This is what it’s like to be a St Andrews fresher: Pandemic edition

We won’t miss trekking to town from Fife Park for a 9am

It goes without saying that the coronavirus has had a substantial impact on all of our lives here in St Andrews.

With Freshers’ Week having to be mostly online, masks having to be constantly worn in halls and the lectures and tutorials taking place on our laptops and phones, it’s all a bit daunting.

Regardless, it’s important to keep a positive mindset, so this article is going to outline the key things that we all need to remember in a Covid induced world.

Halls has a different atmosphere now

Being in halls now may seem a bit tedious, with the limitations of only 6 people in common rooms (in Andrew Melville), or the trek to the kitchen to make spaghetti only to find the maximum amount of people in them. Yet it’s still very clear that there is an added sense of community in accommodation, especially with this pandemic rumbling on outside.

With this, I encourage you to get talking to people who live in your halls, whether they are your neighbours or they are blocks away. These are difficult times, and a simple “hello” can really change how a person is feeling for the better.

You don’t actually have to show up in person to lectures or tutorials

While the coronavirus has changed a lot of what we normally do on a regular basis, some of these changes made could actually be better for us.

The fear of sleeping in and having to rush to get ready to attend a lecture at the other end of town is no more.

With most lectures and tutorials being online, we can roll out of our beds 10 mins before our Teams call and be ready.

Also, if you miss a lecture the good news is most of them will be recorded, so we can watch them in our own time!

You have to come up with alternatives to nights on the town

With the recent “voluntary” lockdown taking place over the weekend, it’s important to respect the guidelines set out by the uni , as well as the government, which may result in less time out at night.

Yet there’s other things we as freshers can do to ensure guidelines are being met while still having fun! You can get some of those pre-recorded lectures annotated, or get binging on that Netflix series you’ve always been meaning to watch. Even going out on walks is completely acceptable, as long as the guidelines in place are constantly being respected!

We have a lot of free time

Coronavirus has meant that some of our international students have had to quarantine for a period of time. Yet with lectures being online, we don’t have to trek down to lecture halls which means more free time for all of us!

Getting into some new hobbies or sports is a great way of making friends, which is what being a fresher is all about.

You can still explore the town (safely please)

St. Andrews may be familiar to a few of our students, yet many have travelled from afar, and because of that, it’s important to make sure we explore a bit of the town when we can.

Scout for local shops, cafes, takeaways and pubs (obviously wearing masks) so you can have the best experience here.

At St Andrews we’re also lucky enough to have THREE beaches and a lovely bit of fresh sea air is just the tonic for three hours of mask wearing in a lab.

The possibility of getting lost isn’t as bad

If lectures in buildings were to go ahead as planned, a lot of us would inevitably wind up getting lost.

However, since lectures will be online for the first few weeks, we will no longer have to ask for directions to buildings and have to follow Google Maps or anything. We can relax in our beds and not have to worry about being late.

2 metre-distancing in Market StreetKeeping a mask on you AT ALL TIMES

It should be common courtesy by now when entering shops, or the corridors of your halls, or even just walking around the town to make sure you have a mask on you. You’ll need them for walking about kitchens, or going into Starbucks, or even playing pool in the common rooms.

It does get pretty crowded so every little step we as new students can take to stop the spread of Covid is a step in the right direction!

Also make sure you’re keeping to social distancing rules – we don’t want to fuel tensions between town and gown.

So there you have it. Seven key things to remember as a fresher in St Andrews for what will definitely be a unique uni experience.

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