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.
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.
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.
Pics or it didn’t happen: