It’s been almost three weeks since most of us departed from exam madness to be greeted with warm, open arms by the comfort of our homes and families. After many a mince pie, Christmas cookie, turkey and chocolate, our former student-budget-food-deprived bodies are now more than fully stocked for the semester ahead. Months of lectures, deadlines, exams, budgets and the many struggles of living with flatmates drove us to dream of a fully-stocked fridge, lazing around in bed, family love and a continuously warm home, but somehow, after three weeks, many of us are more than ready to go back to the Bubble.

Frustrating flatmates were replaced by bickering siblings, tutorials and lectures were replaced by parental lecturing, and dreams of lazing around and doing nothing, free from responsibilities, cleaning, laundry or ‘being productive’, remained. Though being home is, essentially, a wonderful time, the new year, new semester and the upcoming excitement of reuniting with friends are just a few of the reasons why we are readily counting down the days until our return.

Though your New Year’s resolutions might include the typical ‘be healthy’ and ‘work hard’, with Refreshers Week just around the corner, you might be wondering what events are in store for the start of the new semester, and how you can juggle alcohol, hangovers and late nights with a new wave of studying and hard work.

So far, the Union has announced three Refreshers Week events: ‘Burns Night: MÀNRAN & Ceilidh’, ‘ABBA GOLD: The Concert’ and ‘Hockey Club Presents: Rodeo Night’. If you are new to Scottish culture and traditions, celebrating Burns Night, the birthday of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, might seduce you with a night of somewhat incomprehensible (but beautiful) Scottish accents, enchanting music and lively ceilidh dancing. On a slightly more pop-culture tone, ‘ABBA GOLD: The Concert’, an ABBA tribute concert, promises a glittering night of tunes we all know and can unashamedly sing off the top of our heads. For the rowdier students, Rodeo Night will also be hitting the Union on Wednesday, with checkered shirts and country vibes galore.

If the Union’s events aren’t what you are looking forward to in a few weeks’ time, St Andrews’ pubs are sure to be crawling with students who will be fleeting the streets upon arrival. Though the thought of Refreshers Week obviously brings flashbacks of class-free Freshers, Refreshers is, unfortunately, not class-free and kick-starting the new year means trying our best to make it to those 9ams. With RAG Week following Refreshers, it is therefore important for us to balance alcohol and sleep, pick our nights wisely, whilst aiming to live out our first week back both socially and academically.

On a day-time note, if you missed the Freshers Fayre in September, or just never came around to delving into new activities, the Union’s Refreshers Fayre, being held Saturday 30 January at 10.30am, is also a great way to kick-start the new year and get involved. With an increasing line-up of events and nights out, reuniting with friends, going to lectures and taking in part in new or old activities, this upcoming semester is sure to be as busy as ever.

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