Avery Kitchens. Art History and International Relations, 29 June 2021.

Avery Kitchens
Avery, from Gainesville, Florida pictured at home in St Andrews.

What attracted you to St Andrews in the first place?

The history of the town and the university is the obvious draw for me. My college counsellor pointed out St Andrews as an option for my higher education, as I knew that I wanted to have a tight-knit university feel while maintaining excellent education opportunities. I never visited St Andrews before my first Freshers Week but coming to St Andrews was the best decision I’ve ever made!

What are your favourite memories of being a student here?

Some of my favourite memories are May Dip, Raisin and going to Sinners with the Cross Country Club!

When you reflect on your time in St Andrews, how do you think it has changed you?

I have not only learned to become more independent, but I have learned how to be confident and proud of my accomplishments. St Andrews does an amazing job of letting students learn in educational channels in which they are interested. I have been built up by my lecturers and tutors to be sure and confident of my work.

Where have you spent your time since the outbreak of Covid-19? What was the experience of virtual life, teaching and playing for you?

I spent the first seven weeks in Kent with my boyfriend before returning to Florida for the summer and then flying back to St Andrews for the 2020/21 academic year. Virtual life has been great for me academically! I have had much more time to research and work independently. Socially, moving online has been difficult, but my friends and I had a weekly video call to stay in contact!

How do you think events of 2020/1 (coronavirus, lockdown life, BLM) have shaped the graduating Class of 2021?

We have definitely become more informed, passionate, politically active and resilient. This graduating class is entering an extremely difficult and inaccessible job market, but I believe that the skills that we have accumulated over the past year will serve us well in the long run.

What was it like finishing your studies towards the end of the pandemic?

Underwhelming to be honest. I turned in my dissertation virtually and I had a bit of a “uh okay, what now?” moment.

What are your hopes and plans for the future (both for yourself personally and the world at large)?

Personally, I am not sure what I would like to do with my career yet; however, I want to continue learning. I would like to learn new skills and continue to meet new people and try new things. I am also so excited to be able to travel and interact with people again soon! Covid has been exceptionally difficult for everyone and I hope that we can all meet in person very soon!

Avery Kitchens lying on a sofa reading a book

What will you miss most about ‘the bubble’ of St Andrews?

I will miss the fact that you will always see someone you know in Tesco no matter what. The homely feel of the town is just so nice!

What are your plans for your own virtual conferral day?

Not much to be honest! I am working as a Sabbatical Officer at the Students’ Association, so probably just a lot of meetings.

How do you feel now that we are beginning to see the light at the end of this pandemic?

Very excited! I just hope everyone gets their jab quickly so we can go on holiday!

And finally, do you hope to come back in 2022 to graduate in person?