A Guide to Avoiding Others in St Andrews

Because we’re all too polite to just tell people “leave me alone.”

In a town consisting of a mere three streets and just under 8,000 students, it’s often difficult to avoid seeing people you know. Of course, this small, self-contained aspect is one of the reasons many of us chose St Andrews, but sometimes you just want to avoid other individuals as much as humanly possible. Well, worry not my fellow scholars, for I have compiled a foolproof guide for *those days* that any one of you can employ in order to avoid even the smallest amount of human contact.

1. Avoid Tesco at peak times

It is rumoured that the St Andrews branch of Tesco is the second most expensive in the UK, yet this does not stop students from pouring through those sliding doors at certain times. After leaving halls and being forced to be a real adult, I have experienced Tesco at rush hour, and it is an experience I wouldn’t wish on my enemies. You learn quickly to avoid this hellhole by never shopping at the times of 1 pm, 5 pm, 9:50 pm and, honestly, most of the day… So ignore everything I just said: avoid Tesco altogether and shop at Aldi. It’s cheaper, anyway.

2. Take the path less trodden

Something I have recently learned, albeit slightly overdue, is that walking down South Street rather than Market Street will help you avoid approximately 72% of people you are trying to avoid, for whatever reason that may be. It is generally less busy (although don’t hold me to that) and at the times when the thought of talking just makes you want to get on a bus to Dundee and never come back, this can be a lifesaver.

Photo: Hungry House

3. Deliveroo* will save you

Picture this: you have been inside working (or not) all day; you go to the fridge to see what you have for dinner, and there is nothing of interest. What do you do? Deliveroo was made for times like this. With the iconic Dervish recently added to the already long list of participating “restaurants,” there will be something for any mood. While this may take longer than just walking, the lack of socialising makes up for the extra hour you may have to wait.

* This article is not paid for, nor is it affiliated in any way with Deliveroo, I just happen to be a fan.

4. Use bribes to make your friends bring you the things you need from the outside world

This is self-explanatory.

 5. Wear an elaborate disguise

Sometimes even these previous rules won’t help you. At this point, it’s time to get creative. In order to avoid seeing people you know, you must transform into someone they have never met. Pull a “Mrs. Doubtfire” on those bitches. Wear the glasses with the built-in nose. Do what you have to do.

Photo: Daily Mail

6. Learn a different language

This is in a similar vein to number 5. If you are really serious about the art of avoiding people, sometimes taking a language class months in advance can aid in pretending to be a different person. With this under your belt, you can suddenly be a confused tourist who unfortunately happens to look like a student. You can adopt a whole new identity. This is a guaranteed way to fool those who may cross your path into silence.

 7. Fake it ’til you make it

Obviously, it can be pretty impossible to achieve your goal of running into no one if you’re wandering around town. If all else fails, just act like you’re happy to see someone, even if all you can think about is how much you’d rather be in bed. Smile sweetly, make small talk (I would suggest exploring topics such as weather, what they are doing at the weekend, or how tired you are – these always go down a treat), or, if you get really desperate, pretend to receive an important phone call for an easy escape.

These things will, if executed correctly, make those antisocial days a whole lot easier. If, still, none of these things work for you, maybe just take to day drinking. “Dutch courage” is the only remedy for your problems. After all, you either leave here married or an alcoholic: Why not speed that process along?

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