By: Anna McAlpine (Visiting Student to Trinity College Dublin at the School of English
Home Institution: St. Andrews, English Literature and Philosophy MA (Hons)
Before coming to Trinity I had compiled a list – a list that went on about three pages, bursting at the margins – full of the societies I was going to join when I arrived. I was like an overexcited fresher all over again. Thankfully, for the good of my academics and sleeping pattern, I managed to considerably narrow down that list. I managed to whittle it down to three extracurricular that I have thoroughly enjoyed – namely, Evening Creative Writing Class, the Metafizz and the Law Society. I will expound slightly on what each one entails in case you also want to join any of these fabulous activities!
I signed up to the Literary Society before I arrived at Trinity so that I could be privy to the goings on in this exciting society ahead of time. I was the living definition of keen. It was after I arrived in Dublin, waiting in an empty flat desperate for my new flatmates to arrive and generally feeling a little dejected, that a ray of excitement flashed into my inbox. An email from the Literary Society had been sent out to members to inform us that the new Trinity Writing Fellow for 2016, Gavin Corbett, had set up a new creative writing class for enthusiastic scribes at Trinity. The class has been very interactive and enjoyable – there is so much to learn! It also has a great and inclusive atmosphere so no matter what your ability is no one is out to judge you. On some weeks we get given personal writing tasks to complete which if it is something you are interested in is actually a great way to unwind through a focused activity in between classwork.
Another society which I was especially keen to get involved in was ‘Metafizz’ – the Trinity philosophy society. As a joint honours English and Philosophy student back home, who is only studying English at Trinity, I have been really missing my opportunities to ponder this crazy world. The Metafizz has more than made up for it though – every week there is a different panel discussion or speaker event. I have been so impressed by the standard of these events week on week. The Trinity name certainly does wonders at bringing in some extremely accomplished professionals from philosophers to journalists to TV presenters, there is always a range of disciplines and opinions represented. At my university back home it is not always the case that Philosophy Society talks are packed out so when I arrived at my first Metafizz event I was shocked to have to clamber over people to find a seat in the large lecture theatre. This recurring theme of a real desire to expand creative knowledge and thought exchanges is something that I am again being overwhelmed by at Trinity.
As much as I love indulging in my artsy pursuits, I have also been bearing in mind life after Trinity aka the real world and finding a job. With this in mind I joined the Trinity Law Society. I am part of a great Law Society back in St Andrews so I was really keen to see how Trinity’s would live up to it…needless to say it could hold its weight. Having just won a TCD society award, the Law Society is on top form – it really is a truly impressive and professional organisation. They run many competitions for students to get involved in including negotiation competitions and moots – all key in improving skills that employers are looking for, whilst being really fun to take part in at the same time (win win)! For anyone who is even just beginning to think about a career in law I would highly recommend getting yourself signed up to this fabulous society.
As you can see the activities I have chosen to focus on during my time at Trinity are all of the same genre – pretty wordy and creative. If you are more of the scientific or sporty or indeed musical type then not to worry, there is something here for you to! As you could garner from the length of my original list there really is something for everyone here – no matter what leisure pursuits you enjoy.