How to find the perfect academic parents


The University of St Andrews has no shortage of traditions, but academic families are one of the best.

Spending time with your academic family is a great way to meet new people and can help you settle in to student life here. It is really helpful to have a friendly older student who knows about the University and who can help you out if you need a hand.

During Freshers’ Week there will be a desperate, mad scramble for the third years to adopt Freshers and make them part of their family. This will manifest itself in the form of small clusters of third year students huddling in the corner of the Union during Freshers’ Week events, trying to seek out those who have yet to be adopted.

Although it is quite fun to be sought out and asked to join what is essentially a small cult, this mostly random selection means that new students should not be disheartened if they reach the end of Freshers’ Week and haven’t been adopted. There is still plenty of time.

That said, for those who don’t want to leave anything to chance, The Saint have put together a small guide on how to bag yourself the perfect set of parents.

  1. Go out. You aren’t going to meet your new mum and dad by sitting in your room. Embrace the chaos of the Union and get stuck in.
  2. Advertise that you don’t have any parents to third years, they might be looking for children. *Cue sad orphan face with head tilt.*
  3. If stalking third years in the Union isn’t working out, go to society events. This way, you will find parents who have similar interests to yourself. Go to that history society garden party or that hillwalkers beach bonfire. You might just meet your perfect parents.
  4. Don’t be afraid to say no to academic parents. The first person who asks might not be what you are looking for, don’t say yes and then regret it later.
  5. If you are nervous about being adopted try to get adopted with a friend or ask a friend’s parents to adopt you too. It might be less intimidating for you and that way you’ll already have a buddy to talk to at family events.
  6. Enjoy and embrace this tradition. Your academic family can make or break your Raisin and by extension your first year experience
  7. Good luck!


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