Dagher '18

Hello, hello… is this thing on? Yes, after another 2 month hiatus from the blog I am back with a new post. In the last post, I was just arriving back to St Andrews to start my final semester abroad (Seriously, where does the time go?!?). And wow, what the last 2 months have been! Here are a few headlines from the last post until now to catch you up:

 

February was a relaxing month with no guests or travels. Highlights:

– Joining a Hot Yoga studio and getting back to doing yoga on a daily basis. The 20 minute walk from Fife Park to the studio cuts through a nature walk, a primary school and a park so it’s enjoyable to say the least.

– Continuing to work on the B2D marathon’s publicity, including filming and editting a promotion video with my team members. Our dance marathon is so close and all the hard work is finally showing results. (Link to our page: https://www.facebook.com/borntodancemarathon/)

– Honing in my cooking skills by watching hours worth of Tasty videos. I learned how to make gluten free banana muffins and cauliflower pizza crust while refining my kale chip recipe. Thankful I can use my flatmates as my taste testers/guinea pigs.

– Exploring more and more of Edinburgh. I saw my friend Kate from high school. Kate is from Australia and I am from NY. The fact that we happened to be in Edinburgh at the same time is the definition of a small world. (If you’re reading this Kate, g’day mate!!!)

 

While February was a chill month, March was the complete opposite. Not only did I have a guest (my best friend Olivia from LI), I was travelling for 2 weeks of Spring Break. Highlights:

– Showing Olivia St Andrew’s ‘Ball-Culture’ by bringing her to SnowBall, sponsored by SAS.

– Spotting Nessie on the Highland & Loch Ness tour Olivia and I took (I have pictures to prove it!)

– Spending the whole first week of SB in Galway (The Kings Head, the Galway Street Club, watercolor painting, the doughnut man, silent disco, day trips galore, St Pats in Ireland, and LADS! LADS! LADS! / Shoutout to Kassy for not only being an amazing hostess but for always being up for playing Ed Sheeran’s new album on repeat)

– Spending the 2nd week of SB on The Scandinavian World Tour – stops including Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and Bergen (Casey teaching Taylor and I how to play Michigan Rummy, trying and failing to use public hammocks, finding out Scandinavian mothers leave their babies outside in strollers when they go to coffee shops???, overpriced ice bars, the most beautiful malls in the world, Emilie hosting us at her magnificent home, hanging out in a literal cloud, our plane back to St Andrews being delayed/turned around mid flight/cancelled)

 

For the sake of brevity, I hope these quick tidbits are enough to hold you over until the next post which I promise will be very soon! Check out my pictures to see more photographic evidence of all the fun I had. Normally scheduled programming next time. Ok, I am off to write 2 papers while Harry Styles’ new song loops in the background. Talk to you soon.

xx,

Bridgette

Pics or it didn’t happen

An ominous instalment outside the National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh

Grabbing a quick pic in front of Bidean nam Bian, the tallest mountain range in Scotland. Behind me is the Three Sisters of Glen Coe, which are complex snowcapped mountain ridges

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Meghan, Kassy and I with the Cliffs. Although you can by my hair that the wind was whipping that day, we lucked out with spectacular weather for landscape pics

Hanging out with Danish Royal Horses, the closest I’ll ever be to royalty probably :/

Nyhavn harbor in Copenhagen, Denmark

Views from the top of a church in Copenhagen. Those with a fear of heights, beware

Bergen harbor (Bryggen). Reminiscent of Nyhavn, but rainier and more mountainous

Taylor and I enjoy the view of a cloud where Bergen should be. Majestic

Enjoying a cappuccino at the British Golf Museum Cafe, my go-to brunch spot after Sunday morning mass. This was a routine in February

Olivia and I enjoying SnowBall. We enjoyed the fire pits and the DJ’s shared love of ABBA

Olivia and I taking in the beauty that is the Highlands

Galway getting ready for St Patrick’s Day

Taylor, Casey, Olivia and I at SnowBall

This man here makes the best doughnuts I have ever tasted. He told us a woman from Kenya is trying to make him come to Africa to sell his doughnuts. THEY ARE THAT GOOD. Kassy and I went every day he was at the farmer’s market. He is a lad

What’s more Irish than a pint of Guinness and a view of Dublin?

