Monday 19 September:
Shane Kenneally, Junior Freshman Law and Politics student:
And just like that, it has begun.
The summer spent languishing in the glow of Trinity’s fashionably late start has ended, ended with the deafening sound of puma suede shoes over cobbles. We waited, we worried, and thankfully we have arrived. My freshers’ week began with the now familiar sting of a hangover dancing on my temples. Trinity Hall has already taken my liver on a fast track to early retirement and yet there are still many more new faces to meet and instantly forget. The fact remains in my mind that I must power through. In the words of many a fellow fresher new to the delights of the big city: “Yuppa.”
Ironically, I filled my wallet while emptying it at the same time as cards upon cards of societies poured into my pocket, each claiming their pound of flesh and rewarding me with the much needed stationary I never thought to pack.
Once again, I finish my first day with a king’s cup before me, once again talking to new strangers, and once again pinching myself that I’ve made it this far. What a year it’s going to be.”
Ruby Frances O’Shea, Junior Freshman English student:
When I awoke on Monday morning to see the time was 11.40 am, it felt like my swanky new Halls bedroom was going to fall on my head. I had missed my orientation meeting, the Most Important Thing this entire week. In my admittedly poor defence, I was jetlagged and had forgotten to set an alarm in my tired and tipsy Sunday night daze. I grovelled to my tutor via email and decided it could only get better from here.
At the Freshers’ Fair I signed up for far too much, but the societies I’m truly “buzzing” about are Environmental Soc and Trinity FM. I’d even like to pitch a radio show today if I get the chance.
My first proper night out was Cóisir in D8. The security on the LUAS weren’t tolerating any antics and so I’ve seen it can be stricter here than where I’m from. Tragically, after ordering my €8 gin and tonic, I realised the prices weren’t going to be much better than they are in London either.
After receiving an extremely thorough Irish history and politics lesson (thanks Bill!), we decided to call it a night and head home in time for hummus and toast. I’ve just woken up, not covered in UV paint this time, and am planning today’s Aldi trip in time for the next sesh.
Grainne Sexton, Junior Freshman BESS student:
Monday morning dawned along with the euphoria and slight nerves I’ve been experiencing since the CAO offers came out. Sharing a house with other first years meant that each of us ate breakfast in a strange silent excitement. Our reward and redemption following the pain of the Leaving Cert had finally arrived. Coming from a foreign land known as “Cark”, a hefty chunk of my morning was spent navigating the Big Smoke, trying to suppress my irritation at the grating Dublin accent. Oh how I miss the softly lilting, dulcet tones of Cork natives. Many of my fellow culchies will know that it is engrained in one’s psyche to become accustomed to country buses arriving only on the hour and costing a fiver for a single ticket to town. For all of us rural dwellers, fresh-faced and still smelling of silage, the Dublin public transport is utopia. I’m like a child on the Luas, beaming in awe as we speed efficiently about the place for less than €3.
Perhaps the most apt metaphor for my reaction to Front Square is the classic “child in a sweetshop”. I was overly enthusiastic, maybe a little overwhelmed and on a buzz from the innate energy radiating within Trinity on Monday morning. Despite my lack of athletic prowess, I was convinced to join multiple sports clubs. As I threw coins at clubs, I managed to forget the promise I had made to my parents to “spend wisely”. “Shur I’m investing in my health”, I comforted myself. My society shopping spree was followed up with an inaugural visit to The Buttery. The cheap meal deals proved to be thrilling and I found myself continuously staring at the board advertising a pasta dinner for only €4. Content with my appropriately greasy lunch, next on the agenda my student card. There isn’t much to say on that front apart from the fact that I heard several groans bemoaning the card photo, including my own sigh of horror when my face flashed up from beneath its laminated cover. We won’t dwell on it.
The day ended with a trip to watch the colours debate staged by The Phil (the motion: “This house believes that UCD is purgatory”).It was a rite of passage to sit with fellow freshers in the hallowed chamber of the GMB, wide-eyed over what The Phil had to offer to us. By the end of the evening, my stomach ached from laughter, I was in awe of the many amazing speakers and an innate sense of snobbery towards UCD had been fostered. I would expect nothing less from a wonderful first day at Trinity.