Source: Getty Images
St Andrews is unique in so many ways, from its stunning scenery to unusual traditions. The town and university provide its students with opportunities we could never find anywhere else, and we’d be crazy to miss out! So, here’s 5 things you should try before you leave this wonderful place.
- May Dip
To anyone outside the university bubble, voluntarily running into the North Sea at 5 in the morning seems absurd! And yet, at sunrise on the first of May, hundreds of students gather on East Sands. It’s the epitome of the student experience at St Andrews. Whether it’s to cleanse your academic sins or simply take in the stunning views, this is one of the experiences you cannot miss.
Source: Jeff J Mitchell via The Herald Scotland
- Academic Families
Academic families are one of St Andrews University’s most well-known and fun traditions. This practice allows third and fourth-year students to ‘adopt’ incoming freshers to act as their mentors and introduce them to life as a student in St Andrews. This can be a great way to gain insight and advice from your parents who have been through the same things as you, but it also means that you have the advantage of getting to know brothers and sisters in your family. Right from the beginning of the semester, this can help you get to meet other freshers and make friends. So, whilst you might leave your family at home to begin your new life at university, another family awaits you in St Andrews!
Source: Jane Barlow via The Herald Scotland
- Try out a society or sports club
St Andrews is host to over 150 societies, offering music, arts, academic, cultural, and food and drink experiences. This is on top of the 50 sports clubs on offer! At no other point in our lives are we going to have access to opportunities like this. Societies are also the perfect way to meet new people outside of your halls or friendship group. Meeting like-minded people with hobbies in common is a great way to make new friends. Furthermore, societies and sports clubs are crazily inexpensive through the university, starting from just £3 for a yearly membership. No matter what you’re looking for, from frog society, acapella society, dance club, and football club, there really is something for everyone.
- Walk the Lade Braes and Fife Coastal Path Walk
The Lade Braes path lasts around 2.5km and follows the route of an old mill lade with a history stretching back to the Middle Ages. This beautiful walk covers fields and runs down the river, making it a perfect place to visit in St Andrews. It runs from Little Carron on Hepburn Gardens all the way to Lade Braes Lane. There are plenty of benches and grassy areas to sit down and spend time along the way. The same goes for the Fife coastal path walk. Either head West up to the incredible Balgove Larder and sample their larder and fresh food, or East to see breathtaking views along the coast. Whether you’re looking for a walk or simply just a nice place to spend an afternoon, these routes are stunning paths to explore.
- Visit the restaurants, cafes, and delis of the town
Despite being a tiny town of just 3 streets, St Andrews is home to an extraordinary number of restaurants. Bigger chains like Zizzi, Pizza Express, and Nandos are great options, but some of the best are the independents that are dotted around the town. Mozza is a personal favourite of mine, offering inexpensive pizzas and Italian sandwiches that taste sensational. Rocca Deli, Gorgeous, and Shawarma House are other fantastic places, each with their own style and unique foods that you just can’t find elsewhere!
Whether you’re looking for experiences, opportunities, or simply a relaxing time, St Andrews really does have it all!