All the Galway lads, including some random Irish people who laughed at our dancing. Lads Night Out #LNO

Taking in the lights of Stockholm’s equivalent to Times Square

Setting for breakfast at Emilie’s gorgeous home in Oslo. Situated in the mountains, there was a fantastic view of Oslo below. Taylor, Casey and I were just happy to eat a home cooked meal after a few days of Airbnb surfing

Norwegian sunsets

Just hanging on the stoop of the Norwegian Royal Palace, getting photobombed by other random tourists

Posing inside a cloud in Bergen. This one is for my Norwegian ancestors

Nessie cruising along side the boat on our Loch Ness boat tour.

 

Hello loyal blog readers! Sorry for the long hiatus, the past month and change has been well spent with family and friends back home in New York. Although leaving the bubble that is St Andrews, Scotland was a bummer, my excitement to see all my loved ones in person totally outweighed that.

The last post was me talking about my final trip of the first semester. Since then I studied for and took three final exams, visited the Edinburgh Christmas Market, watched all 8 Harry Potter movies within 72 hours, and went on an Eden Mill gin tour! As I write this post, I am travelling on a train from King’s Cross, London to Leuchars (St Andrews). I have just spent the past 5 days with my brother John exploring the amazing city of London and doing some unforgettable things. Now I have a 5 hour train ride to reflect and catch up on the highlights of the past 60 days in this long over due post.

Finals

HC doesn’t have a whole week for final preparation. Other than that, though, there isn’t much of a difference between finals week between the two schools. It is equally as stressful and tiring. My history final had so many people in it (I think 150+) that we filled the whole gymnasium snuggly. That was crazy since my largest final was Intro to Psych freshman year with way less than half the people. My finals schedule was nice because they were spaced decently and ended a week before I booked my trip home, giving me a nice chunk of time to decompress, pack, and hang with Taylor and Casey before we went our separate ways.

Home for the holidays

When I got off the plane at JFK, my lovely/amazing/thoughtful parents were there to pick me up with a bouquet of red roses. I swear everyone thought they were waiting for a soldier coming back from war and were disappointed when a little girl with a huge NYC skyline suitcase and rainbow backpack came out. That aside, it was the best way to start off a great break with people I love so dearly. Christmas was spent with family. My high school friends all got together for our annual Yankee Swap/Secret Santa hybrid and caught up about school and how crazy it is that we’re juniors in college. New Year’s was spent in Massachusetts, my first NYE without my family. Don’t worry, I made sure to call my parents right at midnight! I met up with all my HC pals while we also caught up about being abroad and life in general. The rest of break was spectacularly relaxed. I think one of the highlights was my dentist telling me I didn’t have any cavities after a whole semester of eating Malteasers. I caught up on LOTS AND LOTS of Bravo with Mom and ran errands with Dad on the weekends. I love being home.

London calling

As part of my brother’s Christmas gift from my parents, they sent us to London for almost a week before our classes began. John is a mellow kid who goes with the flow, but nothing in the world gets him more excited than soccer (European football to be more exact). My gift to him was getting both of us Arsenal FC tickets at the illustrious Emirates Stadium, a his favorite team of all time, for the last day in London. That’s what he was looking forward to. I, on the other hand, was so excited to explore Kensington, the area where we were staying. It was the cutest neighborhood ever, lively with young people in suits but also adorable families with their little dogs (goals). We visited a plethora of museums (The Science, Arsenal, Beefeater Gin, Harry Potter World, just to name a few), took a lot of tubes, ate a surprising amount of burgers (John had kangaroo at Borough Market!), and caught up about college and life. Although we did a lot of touristy things, our collective highlight of the whole trip was watching Arsenal win 2-1 in 98th minute penalties (this highlight video here sums it up nicely).

I can’t believe that my second semester at St Andrews is just beginning, it honestly feels like my parents were just here sending me off. I have so many things I want to do and experience in the next 4 months, let’s hope there’s time to do them all!! Talk to you soon.

xx,

Bridgette

Pics or it didn’t happen:

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Festive Christmas PJ party with my favorite girls and guys (not pictured).

