On Moving to a City

For 18 years of my life I lived in a town with a population of about 10,000. My high school had about 200 kids per grade, kids that I had gone to kindergarten with and graduated high school with. It is a “quaint New England town”. And the one thing I knew I wanted when looking at college was to be in a city. I wanted to experience city living for a while and see what I was missing.

Riverfront Recapture connects Hartford business and organizations to the community.

Riverfront Recapture connects Hartford business and organizations to the community.

Hartford is about twelve times the size of my town, in terms of population. There’s a public transportation system, there’s more than just two restaurant, and the city has so much stuff to do. Connecticut has a rich history dating back beyond the Revolutionary War with many historical sites dedicated to different parts of history. Bushnell Park, the center of the city, is beautiful, especially the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial arch, which I got to go up in my first week on campus. Being from Massachusetts my only real experience with city halls was the Boston City Hall, which isn’t the prettiest. Hartford’s on the other hand is magnificent. When I round the bend on the highway coming back to school and see the stunning golden dome rising above everything else, I know I’m home.

One thing that I didn’t expect was the noise level. I knew it wouldn’t silent living in a city. It took a little while to get used to cars driving around all the time but I grew accustom to it and it doesn’t bother me now anymore. It’s almost like white noise. But when I went home for the first time after living in the city for a few months, it seemed like it was deafeningly quiet. At night the only sounds were the cicadas and the occasional call of a bird. I found myself missing my noisy city.

Another aspect of city life that I really love is not having a car. Don’t get me wrong, I love driving probably more than the average person, but living a city, you don’t need a car. In my town if you didn’t have a car, you didn’t have a life because the closest anything was always a 10 minute car ride away. In Hartford I can walk really anywhere I want to go. First-years aren’t allowed to have cars on campus but even as a sophomore, I don’t feel the need to bring a car down. Getting off campus is easy without a car and like most cities, it’s difficult to find parking.

Sometimes I do miss home and the simpler “country” living but I wouldn’t trade my city school for anything and I can’t wait to keep living here for at least a few more years.

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Take a Trip to Trin

When I was applying to colleges, I began to feel like every school was the same. I spent countless hours perusing university websites, pulling up different campuses on Google Maps, and creating a detailed spreadsheet with all the information that seemed important to me. There were so many options available to me, and I became so overwhelmed with the college application process. I found that actually visiting the campuses I had spent so much time analyzing on paper remedied this confusion.

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I remember my first visit to Trinity so well—the sun, the Long Walk, and even my first experience with Mather Dining Hall. As I walked around campus, I could see myself playing my clarinet at the Austin Arts Center or attending services in the Chapel. I knew that a liberal arts college in an urban setting was unusual, but it wasn’t until I visited that I felt the vibrant energy of Trinity’s location in Hartford. I was able to sit in on a class within my potential major and talk to Student Admissions Associates about their experiences of Trinity.

Once I visited Trinity, I grew in confidence that I had found the college for me. My campus visit helped me convert my mental knowledge of the school into a practical understanding of the college’s atmosphere and my place within a dynamic student body. If you’re currently in the middle of the college admissions process, now is a great time to plan a visit to Trinity!

 

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Double Major, Double Trouble?

Like most sophomores at Trinity, I am in the midst of deciding on a major to declare. Or in my case, majors. Many people are a little shocked when I tell them I’m planning on double majoring in both English and Psychology. The top responses I get are “I guess you aren’t going abroad,” “Don’t you want to leave room for other classes?,” and the classic “WHY?”.

From the moment I left high school I knew I was interested in English and psych. Many schools I looked at had minors in both but I just couldn’t see myself devoting less time to one of my passions. Psychology fascinates me, especially developmental and social psych, particularly the psychology of schools. English is a subject I’ve thrived in, passionately loved, and can’t imagine not focusing my life around it. I couldn’t choose just one. So I decided, when entering Trinity as a first year, to double major.

