Freshers’ Diary: Monday

From pounding heads to WhatsApp meetups, hear how day one of Freshers’ Week went for the newest faces on campus.

Eliana Jordon, Junior Freshman English Lit

Monday of Freshers Week is not for the faint of heart.

I was still on the mend from an early case of the notorious “freshers flu” and fighting a lingering hangover that seems customary if one is to fully ingratiate oneself in the Dublin nightlife scene. Armored with a backpack and a head full of expectations I set my course into the buzzing Front Square.

Everywhere you turn, a visual hyperbole demands attention. Turn too quickly right and you might bump heads with a guy in a full-body lion suit. What society was that brave bloke representing? I wouldn’t know. Turn too quickly left, and a representative from the Phil will already be halfway through his spiel about joining one of the oldest and highest funded societies on campus.

I, like most highly excitable, desperately eager freshers at Trinity, had lofty expectations for how many societies I might join. I gathered goody bags and dropped two-euro coins as if I were not a broke college student. I’m already planning to join more societies, perhaps naively exhilarated at the prospect of attending thirty meetings a week and making friends with everyone on campus.

So the process of making your way through the fair is exhausting, but undoubtedly worth the slight impingement on your pounding head. Or maybe that was just mine. The theme of the night was Great Gatsby, and as far as I’m concerned, any party with the theme of Great Gatsby is one I’m keen on attending.

We queued outside Cafe en Seine for twenty minutes amidst some dressed in full 1920s accoutrements and some dressed for a regular night out clubbing. The place was phenomenal, decorated in the classy style of an old Parisian cocktail bar. We were given free pints of Bulmers before hitting the dance floor.

Among new friends, jamming to a combination of music, I felt the charm of freshers week settle in for the first time. This is it. Our time at Trinity has begun.

Mairead McCarthy, Junior Freshman English Lit and Sociology

It was with a pounding headache that I awoke this Monday morning, serving as a reminder of not only a glorious Fresher’s weekend, but of an even more adventurous week to come.

Of course, my arrival to Trinity Hall began with a bang- quite literally. As my dad drove me to Dublin, a car crashed into us on the motorway. Upon arrival, my room was misallocated, leading to a temporary bout of homelessness and a quest to discover my lost mini-fridge which had been left in my room for me but of course the other resident reached the room first and assumed it complimentary. I then went on to have my first experience of being “fleeced” in the big city, as I was robbed of fifty euros during my first escapade in The Academy. And that was just Friday.

Attempting to shake the remnants of what could only be described as a “zesty night” by the JCR, I braved the colourful streets of Rathmines on my trek to college, having received multiple warnings from Mammy about pickpockets and ambiguous roads, I was pleasantly surprised to see only an endless stream of enticing bakeries and cafes that the majority of my student funds will likely end up financing.

As I strolled past tourists crowded under the archway, I was greeted by the hum of the crowds that thronged around the Society Fair. Watching the hustle and bustle of students as they scraped together enough coins in order to finally get that coveted goodie bag, I was struck with the memory of losing my parents during a particularly chaotic shopping spree in when I was five.

That same nervous energy filled me once more as I absorbed the bright colours, the flow of multiple languages weaving together and the sheer enormity of what lay before me, a sensory overload. Yet upon seeing similar expressions of fear tinged with anticipation upon the faces of my roommate’s, my nerves quickly dissolved, as I joined the throes of people who like myself, were just there for the free food.

Having suffered a few hours dodging the sports societies and acquiring my student ID imprinted with my sleep deprived mug, my wish was finally granted in the GMB, where I heartily devoured a choice of slushies, popcorn and candyfloss. I guess being a healthy student can be my resolution for second year- if I make it that far .

Grace Kenny, Junior Freshman English Lit and Film Studies

After a weekend that kicked off at 8.20am as I moved into Trinity Hall and ended at 3.30am as I returned to my apartment following the final night of the incredible Freshers’ Weekend, I knew that Monday called for a much needed rest. After wrestling with washing my hair (the showers in Halls could honestly channel that bathroom blood scene from IT – minus the red-tinted water.) I headed into town to wander around the stands and meet some people from my course who I had spent the past few weeks chatting online.

Without the WhatsApp group which we had originally begun using after CAO offers came out, I really don’t think that I might have settled into college life in the manner I have experienced. Taking up an entire row of seats in a coffee shop, it was amazing to finally put faces – or perhaps, voices – to contacts on a screen. Being a group of English Literature students, the urge to make terrible “English lit is lit” puns was real! Or at least it was for me.

I decided to skip the grand opening of Freshers’ Week, even though the 20’s theme caused much excitement! Meeting so many people in such a short space of time is quite overwhelming and drains a lot of energy from the mind and body of any Fresher. With this in mind, I was determined to fill the evening with relaxation. However, I was mistaken!

In a house nearby, one of the girls was celebrating her birthday so my evening plans were exchanged for junk food, drink and card games! Even then, quiet chatting and playing card games around a table was such an appreciated change to the previously hectic nights.

Unlike the weekend, I didn’t have the adrenaline from friends or the beat of loud music to contract energy from. So I probably shouldn’t be surprised that the clock was yet to strike midnight when I fell into bed. Only to have to stumble back out, in order to remove my make-up. As the Freshers’ Ball dawns, it is definitely time to stock up on coffee for the remainder of the week!

Elise Schiller, Junior Freshman Psychology

The lights went off on Monday. I frantically checked the clock, hoping I would make it in time to get my clothes out of the dryer before the on-campus laundry facility closed for the night. I will admit, it was a horrible night to do laundry with the all the parties going on.

Yet, I would not have anything to wear the next day. Luckily, I had company. My Mum was by my side through all my struggles adjusting to Trinity, including getting my clothes out of the dryer.

Coming from the United States to Trinity was a huge change, but I felt fully prepared. My Mum did the best she could to help me transition, yet she left before we could finish everything we needed to get done such as finding out where to go to get lightbulbs.

Part of the process of adjusting to life here at Trinity meant I needed to get out of the mindset people in the States feed on, the aspect of having everything handed to them. I jumped into Trinity not knowing how life would change so drastically, but I also jumped into Trinity with perseverance.

I sat in the dark laundry room, waiting for my clothes to dry in the longest minute I have ever endured. That minute was also the last time I had the security of my Mum. She was by my side where she has always been. Walking out of the laundry room, everything changed.

As I walked out of the alleyway by the Buttery, onto the front square, there was this whole new world in front of my eyes, lit up by streetlights. It was right then and there when I found a confidence that insured me my future was going to be OK.