Decoding Trinity student life

Emma Rouine introduces you to Trinity Campus

New to Trinity? Perhaps you are a first-year student or a student on exchange? Welcome to campus! The first weeks are hectic and stressful to say the least. There is so much information thrown at you that it can be very overwhelming. To help you navigate the grounds of Trinity, we have assembled important information in a more unconventional way, in the hopes of making them more accessible and entertaining to learn about. Through the use of the acronym “Student Life,” a guide is laid out below. You can consider these tips as the primary resources essential to know when stepping onto campus for the first time. 

S stands for… Student 2 Student mentoring: This resource is made available to all incoming undergraduates and visiting students. Each incoming student is placed in a group with other mentees and at least two mentors that are in charge of the group. The majority of mentors for incoming undergraduate students study the same course. This student-to-student service can be an extremely useful tool to talk to someone who has studied the same reading list and has been through the same lectures as you in previous years. They make the transition easier by organising meet-ups in the first few weeks with the rest of the mentor group and it’s a great way to socialise at this early stage. 

T stands for… TCDSU: Found at House 6, inside the Trinity main gate, the Student Union is Trinity’s independent space run by students to collectively come together and have their fellow students’ voices heard. Numerous students are involved, covering positions from class reps to full-time officers. Each officer deals with specific inquiries, from academic queries to overall well-being. Keep an eye out on the Union’s weekly emails popping up in your TCD inbox as well as giving them a follow on the socials for all the latest ongoings. If you want to get involved yourself, there are plenty of opportunities to do so!

“Try to make trips to the library right from the beginning as it makes you feel part of the whole student community. It is a benefit to get used to the setting sooner rather than later since you will have to rely on their resources at some point!”

U stands for… Ussher and the rest of the Trinity Libraries: The Ussher, Lecky and the X Library are the central libraries named interconnected through a set of tunnels and stairs. Alongside the Hamilton Library, they are open to all undergraduates while postgraduates have a wider selection of libraries to choose from. Try to make trips to the library right from the beginning as it makes you feel part of the whole student community. It is a benefit to get used to the setting too sooner rather than later since you will have to rely on their resources at some point! 

D stands for … Downloading Trinity Live: Although the app does not have all the wide range of facilities that it could have, the finder option can come in very useful when trying to navigate your way to a tutorial room in an unfamiliar lecture building especially in the first few weeks! The app also provides you with your weekly timetable. 

E stands for… Trinity Ents: This is a section of the TCDSU that specialises in the entertainment needs and wants of Trinity’s student population. Make sure to give them a follow on Instagram where they post on a regular basis the latest activities they are hosting throughout Freshers and the rest of the academic year.

N stands for… Numerous Clubs and Societies: There is a huge selection of sports clubs from rowing to trampoline. If you’re looking to get involved in something less energy intensive, there is an array of societies to choose from. In fact, there are over 120 societies running on campus, from the culturally oriented to the academic based or even the performance-focused. Involvement in these organisations is one of the best ways to meet new people from different courses and years, and it is important to know that you can join these groups all year long.

T stands for … TCD Global Room: If you are an international student, this is a place to keep in mind if you need help settling into Dublin life. Meet-ups are held throughout the academic year to meet fellow international students. It is run by the international student liaison officer alongside a team of students known as global ambassadors.

“I stress this in the least dramatic way possible, this card will become your life saviour.”

L stands for… Leap Card: This contactless form of payment for Dublin public transport is the easiest way to commute to campus. I stress this in the least dramatic way possible, this card will become your life saviour. Whether you are travelling by Dart, bus or Luas, the Leap Card is essential. No need to be fumbling around trying to find the exact change for the bus driver when you can top up your Leap Card from the comfort of your own phone using the Leap Top-Up app. To avail of a Young Adult (19-23)/ Student Leap Card (24+) you have to apply through the official website first.

I stands for… ID Card: The ID card or otherwise known as “T-card” is essential as proof of your identification as a Trinity student. It allows access to buildings such as the libraries and laboratories that are restricted to visitors. An additional function of the T-Card is that you can pay with it on campus at places such as the Buttery, Perch and the Dining Hall. It also allows you to pay for printing services in Trinity. The card can be topped up online at

F stands for… Fine Dining: The advantage of Trinity’s city centre location means there are many food options outside the campus grounds. However, the ones on campus are probably the most convenient for students. The Buttery is the cheapest and arguably the most popular place, just off of the main square and serving food from breakfast to mid-afternoon during the week. Other options include eating in the historic old Dining Hall for Hogwarts vibes or The Perch café which is perfect to use between classes as it is located in the Arts Building (and serves strong coffee). 

E stands for… Evening Activities: Whether you want to spend your evening exercising or socialising with friends, campus allows you to do both. Trinity Gym is the place to go to for the former, the Pav for the latter. Trinity has an on-site swimming pool as well as cycling and pilates classes that are held on a regular basis in the studios.

“It is only a faraway dream to have the ‘ultimate’ checklist.”

Try your best to take a mental note of these resources as you journey through your first few weeks on campus, it may ease the pressures that this new start entails. This guide isn’t a complete one. It is only a faraway dream to have the ‘ultimate’ checklist. It is a daunting time full of new beginnings. The perfect opportunity to embrace these events, places and hacks. The greatest part of the challenge is learning what works best for you.

Emma Rouine

Emma Rouine is the current Student Living Co - Editor and a Junior Sophister English Studies student. She previously served as Deputy Student Living Editor.