By Dr Lara Meischke, Academic Liaison and Systems Manager and Warden for McIntosh Hall
A little more than two weeks ago, McIntosh Hall reopened and welcomed around 250 students over the course of the opening weekend. My team and I really look forward to it – it’s intense, but after the three days of training that precede it, we’re all keen to get doing the job for which we signed up.
So many new faces, many of whom have travelled quite a distance, and far too interested in getting their key and seeing their new room to pay much attention to the short safety briefing we give them. Some get to grips with the Hall by joining the Facebook group and appear confident, independent and excited. Others are clearly terrified, worried about being separated from Mum while she watches the bags out in the corridor. The Assistant Wardens and I all remember our arrivals day in Hall, and try to get everyone in as smoothly as possible. We answer all those questions that may sound daft, but will make all the difference to someone’s first day in a new place.
And then there are the familiar faces. It’s great to see all the returning students that are coming back to Hall for a second, third or even fourth year. Their presence makes it so much easier for the new students to settle in, and they pass on the traditions, and the sense of community, that makes McIntosh what it is. Many are Hall Committee members, and were busy over the summer planning the Freshers’ Week events in Hall. We help them run a mix of live music, quizzes, home baking and inter-hall sport, and the traditional cocktail and garden parties. We also get out the face paint for the Tribal Warfare bop, where residents wear Hall colours (purple and blue) to compete with other halls to show who has the most spirit.
We’re all fired up and ready for another year in McIntosh, and can’t wait to see how this year’s batch comes along! In the meantime, enjoy some pictures from last year’s Orientation, or click here to see McIntosh Hall through the seasons. If you are a McIntosh alum, consider joining the McIntosh Alumni Facebook group!
As Lara’s post demonstrates, living in the community, near classes and friends, is an important part of the St Andrews experience. And yet, because of high rental prices and the town’s small size, many students must choose between loans to cover living costs or commuting from places outside of town. Our Accommodation Bursaries programme aims to provide 300 students (with the greatest need) bursaries of £1,000 each, to be spent on living costs. Learn more about the programme at our campaign website.