Learn to love your mother and father, very very much. This is a lesson that is less learnt than it is more readily improvised. Yet another welcome quirk of student life here, your adoption by 3rd year parents is your safety net against any loss, confusion or lack of love. But what this family planning exercise really demonstrates is just how easily the university encourages relationships across all the years.


As is the norm, my parents Harriet and Mufadal (or simply just Mum and Dad) have become two of my closest friends. They have introduced me to friends in 3rd and 4th year that I probably would not have otherwise met. Indeed, the primary function of your family is to facilitate social evenings – dinner parties galore (a welcome respite from the university halls).


Mums and dads also form the core of your Raisin Weekend ‘activities’ – be nice to them, trust me. They are also a great mine of information about all things university life and a great port of call with questions you might have, like a real set of parents, just better.


Lore declares that you ask your prospective mum for her protection and tender care, whilst you must be asked by your dad – in practice this can break down somewhat and the rules are very flexible. All you need to be concerned with is trying to hook yourself up with someone you are likely to get on with, and when you do, keep an open mind to your new relatives, as you will end up with brothers and sisters too!


Families are a source of great pleasure at St Andrews and, unlike some other ‘family universities’, are always strong bonds that will hold through your four(ish) years and beyond. By the time that you come round to picking your kids, you will have enjoyed the experience so much that you won’t be able to wait. And that’s why it keeps on working.


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