How to interact with people after a year stuck inside!
For the first time in 18 months, a (mostly) traditional St Andrean semester is approaching. While we must remain cautious, there’s no harm in enjoying a St Andrews Freshers’ Week, even if in smaller groups. So, whether you’re a newcomer, a 2020 fresher with limited events experience, or an older student who’s dying to return to the bubble action, this one’s for you. Five fun and easy event ideas you can organise with your new friend groups to dive into the new year. All of them, of course, with a hint of inexplicable small-yet-unique-town-by-the-sea energy.
Although we sometimes forget, St Andrews is home to three beautiful beaches. Not enjoying the final breaths of Scottish summer, should be considered a sin.
The sun is still out and open-toed sandals can still be spotted around town — so gather a small group of friends and make a day out of it! A St Andrean picnic should always include: wine, cheese and a few pastries from one of the local cafés. Remember to keep the wind in mind and pick a place on the rocks near West Sands or the grass on East Sands; no one likes a slice of Brie with sand on the side.
Strawberry, Sunflower or Pumpkin Picking
You may notice on your drive or train ride to St Andrews, there are many farms around town, some with animals, but the prettiest ones have fruits, flowers, and pumpkins. Arranging a day trip to one of these fields is a wholesome and memorable first week experience with friends. Later in the semester pumpkin patches open so you can select and carve a Halloween work of art. If you don’t have a car, they can be hired or you can take a taxi. Don’t forget to check if the place you’re going strawberry or sunflower picking needs to be booked in advance!
Themed Dinner Parties
You’ve just arrived in a town where students walk around in red gowns (sometimes carrying torches) and people in full-on costumes have foam fights on university grounds; the least you can do is throw a themed dinner party. Working on a unique theme is crucial, so let your imagination lead the way. Last year it was not uncommon for someone to post on Facebook desperately looking for a colorful wig, cowboy hat or gorilla mask, so nothing is too weird. Pick a theme, dress to impress and take as many photos as you can — preferably with a film or disposable camera, this is St Andrews after all.
Yes, it’s 2021 and movie nights are still a classic uni-experience. In St Andrews they often come with a twist. The first step is to get a projector (a must have for your university years) and some fairy lights. After that, the snack selection needs to be top notch.
A selection of candy, biscuits, popcorn, chocolate and whatever your heart desires. Arrange them as a little buffet selection and proceed to make the strongest, most colourful drinks your Tik Tok FYP throws at you. Finally, don’t forget to set a dress code: pajamas, slippers and colourful cowboy hats are highly encouraged.
One can easily spend at least a week in St Andrews eating only in brunch places. Make sure to enjoy the blue skies and warm weather with some smoked salmon, poached eggs and friends!
After exploring the St Andrean brunch scene, try your hand in pancake-flipping and mimosa-making. Invite friends over, especially if there’s a backyard where you can blast some brunch music (if that’s a thing) and soak up Vitamin D. This has also been a notorious move used by academic parents during freshers week to get to know their prospective children better after meeting the night before.
Sofia Balestrin - Staff Writer