At Trinity, students cannot declare their major until sophomore year. This gives them time to explore their options of majors by taking a variety of classes. Of course if students know exactly what they want as a major, or majors, like me, they can get started on their major classes right away. This is especially essential for double majors, because they will end up with twice the required classes. And if students kind of know they might want to double major but aren’t entirely sure, taking foundation classes is always a smart move.

When students are considering double majoring, many are deterred from the thought because they think they might not have time to go abroad, due to the influx of requirements. But as I said, getting started as early as possible is one of the best things a potential double major can do. This allows for some wiggle room to go abroad. Plus, depending on the department and where you want to go, you might be able to fulfill requirements while away.

You don’t just have to take classes focused around your majors. I’ve taken an Arabic class every semester in addition others like music and film while still taking psych and English classes. Chances are not every required class will fit into your schedule so there’s always opportunities to take classes that just sounds interesting. And who knows? Maybe that class will end up counting towards your major. I took a class my first semester in college just because it sounded really cool, and it ended up fulfilling a major requirement. And the class was really fun!

So if there’s anything to take away from this is if you really, truly want to major in more than one area, start planning right away. If down the line, you decide you want to focus on just one major, that’s totally fine. But above all find a major you’re happy with and want to study and stick with it. You never know where it’s going to take you.

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Six Activities to Do Around Hartford

Living in a small city can have its advantages, especially around holidays. Hanging out around Harwith friends is so convenient considering that there are not that many miles to walk through. Hartford is a vibrant place with many activities to do. Here is a list of great things to do around Hartford county:

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1) Movie Night

The city of Hartford contains several movie theaters. Trinity College has the privilege to be home to Cinestudio, our on-campus movie theater. However, if you want to leave campus, transportation is always available to take you into West Hartford where you will find Cinepolis, a standard six-screen movie theater showcasing the latest hits. Personally, when I want to catch a movie outside of campus, I try to go to Bow Tie Cinemas in Hartford since they have sales every Tuesday and your wallet will surely thank you.

2) Art Exhibition

Hartford has a thriving art community. Why not experience it with your friends.? Downtown Hartford is home to Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. The Museum holds several pieces ranging from Samuel Colt’s guns to surrealist paintings from Salvador Dali. (Trinity students also receive free admission!) Hartford is also home to Real Art Ways, an independent art gallery and movie theater. This gallery holds pieces from up and coming artist from around the area. The gallery also holds several events such as Creative Cocktail Hour, where people from all ages are invited to come and talk about art over Mocktails (or real cocktails if you’re 21+). Finally, you can always hang out around the city and take the public art tour and experience all the public art that Hartford holds.

3) Good Food

Hartford holds several great restaurants that provide great food. Since there are too many to name, I will name my personal favorites and make suggestions of food that I have enjoyed in the company of friends. If you are in the mood for southern cooking, Black Eyed Sally’s is the place to go. If you go, I recommend the Chicken and Waffles or the Macaroni and Cheese. Another great restaurant is Ted’s Montana Grill, which has great burgers made from buffalo meat. Right next to it, you will find Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ, where the flavors will overwhelm you (in a good way!). Finally, if you are in the mood for Mexican food, I recommend either El Sarape or Coyote Flaco (a debate that can never be settled in my room as to which restaurant is better).

4) Physical Activity

Maybe you are in the mood for some physical activity. A fun place to go with friends is Hartford’s trampoline park, Launch. You can bonce and do flips and overall just have fun as if you were a child. You can also share a couple of slices of pizza with your friends while you’re there. Finally, if you are up for more of challenge, you can go hiking around Hartford’s surroundings towns. The town of Newington holds Cedar Mountain, a good place to hike, read poetry, or just talk once at the top.

5) Stay In

Just stay in and do some homework  with friends or by yourself. More work will probably get done if you are by yourself.

