What’s been baffling me the most about Freshers’ Week is how on earth anyone has the energy to spend every night drinking and clubbing. I staggered into my apartment at five o’clock today and decided that my bedroom floor would be the ideal spot for a little nap. After recuperating somewhat, I shambled into the kitchen for a glass of water and came across a housemate similarly sprawled on the floor.
This reveals two things: that the floors in Halls are surprisingly comfortable, and that Freshers’ Week is an absolutely exhausting experience.
I consider myself an introvert. This term is widely and badly used in popular psychology, but I define it like this: while I love socialising and can chat and joke with the best of them, it takes a lot of mental and physical energy from me – after which I need to go nap on a floor. Extroverts can be described conversely: they derive energy from interacting with others, and presumably can go on all night with some encouragement.
It’s been argued that the working world favours extraversion, and that us floor-nappers are left in the dust by our hyper-social counterparts. I’m not sure how true that is, but it certainly feels like the case here. I’m being forced to opt out of valuable open evenings and events simply because downing espressos stopped working a few hours ago.
Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, and everyone is feeling the same exhaustion as we crest this mountain of crowds and societies.
It’s not like I don’t have valid reasons to feel physically exhausted: I spent my morning in the Players Theatre auditioning for every single production they had. That’s right – the girl who could barely speak to a stranger two days ago was prancing around the stage, orating and improvising and dancing her heart out.
That’s why I adore drama: you don’t have to be yourself. You can slip into the character of someone louder and wilder so quickly and so effortlessly, and nobody will judge you for it. They will embrace you for it. Working with Players has been the highlight of my week so far, and I imagine it will become my love and respite over the next few years.
Things are on the up, then. I’m finding my niche in Trinity’s broad ecosystem and I’m exploring the idiosyncrasies of Dublin. Sometime between bouts of annoying the TCDconnect clinic with my inevitable WiFi problems, I stopped to eat lunch on the benches around the Central Bank. There was an eagle-eyed homeless man there, wheedling for leftovers.
I think he was targeting young students in particular, because we all carry the residual guilty conscience of the privileged. In the space of 30 minutes, he had snagged half of a girl’s Subway sandwich, a brownie and the few remaining bites of my sandwich. I had never seen anything like it. He wolfed down each offering and flaked up the crumbs for the pigeons. Then he threw the wrappers to the wind. For some reason, that annoyed me.
I felt as though, because I was being considerate, he should too. I wondered if that was a privileged thing to think. Homelessness feels like a topic that raises far more questions than there are honest answers. I collected the skittering wrappers, dumped them, and went back to college full of thoughts.