Diary of a Fresher

Yesterday’s S2S meetings and the vibrant community on campus drove home the reality of student life for our Freshers.

Tuesday, 20 September:

Aoife Donnellan, Junior Freshman Philosophy and English:

It all started with walking in an hour late to an hour long talk.

I awkwardly half-stood/half-crouched at the back of the room, just in time to catch “and I hope you all have a great year”. Wonderful. I left to find my Student 2 Student mentor group and thus began our campus adventure.

We made our way around the libraries, the sports centre, the arts building, New Square, and all the nooks and crannies which fall under ‘“Trinity Campus” and it finally began to sink in that I was a real college student. A real college student in real college where I would have to function. Things had to be read, written AND understood.

To freeze this unexpected deep thought, I grabbed a slushy from The Phil and a slice of free pizza from students’ union before getting the Luas back to halls where I proceeded to nap twice.

After getting home at 4am the night previous, I decided to have a chill night in, as I was feeling like I may die of exhaustion (hyperbole, but still). Naturally, that didn’t happen and I found myself awake at 2am, my kitchen packed of people having tea.

Maia Mathieu, Junior Fresman BESS, Mature Student:

Front gate, Tuesday morning.

It’s been a long, strange trip to get here (beyond the commute) but we’ve made it. My husband (another incoming mature fresher) and I weave our way through the gauntlet of Bank of Ireland canvassers and bum-bagged tourists onto a campus that’s very different to any time we’ve been here before.

Whether visiting the Book of Kells or attending recruitment events, Trinity is sporting a completely different vibe for us freshers. Last week at the mature orientation sessions it didn’t feel real. Trinity, I’m learning, comes to life thanks to its community, and the community was out in the morning sunshine, rolling out the welcome mat.

I’m the swotty type; I’ve been on Facebook looking up societies to join and I’ve been on the school website trying to figure out what to expect. None of that prepared me for wandering the stalls of societies or going to the scheduled events. Or even just catching my breath with a brilliant red slushy on one of the couches in the Phil.

Today the preparation and anticipation of a few years came to fruition. And as that anticipation ends, there’s a whole new sort growing.
Today really was the first day of the rest of my life, and I can’t wait for the next four years, and all that might unfold.

Aidan Carolan, Junior Freshman Law and French:

What?! What do you mean it’s only the second day?

I’m already exhausted and the year has only just begun. But on the upside, for what I lack in energy, I more than make up for in confusion.

Today was my first proper day of orientation. I attempted to listen to my lecturers fail to use humour as a means to spice up their dull speeches, each slightly less successful than the last. Their freshly imparted knowledge drifted with ease from my mind.

More importantly, my S2S mentors were full of embarrassing stories about breaking unwritten rules regarding dress code and discovering secret toilets in the library just weeks before the end of first year.

It was good to finally meet people from my course. We’re so rare around campus that I was beginning to suspect that I’d enrolled in one of those joke courses like Unicorn Studies or Philosophy.

I’m surprisingly relieved to report that I’m not going out tonight. But then, with energy and monetary levels at rock bottom, I have learnt to pick and choose what events to attend a little more carefully. That being said, Freshers’ Ball will be absolutely mandatory.

That and the public Ultimate Frisbee match on Thursday. Obviously.