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NYE spent in Massachusetts with some familiar HC faces <3 <3 <3

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Harry Potter World in North London. After just watching the whole series a month before, I was extra into all the behind the scenes ~magic~. John wanted the Butterbeer, typical. 😉

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Behind the scenes tour of Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal FC. This artsy shot should be an ad for Vineyard Vines. VV, call us!

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Siblings take Buckingham Palace.

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Ben and I having a grand ol’ time taking selfies in the middle of traffic

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JD visits JD Sports – the King of Trainers. He felt very cool and important, I took a picture to show his kids one day.

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Emirates Stadium holds over 60k people and every seat was filled. Electrifying. #COYG

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Celebrating a CRAZY game and the last day in Londontown. 🙁

Hello, hello! Another monthly recap for you, and what a month it has been! Every weekend has had an exciting event, sandwiched by endless hours in the Library (this month I achieved my first 12+ library marathon since HC, how nostalgic). November flew by even quicker than October did, which is scary. Now as I write this I’m blasting Michael Buble’s Christmas album and researching where to get a Christmas tree in St Andrews. I am in the holiday spirit FOR SURE. But that’s today, let’s go back in time, shall we?

Becoming a tour guide in St As

At the end of October, my cousin Caroline and her friends studying in Parma, Italy visited me for the weekend. It was such a funny feeling showing people around a place that I’m still trying to figure out myself. Crazy. Even after they left, my hostess duties we’re not done because my best friend Amber booked a last minute flight to Edinburgh to visit me! This was her first time ever travelling internationally by herself, so props to her for making it here and back in one piece. It was so nice to see yet another familiar face around here when I’m so used to not recognizing a soul on a daily basis. The night she came I took her to one of my favorite places, BrewCo (St Andrews Brewing Company or also StABCo I’ve seen it be called). This place is amazing because it’s so low-key, you can order a Thistly Cross cider and sit by the heater for hours. Sometimes the owner’s adorable dog will come in and that makes the night 600x better. We caught up on our lives abroad for the next few hours. The rest of the weekend was the traditional tour I’ve given before (strolling down the three main streets, walking through the Cathedral ruins, down to the East Sands, across the Scores and the Old Course). We experienced afternoon tea at sunset which is one of my favorite things in the world at the moment. We were lucky that Amber’s visit and a U.K. holiday coincided so I could show her how the British celebrate. Guy Fawkes’ Night is an interesting holiday (here’s more info on it to Americans like me who had zero clue what it is) which entails lots of bonfires and fireworks. My academic aunt invited me to celebrate the night with a beach bonfire. So we bundled up, wine bottles in hand (per request of course), and made the freezing trek down to Castle Sands. It was so cool to see the beach in the pitch dark while the fire roared and fireworks went off in the distance. It was a memory I will never forget and I’m so glad Amber was there to experience it with me. But just as quick as she arrived, she left and it was back to reality (and studying).

Election 2016 in Scotland

During sophomore year at Holy Cross, my roommate Caroline and I would always keep the TV on CNN because we felt every second there was a new story breaking that we needed to know about. One thing I thought living in Scotland would bring was a sort of break from the political drama that has been the last 18 months. That was not the case. Due to the massive amounts of Americans attending St As (30% was the last figure I heard but don’t quote me on that), the election was very much salient. The Democrats Abroad society rented out the Student Union for the night so people could watch the results come in at real time. (SIDENOTE: Due to the time difference, the results we’re not supposed to come in until 4 a.m. our time so keep that in mind). I opted out for a more low-key (if you haven’t noticed, low-key is kind of a personality trait I like to adhere to) night, having pizza with Casey and Taylor for a bit then hopping over to my academic mom (also American) Alexa’s flat to watch some pirated CNN. I was there until about 2 a.m. when I started to nod off so I decided to watch the rest on my laptop in my flat. Naturally I fell asleep due to sheer exhaustion of watching this all night and I woke up at 7 a.m. to see my laptop still playing CNN, recapping the results. Politics aside, it was super cool/strange to experience my first election where I could vote in another country. I wonder where I’ll be during the next one…

