What you need to know about St Andrews that the prospectus doesn’t tell you

You only need a seven to pass first year

Whether it’s been your first semester here or one of your last, it’s important to be in-the-know of a few aspects of studying at St Andrews that many people are not told about.

In the short time I’ve been here I’ve learned a lot about our little coastal town. From things that will benefit your studying, to improving your social life here – here are a few things the prospectus doesn’t tell you about St Andrews.

1. You need to buy alcohol before 10pm

If you’ve spent a semester here already you’ll most likely know this, but due to Scottish regulations it’s paramount that everyone knows that if you’re looking to get wine from Luvians, whiskey from Taste of Scotland, or you’re just looking for Tesco’s own brand vodka, you need to buy alcohol by 10pm, otherwise you’ll have to settle for Fanta.

2. Empire is open until 2am

After a night out, if you’re feeling a bit drunk and you need something to eat. Obviously a war rages on between Empire, Dervish and the rogue Courtyard fans, but I never need to look further than Empire.

With a variety of takeouts to choose from at a relatively cheap price, Empire is the place to go when you have a craving for cheesy chips at midnight, and they’re open until 2 in the morning! Located at the bus stop opposite the union, Empire is easily one of the best takeaways in St Andrews.

3. Keep your matriculation card on you AT ALL TIMES

I cannot stress this point enough. The sheer amount of times I’ve been locked out my room because I’ve left my card in my room is appalling.

Whether you’re going to line up for lunch, running to a lecture you forgot was in-person or even just going to the toilet, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR MATRIC CARD!

If you were given one of those phone pouches when you started the semester, put your card in it and take your phone everywhere. To the dinner hall, to the study room, even to the showers! You don’t want the awkward situation of leaving your card in your room when you come out the showers, do you?

4. In most cases, you only need a seven in the module to pass in first year

With a university that’s as prestigious as St Andrews, you’d expect students to get full marks on every piece of work they submit to Turnitin but, at the end of the day, a seven is still a pass.

Regardless of that, you should be proud of what you achieve at university this year. Not only have we survived the retched, disaster-struck hellscape that is 2020, but a lot of us have come out of a lockdown that’s lasted the majority of the year – having done nothing productive since either high school, college or a gap year.

Getting a seven is not a bad thing by any means, as it means you’ve passed, and that’s all that matters.

*For medics, it may be the case where you have to have at least 11 to dissuade your tutors from having a conversation with you. Regardless of this, you should definitely try your hardest in all your classes at uni, but don’t be too disheartened if you end up with a seven.

5. St Fessdrews/Crushes of St Andrews/St Polldrews

When times at university are stressful, a good method of unwinding and relaxing is by scrolling through the various Facebook pages associated with the uni.

St Fessdrews is the answer to this, where people will post anonymous messages, discussing anything from uni tips, to general advice on being a student.

Crushes of St Andrews is where anonymous users write thirsty messages to people they’ve seen on campus in an attempt to find them online.

St Polldrews allows students to post polls on anything, from questions about Henry Hoovers to polls about the ‘appropriate’ name for sparkling water.

6. If you want to go out and drink (socially responsibly), Wednesday is the day to do it

This may be just coincidence, but even during Covid times, it can be said that the streets are usually busier and more full of drunk students on a Wednesday night. So if you’re looking to socialise a little while maintaining social distancing to the best of your ability, Wednesday is the night to do it.

Whether at Empire, the beach, or even just roaming the streets of St Andrews, you’ll have a good time on a Wednesday night.

7. You will call your lecturers by their first names

Before university, many of us have come fresh from high school, having to refer to our teachers by their surnames daily, but that stops at university.

We’ve been given the power to address them with their first names, which actually breaks down the intimidation that some lecturers possess.

Now don’t get me wrong, the name thing is something I’m still trying to get used to, but the lecturers don’t seem to mind at all.

8. Everywhere in town is in walking distance

This might not come as a shock to some people, but the smallness of the town means that finding places to eat, drink or shop is easy. The same might not be said for those living in DRA, but for the rest of us, a Tesco round trip takes a maximum of 30 mins.

9. Campfires are the perfect alternative to parties

With the pandemic still rolling on in Britain, we students are limited in our options to meet our friends for a drink. Yet all hope is not lost.

Having a responsibly sized campfire at any three of St Andrew’s beaches is the perfect compromise for adhering to the Scottish regulations on household mixing. So as long as you are suitably distanced from each other, a campfire is perfect for late night drinking that still follows governmental guidance on Covid.

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