Freshers’ Week is here! Offers have been accepted and students across Ireland have started preparing for university. Forms will have to be signed and returned, accommodation organised, there’ll be multiple trips to Ikea and basic cooking skills will need to be revised (edit: learned). Having just graduated I feel should be able to give some insight into how to prepare for your arrival at, or return to, Trinity. So here it goes!
- Do your research. Join the Facebook pages – all of them. And the Twitter feeds, follow them too! Do what you can to stay informed about what will be happening on campus and keep up to date with tips and advice for incoming students. See if there are any societies or sports clubs you might be interested in joining and follow them on their social media, looking out for any activities or events they may have organised for the week. You don’t want to miss out!
- Join the societies and sports clubs during Freshers’ Week – and then go to their events and meetings! So many people join as many groups as possible during Freshers’ Week and then never go to anything. Yes, you might feel slightly overwhelmed by your new student lifestyle. I get it, I do, I understand. But do it anyway and try something new. Throwing yourself in the deep end now makes it so much easier to acclimatise and feel comfortable at your new university.
- Go to all your scheduled tours and meetings. Yes, I know a library tour isn’t the most exciting place to be when there’s a sumo fight happening on the Physics Lawn or free crepes in the GNB but please, go to the tours. Knowing how to research, find and then take-out a book from the warren-like BLU complex will be one last thing you have to think about during your first week of lectures. Same goes for the tour of the Sports Complex. Knowing how to work the machines, find the swimming pool and schedule a place with a fitness class will be invaluable information when four months later you’ve discovered that yes, the Freshman Fifteen is in fact a real thing and yes, you are that Freshman.
- Pace yourself. I would say be careful with your budget but let’s not be unreasonable, I’m yet to hear of someone who has managed that during Freshers’ Week. But I will say pace yourself. If you don’t feel up for your 6th night out in a row, then don’t go. Don’t push yourself into a situation if you’re not sure you can handle it. Not going out doesn’t mean you have to spend the night stuck in your apartment. Societies host multiple evening events ranging from movie nights, to cook-offs, to karaoke, there is something for everyone. Don’t restrict yourself to the ‘Ultimate Student Experience’ that everyone is supposed to have because honestly, everyone’s experience is different. Do what feels right for you.
- Just enjoy it. Freshers’ Week is the first week of your college life. It’s the beginning of something new and although you might be homesick or uncertain about finding your place here I promise you that it’ll work itself out in the end. Take advantage of the experience and make the most of it. There’ll be other Freshers’ Weeks to enjoy but you’ll only be a true Fresher once!
Aoife is a former Student Ambassador and current intern with the Global Relations Office.