look serif;”>How To Keep Your Money During Freshers’ Week
hospital serif;”>I knew this girl once: bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, she was going to take UCD for everything it had. Things were going to be different in college: no more Grey’s Anatomy-Desperate Housewives-Marathon on a Tuesday; no more sitting in on Friday nights.; no more saying “Oh, I’d love to do -enter activity here- but I don’t think I can.” The days of doing nothing everyday were over and the Golden Age of Involvement had arrived. This girl was going to make a difference. This girl was ready to be a part of something bigger. This girl was in way over her head.
Freshers’ Week: the one week of the year where you can convince yourself to join pretty much any society based on three factors: a) the free stuff they’re giving you, b) the free food they’re offering you, or c) the attractiveness of the person on the stand. “Extreme paragliding, you say? I’m actually afraid of heights, but you’re giving me Pot Noodles and you look like something out of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue – how can I resist!” It’s as if for one week of the year, we lose complete sight of ourselves and replace our interests and hobbies with a desire for free stuff. And when I say free stuff, I mean free and totally unnecessary junk. No, you don’t need any more badges, flyers or eye shadows. And that two-month gym membership? You and the gym haven’t necessarily seen eye-to-eye since the tragic PE class incident of ’97, so what makes you think free membership is going to change anything?
Of course, I’m writing this as a seasoned second year; someone who has been through the hysteria and come out the other side of it. It pains me to say it, but that girl I once knew? She was me. While it is embarrassing to admit, I feel that my trauma should not go unnoticed and could help another first year who may be susceptible to fall into the same trap that I did. So full of determination and naivety, pockets burdened with the little money that had been bestowed on me by my parents in that first week of college, I fell victim to the cunning entity that is the Freshers’ Tent.
Heaving with energy, social activity and music, the Freshers’ Tent will entice you innocent First Years in as easily as luring an Ag Student to a Jersey Day – it goes hand in hand! Though you may be a worthy opponent, you will play a game with the Freshers’ Tent and ultimately lose (all your money that is). Last year, I wandered into the tent completely unaware of the sheer volume of societies on offer and of just how eager they were to get me on board. Trying to kill time before catching a bus, I went in alone for an unassuming browse, only to leave half an hour later with three separate bags full of flyers, food, an unnecessary amount of membership cards, and my pockets fully unburdened.
For this one week, you have the opportunity to fulfil your desire to get involved in college, become part of the bigger picture, and join some of the biggest societies in the country, all for a paltry €2 each. (Plus your email address and the freedom to have an inbox free of spam from the society you regrettably joined and no longer want anything to do with.) It’s all about making wise choices really and knowing yourself. If you had no interest in fashion before you came to college, the Fashion Society probably isn’t for you. If your idea of fun does not include discussing why and how we’re here, then maybe steer clear of the Philosophy Society. Chess Club – seriously?
Freshers, here is my advice to you this week. If you have been moved enough by this article to change your oh-so-eager-ways, you need only remember three things to survive the Freshers’ Tent: there’s safety in numbers, avoid all eye contact, and don’t go in on an empty stomach.