Diary of a Fresher day four: chaos theory comes to life in the Science Gallery

Dearbháil can see the structure of her day crumbling apart, but no worries: nothing stays together in freshers’ week.


I’m sitting in the Science Gallery, typing away on my obnoxious laptop. I’m perched alone at the edge of a crowd of students and Gallery representatives who are drinking punch and networking and dancing to some fabulous music which sounds like the Minecraft soundtrack gone techno. I am not doing any of these things.  

I haven’t tucked myself away out of the usual fear and anxiety, oh no. I just lacked the foresight to write this article before I came. I even lacked the foresight to eat beforehand – I had to take a shameful detour to my favourite chippers for some deep-fried calamari. If you were walking through the campus just before six in the afternoon yesterday and saw an eejit in heels tripping across the cobblestones as she stuffed herself with squid: hello. That was me. I have no shame.

This is the stage of the week where structure and schedules tend to fall apart like wet cake. It’s easily explained. There are two types of structure in a young student’s life: the externally imposed structure of lectures and tutorials, and the much weaker internally imposed structure, which consists of thoughts like, “It’s four o’clock, I should probably eat breakfast” and “I can’t remember when I last did laundry… I think that towel is growing a fungus”.

Our internal structure is bolstered by the framework of an external structure. Without that, we can only survive for a while until things get weird and we sleep in until 1pm. Which is what I did today, obviously. After a crack like that appears in our internal planning, the whole thing shatters like sugar glass.

Which is why two of my roommates have jumped ship and gone home for their parents to fix them, and why I’m typing nonsense in a corner instead of seizing this wonderful opportunity to get involved in my favourite Irish gallery.

And now all of the punch is gone before I had a chance to pour a glass. These are very serious problems in my life.

Perhaps if I compliment the Science Gallery some more they’ll take me on, despite my glaring flaws in time management. In all seriousness – science and art are both incredibly important things in my life, and seeing them fused so expertly and beautifully to introduce the younger generation to new research and concepts? It makes me giddy every time I go in.

I think that my freshman apprehension has subsided and been overtaken by the constant excitement I feel about Dublin. This is a city where an oddball like me can flourish. A city where history intertwines with discovery, a city which can never truly grow old because of how it shifts effortlessly with the times. A city where nobody really minds that there’s a weirdo in the corner with a laptop who’s hogging their power supply and glaring intermittently at the punch table.

Here ends the scene: my writing is coming to a natural conclusion, so I smile and look up – and then the music fades. Everyone except the Ents officers have left. The party is over. I missed it.

I put on winged eyeliner for this. Damn the Science Gallery, I’m going to a pub.