Freshers intrigue me, I’m not going to lie. Every year as I watch a new wave of fresh faces don the shores of Maynooth University, I can’t help but study the new students with wonder. What a unique animal the Fresher is. I mean, what a weird bunch of bastards.
The popular “Jock vs Nerd” theory has long been dismissed by experts in the study of Freshers, but I have instead categorised them into five main groups.
And here they are:
The “OMG I’ve Found My New Home” Fresher:
Sarah from Tullamore does brilliantly in her Leaving Cert and gets her first choice in Maynooth. With her bags packed, she says goodbye to her local friends as she departs to her new home. Little do her friends know that this will be the last time they ever see Sarah. Little do they know that the Sarah they knew and loved, was gone forever.
By the Wednesday of freshers’ week she has already made 1.4 million new Facebook friends, declared her love to her housemates and has sent thousands of snapchats with the captions “Up the College“, “Maynoothian“, and “Fuck DCU, LOL“. Not only has she discarded all her friends from home, but she ignores anyone from Tullamore she sees around campus, has developed a South Dublin accent and has burned her Offaly jersey.
Sarah aggressively supports her college, willing to defend its honour at every opportunity. She may only go on to attend 3 lectures in the entire semester, but you can bet your bottom dollar she’ll be the last on the dance floor every Monday/Wednesday/Thursday, belting out ‘Teenage Dirtbag’.
“We’re just like, you know, so close on my course, you know?”
The “There’s So Many F**king Weirdos around here” Fresher:
A very interesting fresher indeed. Brian, from Cavan, couldn’t believe when he scraped into Arts, meaning he would become the first from his village to ever go to third level education. He was quite sceptical but he said he’d give it a lash.
Stumbling off the streamline bus on his first day in Maynooth, Brian had to sit down when he first witnessed a pair of skinny jeans. A proud No-Voter, he refused to be drawn into conversation with anyone, terrified he may become infected by what he saw as an urban disease.
Brian would use his weekends to entertain the villagers, who would flock in their hundreds from neighbouring townlands to hear stories of university life. The tale of his first experience into the big city on the 66 bus being a particular favourite of the locals.
Brian may have dropped out by November, but he’ll sure never forget his experience.
“Horrid quare lot up there in Maynooth” he’ll say, as he chews some grass.
The “Bullied in Secondary School” Fresher:
Conor from Lucan had a hard time in school. He just never fit in. His love of musicals being the proverbial ‘square peg’ in the ’round hole’ that is the other boys’ interest in English soccer, boobs and fighting.
But when Brian first stepped foot in the Student Union Bar, well he near crapped his pants with excitement. No longer was his extravagance looked down upon, instead it was embraced. Discovering there were others who could sing the lyrics to every song from Les Miserables made him the happiest man in Maynooth. And boy did he show it.
Joining every single society, he soon became a confident and loud personality around the campus. Brian just simply cannot get enough of University life. Mars FM is the only radio station he’ll listen to and becoming president of the Student Union is his goal.
Ah sure you couldn’t begrudge him, could you? Could you?
The “County Minor” fresher:
Scholarship in hand, Dave from Meath rolled into campus with his chest out sporting the skinniest pair of O’Neills pants known to man. Confidence oozed from every pour in his body, meaning even a stroll into the library lobby was a chance to perform.
In his local nightclub, all he had to do was fart and every girl in the place would flock to him. Boy, did he get a shock when he discovered he was a part of the most hated group at college.
Every morning he would scan Yik Yak, unable to understand all the jokes about his half-zip and haircut. The indifference to his sporting achievements stung him badly. He was even further confused when nobody turned up to watch the first round of the freshers championship.
Now Dave can be seen wandering the campus, a two-litre bottle of water in his hand, muttering “but I played in Croke Park” to himself.
The “South Campus St. Pats” Fresher.
Actually, you know what, I’m not even going to go there. You’ll know them when you see them.
There is a place for everyone at college. Being yourself is extremely important. At the end of the day, no matter what type of Fresher you are, everyone is going to hate you.