Visting friends and #FlorenceFriendsgivingAbroad2k16

I was so happy that I was able to travel a good amount this month. Mid-November, I visited my male BFFs Pat and Jeff in Leon, Spain. Like me, they are spending their year abroad. It was so weird/cool/actually so weird hearing them speak Spanish with the natives but it was extremely helpful when trying to buy anything or ask questions. My thesis for the weekend was that I cannot handle living la vida española but it was fun to try it for a few nights. A few weeks later, I was on another flight. This time I got off in Florence, Italy to celebrate my first real holiday away from my family- Thanksgiving. Amber (remember her?) and my other high school BFF Amanda are studying there for the semester and invited me and Samir to come and celebrate. Florence has definitely been one of my favorite cities, if not my favorite (sorry Paris – je t’aime beaucoup!!!). It has a historical feel with modern touches and it seemed like a really young spirited city. That’s not a surprise though because I feel everyone and their mother has studied/studys/will study there but that’s beside the point. Us 4 relatively inexperienced chefs took on the daunting task of cooking a real classic American Thanksgiving. I think we were pretty successful, given there were no whole turkeys or sweet potatoes in Tuscany. We found a little chicken to make our mock turkey and it came out fabulously (RIP Analise – you were a humbling sacrifice for #Friendsgiving2k16). We walked around Florence a ton and even took a day trip to Rome to see the sights in less than 8 hours. Vatican City was my favorite spot because it had such an uplifting feel to it. Most people live their lives never getting there and as a Catholic it was an honor to be in such a holy spot. After a whirlwind 5 days in Italy, I flew over to Madrid to meet up with Casey and Taylor for a few days. Madrid was also a very cool city that had rosary shops next to hipster cafes, which I thought was funny. I even took another day trip to Valencia, famous for their oranges, the largest aquarium in Europe, and paella, to visit Samir (because seeing him less than 48 hours ago is not ok with me). Finally, after 8 days of sleeping on couches, I crashed on my purple bed in my flat and slept for 12 hours straight.

“Work, work, work, work, work” – Rihanna, 2016

(DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT JUST TRAVELLING ALL THE TIME AND HANGING IN PUBS, WHEN I’M NOT TRAVELLING, 80% OF THE TIME I AM IN THE LIBRARY PROBABLY UNTIL MIDNIGHT, MOM AND DAD :-] ).  November was a ton of fun, but it was also a lot of work. My Psychology classes are more paper-based rather than test-based, so I was constantly in the library writing papers. I prefer papers over tests because I feel like I’m a strong writer than test taker (hence this blog ha ha ha). What I’ve learned from talking to my professors has been that American style writing and British style writing is very different. My style is a bit more flowery while they’re looking for simple sentences that are straight to the point. So I’ve been really working to hone in my writing style which has been improving. Also, my time here at St Andrews has actually made me better at time management. I’m not a fan of procrastinating although I have my weak moments. Because I have to juggle travelling and other factors I never dealt with at HC, I’m starting papers 2-3 weeks in advance. This has been an extremely helpful way to relieve the stress of balancing work and leisure. I highly recommend it to anyone who gets really stressed about deadlines very quickly. That being said, even perfect planning still results in marathons in the library. 12 hours is my record and hopefully it won’t be broken anytime soon (actually that is a straight lie because I have 3 finals in the coming weeks so…)

Thanks so much for taking a few minutes to catch up with me. By the time of my next post, I will be free and clear of finals (:-D!!!!!) and packing up to return home for a month! Although I’m so excited to go home, the Christmas lights just got lit up in town and I don’t know how I could ever leave such a pretty place. Moments like this make me super pleased I’m returning in the spring. You can’t get rid of me that easily Scotland!!! Talk to you soon.

xx,

Bridgette

Pics or it didn’t happen:

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Jeff, Meg, Pat and I doing touristy things together. I seemed to have missed the sunglasses memo.

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Amber and I on Guy Fawkes Night. Not pictured: a raging bonfire, fireworks in the distance, and temperatures so cold Amber couldn’t feel her legs.

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3/5 of Blackfriars 12 (+ Taylor) going to Nobel Ball, another Scandinavian Society event. They really know how to get dressed up and party.

