As reading week approaches and deadlines fall away (or advance towards you with alarming speed) one by one, the Freshers of St Andrews should start to prepare for their Raisin experience. From South Street to the Scores, Bridge Street to Abbey Court, academic mums and dads are planning every variation of antics imaginable. Some will treat their kids to a nice breakfast with a side of Lambrini, while others will watch as theirs wade through the North Sea in the wee hours of the morning with a fish taped to their neck. Here are some tips to enjoy Raisin to its fullest extent and to come out on the other end with minimum impact on the rest of your week.
- Dress for the occasion
No matter what surprises and challenges your Raisin ends up including, a good pair of trainers and comfortable clothes will serve you well. If you have even an inkling that the North Sea could come into play, wear a bathing suit under warm clothes that you can take off and put on quickly. No one wants to try to pull on skinny jeans over sandy legs, and you won’t get very far on West Sands in loafers or three-inch Steve Madden booties.
- Stick with your family
It’s easy to lose your siblings or parents throughout the day.
Despite the fact that our town is made up of three main streets, once you’ve lost your family it can prove quite difficult to relocate them amidst the blurry groups of people running past. If you need a break to grab something to eat or to take a power nap, try to decide a time to reconvene or at least make sure another person in your family has their phone on hand with the ringer turned on.
- Take a nap
Odds are at some point in the day you will need a break. Get home, shower, change and set at least three alarms for the time your parents tell you to be back and then sleep. At some point during that time try to drink at least two big bottles of water and maybe have a snack if you haven’t already eaten, and especially if you’ve already lost the contents of your stomach. Try to keep your phone volume up in case your parents call you.
- Don’t go crazy on Saturday night, you will need your energy.
Especially if your mum and dad tell you to meet them before six in the morning, try to get a good night sleep. This is not the time to test the theory that drinking more will get rid of a hangover.
- Know when to stop
Depending on your family, most Raisin celebrations will be slowing down around 8 or 9 in the evening. Keeping this in mind, there is no reason to down a bottle of peach schnapps at any point in your life but especially not at the end of a day of drinking and running around. It’s better to respectfully decline a drink at any point in the day than to miss out on what can beone of the best chapters of your first year because you were sick or just felt unpleasant.
While Raisin holds a very dear spot in the history of our grand old university, it is important to prepare for what is one of the rowdier traditions of St Andrews. Especially if you have plans to go on holiday during ‘Independent Learning Week’, make sure to take precautions to avoid catching a cold, suffering massive hangovers and missing out on life long memories.