St Andrews: Concrete jungle or university town?


New Year’s resolutions are tough knowing that what you promise yourself will never come to fruition. Get fit? But it’s too cold to go jogging. Work harder? Classic, get back to Netflix you waste of skin. Get into a relationship? It’s nearly Valentine’s Day and you’re cuddled up with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, sobbing uncontrollably into an empty pizza box. Save money? But it’s your round. Eat healthy? Dervish! Let’s face it, none of us have the time for quinoa. Bring down the government? Shiny Dave’s henchmen will mow you down like dogs. Anarchy is dangerous man.

So in effect, once all of these options have failed you, and the gym has gotten boring, you sink back into your miserable existence, binge drinking sporadically because you can’t think of anything better to do. But don’t worry, it’s February now and that moment of folly wherein you promised yourself all these things was so long ago. You’re back at uni, back into the swing of things once again. Wander down Market Street, taking in the beauty of it. There is Starbucks, resplendent in the sunlight, which falls dappled onto the girl in the window, sipping on her peppermint latte, taking care not to drop any on her cashmere scarf as she frantically updates all her social media profiles. Walk further up Market, turn left and head towards Sally’s Quad. Isn’t it idyllic? This ancient university town, perched on the Scottish coastline with its strange traditions and old buildings.[pullquote]How on earth are your suede tasselled loafers supposed to survive the muddy puddle covered ground?[/pullquote]

Except there’s something wrong. You can’t see any of the buildings anymore because they’re all wrapped up in sheet metal as high visibility clad builders swarm around them, smoking. You turn to your left, and see two poor tourists desperately grappling with their selfie stick, attempting to get the money shot where there is no sign of metal fencing or a builder’s crack. You think back to the rest of your walk. You couldn’t get past the Union because a there was a shipment of pipes reversing into the road beside it. You wanted to go down Bell Street but sadly there is a point where the pavement just stops. Besides, even if you had managed to get to South Street, you would’ve been prancing in and out of insulation covered metal pipes supporting people in hard hats and sensible footwear. How on earth are your suede tasselled loafers supposed to survive the muddy puddle covered ground?  The splash of your steps might cause it to spray up your red trousers.

There is a point to this though. Sally’s Quad has been having works on it the entire year now, and it doesn’t look like the works are going anywhere soon. We live in a really quite remarkably beautiful town and the scaffolding is starting to make it at times resemble some jungle of concrete and piss like Rotherham. Or worse, Dundee. On top of that, the Union building works, which have gone on for so long that I have been able to see the portaloos begin to fossilise, meaning that STAR was without an area to broadcast from for weeks last semester. All for a ‘skybar’ that has a view of the square root of absolutely nothing. Meanwhile, the first years had their hangovercuring raisin foam fling fest on Lower College Lawn this year because Sally’s Quad looks like a cagefighting  arena, and the route into Schools one, two and three changed every week for a month of last semester. How are we to be expected to wind our hungover way to lectures when you try to confuse us like that?

What, I hear you shout, does this have to do with New Year’s resolutions? Well in the style of those parents who only mention they have a child just so that they can bore you senseless with information about it, I did it so that you would ask me what my resolution was. Go on. Ask me. And even if you don’t, I’ll tell you anyway. My resolution is to organise a night out which everyone is invited to.[pullquote]It will be like the London riots, but with added Barbours.[/pullquote]

Starting in St Mary’s Quad, we drink ourselves into an alcohol fuelled rage and then, like true students, set off into town and steal all the scaffolding. It’ll be like the London riots, but with added Barbours. Anything you steal is yours. From a traffic cone, to a portaloo to an entire skip (lift from the knees; it stops backache) whatever you plunder is your property by right, and maybe then we can walk to lectures and actually feel like we are at the oldest university in Scotland, rather than  studying bricklaying at the Grimsby Institute. So, I’ll see you at 7pm on Saturday night yeah? Great.

Oh, and bring your own bottle.


  1. What is possibly wrong with the progress in St. Andrews. Also don’t be so critical of well off people. We don’t criticise you for being so poor


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