Kristin Lund, from Skansen, Norway, will graduate with a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

What attracted you to St Andrews in the first place?

I chose St Andrews for my undergraduate degree almost by chance, not knowing what to expect. I stayed for my PhD because of the warm and supportive community I had found there.

What are your favourite memories of being a student here?

Hanging out with friends.

What is your favourite location in St Andrews and why?

I think my favourite spot is the pier. Walking along the pier looking out at the sea and the town would somehow make my worries and problems seem a little smaller.

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

When I first came to St Andrews, I over-worked myself trying to perfect everything. Somewhere along the way I learned that sometimes “good enough” is the better and healthier option.

Where have you spent this year following the initial lockdown period and how was it for you?

I’ve spent this year in Cupar with my boyfriend. Originally, we moved there because it offered easy access to Edinburgh and St Andrews, however, when lockdown happened Cupar became our entire world. It was a difficult transition.

What was it like finishing your studies during a pandemic?

Practically speaking there was luckily nothing stopping me from writing up my thesis in lockdown. But it felt terribly isolating: there were days when a simple coffee break in the staff common room with friends and colleagues would have made all the difference. The biggest thing I lost was time with people I might not see again.

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

I hope that one day when I look back these final months won’t define my time in St Andrews. Looking forward, I just want to reach some sense of normality again, hopefully get a job and start the next stage of my life.

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

I’ll miss the people the most, and the sense of community I felt in St Andrews.

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

I think we’ll all know the value of a hug.

What message would you send to fellow Saints, graduating or otherwise, wherever they are around the world?

Be kind, not just to others, but to yourselves.

And finally, do you hope to come back in 2021 to graduate in person?

I hope to come back in 2021 to graduate in person, getting a chance to celebrate alongside fellow graduates and friends would mean a lot to me.