Source: Nicole Entin

Freshers Week Highlights

A new year, a new set of writers joining The Stand. Delaney Brown, Christy Forshaw, Trip Brown, and Rori Nugent write about their favourite events of Freshers Week 2022.

When you walk around St Andrews during Freshers Week, the whole town is abuzz with a palpable sense of anticipation. New students navigate the three streets in search of set texts for their modules or finding the most efficient route between halls and their classes. Returning students wind their way to the flats of their friends for housewarming parties or prepare to find their academic families. But whether it’s your first time making a wide berth around the PH or the geography of the town is as recognisable as the back of your hand, we all eagerly look forward to the wide array of events happening in Freshers Week. From annual favourites to brand new concepts, everyone is sure to find an event that will make an impression on them for the rest of the year. Four brand new writers joining The Stand’s Events team have written about their personal highlights of Freshers Week 2022 – from rave reviews of music collectives to odes on the familiar grounds of favourite bars, perhaps these Events writers will help inspire your next night out.

Delaney Brown on Szentek in the Cellar

A treacherous line swelling in the stairwell down to the cellar, eager Aikman’s patrons wait for a coveted ticket to the highly anticipated Szentek in the Cellar, run by a music and art collective that specialises in giving underground EDM sounds to the masses of St Andrews. As a returning second year who has had a fair share of club nights at The Vic and The Rule, it was refreshing to spice up my routine and enter a more niche community within the St Andrews student population. The event began bright and early at 8 PM, giving my friends and I the opportunity to delightfully merge a dinner party with our pres. Abandoning the comfort and familiarity of halls, we got to ‘play house’ in our exciting new dwellings and further explore the suburbs of the town on our brisk sunset walk to the event.

Upon arrival, we were greeted with patrons spilling out of the Aikman’s entrance, exuberantly buzzing with conversation and pushing for a spot in line. Slowly snaking down to the cellar, my anticipation built as we got closer to the music floating up from below. With my stamp on hand, I entered behind the graffitied curtain and was exposed to a radical assemblage of flashing lights, pulsing music, and flailing students dancing to the ecstatic beats. While Aikman’s has been more of a conversational location set aside for homey pub nights for my friends and I, the cellar was transformed into a club-esque venue free of stereotypical Freshers Week chat. Sweat pouring down my face and condensation dripping from the walls, I got to experience a fantastic juxtaposition to club nights of the past.

Christy Forshaw on Sinners and St Andrews Snowsports

As a second year, returning for Freshers Week brought back many personal memories from the year before. As such, it was nice to be able to attend events with well-established friends and reminisce on our own first experiences of the streets of St Andrews, from the euphoric to the somewhat cringeworthy.

Personally, Sinners was my favourite night of Freshers Week. For me, it felt like the first night that everyone had returned or arrived to St Andrews, and so the atmosphere of excitement was unmatchable. Sinners can be a bit of a nightmare to navigate if you have never been before but, if in doubt, St Andrews Snowsports rarely disappoints when it comes to their Sinners. We knew it was going to be a good night when the party started before we had even entered the house: SAS society members greeted us with water guns filled with  something that was definitely not water! Inside the party there was neon face paint aplenty, meaning by the time I entered the Union I was absolutely coated in UV and, less fortunately, woke up with paint in my hair.

Sinners itself was well-run for what could have been a very chaotic night. I was pleasantly surprised by how quick and easy it was to collect my wristband during the day, expecting queues around the block, and in general there was very little queuing on the night itself. On entering, we were adorned with glow sticks to match the UV paint. One notable addition at the Union was people on the stage, adding to the party atmosphere and also freeing up space on the floor of 601, which can often be a bit of a minefield. All in all, I had a great night for a first Sinners, and feel very excited for future Sinners to come.

Source: Pexels

Trip Brown on a Night Out at The Rule

While the boisterous, pulsing beats of techno music have become a trademark of St Andrews events, a night of Britney Spears and High School Musical remixes are always a welcome sound to my ears. The Rule, a bar that has become a fluorescent light to the underclassmen flies over the past year, has proved to be a consistent haven for a cheap night. I still am yet to weather a Union night leaving with all of my peers intact and cannot quite swallow the consistent ten pound entry for a fashion show promotional event. I won’t say the Rule always produced the perfect night, but at worst it certainly is a happy medium. Friday evening of Freshers Week, my friends and I decided to spend the night at The Rule. Approaching the night with a slightly cynical attitude, I was not disappointed. There is something about music that is slightly too loud, in a room that is slightly too crammed, after waiting in a line that is too long that can become a small blip when being reunited with friends after a summer that persisted for too long. Sitting in a booth laughing at jokes that most would find devoid of any humour and erratically dancing through a swarm of people will always be emblematic of a fun night, especially after time apart from those you’re closest with. Absence definitely does make the heart grow fonder – and I was shocked that that sentiment can even apply to The Rule.

Source: Pexels

Rori Nugent on Blind Mirth

St Andrews’ ‘only and sexiest improv group’ has officially wooed me this Freshers Week, standing out in my mind as one of my favourite Freshers events. Blind Mirth is on every Monday at 8 PM in Sandy’s Bar, and if I’m being honest hadn’t previously enticed me, but now you will find me there most weeks.

Improv can be unreliable entertainment – the vibe of the audience, the energy of the performers and other intangibles can really impact the way performances pan out. Blind Mirth had an exceptional dynamic that just really clicked, and the audience obviously felt it. There weren’t any borderline painful silences for jokes that did not hit or awkward gaps in dialogue. Blind Mirth has charisma, talent and a vibrancy that culminates into a natural, proper laugh-inducing humour.

The game that landed with the audience the most was ‘Sex With Me Is Like’, where the audience chose an object and the performers immediately stepped up to draw an analogy between that object and sex. Finn Bender of Blind Mirth really killed me when the audience called out ‘textbook’ and without skipping a beat he went, ‘Sex with me is like a textbook. I also keep a written record of everyone who has used me.’ The way the room lit up afterwards was reflective of the type of energy that sustains performances like improv.

A massive contributing factor as to why I loved Blind Mirth so much in Freshers was seeing the amount of people attending and support they had. Sandy’s Bar was chock full to the point of having a standing section. St Andrews feels the most tight-knit when we show up for each other as a community.

In the spirit of Blind Mirth, here’s one ‘Sex With Me Is Like’, except I get to choose the object too. Sex with me is like Freshers Week, sick AF.

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