After getting a rough start in St. Andrews with no luggage and having to use my (very kind) roommate’s tshirt to take a shower, the rest of Fresher’s Week went on relatively smoothly. I am in classes that I think I will enjoy including a class about the neural mechanisms of predator/prey interactions, marine biotechnology, conservation/management of biodiversity, and some cognition class (can you tell which one I’m least enthralled about?). The scenery has been beautiful with three beaches which, on average, I have visited daily and beautiful old buildings (some in better shape than others of course).
At St. Andrews there are two traditions I have been able to get involved in so far.
The pier walk (picture above). On Sunday around 12, St. Andrews students will walk to the pier in their red robes and return on the upper/narrow level of the pier. The way you wear your gown will signify what year (and if you’re a third year) whether you are in the sciences or the arts. I chose to wear mine as a first year which would look like the normal way to wear a robe to the everyday person.
Academic parents (pictured above). At St. Andrews it is a tradition for older students to adopt the freshers. Usually they are from you hall, classes, societies, or sports and tend to be Juniors or Seniors. The point of adopting is to help the freshers (or occasional lost study abroad student) to navigate their way through their four years at university and to enjoy Raisin weekend which is in mid October. I had been warned not to accept any parental offers in the first week, but I think this one will work out. My mum is Alison. She is on the football (soccer) club and a science major. She’s super sweet and, even better, came along with an academic father who she is ‘married’ to (in academic parenthood, not real life). So in gaining a new mum, I gained a new dad as well. His name is Jack and he’s a psychology major who dabbles in football. We happen to have a class together which works out very nicely because most people I know are either freshers or not biology or neuroscience majors. They are both wicked nice and wonderfully weird, although hopefully they will find at least one other poor fresher who needs guiding so I can have a brother/sister to join in on my “I swear we won’t be too mean” condoned hazing.
After a fun and drinking (maybe a little too much drinking..) filled week, I am just beginning my first week of classes. So until next week,