Get extra-curricular in College

By Freya Findlay

Like most students in Freshers’ Week, I signed up to what seemed like all the societies and then proceeded to attend none of them for the rest of the year. I could say the bright lights and glamour of the stands wooed me or that I really wanted to get involved with college but the truth is I feel seriously awkward saying no to people, a trait which has landed me in some pretty sticky situations.

I find it especially hard when it seems so important to these advertisers that you join them. The lame “Oh yes well I’ll come back later” or “I don’t have enough money” just don’t cut it. Everyone knows the former is just a stalled no and the latter a stingy no – who can’t find a spare €2? Though I noticed some prices had gone up this year, apparently not even societies can escape the economic crisis. 

After a year of my inbox being bombarded with emails, which if they were lucky I skimmed but more usually just deleted on sight, I decided in 2nd year I’d have to be stronger during fresher’s week and just politely, but firmly say no. In the end I’d gone along to one or two first meetings and then decided that actually I couldn’t really be bothered. Every week a friend and I would say “next week we’ll go to this” or “we’ll definitely join that society next week”. But I think that in reality if you don’t get stuck in and involved from the start it’s much harder to do so later on in the term. 

Its also very easy to let it all slip by and you could be fooled into thinking that there aren’t actually any societies in Trinity, it was just a big joke during fresher’s week and even if there are, all they do is try and sell things to you on their stands in the Art Block or Hamilton. 

Having been very involved with all the extra curricular things going on at school I found it quite a novel experience not having any commitments. No netball practise, or orchestra or play rehearsals, no more debating or tutoring and rushing around balancing my time. I suddenly had lots of time to do whatever I wanted or just simply do nothing.

I took lots of afternoon naps, watched a ridiculous amount of films, went out, did some college work and deleted society emails. But I did have a feeling that I was missing out on something.

So this year I was more select with my choices and awkward though it was I did say no to most advances. I made a conscious decision to go to events and get involved. It is slightly embarrassing when people presume I’m a first year as they’ve never seen me before but who cares?

I am, at least for now, a committed society member, and I’d urge you to do the same because otherwise though I’m sure you’d have a great year, you won’t make the most of it and it won’t be as good as it could be.