May 30, 2003 10:00 AM

Prince William, reflecting upon his recently completed sophomore year at Scotland’s St. Andrews University, says he has been able to live a normal student life — though he did think briefly about dropping out.

In a rare interview with Britain’s Press Association that was published Friday, the second in line to the British throne, who turns 21 on June 21, said of school: “People here just treat me like everyone else — it’s really nice.” He pointed out that he also loves running on the nearby beach and taking an occasional dip in the sea.

“I’m able to lead a near-normal life because of a combination of reasons, really,” he said. “The media have been very good considering, I’m sure, how tantalizing it is having me up here, and the people of St. Andrews and the students themselves have been so supportive. So, basically, I feel very comfortable.” William said.

His living arrangements include three roommates with whom he shares an apartment near campus (St. Andrews is also the location of one of the world’s most famous golf courses), and the prince says that locals tend to leave him alone.

“They know the routes I take. Yet, very kindly, they just get on with their lives, their shopping and things like that.”

Dressed in baggy, beige corduroy jeans, a blue shirt and equally well-worn loafers and a plum-colored sweater (with holes in it), William described his Master of Arts honors degree course and noted that he will soon face the decision of whether to major in art history or geography.

“There’s an immense amount of reading, and lectures take up quite a lot of your time.” He also is trying to teach himself Swahili because he loves Africa, he said.

As for the threat of dropping out, the prince said that was simply a passing thought after his freshman year.

“It’s new surroundings, new scenery, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. … But I went home and talked to my father during the holidays and throughout that time debated about whether to come back — not seriously, seriously debating it — but it did cross my mind,” he said.

You May Like