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A weekend of rugby and ruins

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October 5, 2015

10:01 PM

My weekends at the College of William and Mary usually consisted of getting some work done in Earl Gregg Swem Library, lazy chai lattes in Swem Aromas, dance rehearsal with Pointe Blank and perhaps a run to Food Lion to restock on healthy snacks (read: spicy Cheetos) — all pretty normal, College-esque activities. However, my weekends here in the University of St Andrews are of a whole other sort.

This past weekend, I took a day trip with a group of friends into Edinburgh to watch the rugby match between St Andrews and the University of Edinburgh. After a two hour-long bus ride, we traipsed around the city, stopping briefly for pulled pork sandwiches and proper afternoon tea (scones with clotted cream and jam, china teacups, the whole shebang). Another bus ride later and we were at the stadium where, instead of hot dogs and other traditional American sporting event fare, stands sold a variety of beers and chips (British for fries).

As I’m not particularly well versed in the technicalities of rugby, a lot of the game went over my head.

Drinks in hand, we watched as our women’s rugby team put up a good fight to Edinburgh but ultimately lost. As I’m not particularly well versed in the technicalities of rugby, a lot of the game went over my head. But I cheered when other St Andrews students cheered, and my friends and I were very entertained. The end of the men’s match was crazy — or so I hear, we had to leave early to catch the last bus back to St Andrews — and we won by a single point in the last few seconds. The stuff of dramatic sports movies.

The next day, after a pier walk, a few WaMStAs and I explored the castle ruins in town, taking pictures perched on the crumbling walls and terrorizing a pair of tourists with our antics. The rest of the day was spent skipping stones (or trying to, in my case) on Castle Sands, one of three beaches in St Andrews, shooing seagulls and curious neighborhood dogs from our lunches, and dipping our feet into the freezing water of the North Sea. It was one of those moments you want to bottle up and keep forever.

Although the weekend was wonderful, full of friends and new experiences, I do miss my College weekends.

Although the weekend was wonderful, full of friends and new experiences, I do miss my College weekends. I miss going with my hallmates to stock up on sour straws in the candy aisle of Food Lion; I miss dancing in Chesapeake A. I miss lying in the sun outside of Monroe Hall doing readings. But I suppose it’s a give and take: I can’t have St Andrews weekends without losing my College weekends. However, I know that definitely doesn’t have to be the case with my friends; if my incessant Snapchats to them are any indication, I really wish they were here with me.

So, although I may be falling in love with St Andrews, the College was my first love. This may be the one instance where I think polygamy can work.

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Anna-Leigh Ong
  • Anna-Leigh Ong