Raisin: an event where first year students and their third year academic parents take the town by storm.
While police were out in force and students were reminded thoroughly of proper behaviour by the University, fun abounded. Julia Cruissart de Grelle, a third year student, said “Raisin is super fun but a ton of planning goes into it. You end up not following that much of the plan and you need to make sure you feed your kids — and make sure that they’re always having fun!”. She also stressed that the day “is a marathon and not a sprint,” emphasising how important it is to try and last the entire day in order to participate in as many activities as possible.
While academic families are typically first year children and third year parents, exchange students can still get involved. Kelly Albert, a third year exchange student from North Carolina, is one such person. In regards to the weekend she said,
“I was definitely nervous about meeting other students, but through my academic family I’ve been able to meet so many other people in such a short period of time. Raisin weekend was the highlight of my time abroad so far. Getting to run around St Andrews together on a scavenger hunt on Sunday and then in the foam fight on Monday was an incredible bonding experience. I loved our receipts, flags from our ‘home’ countries. It highlighted our different backgrounds but coordinated us into a common theme. I would definitely recommend participating in Raisin Weekend!”
Raisin is full of wacky activities; Izzy Reeves, a first year student, recalls having a “massive heart attack” as she was awoken by a drum roll at five o’clock in the morning – courtesy of her academic parents. Izzy laughed as she said “I learned I hate running around the track (at the sports centre) more than anything else — especially while drunk.”
The weekend is also characterised by elaborate costumes, including Game of Thrones inspired getup and Playboy Bunnies. There were costumes ranging from peas in a pod to trees (with twigs and sticks stuck to their backs), as well as Oompa Loompas, with faces as orange as those in the film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The famous foam fight that ends the weekend’s shenanigans was even featured on BBC.co.uk, where the costumed first years are pictured hurling foam at each other and rubbing it into each other’s hair.