Yep, this is the bag of frozen chips you have in the freezer that you get when you ask your parents to stop in McDonalds on the way home from a match type of introduction to college. There was nothing worse than being refused a dose of salty chips for skinny cardboard fries when you returned home. All your little mind wanted was some garbage chipper but you had to settle for the economically friendly brand of questionable potatoes cut into impossibly thin slices. With today’s announcement that all third level colleges would be online for the next two to three weeks in light of a recent upsurge in Coronavirus cases across the country, I can only imagine the disappointment on some of the little faces of the tiny first years.
Of course, this Freshers week was never going to be the same as previous initiations of debauchery. The college bars would not see fresh-faced eighteen year olds throwing shaoes and throwing up in the middle of the dance floor; Daithí figuring out how to talk to girls not from within a 2km radius of his hometown for the first time in his life; or stools and tables stolen from right under their noses for the first time in a long time. Plenty of first years are missing out on turning up to lectures still drunk/hungover as balls, not sure if they are in the right room or if they’re even in the right college. There’s something a bit glamorous about walking around your new alma mater still in that beautiful limbo of wondering whether a pint at noon will make you get sick or set you on the trajectory of another sesh. Word of warning for when we are back in college ‘normally’: stay away from stout on the rollover. Cider is your friend. Until the next morning when it’s a parasite trying to get out of your body. But you’ll learn.
There is nothing glamorous about rolling out of bed, falling down the stairs and flinging open the laptop just in time to log onto your live lecture. The professor can tell if you are hungover in a normal setting so you best believe that they will know you are not fully sober by looking at your sorry head on Microsoft Teams. I suspect that lecturers don’t particularly care about your sobriety, as long as you get the work done. They were young once, too.
So take solace in the fact that all of your fellow Freshers are in the same boat as you around the country. It’s not just the level 3 losers in Donegal and Dublin that can’t announce themselves onto the college scene by falling asleep in a bush and losing their wallet, phone and dignity. It’s the rest of you too. So, no, you can’t go on a week long sesh! We have Freshers week at home for God’s sake! Not a bit of appreciation around here!