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Florence getting in the Christmas mood at twilight

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Views from the Piazza Michelangelo in Florence. This is by far my favorite photo I’ve ever taken.

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Samir, Amanda, Amber and I being funny in the Boboli Gardens. You can only take so many smiling selfies until people start to look at you funny.

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Amber and I cheering on Fiorentina as they lost 3-2. I feel bad for the man who took this photo who, instead of watching his team play, was asked by Amber to take multiple photos at different angles for 5 minutes. #AmericanGirlsAbroad

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Analise – the fake turkey that we cooked on Friendsgiving. Is it weird that we named it?

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Samir, Amber and I trying to take a selfie while being photobombed by the Colosseum. So annoying.

 

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The Royal Palace in Madrid, home of the King and Queen of Spain. I could see myself living here.

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down” – Oprah.

What would we do without our friends? They support you, love you, tell you when you’re being stupid or irrational, keep you sane, drive you crazy, and if you’re lucky, they’re like an extension of your family. As I get older, and this could just be in my case, I’ve learned that the theory of “quality over quantity” applies to how I make and maintain friendships. I’m past the stage of spreading my attention meaninglessly and prefer to spend most of my time with a handful of people that I genuinely like to be around. Is this maturity? Or just being lazy? Either way, this blog post is dedicated to my friends. I was inspired after visiting mis chicos favoritos (Jeff and Pat) in Leon, Spain this past weekend. Along with some other HC friends, I had a great weekend reminiscing about our past lives on the Hill (like we’re 60 years old haha), discussing the future, laughing, and just being silly (my favorite). The world can be so serious and divisive, it’s times like these where I’m lucky there are some people in the world that require no effort or pressure to have a good time with. I’ve been so so lucky to have met up with some of my best friends in the world while abroad, which in most cases is preplanned and some cases is luck. And the semester isn’t even over yet!! Crazy how things just seem to work out sometimes.

Sorry for the short and sappy post, maybe I’m emotional about these 2 papers I need to write or that I’m not going to be home for Thanksgiving next week (don’t worry though… the third annual LuHi Friendsgiving is in full swing, live from… You’ll have to check back next time to see where 🙂 ) My next post will be more fun with a November recap, travel updates, and funny stories, I promise. As for right now, this Britain, Scotland and Empire paper won’t write itself (really putting the STUDY in study abroad). Talk to you soon.

xx,

Bridgette

#FriendAppreciationPost

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Amber and I celebrating Guy Fawkes Night with a bonfire on the Castle Sands. Not only did she make the trek from Florence to St Andrews, but we saw each other at Oktoberfest and Paris (by chance too). And I’ll be seeing her at Friendsgiving2k16. #BFFGOALS

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Meg, Jeff, Pat, and I just hanging in Leon, Spain. Sitting on some rainbow steps. Confusing locals and tourists alike.

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My lovely cousin Caroline and her equally lovely BC friends Katie and Sarah, who are studying in Parma, Italy, joined us Saints (Casey and Taylor) in doing a very St Andrews thing (i.e. afternoon tea overlooking the Old Course).

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A little Oktoberfest throwback with some familiar faces (Kassy, Jeff, Pat, a Stein of beer…)

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Views of Paris from the Eiffel Tower with Samir. Started from senior prom and now we’re here!

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Candid game strong with these ladies. Bringing the laughs from Ireland and beyond. 

Hello readers! Today marks the (almost) 2 month anniversary of living in the land of Scots! It feels like I’ve been here for a lifetime. All the things that plagued my first month (learning how to get around, locating where everything is, and learning how to kick my Nutella addiction) have become child’s play, except the Nutella addiction because that is still something I’m working on. Here’s another monthly update of how my October went, I hope you enjoy!

