Going away to Uni for the first time can be confusing, so we asked some of our current students for their advice. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions – if you want to know anything else, feel free to get in touch with committee via Facebook!Where am I living? Will I have a roommate?
As you’re on the St Regulus Hall website, hopefully here! The online accommodation form uses a rather obscure code – such as SR/B4b, so here’s a quick guide to deciphering it.
The two letter prefix indicates your hall (SR = St Regulus). It does not mean “Single Room”!
The rest of the code refers, in the example above “B4b“, tells you where in the hall you are living. In Regs, the first letter refers to the floor:
If your room number begins with G, A, B, C, or D- you are in the Main Hall. If your room number begins with NX – you are in the Annexe.
The main hall has a slightly strange U-shaped layout: starting working up from the bottom, G Floor is lowest and A Floor just above it. They are both “half” floors on the right hand part of the U. B Floor is effectively the “first” floor, and the first which runs the whole width of the building. C Floor, above it, is the same. D Floor is similar, but being built into the roof has a shallowed ceiling.
So B4 is a room on B Floor, G3 on G Floor, C25 on C Floor and so on.
If you are in the Annexe (NX), there is no “floor” code – all rooms in the Annexe are numbered consecutively regardless of what floor they’re on.
If you have a suffix to your room number – ordinarily “a” or “b” – then you will have a roommate. Elsewhere on the contract it should state what kind of room you have – i.e. whether its shared or single.
The best chance of finding your room-mate would be to swing by the Facebook page, and posting a little message in the relevant section of the board. Those of you in shared rooms needn’t worry: you’ll almost always find that your room-mate is a pretty excellent person.
Within reason, almost anything. Every room is equipped with a bed, a chair, desk, storage (drawers, bookshelf etc.), and a telephone and network socket for each person in the room.
Beyond this, bring what seems to be reasonable, and bear in mind that you almost certainly will not have enough space for everything you own. You will need to provide your own bedlinen, you will be sleeping in what is known in the UK as a Single Bed, and what those in the US call a Twin. A computer (laptop or desktop) will be exceptionally useful, although not essential, as Regs has some communal computers accessible in the Computer Room. If you intend to cook, you will need to bring crockery and cutlery, and probably some pots and pans. However, your kitchen will include a cooker, a microwave and a kettle, so you will not need those things. Please be aware that if you bring a TV, you will need to purchase your own TV license in order to use it.
A great many University and Hall events are formal, so if you have a tuxedo or suit, or any other kind of formalwear, it is advisable to bring it along.
There are certain things you are not allowed to bring. You may not have any pets (yes, that includes fish). You may not have any “high powered electrical equipment”, such as heaters and toasters. You may not have any candles, or other fires. If you have any concerns about what you can or cannot bring, please swing by the Facebook group for confirmation.
Every room in Regs is slightly different, which makes it very difficult to tell you exactly what your room will look like. Some have turrets and walk in wardrobes, there is one en-suite. Most have a sink.
The answer depends a bit on who is doing the answering. Some people would answer that the committee do nothing, that they’re elected slobs who are wasting everyones time, and that hall would be better off as an anarchist commune (this thought pattern is, admittedly, rare). Others would say that the committee are involved in organising events and community-building within hall. One thing is for sure: the committee have been at the University for at least a year, most of them have lived at least one year in Regs, and they all have the benefit of experience.
Loads. We’re not even joking, loads. Regs has a history of providing more hall events during Fresher’s Week than any other Hall of Residence, and the current committee has every intention of continuing this tradition. There will usually be a couple of events each day, ranging from simple hall pub crawls, to charity art auctions, to the infamous Regs parties. In the event that these don’t suit you, there will be nightly events at the Students Association, organised by the union itself, that the Hall will also be sending a lot of students to. If you’re looking for more specific information, the Facebook group will be updated shortly to include the finalised list of events. We suggest that you look back the week before you arrive to see the final list, and to get all giddy with excitement.
This kind of question will always depend on who you ask, and what you want out of it.
Regs prides itself on its reputation as an incredibly social hall, and – especially in Freshers Week – it is very easy to make friends. Remember, everyone else is in the same situation as you are! The hall committee organises a large number of events during Freshers Week to help everyone get to know each other.
You are never short of a place to go out for a drink in St. Andrews. They range from typical bars you might find in any town to more traditional pubs. If you’re more interested in warmer drinks, there are a great many coffee shops too!
In addition, the Students Union organises tons of events, such as “bops”, live bands, karaoke, and much more, as well as having the cheapest drinks prices in town.
There are many student-organised societies as well. As there are well over 100 societies covering a wide range of interests, you’re sure to find several which interest you!
Sports are also well represented at St. Andrews, with around 45 societies ranging from Football and Rugby, to Fencing and Tae Kwon-Do, Sailing and Rowing, to Trampolining. These all come together under the Athletic Union.
If you read the question “What should I bring with me” (above), and are wondering why we recommend some form of formal dress, a large number of societies organise a formal dinner or ball. There are two annual University Balls (Opening and May), plus our very own Hall Ball. If you went to even a fraction of these, you would end up having to hire a lot of clothing. Many people go to at least 3 or 4 formal events per year, and buying your own formalwear will probably pay for itself within that time. If you’re here for four years, it is definitely cheaper to buy your own tux!
Perhaps the only downside to the St. Andrews social scene, if you are used to a large city such as London or Edinburgh, is the lack of a nightclub! The Union has a Bop every Friday night, and some bars make a good attempt at becoming clubs on at least one night of the week. If you cannot live without a club, Dundee is 20 minutes away and Edinburgh an hour. If you feel the urge to get out, it is very easy to do.
The University of St Andrews has a lot of traditions due to its age, and the academic family system is one of those. In a nutshell, an academic family is a support network and fun social construct that helps link students together. A first year student will be adopted by their academic parents, who are third years or fourth years. This means that by the time you can take on your own academic family, your parents will have moved on to bigger and better things.
Traditionally the system works as follows. Academic children are chosen by their father, while they get to choose their mother. The system is, in reality, a great deal more flexible than this, and you cannot be forced into being someone’s child or parent. Usually, however, you’ll find it fairly easy to get an academic father or mother, so long as you put yourself out there.
While some consider academic families to be useful for having some closer friends and a support network, many consider it to be at its best during Raisin Weekend. Raisin Weekend is held quite a while into first semester, and is one of the biggest social events in the St Andrews calendar. Essentially, it’s a weekend long academic family celebration. For those who enjoy a little alcohol, traditionally gifts of alcohol are given to the parents, who will then hold parties for their children. It culminates in a foam fight on Monday morning, for which everyone will be dressed up by their mothers.
Regs heartily endorses the Academic Family and the Raisin Weekend tradition. The Wardens become very understanding during this time of year, and a good time is always had by all.
For anyone who is concerned by any of this, please remember two things. Firstly, the academic family system is completely voluntary: if you don’t want to take part, no-one can make you. Secondly, whatever you’re looking for in an academic family, it is always possible to find it. If you want a comparatively quiet Raisin Weekend, there will always be someone willing to provide it.