Books to travel with

A good book can place you into a culture without having been there, or enhance it further by travelling and recognizing what the authors meant when they were writing. Some of my favorite holidays have been made even better by having a good book by my side that gives me an authentic insight to the culture I’m experiencing.

Hometown Highlights: Manchester

Confident, stylish and proud. Forward looking and innovative, yet conscious of a history which has shaped the world. Birthplace of the computer and cradle of the Industrial Revolution. The city where the atom was first split and where atomic theory was formulated. The wheels of industry and progress transformed Manchester into the hubris of a global empire and this industrial past has shaped the state of our country today. Women’s suffrage, Communism, Classical Liberalism and modern Capitalism grew out of the seething fires of industrial Manchester, and leave a proud legacy for contemporary Mancunians. Today, Manchester has transformed itself into the undisputed cultural and economic powerhouse of the North. A city famous for its music, football and student scene Manchester will thrill medicine students from St Andrews finishing up their studies, along with their thousands of counterparts. From the trendy bars of the Northern Quarter, to the medieval oasis of the Cathedral gardens – through to the gothic grandeur of Albert Square and the clubs and pubs of Oxford Road. Here’s a proud Northerner's pick of what the city has to offer.

Style Matters: Victoria Sponge Macarons

In St Andrews, style matters. If you took a look at most American universities, you would probably see girls hurrying to class wearing Nike running shorts, a North Face Jacket, and an L.L. Bean book bag. Boys would be similarly decked out in casual attire, baseball cap in tow. But at St Andrews? Well, I think we all know that just doesn’t fly.

Put on your Dancin’ Shoes

Though I emerged from the sweaty sea of students at the Freshers’ Fayre without information for St Andrews Swing Dance society (SDSA), I still had an itch to attend a class. Unfortunately, I was soon caught up in schoolwork and the thought retreated to the back of my mind until Owl Eyes reignited the urge and I finally cleared my diary.

An American in Scotland: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: a perfectly carved turkey, fiery orange mashed sweet potatoes, professionally decorated pies, a lace tablecloth and a spotless kitchen.  All this is well and good, but my Thanksgivings have certainly never been like that. At most Thanksgivings, my family talks about a time when the turkey wasn’t cooking, so they chucked in the microwave for a bit.

Five Songs To Help You Work

You can’t listen to Rihanna without wanting to belt out the lyrics at the top of your lungs. You can’t listen to Mumford & Sons, or the Kings of Leon, or even the Pocahontas soundtrack without drifting off into a daydream. My rule is as simple as this: music with words will distract you. Want to know why you have only written 200 words in the past four hours? You’ve been singing along to Colours of the Wind, that’s why.

How To Child-Proof Your Home This Raisin Weekend

1. Plastic sheeting, and more plastic sheeting. It covers a multitude of sins – you never know what bodily or alcoholic fluids will seep into your carpet otherwise. Saves a lot of stress at the end of the year when the landlord comes round to inspect.

Five Reasons Why You Should Have Academic Children

  1. To experience pure, unconditional love. You’ll smother them with affection (force alcohol down their throats until they throw up) and they’ll willingly reciprocate (puke all over your shoes).
  1. To make sure someone is there to look after you when you are old. By ‘look after’, I mean they’ll be there when you’re in fourth-year, taunting you with their lack of deadlines and ability to strawpedo wine without incurring the hangover from hell.
  1. Because you fancy one of them. After all, freshers are hot. This is an unwritten rule in itself.
  1. To watch them blossom from shy, doe-eyed first years into loud, brash, borderline alcoholics. Don’t miss those all-important ‘firsts’, including first random hook-up and first all-nighter!
  1. To teach them what your mother never taught you. Dr. Noodles is not as good as you think it might be. Never wear your favourite shoes to Kinkell. Tequila is not a pre-drink.

Image courtesy of Grain