As you begin your time in Trinity, you are met with a tsunami of new faces, places, and obscure societies. Undoubtedly, you have worked hard to get here, and the idyllic image of College you have always imagined has been the guiding light as you trudged your way through the leaving certificate. Nonetheless, the first few weeks of College can feel incredibly intense as you attempt to navigate through the complicated hallways of the Arts Block, or manage to weave your way through the hordes of American tourists in Front Square. So, here is an overview of your weeks ahead, and some much-needed advice to allow your first few weeks in the beautiful Trinity to run slightly more smoothly than mine have, as you begin your life as a fresher.
Is it annoying that I called you that? It probably is, but there is no time in your life you will feel as young and baby-like as you do the minute you walk into Trinity for the first time. Any secondary-school gusto you had finally acquired is immediately washed away as you realise 22-year-olds really do look older than you thought, and in fact, you probably look so terrified anyway that you’ll stick out like a sore thumb.
The Arts Block is a bit grim, isn’t it? And isn’t everyone so well dressed? Didn’t you think that everyone just wore tracksuits to College? Well fresher, you quickly learn that is not the case here. Doc Marten boots married with a combo of mom jeans and a crew-neck jumper is pretty much the uniform here, and anyone wearing anything even remotely resembling a tracksuit bottom is immediately presumed to be a Stem student. I have quickly learned as a fresher that the divide between the Stem and arts students is an age-old battle and quite the bone of contention here at the beautiful Trinity.
I imagine you’re very lost, and do not even attempt to look at mytcd for any help, because it’s like the Enigma code of websites. Although, through what seems like an unending series of clicks, you should eventually find some form of a timetable, though this will inevitably not be your actual timetable, and everyone in your class group chat will have to constantly ask: “What room are we supposed to be in?” Trinity is notorious for its relaxed approach to timetabling, so expect to be completely oblivious as to where you’re supposed to be for the first few days of lectures.
Didn’t you think that everyone just wore tracksuits to College? Well fresher, you quickly learn that is not the case here. Doc Martin boots married with a combo of mom jeans and a crew-neck jumper is pretty much the uniform here, and anyone wearing anything even remotely resembling a tracksuit bottom is immediately presumed to be a Stem student
I imagine you’re just coming out of your first weeks in College, and believe me, this is one of the most overwhelming, yet underwhelming experiences of your life. If you’re like me, and have moved to Trinity Hall, your orientation began slightly earlier than the official freshers’ week. The weekend is filled with meeting hundreds of new people (and inevitably forgetting all their names), mass amounts of small talk, excessive JCR Facebook posts, and quite frankly, a little bit of loneliness. It is very intense to be a fresher and sometimes it’ll seem like everyone in the place has a friend but you. But do not fret, most people do not keep the friends they make the first few days of freshers’ week – a shocking, yet true fact of college life.
When it comes to your class orientation, dear God don’t be late. I made this fatal mistake on the first day by underestimating my commute and ended up being 10 minutes late to my orientation lecture. Although most people won’t take much heed, you will always be that person who was late on the very first day. Believe me, that walk down the steps to find a seat in the lecture hall is the ultimate walk of shame, especially when your course director decides to pause their speech to wait for you to find your place. It is among one of the least enjoyable moments of my life – please do not make the same mistake.
You will never feel ready for this transition and that is okay. Everyone around you is, or has, experienced the exact same thing you’re feeling
And what is freshers’ week without the freshers’ fair? This is the largest collection of the strangest hobbies I have ever seen, from pagans to quidditch, this College has it all. You will inevitably spend about €20 here, and probably will never play a part in about 90 per cent of the societies you have signed up for, but frankly, it’s worth it for the free spring rolls.
So, fresher, I hope this advice to you has offered you some consolation and reassurance. The fact of the matter is, you will never feel ready for this transition and that is okay. Everyone around you is, or has, experienced the exact same thing you’re feeling. It’s okay to feel scared, it’s okay to get lost, and it’s definitely okay to have a wee cry when your Mam leaves you alone in that big apartment for the first time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, to talk to people first, or to knock on your roommates door for a chat.
But please, just please, do not be late for that first lecture.
Best of luck, fresher, you’ll need it.