Trinity College Dublin was founded in 1592, and four weeks into teaching term I am convinced that its bureaucracy and administrative technology are relics of that century. From registering for modules (or what we in the U.S. call courses) on paper, to adding/dropping modules on paper, to signing up for tutorials on paper…well, I suppose you get the picture. Very few things can be done online, other than finding out that academic registry has messed something up, and even then you will probably have to go in person to three different people to get a form signed in order to fix it.
Before coming to Trinity, this would have annoyed me to no end and probably left me an anxious wreck. However, following an epiphany I had earlier this week, I’ve decided to adopt a somewhat common Irish phrase as my new mantra for the semester: “Yeah, sure, it’ll be grand.”
Wednesday morning, I found myself speed walking from a lecture in the Hamilton Building (on the east end of campus) to a tutorial in the Political Science Department in College Green (the west end of campus, outside the gates and partially obstructed by construction of the new tram line right in front of Trinity). A note I’d written for myself on my phone listed the tutorial location as College Green Room 3, and seeing as the room number was not posted online I had no way of knowing that I’d gotten it wrong until I accidentally walked into an Economics tutorial, 5 minutes late. Panicking, as I was now late for the first tutorial of term, I ran upstairs to the department office, where I explained the situation to the secretary and asked if she had the tutorial timetable and room numbers for my class.
To this, she replied that she could check the PDF she had, but it might not be up to date (only in Trinity would the department not have the most up to date information on its own classes). It turned out that my tutorial was meeting in the Arts Block, which is about midway between Hamilton and College Green. As I ran to my tutorial, bumping into multiple tourists in the process, dozens of thoughts raced through my head.
“I’m going to be so late.”
“My TA is going to hate me.”
“I don’t even know where this room is. What if it’s the wrong place?”
And then, the epiphany.
“Yeah, sure, it’ll be grand.”
I realized that it was no use worrying over it. Yes, I was going to be late, but I was going to get there. The TA probably wouldn’t care as much as I thought he would (when I eventually slipped into the room over 15 minutes late, he looked at me for about two seconds before continuing teaching). And now that I knew where the room was, I’d be on time and in the right place for the next tutorial.
I’m trying to carry this outlook with me as I face various other challenges during my time abroad. It’s no use worrying over stressful events. I know that I possess the skills to overcome most obstacles. Eventually, everything will work out in the end—it’ll be grand.