Traveling Around (Cork, Ireland and Paris, France)

I was lucky enough to bop around a little this month, visiting and travelling with some of my best friends. In mid-October, my friend Casey (who also happens to be my flatmate and fellow ‘Sader) visited the beautiful country of Ireland, a first time for both of us! Even though our Ryanair flight was delayed an hour and we almost missed our 3 hour bus to Cork, the Irish gods were smiling on us that night when we pulled into Cork city centre at 2 am. The occasion was to celebrate our mutual friend Megan’s 21st birthday. Thanks to the Cork kids’ hospitality and adventurous spirit, we had one of the best weekends abroad! Highlights include experiencing an Irish gaol (jail), falling in love with the lead singer of an Irish cover band, attending the Leits version of Oktoberfest, exploring the beautiful campus of UCC, and catching up with some of our favorite ‘Saders. Miss those guys already, but we know we will be reuniting soon 😉

Just as I was unpacking my backpack from Ireland, I was booking my next flight. The jetset life is so hard! (haha I’m just kidding, if anything it would be the cheap-commercial-airline-that-seats-me-next-to-wailing-newborn-infants life). A couple of weekends later I joined my one of my best friends from high school, Samir, and some of his friends in Paris!! Samir is studying in Valencia, Spain and graciously extended an invite to join him in the city of love and lights. We spent 3 full days exploring one of the most BEAUTIFUL cities I’ve ever laid eyes on. It was a mad dash to try to hit every major point (i.e Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, etc etc), but we did it! Samir, being the great planner that he is, got us discounted tickets to the top of the Eiffel Tower, a boat cruise on the Seine, and the Louvre – he is a true MVP. Highlights included everything I mentioned before, midnight fondue in Montmartre, drinking French wine out of baby bottles (yes, this happened), and fulfilling a childhood dream of eating a crepe at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Also, I tried to use 7 years worth of my rusty French, which actually came in handy when I got stranded a few hours before my flight home in a little town in the suburbs of Paris where no one spoke English (merci Madame Zuclich!)

Raisin Weekend

For those who read my first post (aka Mom and Dad), I talked about being adopted into my academic family and how the pinnacle of our family bonding culminates to Raisin Sunday. Well, it definitely met the hype. At 8 am Sunday morning (2 hours before I was supposed to go to my dad’s house, might I add), I had a surprise visit to my flat by my moms (yes, I have 2… it’s 2016 people!), my dad, my uncle, and a nice glass of Guinness and milk which I had to finish in 20 seconds. Great start to the day. At 10, I finally made it to my dad’s house for an afternoon of fun and games. My siblings, cousins, and I all took part egg races, eating donuts off a string, and a scavenger hunt across town. It was a long day, but it was the most fun I’ve had at St Andrews so far. My family is super cool and really fun to hang out with, so I lucked out in that department. Luckily, the fun didn’t end when Sunday turned into Monday. Monday marked the end of Raisin with a classic foam fight, a tradition that has been going on for over 600 years. (Don’t quote me on that). Our parents dressed us up in funny costumes (my family’s theme was Emojis) and we ran onto Lower College Lawn with foam (shaving cream to Americans) in hand. It was soapy, sloppy utter chaos. To get a true feel for what Raisin Weekend is like here, this video does a pretty good job, even though it was taken 6 years ago. I love that St Andrews students have such reverence for tradition, it’s definitely an aspect that drew me to studying here.

Getting #cultural at Crayfish

How does it feel to be Swedish for a night? Jättebra! (This supposedly means “Awesome!” in Swedish. Apparently Norwegian and Swedish are very similar, so I just asked my Norwegian flatmate Emilie how to say that, it’s legit everyone!) My super cool and super Norwegian aforementioned flatmate Emilie tipped me and Casey off to a cool event the Scandinavian Society holds called “Crayfish Party” and said we should go. Naturally, being a 1/6 Norwegian, I felt it was my duty to attend and represent my heritage!! (Another side note: Em laughs when I mention I’m a 1/6 Norwegian like it doesn’t count!!! Bye!!!) The ladies of Blackfriars 12 got all dolled up and were ready to show these crayfish who was boss. Highlights of the night included learning that crayfish are literally BABY LOBSTERS, trying Swedish vodka and an Edinburgh fizz for the first time (one was amazing, one was not very pleasant, your guess), and getting behind the DJ booth to help DJ do his thang. It was a great night and definitely worth the 55 pounds.

