Diary of a Fresher

From friendly exchanges with taxi drivers, to strides of pride and even viewing Trinity through the lens of the seven deadly sins, our writers have had a week not hastily forgotten

Friday 23 September

Yasmin Underwood, Junior Freshman English and Classics:

   Moving from the forty-degree heat in the sandpit that is Dubai to the quaint metropolis of Dublin which features (what feels like) sub-zero temperatures has certainly been interesting, and has involved more than just a shock to my core body temperature. Having had my fair share of fresh starts (England to France to Dubai) has definitely hardened me up, making this more of an exciting experience than a daunting one. I have made it my personal mission to return home with my vocabulary littered with local slang and a hint of an Irish accent.


    My finest moment of the day may well have been what one of my lovely new Irish friend declared in her Wexford accent to be my “stride of pride” (rather than a walk of shame). This consisted of a purposeful walk across the small courtyard with the intention of spending the afternoon drinking wine and eating cake with friends in my rather majestic (and colour-coordinated) attire of slobby pyjamas and slippers, complete with fluffy dressing gown. I was silently praying that no one particularly attractive happened to be peering out of their window at that given time.

   Just in case you were wondering, fate did not smile down upon me and sadistically threw me under the bus on that account.

Thérèse Kearns, Junior Freshman English and History:

It’s Friday and the time has arrived for me to compress all my sullied clothing and towels into my bag and return to Galway.  As I stare out the window of the bus, I cannot help but reflect on the momentous week I’ve experienced. I have learned so much not just about university and most surprisingly, about myself. The most valuable lesson I’ve acquired other than to never miss your tutorials, that prinks are essential and that freshers’ flu is not a myth (trust me I was bed bound yesterday with a pharmacy student chucking frozen peas over my feverish head).

  It is not the rigid dictatorship of school where you’re told what to do and what to wear. It’s up to you to fill your days. Thus I joined a hundred societies, which led to my inevitable destitution. This morning I even went to a Players audition which is out of the ordinary considering my acting skills are not exactly commendable. But this week my entire attitude has shifted, I’m doing things I never thought possible like writing a personal article like this. I’m accumulating a quiet confidence which sky rockets every time I pass beneath the illustrious trinity archway. As I travel from one side of the country to the other, I discern that I leave another home behind. Home is not a tangible place but a feeling of community and belonging which Trinity provides. It is the people – the lecturers who have further ignited my passion, the friends I have danced and got lost with, the Luas commuters who picked me up when I awkwardly fell. Yeah it hasn’t been all roses and sunshine but a lot of glitter and UV paint.

Roll on next week!

Aisling Marren, Junior Freshman Law and French:

“You’re not the Trinity type!”

“I couldn’t imagine you doing the that course”

“Are you sure that’s where you want to go?”

   Add in a few generic jokes about Protestantism and scarves and you’ll have an accurate idea of the response my acceptance to Trinity College has provoked since the CAO put me out of my misery last August.

    My name is Aisling. I live in rural Sligo and I’m about to start studying Law and French. I’m writing from my bedroom in Trinity Halls, that I excitedly festooned with everything pink from the Penney’s homeware. I’m recovering from a heavy, but incredible, week on the sesh, and I’m revelling in how wrong my peers at home were about the stereotype that surrounds life in Trinity.

   Freshers’ week for me, has been overwhelming, frightening, hilarious, eye-opening, lonely, shocking and heartwarming all at once. Leaving behind the back roads of home in favour of the bright lights in the city is something that everyday poses new challenges for an urban newbie like me. For example, I learned that just because people say you can walk back from The Academy to Halls, doesn’t mean you necessarily should.

    But these little quirks of urban life are rapidly becoming less mystifying and more second nature. From taxi men to security personnel to my delightful flatmates, their patience and generosity has made the vastly different lifestyle in Dublin city accessible and conquerable to this former country checkout girl.

    I could tell you all about the ridiculous amount of money I spent on societies this week, or my anxiety surrounding my ability to succeed on my course. But my main motivation for writing this piece was borne from a year of being labelled as “not the Trinity type”. Perhaps its my incessant chatter?  Maybe its my idolisation of Taylor Swift or my obsession with the Great British Bake-Off or my penchant for pointy gold shoes?

    For whatever reason, something about my demeanour has been me easily identifiable to the general public as a soon-to-be outcast! So I want to take this opportunity to publicly dispel this notion, because if I could surmise Freshers’ Week in one word, it would be “inclusive”.

The Seven Deadly Sins of Freshers’ Week

Lauren Boland, Junior Freshman English and Sociology

Commuting from West Dublin means putting my faith, hope and dignity under the care of Dublin Bus – and I think we all know the quality of that care (train, anyone?). It’s enough to send anyone into a fit of wrath. Wednesday morning I tumble off on Nassau Street, already running late, and rush into the Edmund Burke for English orientation. While we wait for the talk to start I chat to the girl beside me before double checking with her that this is indeed English. She looks at me with pity. “Science.”

Start as you mean to continue, I suppose.


Pride is exquisitely abundant in Trinity’s hallowed halls.  When I finally make it my actual orientation, the department reps speak of their subject with such passion and enthusiasm. As I sit in the shadows – on the ground at the very back because of course, I’m twenty minutes late – their pride is contagious and I’m struck with excitement for the weeks to come. Venture to Front Square and you’re met with the cries of society members rippling through the air, so wholeheartedly proud of the group they represent.


Feeling like it’s time to indulge your inner sloth? Need a break from the constant stream of city life? After a busy morning of orientation, my lazy side took control and I nipped into the Berkeley to bathe in the quiet atmosphere. I see those purple couches featuring quite a lot in my future.


Everyone loves turning into a green monster, right? While I’m sure the DU Players could probably supply a suitable costume, there’s no need to stop there. Almost by accident I find myself diving into the Players auditions for Freshers’ Fest, until I quickly realise I’m totally out of my depth. The talent and passion oozing from each budding young actor is palpable and leaves me buzzing with jealousy. The other auditionees were mesmerising to watch and I can’t wait to see them on stage – with me planted firmly in the audience I suspect. #theenvyisreal


2pm: I hit the Front Square for some serious society-shopping. It seems as every fresher maneuvers through that main gate an inevitable sense of greed takes over. Suddenly we all need to be archers, dancers, debaters and snow-sporters. It’s a unique kind of greed that manifests in the face of discount cards and free pens. I put one society to the test and try out The Hist’s debating workshop. I have to say, it was pretty inspiring. Maidens, here I come!


Three days into Freshers’ week and I’ve already fallen prey to the student diet. There hasn’t been a fruit or vegetable in sight –  I’m surprised scurvy hasn’t settled in. Today I feasted on slushies, pizza and candyfloss, with copious amounts of potato wedges from Spar. The glutton in me is singing with joy. My arteries? Less happy.


Evening settles in and we make our way to the devil’s playground: The Academy. Dancing, swaying, even jumping to the deep beat in a surging crowd of warm bodies pressed against each other. Lust hangs heavy in the air, the weight of it taking hold as the night pushes on. The taste of vodka lacing lips; the thunder of techno music; the smoke rolling from the stage to curl between us. It’s a night I won’t forget any time soon – and nor will my liver.

See you all in hell.