After what feels like an age, The Saint has reached its final issue of the academic year 2021-2022.
Coincidentally, Issue 260 also marks our last issue as Editors of this newspaper after a year at the helm, and after three years of contributions to The Saint. This milestone comes with a huge sense of accomplishment as well as nostalgia. Our time in St Andrews has been defined by this paper, and we will both miss it dearly.
After 19 May (the day this semester ends officially, for those of you not up-to-date with your deadlines), we do not, as we have done the last three years, jolly off on our summer holidays, but instead join the seething mass of unfortunates that statisticians like to term “the unemployed”.
Though the achievement of finishing atop the Times Good University Guide was rightly lauded by the administration here, the Editors of this paper currently find themselves struggling with the disconnect between prestige and opportunity. St Andrews beat other universities to the top of the pile via an exceptional student experience score (balls, fashion shows, and May Dip, essentially), but languishes a mere 16th for graduate prospects. Thus “panic Masters” is the “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” of the Class of 2022, or, at least, for us.
Gone are the days when multinational corporations travelled the UK university circuit, setting up stalls and practically begging graduates on their knees to join their firm, and not PwC. Largely this is due to Covid: why would a company fork out money to send its ambassadors on pilgrimages around the country when a mere advertisement on Indeed will attract all the talent it needs to its virtual door?
Some will argue that this levelling of all prospective graduate scheme applicants, who can only be judged on the enthusiasm shown in their cover letter, and relevant experience demonstrated in their CV, is ultimately a win for social mobility.
Along with a packed CV and gorgeous cover letter, however, there is certainly some luck involved when it comes to getting one’s foot in the door.
With only anxiety and job-related stress on the horizon then, our last issue is reason enough to turn to the relative comfort of our memories of the past.
The twelve months we have spent at the helm of The Saint has been at once a privilege and a huge challenge. Coordinating the production of a newspaper is a time-consuming endeavour that our readership—friends and flatmates (who are often baffled at the hours we put in) aside—may not fully appreciate. Running The Saint is a 24/7 job which requires the sacrifice of other things like our social lives, coursework marks, and sleep schedules. For that reason, it tends to become something of an obsession to those of us who find ourselves on the Executive Team.
It would be wrong of us to say that finding a job didn’t play a large part in our continued dedication to The Saint, even after we have served as Editors for a length of time deemed acceptable to make a song and dance about it on a CV.
Whilst many join The Saint for CV fodder, those who stay do so for the same reason a parent finds watching a child grow up to be bittersweet. You love it. The paper becomes inexplicably important to you, and you find yourself fighting for, and defending it at every turn.
As of yet these sought after jobs haven’t materialised, but that isn’t to say the myriad of experiences involved in running the paper haven’t contributed massively to our professional development. If nothing else, the fortnightly 3am layout sessions have provided us with the grit we need to survive whatever comes next.
It has also given us both an appreciation for the work professional journalists do. Be that Editors, Sub-Editors, reporters, copy-editors and the whole crew of professionals required to keep a newspaper afloat, a publication is only as good as its contributors. It is only right, then, that we thank whole-heartedly The Saint’s wonderful committee, and specifically the Editorial Board.
It is the writers and editors that make The Saint such a special paper, and we could not have published the last 10 issues without the hard work of our team. We raise our hats to the members of our Editorial Board, who are always on the front line of our sometimes impractical, and always time-consuming plans to better the paper. It has truly been a privilege to work alongside them.
The future cannot be avoided forever, however, and we must part ways, sadly and gladly, with The Saint. We hand over to a more than capable team, who have had the pleasure of watching us both soar and flounder in the choppy waves of student journalism in St Andrews. They will chart their own course—we wish them the best of luck.
We leave them with one guiding principle, and that is:
Anything for The Saint!
Linden and Olivia