Photo: ISSOS

Good Riddance, St Andrews

An ageing fourth year says adios.

I’m in my fourth year here, and honestly I can’t wait to leave. Before you get all angry in the comments section, let me clarify that I love St Andrews. I’m (another) American, and in my time here I’ve experienced so many amazing things. I mean, what else in my future is ever going to equate to the likes of FS and May Dip? St. Andrews is such a special place, with all of its flaws.

But all that being said, get me tf out of here. It’s time. I’m ready.

First year was amazing, and arguably one of the best years of my young life. St Andrews was freedom to me. My parents certainly weren’t the worst in terms of strictness – I’m convinced they knew how much pot I was smoking and ignored it – but they definitely had their inarguable rules. They were always curious where I was, whether I was going to be home by 11, and of course, that my grades at school were good. You know, typical parent things. I also went to a day school and (because I’m young for my year) couldn’t drive myself anywhere until my last year at school. Back then, my life was highly regimented. Classes from 8 am – 4 pm, then sports, then music lessons, all on minimal sleep. Honestly, I was too tired most of the time to really get up to any crazy things. I also never really quite fit in at my school, so I had big dreams of university in a social sense.

So there I was, in my first year. I was a wide-eyed American abroad, and although that’s not really cool or unique here, back at home it makes you kind of a legend. For some reason, it blows American’s minds that you would want to go to school anywhere else…

Anyway, I was going out all the time, I had a great deal more friends than I was used to, and my classes were the perfect mix of “interesting, but not too hard.” I got to travel with my friends to cities I, admittedly, hadn’t even been fully aware of existing. Everything was new and fascinating. I remember being stressed about the occasional class test, but it paled in comparison to the stress I had felt at school.

Then came second year. I moved out of halls and into town, which was another large step freedom-wise. For the first time ever, I had to cook for myself every day. This quickly resulting in my putting on a “Gentleman’s stone,” because I am lazy and takeaway is almost too easy. Second year continued much the same as the first, but this time everything was just a little closer. I began to care slightly more about my work and put in slightly more effort, while still reminding myself to have fun as often as possible.

Then, the storm that is third year hit. Going out was at an all time low, and “stressed” became my everyday state. Suddenly, I was working harder for worse marks, and lost something I had taken for granted – the feeling that what I was studying mattered. Most days were spent in the library, with the occasional night out (or night in guiltily watching Netflix).

Third year blended into fourth, and here I am. I’ve gotten my passion for my subject back, and I’m getting closer to knowing what I want to do with my life. I still enjoy myself on nights out at the Union, look forward to glamorous balls, I still love my friends dearly, but I know something is different.

I now constantly live with this feeling of “Damn, I’m too old for this shit” while simultaneously being afraid of what’s next. I’m afraid that what’s next might never be as exciting as my time here, while also itching to move far, far away from this town. I know that even if I came back to visit, that St Andrews will never truly be the same as it is at this very moment. I’m trying to savour that, despite my gut reaction of boredom towards the repetitive uni life. I know everyone always says “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone,” but I think I’m ready for St Andrews to be a happy memory.

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