Laura - Theoretical Physics and Maths, Year 2 Entry, 2012

Applying and being accepted to study at the University of St Andrews has been the best decision (to date) I have ever made in my life. I worked hard to achieve qualifications at secondary school that would make the dream of studying at a top class university become reality. Confident that my grades could allow me direct entry into second year, I set about planning for my future academic studies. My teachers at secondary thought the leap from Advanced Highers to second Year University would be a step too far and advised against it. However, I believed that I would not struggle academically or meet new friends and settle into student life at St Andrews. In sixth year as well as the subjects I studied at my school I travelled to another Glasgow school to be taught Physics. I really enjoyed meeting new friends and seeing other teaching methods. Entry into second year has a number of options for students, for example, you can take second year modules across the two semesters or you can take a second year module combined with two first year modules. I opted for second year modules in both semesters (Physics and Maths). I have a strong interest in Theoretical Physics therefore combining it with Maths seemed like a logical choice to make. I enjoy working out equations and problem solving different scenarios which are key aspects of Theoretical Physics and Maths.

Arriving at St Andrews and settling into my student accommodation was a smooth process, help is at hand at all times for students. I spoke with my advisor about what to expect from life in St Andrews and what lay ahead for me in second year. He was very supportive and explained that as long as I worked hard then I would be fine entering straight into second year.

I worked hard during the semesters and revised, revised and revised for the exams and I can state categorically that it was all worth it, but please don’t think it is all work and no play here at St Andrews. Far from it!!! Fresher’s week at St Andrews is a wonderment of information about the many different societies and sports clubs that you can join, there will definitely be one that suits. There are plenty of great things to do and all within walking distance of the student accommodation. Who wouldn’t want to live in a place that had two beaches and everything you could possibly need on one street? That is one of the main reasons why I chose a smaller town over a large city like Glasgow. I prefer a quiet place where I can go to a pub with my friends rather than a street full of clubs. Along with its beauty, history and strong academic heritage there are a wide variety of activities that St Andrews has to offer and participation in whatever takes your fancy is something I strongly recommend future students embark on. Getting involved in societies is a good way to meet friends and do something you enjoy, as I have already said you can have fun here at St Andrews. Finding ways to relax gives you a good balance between your studies and play, I personally joined the Anime Society and love going every Friday to watch new anime and chatting with people that have the same hobbies and interests as me.

Overall my experiences at St Andrews have been positive the lecturers, teaching staff and all other support staff work hard to ensure that you feel welcome. The academic staff are friendly, very approachable and offer great advice and support if needed. I have met many people from all over the world who are studying here at St Andrews that I would probably never meet back home in Glasgow. I have struck up some great friendships in such a short space in time and I know that they will definitely be lifelong friends indeed.

First posted BDS 10.8.12