You don’t spend three-quarters of your St Andrews degree on The Saint without harbouring a deep love for the town, its people, and its achievements. The University of St Andrews has always been number one in our hearts, and has now been recognized as such by the Times and the Sunday Times in their definitive university guide. We would like to offer our heartfelt congratulations to the University, and the student body, for this accomplishment, as it is no small feat. The Oxbridge duopoly has been, and always will be, a tough nut to crack. They are older and twice as large, boast an endless list of prestigious alumni, have vast resources at their fingertips, and, as meme pages across the internet make clear, rejected a vast cohort of our student body. This ranking, which points to our own high achievement across the board, should instill a sense of pride in students, especially for the aforementioned “rejects”.
Alongside academic achievement, student experience is at the centre of everything the University does. When the sun comes out, it isn’t difficult to see why students continue to rate the experience here so highly. Our little town has been looking a lot more familiar lately, lockdown ghostliness cast away by the lingering summer sunshine. Crowds of students on the three streets seem conspicuously happy, laughing and chatting in their many accents. The beaches, also, draw large crowds from lunchtime to late evening. Pier jumps are a rite of passage. The Saint recommends making the most of these sunny days ‒ by mid-October they will seem like a halcyon dream.
Remnants of the “new normal” still remain, like the masks we are wearing as we write this editorial in The Saint’s office (first floor of the Union if you want to schedule a chat). Though we realise governments, universities, and your middle-aged parents are fond of stating it, we too feel we must emphasise that vaccinations have played a large part in a return to normality. It is fantastic that 97% of the student body have had at least their first jab, but uptake on the second jab has not been as high. This, we realise, may be for many reasons, but for those who are simply apathetic: the second jab may, in a few weeks, be your ticket into the ever-sticky 601. The Saint urges you to get this jab, if only to be more sure that the mucus-cough going round is Freshers’ Flu, not COVID.
So Freshers’ Week has come and gone (well done for making it through) and we find ourselves back in everyday university life. For some, however, the prospect of getting down to the business of studying raises the pulse a little. This can be put down to the anxiety of deadlines. For some, though, it is excitement at the certainty of a schedule, the consistency of weekly classes, and the joys of learning.
The Saint has experienced a learning curve of our own preparing for our first in-print issue since March of 2020. Getting back into print has presented more challenges than we originally anticipated. It has been hectic putting together a newspaper with only the Editorial Team writing articles. We are grateful to them for their efforts, but we are sure that, with a new, full committee, they will be far more happy and confident. Soon deadlines will hit, but The Saint will continue to provide you with all-you-can-read St Andrews, number one university in the UK.
To back up our achievement, we implore this highly-intelligent student body to participate in a culture of journalism. Should you read something that sparks thought or an opinion in this newspaper, or on our website, write something, and send it in. Debate is important, and more often than not, we will publish it.
Additionally, enjoy the hours spent pouring over your work in the library, and the conversations on the street with that person you wish you hadn’t run into. Relish in recovering from a night out with friends. Too saccharine? Maybe. We are determined, however, not to wish away a second of our last year in St Andrews, and our last year at The Saint. Olivia and Linden