and students alike, and I enjoy the varied learning format provided at St Andrews, from the independence given by lectures to the more intimate, friendly atmosphere of tutorials.

Starting University is always a giant academic leap forward for any student, yet studying at St Andrews has felt almost like joining a huge, slightly geeky family – making studying here so far an enjoyable experience.


Photo credit: Isobel Fraser


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