When the Freshers’ Fair frenzy goes too far

How to know when you’ve bitten off more society commitments than you can chew

The beginning of each college term is like a fresh page that begs you to scribble all over it. You look at its blankness and think that there is surely room for numerous activities. The freshers’ fair provides a way to scrawl all over this new page you have turned, enticing you with promises of new friends and new memories. If you are anything like this Trinity News writer, you may take an all or nothing approach. This pushes the individual into thinking that the only way to start the new college term right is to sign up for every society that looks in any way appealing. Whether or not you actually participated in the society the previous year, after handing over that precious two euro, is irrelevant. Then, as the sun dips below the buildings that separate Trinity from the rest of the city and the uneven cobblestones begin to cool, you will find yourself struggling to stand beneath the weight of the hundreds of tote bags you are now carrying. The task of retrieving your phone from your back pocket is totally impossible and your friends are concerned about your whereabouts as they frantically attempt to find you.

Cut to the next week. A pretty good sign that you have gone too far during the freshers’ fair frenzy is that your bedroom door now requires significantly more effort to open than it did mere days ago. You have gone through all of your goody bags and their debris (the not-so-goody coupons and pamphlets) cover the floor, creating a treacherously slippery surface. The tote bags are piled waist high in a corner. Unless you are an absolute legend, the free condoms now fill an entire drawer of your desk. If Marie Kondo were to enter this cluttered pit she would emit a shriek of undiluted panic. The length and pitch of her scream should be helpful in indicating how many societies you need to cut loose. I want you to pick up each freebie in your room and ask yourself does it bring you joy.

“The next hint that you have bitten off more than you can chew society-wise tends to manifest itself as a general sensation of dread”.

The next hint that you have bitten off more than you can chew society-wise tends to manifest itself as a general sensation of dread. Opening your Google calendar or glancing at a Facebook page is no longer a practical experience but an emotional one. One can simply have too many things to do and places to go to in a day. We assume because we signed up for these activities that we will be happier in the long run for having done them, but this assumption had even some of Trinity’s most experienced society hacks running around like headless chickens during their first term of college. If you are not looking forward to what you have signed up for anymore then maybe you should just sign off. Again, think of Marie Kondo. She would surely wag a finger at you for overextending yourself like this and taking the joy out of activities that were designed to add to, not detract from, your quality of life. Wow, that woman truly is a genius. Just send her your Google calendar. She will send you back three to five emojis that express her emotions upon seeing this life schedule. If, for example, she sends you a barf emoji, you know that looking at your Google calendar has made Marie Kondo want to throw up, and this is not good. That woman is made of tough stuff.

Have you ever heard of the saying, “too much of a good thing”? It is pretty popular so I imagine you have. Well, it is true! Too much of a good thing is bad. Joining too many great societies will only mean you do not truly invest yourself in them. Signs of this include not remembering the names of any new people you have met, misnaming people at society events and having drinks thrown over your new outfit, missing every society event for over a month, going out seven nights in a row but somehow missing 20 events in the process, noticing that your stepper app is now concerned that your legs may be in danger of falling off, and not remembering the name of the person you fancy and then trying to find them on Facebook during a mixer but instead adding the wrong person. So pick your favourites. Decide which of the societies are your baby and then throw out the bathwater.

Gráinne Quigley

Gráinne Quigley is the current Societies Editor of Trinity News.