Crashing computers and deadlines

Life isn’t just sunsets on the East Sands and Malteasers. I want to keep this blog as real as possible, so that means not only sharing the amazing/fun/exciting things that happen but also the stuff that isn’t as amazing/fun/exciting. So, a large part of study abroad is the study part 🙂 and I take my studies very seriously, both at HC and St Andrews. A little bit of pressure is good, but I prefer to write my papers and do assignments in little chunks over a large period of time rather than the night before. That’s how I work best. When I found out I had 2 very important papers due within 24 hours of each other, I was very adamant to start them as early as possible. This meant my first 12 hour marathon in the library, which was quite productive given that I eventually finished both before the night bus came to pick me up. I wanted to do some final superficial changes like adding a cover page and the like right before I submitted it, so I waited until the day of to submit my paper. As a little break between editing, I decided to upload my Paris photos to my computer. I guess the photos were too spectacular and my computer could not handle the sunset over the Eiffel Tower because it decided to crash and not turn on. Let the freak out commence. Of course, 2 papers, one worth 100% of my final course grade was stuck inside a hunking piece of metal that had no use to me if it could not turn on. Luckily, this story has a happy ending. By the grace of god, for some reason I saved my essays to Google Docs, fully edited and formatted. I submitted both papers without a problem, but did have to pay 80 pounds ($110) to get a new hardware installed. Students reading this (if any), if you get anything from this silly story of heartbreak is always upload your papers to Google Docs or some random cloud so you can access them anywhere. You’re an independent student who shouldn’t depend on one computer for the rest of your life.

Wow, this has been a long post. I honestly can’t believe that a whole 60 days has passed already. I’m trying to keep a “one day at a time” mantra going, but it’s hard when you have to plan trips, juggle papers, do club work, and integrate as much as possible into the fabrics of St Andrews. It’s not a bad problem to have. Looking forward to November, where I have some fun things I’m really looking forward to. Curious? I’ll update you in 2 weeks 🙂 Talk to you soon.

xx,

Bridgette

PS: The national animal of Scotland is the unicorn, so that says a lot about where I live. A smart guy explains why here.

PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN:

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Having fun at the Cork Oktoberfest, which included black lights and 80’s hits playing all night long. The only similarity it shared to Munich Oktoberfest was the 10 euro beers and people screaming PROST every 10 minutes.

 

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This was taken around 11 am on Raisin Sunday, right before I dominate the egg race. If you’re wondering why my name is written on my forehead, ask someone else because I still don’t know.

 

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The 3/5 of Blackfriars 12 enjoying that Swedish lifestyle at Crayfish. Photo credits to Lightbox St Andrews.

 

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The lovely ladies of Cork (Kate, Meghan, Maggie and Megan) sandwiched by the ladies of St Andrews (Casey on the left and me on the right)

 

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Samir and I enjoying the view from the Champ de Mars. We like to be the center of attention usually, but we let the background take over for this picture.

 

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University College Cork is almost as pretty as St Andrews 😉

 

My costume for the foam fight on Raisin Monday, including cans of 70p shaving cream (foam).

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Baby bottle white wine from Le Refuge des Fondus in Montmartre. Not safe for children under the age of 18.

Hello readers! Welcome to my blog! My name is Bridgette and I am studying at University of St Andrews in the lovely country of Scotland (on the coast too, beach views for days!). Because this first post is a little late and I have been here for over a month now (!!!!), I wanted to share highlights/novel things/milestones I’ve experienced in my first 30 days:

Getting oriented to St Andrews

The town itself is three main streets, so that shouldn’t be so hard to navigate right?! (Spoiler: I was lost more times than I would love to admit.) And matching your class locations to places in town? Forget about it. Buildings tucked behind other buildings are cute, but not on the first day of classes when you’re already 10 minutes late. But do not fear perspective St Andrews students reading this post, by the second to third week you’re already a pro of the landscape that locals are asking you for directions (Yes this happened to me and yes I texted my friends about it.)

Registration

Registration here is a process. It’s not better or worse than Holy Cross’ registration process, it’s just different and something you need to get used to. Instead of waking up at 7am and refreshing STAR until 8am, hoping (& praying) you go 4/4, registration here is an in-person ordeal which means waiting and talking to advisors in your major until you fill all 60 credits. I was lucky in the fact that my advisors were really helpful in choosing and making sure my Holy Cross requirements would be fulfilled. My advice would also to check the times of the classes you’re taking before you leave because they don’t show red flags if you’re double booked… and there is nothing worse than thinking one class is at this time while sitting in an advanced lecture for 20 minutes before you realize advanced neuroscience is not what you signed up for, followed by not-so-gracefully fumbling out of the lecture. (Yes, again, I’m speaking from experience… do not end up like me!!!)

