Back to the 80s, Freshers’ style

A look at what Freshers’ Week was like when leg warmers and lycra were in fashion

Photo by Joe McCallion/ Trinity News

As an institution over 400 years old, Trinity has seen seas of freshers walk through its gates over the decades, each one experiencing their own Freshers’ Week for the first time.

We pride ourselves on our traditions and history, so it seems fitting to glimpse into the recent past of 1981 and ask graduates to recount their experiences to see if this rite of passage, too, has stood the test of time or aged as badly as the Arts Building.

Roisin O’Connell

“There was a Castilian atmosphere among the rows of colourful stalls and students hawking their societies and clubs. Toga parties meant the Classical Society was a must. I tried not to look like a bunny in headlights twisting my ankles on the cobblestones.”

“Thoughts about fitting in plagued me but I was also giddy with excitement and trepidation at the idea of no teachers, parents or supervisors.”

Rosemary Coleman

“All I remember from Freshers’ Week is that alcohol, stilettos and cobblestones make for a memorable entrance.”

Monica Hennessy

“Joining far too many societies, drinking scalding coffee from styrofoam cups whilst people-watching in the arts block… I was awestruck by the beauty and history of the campus! I recall being amused as a new fellow law undergrad attended his first lectures with a stuffed Tigger in tow.”

“A visiting government minister passed the Choral society stand playing church hymns and commented how lovely it was to hear Christmas music, in September. I ate massive egg mayo sandwiches off a wooden plank in the underground cavern that was Murphs of Suffolk street and requested endless refills of hot water for our tea pot in Kilkenny Kitchen (a former restaurant) as we spent hours in idle chat”

Patti Ann

“I don’t remember much about Freshers’ week, and I don’t think it’s because of my age…”

Hugo MacNeill

“My biggest impression of Freshers’ Week was the biggest of my entire Trinity life: the diversity of backgrounds amongst my fellow students. Coming from a south Dublin school, except for some boarders we were all from pretty similar backgrounds.”

“In Trinity they came from all over Ireland and the world, especially from areas of conflict which, back then, included Northern Ireland .Today it is probably some countries of the Middle East or Africa. Some of my best friends now are the ones from Northern Ireland that I met then. University life and the real time you can spend with people gives you a unique opportunity, where perceptions are challenged, trust built and extraordinary friends made.”

Enya O'Connell-Hussey

Enya O'Connell-Hussey is a Staff Videographer for Trinity News.