This page contains advice from students.

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If you're not used to living this far from the Equator, Vitamin D is your friend. Get some before the shorter days in November/December hit.

– American expat

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– A sabb trying to make a wholesome page

Go to the Empire, for the Dervish is expensive.

– Pool Society

Be prepared for weekly smoke alarm tests in halls. They made me jump every time.

– 6th year Geography student

Become a baller in first year and live off the legend.

– 3rd year

Don’t worry if first year doesn’t turn out to be as amazing as you’d hoped (first of all, we’re still living through a pandemic) – I enjoyed all my other years way more and managed to make new friends every year, some of my closest friends were people I only met in final year.

– 2020 French and Italian graduate

Take advantage of every possible opportunity, even if it's a little left field. My time in St Andrews was made most special by the array of activities I could get involved in, and opened my mind to lots of new hobbies.

– PhD student

You can still try new things in your other years, you don’t have to try everything in your first year. We had people joining us from first year through to their last year and it didn’t make a difference, they were welcomed equally.

– A member of the shinty team

You gotta make effort to build your social circle, sometimes it doesn’t come immediately without trying. The sooner you do it, the better!

– 2020 IR graduate

Many older students will sell their old textbooks during Freshers week, this will save you so much money!! This way you can get your books at half the price, and it helps out older students who maybe need the money to purchase new books.

– Current 3rd year who has never bought a textbook brand new :)

Your matric card is NOT a valid form of ID. Alcohol cannot be bought in shops before 10am or after 10pm.

– Everybody who tried and failed

Get supermarket loyalty cards NOW to make the most of them, because when you discover the beauty of them in 3rd year, you will have regrets.

– Current 3rd year

Treat first and second year as an opportunity to find out where your weaknesses are and where you need to improve, rather than somewhere you need to excel.

– Former sabb

Because of the relative lack of contact hours in most subjects, having close friends in your classes is not essential. Ideally you would have a few people in each class you can have a conversation with, but the key thing to remember is that at university, you get to choose your own friends, not have them chosen for you by people deciding who gets in which class. That said, it is extremely important that you try to get on with all the people you live with. I'm not saying be close friends with them (though of course that helps) but corridor drama can ruin your university experience more than any other form of drama. Before you burn bridges with someone you live with, think about how it will make you feel seeing them every day for a year before you decide whether it's worth telling them how badly they suck.

– Former sabb

Failure. Two points about this. First of all, if your time at University is not punctuated by failures, setbacks, and rejections, then you need to re-evaluate if you’re taking enough risks. There is nothing wrong with playing it safe, but university (at least compared to the real world) is a great place to learn and make yourself a better person from failure. Take calculated risks, admit when you've messed up, and try to learn from it. To quote TS Eliot, if you aren’t in over your head, how can you know how tall you are? Secondly, even if you don’t take risks, you are still likely to fail. Or if you don’t fail, discover that there are people much better than you at things you thought you were the best at.

– 2020 graduate

Explore the Fife Coastal path and appreciate the natural scenery around you every chance you get!

– Recent postgraduate

If you don't know the way to your class or tutorial building, the uni have a teaching room location guide on their current students page!

– A very lost second year

Have fun in first year, but don't build your degree on Tennent's cans and sand.

– AV, 2019 graduate

Take advantage of everything you want to do. Explore St Andrews. Join that team/society. Volunteer for that position. Your time at Uni is short, and you don't want to look back and say "I wish I had done.."

– Current 3rd year

Don't do the classic thing of waiting until 2nd year to join societies or get involved with stuff. People always really regret not joining clubs earlier on, you've got 4 years to work, but you'll enjoy it alot more if you have other stuff you're doing along side it!

– 2020 Biology graduate

Don’t be afraid to run for positions at EGMs/AGMs, it is often the case that you will be running unopposed. Take a friend along for moral support if you want. Giving a speech can be scary but it was the best decision I made and resulted in me joining an amazing committee and finding a new group of friends.

– Outgoing subcommittee president

If you’re coming from a warm country and don’t know what to pack for Scotland, the essentials are: a really good water-resistant coat (umbrellas never last the Scottish weather), water-resistant backpack/bag, shoes that can bear the rain and stop you from skating on ice during winter, and a good pair of gloves.

– A South African who learnt about Scottish weather the hard way.

Don't buy kitchen equipment (aside from essential plates/mugs/cutlery) until you meet your flatmates and see what they have and if they're willing to share. We ended up with 4 blenders, 5 strainers, and plenty more duplicates that we didn't need.

– Current 3rd year

If you are feeling overwhelmed in the first few months take time for yourself and appreciate your surroundings! Remember that you deserve to be here just as much as everyone you meet. Don’t try and go to EVERY freshers event if that’s not your thing - find events and socials that meet your idea of fun and go to them (even if you’re going alone) and you’ll naturally start to fit in! Enjoy the bubble!!

– Current 2nd year

Take your time. I really didn't enjoy my first year and felt super lonely, but by second year I had found friends for life. I felt out of place at the beginning, but as your time at St Andrews goes on then you will get to know yourself as a person and become much more settled. It doesn't all happen at once, even if it seems like it from your fellow students.

– 2020 graduate

You obviously shouldn't choose your friends based on their background, but if everyone you're friends with comes from a similar background to you, you might be doing something wrong. It's also a good idea to befriend mature students. Just because someone isn't in their mid-twenties doesn't mean they're not worth your time, and (if nothing else) they generally speaking can offer good advice about the world of work beyond uni, and can cut through a lot of the bullshit that other people can't.

– Former sabb

Office Hours are criminally underused. Go to them. If you need help planning an essay. If you have a question you can’t answer, or an idea you want to explore. I once went to two office hours in consecutive weeks to ask about the same essay, and got the highest marks I ever did for a piece of coursework for it. Lecturers, surprisingly enough, like talking about their subject, and can usually provide – at the very least – guidance and direction. It will show you care, which (in some cases) can lead to them being more sympathetic in grading.

– Former sabb

You can learn a lot about a person from how they treat their drunk friends.

– Former sabb