Fresher’s Flu

Since freshman year at HC, this is the most people I’ve met in a span of a month. Meeting people leads to shaking hands, close chatting, and the classic European double cheek kisses (still not used to these). If orienting myself to a new culture and education system wasn’t enough, one of my new acquaintances gave me the flu and a cold all on the first day of classes. Back home, I have a really great immune system, not to brag, and rarely get sick beyond a sore throat or stuffy nose. But this Fresher’s Flu was the worst. My mom trying to coach me on what to do/what to take to help my symptoms while I was stuck in the fetal position in bed was the worst feeling ever. It gives a new meaning to the word homesick. Also, there is no Advil or Tylenol here, so make sure you can find the UK equivalents before you get sick, because it’s bound to happen. I was lucky my worst symptoms lasted a few days, and I was back to class in no time. Hand sanitizer is my new best friend.

Being adopted

I met my mom in one of my Psychology tutorials, but I still haven’t met my dad or my siblings. If this sounds weird to you, you’re not alone because it sounded weird to me at first too. Here at St Andrews, one of the coolest traditions they have are academic families. 3rd year students meet “freshers”, i.e. – first year students, and take them under their wing, so to speak. They plan dinners and go out together as a family. Families can be small with just a mom, dad and a few siblings but can also get as extended as having aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, stepparents, anything you could think of. All these events culminate to Raisin Weekend in mid-October where your parents plan some craaaazy activities for their children to do. Not sure what to expect, updates to come!

My first travel experience – Munich, Germany

I felt like once I finally unpacked, I was packing again! My first trip I took while studying here was to Oktoberfest in Munich and it was soooo much fun. It was a super short trip (we only spent a day and a half without all the travel time) but Oktoberfest was definitely something to experience once in your life. It’s like an extreme Disneyland Epcot on steroids. And because I’m legal in Europe 🙂 , the beer is flowing at 10 euros a pop so it can get pricey for a college student balling on a budget. Besides that, it was amazing to see all my HC and high school friends studying abroad under one rainbow ribboned tent.

Opening Ball

St Andrews does not skimp on its parties, and Opening Ball was not an exception. Typically, Opening Ball is for freshers or, in my case, third years who want to get really dressed up for a night. We were greeted by flutes of champagne and led to a large white tent with EDM and smoke from the smoke machines billowing out. The main tent had a bar, free snack food, a burger food truck, FREE JEANETTA’S GELATO (a deliciously famous St Andrews staple), and a massive dance floor with student DJs playing until the wee hours of the morning. Safe to say this ball is mostly likely going to be nicer than my wedding, a fact that I repeated throughout the night. The closest thing I could compare it to would probably be an Outdoor Edge (for all you HC Edge fans out there), only way colder, way bigger, and way posherFrom what I’ve been told, this is only the beginning and there are many, many more balls to look forward to (YAY).

I’m so excited to be blogging for Holy Cross this year and look forward to where this amazing experience will take me! Thanks for being along for the ride. Talk to you soon.

xx,

Bridgette

PS: I dedicate my first post to Mom, Dad and JD – thanks for all your support, love, and confidence in me. See you at Christmas time!

PSS: What is a blog post without pictures?? Here are some of my favorites so far 🙂

The Scores, another one of my happy places

The Scores, one of my happy places. Also a rare shot of St Andrews when it’s not cloudy/raining/overcast! 

Some HC friends celebrating Oktoberfest at 8:30 in the morning

Some HC friends celebrating Oktoberfest at 8:30 in the morning

Views of St Andrews Cathedral from the pier

Views of St Andrews Cathedral from the pier

East Sands... One of my happy places

East Sands… One of my other happy places

A double rainbow over Haymarket in Edinburgh, showing me Scotland is quite the magical place

A double rainbow over Haymarket in Edinburgh, showing me Scotland is quite the magical place

 

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Bridgette Dagher '18

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