Why St Andrews is probably for you

I want to begin this article by drawing attention to what it is like to be somebody when you are effectively nobody. I feel that I must instantly follow this statement with a clarification: I don’t have a particularly low self esteem. I have a good number of friends and I probably lurk somewhere near average intelligence with a creative drive to boot. But I am under no illusions. When I look up at the stars, or even at the equally extensive google Earth I am left burdened with a renewed awareness; a heightened sense of helplessness and anonymity. An odd tension is formed between the awe that comes alongside being part of a thing so huge and improbable and realisation that you are something so comparably small.

I argue that in the wrong place, this realisation is a depressing one. The outlook is bleak and essentially points towards the conclusion that you are effectively a nobody, paling into insignificance. You aren’t necessarily the smartest, the richest, the most influential and so you are nothing or you are falling short of something. But of course we should all know that this is not true even if it doesn’t feel like it; each human being is equally complex, each man or woman equally as valuable and formed -as the world was- by a series of incredibly unlikely, almost inconceivable chance happenings.

There are certain places that acknowledge this and certain places that don’t. I argue that St Andrews is one of the latter. To desire a certain position within a society or to want to meet a particular somebody who inspires you does not result in you wallowing in a dread that is so often caused by discovering that your goal is unattainable. Instead you find that if you want something enough, you can have it. No wish is too big. To be enthusiastic about something is not often in vain. There is a distinct feeling that others will follow if you have a concept you see to be worthwhile pursuing.

Additionally, there is nothing quite like walking down the street where familiar faces are more than happy to talk to you, or to be in a place where people you hardly know will stop to ask how you are and what you’re up to. The reversal of the Google Earth effect is achieved, because you’re somebody even if you’re nobody. The stars no longer effect you in quite the same way, as you  remain in awe of their existence but are now also able to bask in awe at your own.

So here’s an article dedicated to St Andrews; to the bubble where people remember who you are so that you are that much more capable of doing the same.