Tag Archives: Volunteering

Discovering diversity in my student experience

Freshers

I started taking my engineering discipline last year. Despite all the information I received from the Trinity Access Program (TAP) in the Pre-University week, walking into the Campus on the first day, was like walking into the storm after having a cup of tea in the house. I didn’t know what I wanted to join, everyone want me in their society. Then the week ended as quickly as it began, and by then I had only joined two societies, which I couldn’t even go to because as the college work began, I felt like I had been thrown into a pressure cooker. Then as the year progressed I felt like all I did was lectures, labs, then I’d go home. I knew I was missing something; I was missing the campus life which I didn’t want to miss. It can be quite hard, as I live a little bit far from Dublin, and having to be in at 9am every day is also quite annoying. So I watched the clock tick every day until one day TAP called for volunteers to help students who are still in high school see what college life is like. I knew I wanted to help and by doing so I learned what else I could do in college, when I’m not busy with assignments.

One of the biggest things I learned was the value of diversity. I learned about individuality. This was different, as I was so used to being compared to other students in secondary school and the uniform made it all worse. Here I could wear what I like, eat what I like (Mom is not here) and even better, I began to learn how to be me. To improve the diversity of my experience, I began learning Chinese and French, both of which I’m still teaching myself slowly. Working in the Global Room has allowed me to go to some of the Chinese and French events, where I gained even more understanding of the Chinese and French cultures and traditions. In addition, I learned the importance of being me, so every day I wear my black jacket with the hoody on my head and walk around the college, cause that’s how I feel most comfortable. I also volunteered as a Student 2 Student mentor, which allows me to volunteer on my free time… So I suppose taking things slowly has been quite helpful too!

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New friends, old traditions on a weekend away

“April is the cruelest of all months” – T. S. Eliot

I agree whole-heartedly with this quote, however I believe January is a very close second. As I write this, it is statistically the most depressing day of the year. The third Monday of the year is far enough away from Christmas and New Years that the spirit has been drained, New Years resolutions have fallen to pieces, people are still stripped of cash from Christmas and of course, it is a Monday. In spite of all this I am simply “buzzing” today as I have just returned from the infamous INSMOT weekend organized by Trinity VDP.

Inspirational and Motivational is what INSMOT stands for but you may also have to include the words Mighty Craic into the title. The weekend was designed to “inspire and motivate” the members of charitable society, Trinity VDP, for the year to come. On Friday night people went to SVP’s Kerdiffstown House in Johnstown, Kildare.

kerdifstown_house

The evening began with a number of icebreaker games in the “Chapel/Bar” involving moving on chairs and a table quiz with special bonus rounds including “first person to bring me a can from my room” and “swap clothes with the person beside you” (Jeans and a shirt, I was never going to win against the people wearing onesies). The night continued on with dancing in the chapel, singing songs by the piano, playing mini-golf at midnight and running around the hallways.

The next morning we begin the workshops designed to, of course, inspire and motivate. By the end of the day everyone in the room felt ready to take on the world, instead however, we just repeated what we did the night before with a twist. Instead of icebreakers and table quizzes we played the greatest game known to man. Telephone Charades. A mash-up of classic group games ‘Telephone’ and Charades, the game involves two teams. One team is taken outside and called in one by one. The first person has to act out a story to their teammate without words, only for them to continue the story to the next person to enter the room all while the other team watches. The game quickly forgets the actual story and turns into something very… enjoyable.

This is my fourth and possible final year going and I hope everyone gets to experience the magic of Kerdiffstown House at least once. The most amazing thing about it is you can go down not knowing anybody, as I did in my first year, and come back with 70 new friends, as Trinity VDP welcomes all.

Trinity volunteers

Volunteering is an activity many people begin for the first time when they study at Trinity. Trinity provides a large variety of volunteering for everyone,with differing time commitments and types of work involved. It’s a great way to get involved with the Dublin community, the wider Irish community and even travel around the world. Some of the opportunities that we’ve taken advantage of are below:

The Trinity Volunteer Opportunities Forum is a student initiative working to promote the spirit of volunteerism across campus and to support current volunteering activities within Trinity. TVOF endeavours to raise support and awareness amongst the local and business community and to provide a forum for the discussion of volunteer issues,sharing resources and information,as well as providing rapport between the different voluntary groups.

The SUAS Educational Development Society endeavours to raise awareness and promote fair education throughout India, Kenya and Ireland. The Trinity Suas Society gives you the chance to contribute directly to improving the lives of children in the developing world. With Suas, you can participate in the ever-expanding Suas Volunteer programme in primary schools in Asia and Africa,as well as Ireland-based Literacy Programmes. You can organise or participate in fundraising events,the proceeds of which go directly to specifically chosen projects. Or you can explore development issues by participating in the Suas Development Course.

The Voluntary Tuition Programme is a partnership between Trinity students,parents and volunteers from the local Dubin communities of Pearse Street and Ringsend. Every year they match Trinity students,graduates and staff-members as tutors with children and teenagers studying in nearby schools. Each pair spends usually one hour a week in one of our four centres, getting to know each other and working together on homework and other educational activities. They encourage anyone and everyone to sign up,get involved,and do some teaching. If you would like to get involved,contact VTP on VTP@csc.tcd.ie or on their Facebook page.

Trinity FLAC‘s main aim is to provide free legal advice to the most financially vulnerable members of society. Trinity FLAC focuses mainly on common issues,such as tenant’s rights,and our goal is to make for a more legally aware student populous. FLAC run clinics throughout the year at which students can avail of free legal advice from a qualified solicitor. These are held every second Tuesday at 7pm in our room in the Atrium; any student can come along and seek help with their problems in an atmosphere of absolute confidentiality

Trinity Vincent de Paul Society is the largest division of the NGO St. Vincent de Paul in the world. It boasts over 20 weekly activities ranging from Homework Clubs to Soup Runs,Music Club to Kayaking. There is something for everyone in Trinity VDP. The society also hosts weekly fundraising meetings and last year held the infamous “Jailbreak” event which saw students try to get around the globe without spending a penny. The event raised 15,000 euro and the winners made it to Argentina. The society also has the annual Pantomine where students and kids take the starring role in a large stage show and the annual El Camino De Santiago sponsored walk across Northern Spain. For a full list of activities and events visit trinityvdp.com