The streets of St. Andrews (all three of them) are packed with people, the sound of rolling suitcases along cobblestones fills the air, and Tesco’s aisle of alcohol and mixer is suddenly barren: Freshers’ Week has officially begun. With events being held from 10am until 2am every day, old and new students alike are spoilt for choice when planning the week’s activities. Naturally, the big-name events (Friday Night @ the Union, Hot Dub Time Machine, and all of the numerous Fayres) are given “must-dos” of the week, but what about the society events? The taster sessions?
Surrounded with opportunity, you have to take a step back and ask yourself the important questions. Do I go to Toastie Bar? Dervish or Empire? What even IS Friday Nights @ the Union?? (Note: for returning students, it’s the re-branded Bop. For the uninitiated, the event is 4ish hours of pure unadulterated, unashamedly cheesy goodness). Decide for yourself what you want your Freshers experience to be (wild and unforgettable or easy-going and relaxed) and go from there. To save you time and effort, Owl Eyes has done the hard work and sifted through the 22+ pages of events in the 2014 Freshers’ Guide to help you make the most of your Freshers’ Week.
With two brand new bars, a café AND a merchandise shop with all the best St Andrews swag, the Union is hard not to love. But this beloved student landmark has more to offer than the standard nightly offerings of Venue 1, as all students are automatically members of several fabulous societies, each with their own Freshers events.
Charities Campaign Picnic: Take advantage of the final days of lovely late-summer weather and visit the Charities Campaign in St Mary’s Quad on Tuesday, 1-4pm. With free food, drinks and even an appearance from the iconic Charities mascot Rory McLion, these charitable cubs promise an afternoon of fun. Learn more here.
UDS Referendum Debate: With an incredibly appropriate topic and impressive speakers to boot, the Union Debating Society is kicking off its semester of weekly (free) public debates with the motion “This House Would Vote Yes in the Scottish Independence Referendum” on Thursday at 8pm. This event promises not only a fascinating and lively debate but also a chance to wear those newly-purchased gowns! More information here.
Clan Warfare: Obviously, a list of union events wouldn’t be complete with at least one event in Venue 1, and what better event than tonight’s Clan Warfare? A beloved start to the year, Clan Warfare is the perfect opportunity for Freshers to show their hall pride and meet your new hallmates! Expect a night of scream-chanting your hall song(s), the chance to win great prizes, and lots of friendly inter-hall competition. Most – if not all – halls of residence will be hosting their own pre-events, so be sure to attend and get your face painted in hall colours!
ARTS AND CULTURE
For a week of theatre, art, music, and more, be sure to check out the artistic side of St Andrews, with events ranging from jazzy jams at 1 Golf Place to improvisational comedy.
Mermaids’ Events: To experience the vast array of theatre and comedy St Andrews has to offer, join Mermaids for its Taster Day on Tuesday. The event will take place in the Barron Theatre and will feature workshops in everything from Acting and Musical Theatre to Tech and Costumes. From Tuesday to Thursday, Mermaids also presents the first show of the academic year, a double-bill of two One-Acts: The Philadelphia & Sure Thing. The performance, starting at 7.30pm, will be completely FREE for Freshers, who also get priority seating on Tuesday. And don’t forget to end your week on a high-note and a good laugh by checking out St Andrews’ comedy groups, both returning from highly-successful runs at the Edinburgh Fringe! The St Andrews Revue and Blind Mirth are joining forces for a Comedy Night on Friday at 8.30pm. For more details on Mermaids, visit their Facebook page.
Music Society BBQ: Meet the members of The Music Society to learn more about the numerous opportunities for musicians on campus. Singers, instrumentalists, music enthusiasts and audience members are all welcome for great chat and delicious burgers. The event will be held in the Secret Garden in St Mary’s Quad, 2-4.30pm on Friday.
Creative Lock-In: Hosted by the Art Society, take a creative break from the crazy chaos of the week and meet some of the artsy societies in St Andrews on Friday night. The night will feature performances by Music is Love, poetry, lantern decorating, and life drawing. Spend the whole night, or visit for an hour – the choice is yours, but do be sure to swing by and meet members of InkLight, CraftSoc, ArtSoc, Music is Love, and other socieities. More information can be found here.
And on a cheeky side-note, if you enjoy the arts and culture of St Andrews, Owl Eyes’ Bon Vivant is recruiting new writers! Drop us a line for more information at: firstname.lastname@example.org
SPORTY ST ANDREWS
With over 60+ sports clubs, St Andrews boasts a wide array of opportunities for the sporty freshers of all activity levels.
Give-It-A-Go Sessions: On Wednesday, be sure to visit the Sports Centre for the Athletic Union’s Give-It-A-Go Day. Whether it’s a sport you’ve been doing for years or something you try that day, meet the sports clubs and give the sport a go – with clubs offering everything from Football and Dance to Judo and Clay Pigeon, you’re certain to find a sport that interests you! For more information, check out the Saints Sport website.
Quidditch: Whether you’re a spectator, player, die-hard Harry Potter fan, or an uninitiated Muggle, check out the St Andrews Snidgets’s Give-It-A-Go session to learn more about the university’s newest sport! If you fancy a bit of magic with your sport, meet the team at the North Haugh at 2pm on Wednesday – look for the people on broomsticks.
The Seagullian T20 Big Bash: An all-day event, the University Cricket Club is hosting a cricket tournament, which will feature teams across the country. A must-do for cricket fans and the perfect opportunity to show your university sports pride, visit the Cricket Pavilion at the Sports Centre starting at 10am on Thursday for some cricket, refreshments, and even a BBQ. The event will end in an “Afterbash” at the St Andrews Brewing Co. For more information, see the Facebook event.
Sinners: A student favourite, Sinners is the go-to choice for a Wednesday night out for all of the St Andrews sports teams. For a night of team bonding, fancy dress, music and sports kit, be sure to get your ticket for Sinners on Wednesday night in the Union’s Venue 1!