Freshers Week: the most hyped week of the academic year. Between moving to your new home, college admin, getting to know the city, and a busy social calendar things can get overwhelming to say the least. So here are some basic tips for incoming first years and Freshers veterans alike to help you get the most out of your Freshers Week!
Survival tip 1: Go to non-drinking events
While the thought of dragging your hungover corpse out of bed and making your way to college at the ungodly hour of 12pm may seem unthinkable, the non-drinking Freshers events are well worth downing your coffee for. From movie screenings to scavenger hunts it’s a great way to get to know people (and still remember them the next day). Daytime events are great as they are something you can definitely go to alone without having to worry about how to get home late at night. Plus, going out during the day and socialising can reduce the unrealistic pressure that you have to go out every night.
Freshers Fair is an essential event to add to your daytime activities calendar. Trinity boasts 120 societies along with 50 Sports clubs so whether it’s sailing or botany you’re into, there is something for everyone. Joining a society enhances your college experience so go check them out and chat to the committee. Many societies will be holding specific Freshers events which is a great way to meet people with similar interests. It is always useful to share some common ground when you’re finding your feet.
“However, getting to know your course will be worth losing your chicken fillet roll to a seagull when you have people to stressfully bond over deadlines with.”
Another great way to meet people during Freshers is through course meet ups. While not an official Freshers event, one brave soul will inevitably suggest a get together in the course group chat and off you’ll go to face a group of strangers and a flock of seagulls at St Stephens Green. However, getting to know your course will be worth losing your chicken fillet roll to a seagull when you have people to stressfully bond over deadlines with.
Survival tip 2: Nights Out
If you fancy immersing yourself in Dublin’s nightlife, Freshers Week is a great place to start. Going to club nights organised by the College Ents committee provides somewhat of a comfort blanket as the club will be full of first years. The Ents committee will also be in attendance and they’ve done this all before, so don’t be afraid to ask them any questions if you need a hand! They usually post their events on the @trinityents Instagram so keep an eye out to find out what’s in store for this Freshers.
The most important advice for Freshers nights out is to know how you’re getting home before you head out. Check if your chosen mode of public transport runs a 24 hour service and organise who you’re going home with. If you need to get a taxi: pre-book! By pre-booking your taxi you’ll avoid walking around the city centre in the rain trying to hail a Deliveroo bike in desperation. It’s also advisable to carry a bit of cash for emergencies. It’s much easier to hail a taxi with cash than Revolut.
“Nights out are a fun way to meet people but they’re not where lasting friendships are made. New friendships take time and effort: they will not be solidified in the toilets of Workman’s.”
Finally, don’t feel like you have to go out every night! If you’re not feeling up to it there is no shame in climbing into bed, facetiming your family and watching The Office with a cup of tea. Nights out are a fun way to meet people but they’re not where lasting friendships are made. New friendships take time and effort: they will not be solidified in the toilets of Workman’s. While it’s good to put yourself out there and throw yourself into this new experience, don’t push yourself. It’s harder now you’re the one who has to reason with yourself not to go out on a school night but try to listen to your body.
Survival tip 3: Cooking
One of the biggest reality checks of moving away from home is you’re suddenly responsible for yourself. If you want dinner, you don’t just have to cook the food. Now you must buy it, cook it and clean up after. After a long day socialising or on hold to academic registry over more admin confusion the last thing you want to do is chop a carrot. Suddenly a spice bag becomes very appealing. But resist the urge. Eating properly is the best way to avoid burnout during Freshers week. It’s also a great way to socialise. Invite some new friends over for dinner before a night out or cook for your flat. If you see a few vegetables during Freshers, you’re doing well plus your body and wallet will thank you.
“There is something for everyone in these events so everyone has a chance to meet people in the environment that they feel comfortable in, whether that is tearing it up on a dancefloor or sitting around a pot of tea.”
Bonus: Trinity Hall Freshers Weekend
If you are spending your first year at Trinity Hall, Freshers starts a little early. Most first year students can move into halls on Friday 16th, the weekend before Freshers Week. The Junior Common Room (JCR) will have a weekend of events planned for Trinity Hall residents to ease you into Freshers Week. Speaking with John Garvey, this year’s JCR Welfare Officer, he described Freshers weekend as, “an opportunity to meet their fellow halls folk, have a good time and settle smoothly into what will be their home for the next year. There is something for everyone in these events so everyone has a chance to meet people in the environment that they feel comfortable in, whether that be tearing it up on a dancefloor or sitting around a pot of tea.” This weekend is a great chance for you to get to know your flat and your neighbours before Freshers week officially begins. Take advantage of the nights out to navigate some of Dublin’s nightlife scene and practice getting home safely when everyone is going back to the same place.
Even if these tips were stapled to my right hand all of my Freshers week I still would have forgotten or ignored at least half of them. Nevertheless, that’s the fun of your first year. You will be fed advice all year but ultimately this is your journey to figure out yourself. So, make mistakes, eat a lot of pesto pasta and don’t worry if it’s not everything you thought it would be. As Garvey puts it, ‘college lasts a lot longer than Freshers week and it is filled with so many people that great friendships will come.’ So, give it time and pace yourself. You have at least four years here to figure things out.