A few months ago, I published a short reflection on my fourth year and promised a part 2 – so here it is. As the exam diet ends, and end of the year celebrations begin simultaneously with the easing of lockdown in Scotland, things seem to be looking sunny-side-up for St Andrews students. I myself finished up my time at St Andrews last week from home, which was a rather anti-climactic moment as I shut down my laptop in my bedroom when my online exam timer ran out. I don’t think anyone could have imagined the past year and a half to be the way it was, with the presence of Covid-19. This year was a complete 180 from my first year at uni, which felt like a fever dream. It was (as cheesy as this sounds) completely magical, and everything I ever could have asked for during my first year at my dream school.
I made a wonderful group of friends, and met my best friend in Regs as she fell on top of me from the staircase, a little bit blackout before our very first Bop during Freshers Week. I had the best academic parents who catered to my penchant to become horrifically inebriated off of a single shot (I still can’t help it, I’m 4’11”). I joined the Stand as a wide-eyed fresher and little did I know that I would get to run the entire thing as a fourth year. I took a grand hot chocolate tour of St Andrews and visited at least twenty cafes, pubs, and restaurants in search of the best hot chocolate to keep me warm on a rainy Scottish day. I cherished movie nights with my best friends, as we giggled and gossiped while watching To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before while nursing a cup of Earl Grey and a pack of Tesco Custard Creams. I got lost several times on public transport and ended up in Aberdeen instead of Dundee, and when trying to get from Leuchars to St Andrews, ended up taking a four hour bus tour of Fife. I ran across the Old Course to watch a glorious sunset, and ceilidh’ed my way till midnight with all my favourite people.
Throughout the next couple years I made many more memories, from joining shinty to learning to adapt to a new academic environment. I was able to learn things at St Andrews that I don’t think any other school will be able to teach me. I am so grateful for a handful of wonderful professors, who listened patiently to my never-ending questions, and helped me realise that learning is most definitely a process. From having butterflies before my first tutorial to dreading the end of my last one on Teams, I can safely say I’ve come a long way. (I’d like to say a big shoutout to all the teachers, tutors, and professors at St Andrews and beyond who went above and beyond to make sure we got the best academic experience. You guys are the best.)
Although I never dreamed that my time at St Andrews would come to an end so ordinarily, it has really made me learn to appreciate the moments I was able to experience during my time there. (Big shoutout again to the shinty team, who no doubt gave me the best memories and worst hangovers. Love you guys, PBTJ). I’m forever grateful for the most wonderful and supportive editorial team whose presence on Zoom made my Tuesday afternoons. The Stand would not be what it is without you all. Next year, I’m proud to say that Asya Wu will be taking over my role as Editor in Chief, and Emily Goggin will be taking over for Deputy Editor from Bella DiPietro. They have been on the Stand since first year and we are so excited to see the big things they will do.
Like many other fourth years, as this final academic year for us comes to an end, I’d like to say a big thank you to St Andrews. Thank you for making me step out of my comfort zone. Thank you for making me appreciate the little things in life, and exceeding my expectations of a uni experience. Thank you for making me a little bit more worldly, and most importantly, bringing people into my life that have forever changed it. And while there is still the undeniable sadness of not having a proper graduation to culminate our studies, there is the hope that we’ll all be able to celebrate together next summer. Class of 2021 – I hope your time at St Andrews, whether you are near or far has brought you the joy as it has brought me. No matter the ups and downs, we can proudly say, we made it! We made it through all the Teams and Zoom calls, the mentally draining coursework, the dissertations, and the reality that our fourth year was not what we expected, and I am so proud. As for me, it’s time to go to teaching school where I hope that six year olds will listen to the storybooks I read them and maybe even hear about the fond memories I made not so long ago in my favourite seaside Scottish town.
Stay joyful! Your Editor, over and out!