Let’s face it, we all knew I would be making a dramatic exit. With a swoop and a bow, I imagined I would waltz out of St Andrews, leaving with a hip swivel and a saucy wink. However, my exit was anything but elegant, running sweaty and anxious through the Dublin airport just desperate to reach American soil. I was robbed of my stylish and tasteful exit.
I imagined I would be writing this article in June, reminiscing on my last St Andrean moments: May Ball, Polo and Graduation Ball. If you told me a year ago I would have to “do the big flee”, packing my life up in 24 hours, cancelling my spring break plans with my best friend, and hauling my ass home as soon as possible, I would have laughed in your face. While this is not the exit article I intended to write as Editor of The Stand, it is the one I am forced to write. The Coronavirus single-handedly killed our senior year. With the strikes resuming this semester, I accepted the fact I would not have class for a month. I thought, this is fine I will just get back to normal after spring break. Little did we know that last class back in the beginning of March would be my last in-person class at the University of St Andrews. There are so many heart-breaking realities fourth years are being forced to come to terms with. Rather than writing about all the goodbyes I never said or the depressing half-full bedroom in my flat I will never return to, I want to focus this goodbye article on the memories, lessons and moments St Andrews gave me.
No year will ever top my first year of university. I felt like I had entered a glitch in the matrix. St Andrews was (and always will be) magical, exciting, and fairy-tale like. The people are weirdly all beautiful, the parties extravagant, and the teachers and students some of the best souls I have had the pleasure of meeting. Now in March 2020, texting my friends, making sure they are all home and safely tucked away from the corona-invested world, a whirl of memories flash through my head. I remember texting my now best friend, back before we started first year, asking if she wanted to meet in D.C for coffee so we each had a friend going into University. Little did I know that coffee date would spark a friendship that would lead to weekly dinners spanning from first year all the way through our fourth year. Thank god I had the balls to text her, because where the hell would I be now?
I remember bonding over first year logic hell, spending countless hours hunched over the ABH lounge tables doing practice problems upon practice problems with friends from class. I remember walking my 5’1 sassy self up to my academic mom who at the time was uninterested in me, and forcing myself into her family. My academic mom and I laugh now because we could not have been a more perfect match (which duh I already knew which is why I hustled my way in!). I remember the defeating moments, opening MMS and receiving a mark that took the breath out of me. I remember sitting in office hours with professors who poured so much time and energy into helping me succeed. Sadly now, I will never be able to thank them.
Leaving St Andrews last week, I felt like a true Jew doing the big Exodus (timely with Passover around the corner), only taking what I could carry and getting the fuck out. Running around buying anti-bacterial wipes for the plane, cleaning my room, I was not able to say a proper goodbye to the town. However, my mom reminded me, “Zoe it was not the town that made St Andrews magical, it was the people.” As always, Koko is right. While I may not have been able to say a proper goodbye, my last moments were organic. Sitting on the floor of my flat, braiding hair with my flatmates, we all were laughing and hugging each other and more importantly, we were together. I would like to give a big shout out to my flatmates for a wonderful send-off. From Harri steering me through the crash-course of British culture, to Hanna reminding me that Sweden is in fact the best country ever (they probably don’t even have Corona!) and to Hannah for jamming to country music and making the best food known to man. These girls, and the rest of the wonderful people at St Andrews made my time at the school.
It would not be a proper adios without acknowledging the people that have allowed me to write this sad-sop article. Thank you to all The Stand editors for being the most talented, dedicated and honourable people I know. Our Tuesday news meetings were a highlight of my week and I will miss you all dearly. Thank you to the writers who have poured passion and hours into their detailed writing. And finally, a big thank you to Sara Fay for being my Deputy Editor, I could not have done it without you.
In true Zoe Spirgel style (you know how I do), I had planned to do an editor reveal video, passing the torch in style. However, it seems Corona has once again thrown a little wrench in my plans. I am so excited to announce that Maiah Khin will take-over for me as Editor-in-Chief next fall. Bella DiPietro will be taking over for Sara as Deputy Editor. These ladies have been on The Stand for four years and will do an absolutely excellent job.
Though this was not the grand finale I had hoped for, it’s our reality. Thank you St Andrews for a memorable, memorising, and magnificent undergrad experience. As Ariana says, Thank you, next: to law school I go!