Freshers is one of the most important weeks in the social calendar of any student; every day of your Freshers experience feels like you’re meeting more people than would fill your home town. It can be daunting or exciting, or hopefully an optimistic mix of both. Looking closer at the dynamics that emerge from this precious start of college life, let’s reflect on some of the people and friendships that emerge from a typical freshers week.
1. The Bus Stop Friend
You both get on the 140 at the same stop, at the same time, every single day. You see them more than any of your lecturers within the first few months of college. Eventually, you might reach the level where you give one another a half-hearted smile in the mornings to acknowledge the strange dynamic growing between the two of you. If you’re really lucky you’ll learn their name and maybe find their Instagram. But that’s it. Would you ever speak to them if you saw them on campus? Absolutely not. Despite this, the first morning they don’t show up to the bus stop, you can’t help but miss them a little bit.
“After a while, you will get used to the incestuousness of this college. However, the first time having to face your drunken actions in the sobering light of the arts block can truly be a humbling experience.”
2. The Ghost of a Night Out
When you first arrive to the big, scary city from the sticks of the countryside, it feels as if there are endless crowds of people at every corner. And with that comes an assumed safety blanket of anonymity. You think to yourself, there are so many people in this city, you’ll probably never see half of them again after your first meeting. Usually you will be correct about that. But, just when you’ve gotten a bit too comfortable in your obscurity and lack of consequences, you’ll get with some mystery suitor at the end of a night out, and all of a sudden the next day they’ll pop up in one of your tutorials and you’ll never be able to get rid of them. After a while, you will get used to the incestuousness of this college. However, the first time having to face your drunken actions in the sobering light of the arts block can truly be a humbling experience.
3. The Library Crush
A classic dynamic for all years of the college experience, but the first one will always have the best impact. You’re sitting in Lecky Lower, trying your best to wrap your head around introductory material and suddenly you find yourself sitting opposite someone absolutely gorgeous. The next time you’re back in the Lecky, so are they. The cycle repeats itself until you find yourself looking at them just as often as your laptop screen. Do they notice you noticing them? Are they deliberately returning to the same spot every time because they want to see you too? The lucky few will get answers to these questions, but for the rest of us it will be a burning flame of imaginary romance until one of you finds a new study spot and you can now actually focus on the far less exciting work.
“Sober, you’d barely say hello, but in a sweaty nightclub they might just be your new best friend!”
4. The Night out Friend
You drunkenly meet in the queue for O’Reillys one night, bond over your annoyance over how long the line is taking, and take a few shots that one of you will regret paying for the next morning. This friendship is built out of Jagerbombs, drunken trips and the bathroom. Sober, you’d barely say hello, but in a sweaty nightclub they might just be your new best friend! You’ll stay in their private story for far longer than the friendship lasts, but you’ll enjoy the random insights into their college life for the rest of the year, and think about them every so often when you down a jager.
5. The Magician
This one gets a creative nickname due to their incredible disappearing skills. You’ll go to pre-drinks with them and they will be by your side the entire queue, but as soon as you get into the club: gone. You won’t see The Magician for the rest of the night until they randomly reappear beside you just before you head home. Their story for how they spent the night is never quite crazy enough to be concerned, but enough to confuse you nonetheless.
6. The American
Not too much of a joke to make about this one honestly. For those who haven’t yet met a DualBA, they’re a fleet of Americans who do their first two years in Trinity before flying back home to complete their degree in New York. And they are everywhere. Love them or loathe them, everyone finishes freshers with a token American befriended.
7. The One that Peaked in Secondary School
They got 625 in the Leaving Cert just in case you missed it. They’ll probably tell you that about eight times within the first week and ask you what you got about 11 times. They’ll have a list of school related stories and will truly believe that life will not peak further than when they scored a goal in their school’s football final. After a while these people will eventually settle and realise no one really cares about their secondary school antics, but it’ll be a tough adjustment period for them so do give them a little bit of space as they mourn their glory days.
8. The Instagram Friend
You will, without doubt, meet this person or some variation of them during Freshers. You encounter them fairly early and will spend all of Freshers week with them, whether on nights out or at the Freshers Fair — it doesn’t matter, they will be there. But once Freshers is over you will never see them again. Dubbed The Instagram Friend because for the rest of the year you will only keep up with them on social media. These people are important for the short time they’re around, but the bond isn’t meant to last too long.
“But sometimes it’s the ones you don’t even remember meeting who turn out to be some of the best ones.”
9. The One You Can’t Remember Meeting
These friends don’t have a grand introduction to your life, or any introduction at all really. It feels like all of a sudden they were just a part of your social life and now it wouldn’t make sense for them not to be there. You meet so many people during your first few weeks of college, it’s impossible to remember them all and even more impossible to figure out which of them are going to stick around. But sometimes it’s the ones you don’t even remember meeting who turn out to be some of the best ones. Even if you do have to have the conversation every once in a while where you try to piece together the mystery of your first encounter.
10. The Ones That Stay
Lastly on the list but definitely the most significant. These people come after getting through all the crazy and spontaneous characters you’ll meet during all the Freshers’ events. Once the pressure of making as many friends as possible dies down and you can actually breathe and be yourself, you’ll find there’s a few people you’ve met during these wild weeks that actually stay as some of your most beloved friends for the rest of college. It may be people on your course who you bond with over the confusion of one of your new lectures, or flatmates trying to navigate the insanity of halls together. Freshers Week provides a lot of superficial friendliness, but you might just meet some really good people during it.