Dear Trinity, with love

Emma Gallagher shares her thoughts as she nears the end of her time in College

Dear Trinity, 

As daylight savings throws us all off, the evenings get longer, the sun gets a little brighter, and the deadlines loom a little closer. Suddenly, I feel so aware that this is all ending. Four years, four great years, are coming to a close. Soon I, and many more final years, will be leaving this campus, and for the first time, we don’t plan on coming back. We will depart with pride and confidence, grateful for the experiences College has given us, but we will also be a bit scared scared for what’s next, scared of life in the real world, scared to lose the comfort College has brought us. 

College’s campus is small, which is one of the best and worst things about it. In the past four years, I don’t think I have ever managed to keep a secret in this place; at the end of the day, everybody knows everybody. But on the other hand, the tight-knit community of this campus gives us all a special sense of love, the feeling that we’re all in this together. 

Especially this time of the year, a brisk walk around campus will show you that College is filled with love and companionship. The couples on the benches at the cricket pitch. The group of friends eating lunch on the dining hall steps. The smokers sharing lighters and dissertation stress outside of the Arts building. The endless coffee runs because it’s not really about the coffee, it’s about the company. The ones having a laugh and the ones holding hands, our sense of closeness is everywhere, and I will miss this community spirit come May when we leave campus. 

I’ll miss the comforts of the life I have established here, of knowing my place and knowing where all my love is generated. It comes from the nights we stayed up far too late, the nights when the drinks were finished but no one got up to leave, the nights we don’t remember, the laughs, the tears, and the “Oh my god, I have to tell you” somethings.

“At one point, Dublin became home, and we became ourselves.”

It has been a long four years, and we have grown and changed so much, from first years bonding over questions like how much pasta is too much pasta to helping one another prep for job interviews. At some point, without realising it, strangers from our course became our closest friends, and we weren’t getting lost or confused trying to get around the campus or the city. At one point, Dublin became home, and we became ourselves. We went from Pav Fridays to Zoom calls and back to Pav Fridays. Silly little crushes from the first year became real loves, and the people you never thought you’d be friends with are the closest of confidantes.

After four years, there are so many things to be thankful for. The friends we found on day one and have held on tight to ever since, the ones that came along a little later but who are still just as loved, the ones you wished you had met earlier because you will never have enough time with them. The friends in the group chat who have helped you through every assignment, the friends who have drifted but are no less loved, the friends you never thought you would be friends with, and the friends you’ve lost. 

We are made from our experiences, and College has provided us with so many of them. To the readings we should have done but skipped for nights out, to the coffee shops that became our regular spots, to those we kissed, and to those we shouldn’t have. All of it comes together in this beautiful, messy college experience.

“We are loved, and with or without College, we will be okay.”

They say the college days are the best in your lives, and whilst I have loved them, I don’t necessarily agree. It is wrong to think our best days are behind us. To my fellow final years: we are so young, we are not doomed, and you are not behind. Starting fresh is scary, but we’ve done it before, and look how well that turned out. We are capable of anything, we can go forward, and we can secure any successes we set our minds to. We can take a break or change our minds and start again. We have survived the highs and lows of College, and we’re still on this journey together. We are loved, and with or without College, we will be okay.

See you soon Trinity, thanks for everything.