Before returning to the hectic schedule of St Andrews take a moment to read through a brief selection of some of the best and worst moments of last semester:
- The opening of Fife Park apartments: The students who moved into the new Fife Park apartments in September were greeted with the first low point of the semester before it had even really begun. Some of these students, who were arriving in St Andrews for the first time, were unimpressed with the new buildings due to such issues as ongoing construction work and poor plumbing. For these unfortunate few the semester could only get better.
- The queue for the Christmas Ball: The outrageously long queue for the Christmas Ball left even those who had been stood in the cold since 5 am without tickets. Many took to Yik Yak to lament the fact that they were forced to spend the early hours of the morning outside the Union rather than in their beds. However, even this outlet did not seem to lighten the mood of those who missed out on the chance to attend this highly anticipated ball.
- The final hours of Welly Ball: It would only be a slight exaggeration to compare the atmosphere at Kinkell Byre after the DJ played the final song of the night to a scene from The Hunger Games. Inside the venue the coatroom turned into a free-for-all, with some arriving to find that their Canada Goose coats had made an exit with another ball-goer whilst outside there was a struggle to acquire an all-important seat on the bus home. On top of that, some of the last guests to leave the venue were greeted with the news that there were no buses left. A disappointing end to what had previously been a very enjoyable evening.
- The costumes of Raisin Monday: Some academic parents really went out of their way to create impressive costumes with which to adorn their reluctant academic children. First-year students dressed as potato smiley faces, mermaids and even ‘Netflix and chill’ were to be seen traipsing up and down the streets of St Andrews. Nevertheless, a shout-out must go to the stellar effort of the parents who dressed up their children as a giant dragon complete with flapping wings. Inspired.
- The Scottish Varsity Rugby Match triumph: This match against Edinburgh University’s 1st XV was a nail-biting experience, and the St Andrews students who had turned up to support were on edge after watching the defeat of the St Andrews Women’s team. The unsportsmanlike booing coming from the Edinburgh fans throughout only served to heighten this feeling. However, the St Andrews men’s team delivered and the match ended with a last minute 27-26 victory for the University.
- University League table position: Although league tables are not the be-all-and-end-all, it would be a shame not to use this opportunity to acknowledge the success that St Andrews had in the league tables last semester. The University climbed 20 places in the 2015/16 QS World University rankings up to 68th place and was yet again ranked as the top university in Scotland by the Times and Sunday Times in their 2016 university guide.