6) Park Day

A good place to visit is Elizabeth Park in West Hartford. During the spring semester, you can visit several of the beautiful gardens around the park. Spend some time taking in the rock garden with a couple of friends and move to the rose garden with that special someone. Try to enjoy an ice cream cone from the local restaurant or eat a hot dog. Meet new people in the park, go look at the dogs, or even take some photography. Overall, this should provide a relaxing experience with friends and will allow you to unwind from the week.

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Spring Break is here!

A college Spring Break is a break like no other. Spring Break seems to come with impeccable timing. Some students choose to spend it on a tropical beach with their friends. Others head home with dirty laundry and a full grocery list for their parents. Still, others hibernate in the library, hoping to catch up on their work. Spring Break fosters a time for relaxation for those who leave campus, but for those who chose not to, Trinity is still bustling.

Residential Halls will remain open. However, Dining Services like Mather Dining Hall, Bistro, and the Cave will be closed. The meal plan will be suspended following the evening meal on Friday, March 10th. The Bistro will close after lunch on Friday, March 10th and will reopen Monday, March 20th. The CAVE will be closed Friday, March 10th and will reopen on Monday, March 20th. The meal plan resumes with the evening meal on Sunday, March 19th.

Ferris Athletic Center will be open Saturday, March 11th, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday –Thursday, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, Saturday, March 18th, 7:00 am to midnight, and Sunday, March 19th 7:00 am to midnight.

The Trinity College Health Center will be open Monday – Friday, March 13th – 17th 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, and both the on and off campus shuttles will run on their normal hours.

Some spring sport teams that would otherwise be on campus use spring break as a time to practice off campus. For example, the Men’s Baseball team will be traveling to Florida and the Women’s Crew team will be traveling to Virginia for training.

A community service oriented club on campus, JELLO, will still have their weekly food pantry trips on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

As well deserved as our needed Spring Break might feel, students are always happy to return back ‘Neath The Elms when the time comes.

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Coffee Shops Around Hartford

Over the past few years, Hartford has come to garner a reputation of being a tough little city with nothing but insurance companies downtown. I thought this same thing when I first came to Trinity but after venturing out beyond campus, I came to find this was certainly not the case. Hartford is a vibrant, thriving city in which you don’t have to look far for fun things to do and cool places to check out. And one of the best things about living in a city, especially Hartford, is the numerous, wonderful coffee houses.

Blue House Coffee has locations across New England, including in downtown Hartford.

Blue State Coffee has locations across New England, including in downtown Hartford.

Café Sophia, 984 Farmington Ave, West Hartford

Located in the heart of Blue Back Square, this popular coffee shop is right across the street from Bar Taco, Max Burger, the Elbow Room and tons of other places to shop and eat. It’s a small place but always welcoming with great coffee, tea, and crepes and waffles anyway you want. Plus it’s not very expensive, something every college student values.

Blue State Coffee, 777 Main St, Hartford

Not only does this place have a small town vibe, it gives back to the surrounding city and the places they get their products. Right across the street from the Old State House, Blue State lists where in Connecticut it gets its coffee, eggs, dairy, and other produce from. It also gives 2% of all profits to local charities. Plus the coffee is really good! If you go to a different city, but still crave Blue State, they have other locations including three in New Haven, two in Boston, and two in Providence.

Tisane Euro Asian Café, 537 Farmington Ave, Hartford

Just a little up the road from Café Sophia is Tisane, which is a coffee shop and restaurant. In addition to the outdoor seating, with a fire pit, there are tons of beautiful chandeliers above you and art around you. You can get dinner, brunch, lunch, or just a drink here. They specialize in all different types of tea, hot or iced, with a fusion of Asian and European styles mixed in. And every time I’ve been the staff is beyond friendly and the music is great.

Sarah’s Coffee House, 257 Asylum St, Hartford

In the heart of downtown Hartford, next to the XL Center, is Sarah’s, a small time coffee house that occasionally has music and art. With a lot of natural lighting and a Gilmore Girls vibe, it’s very good place to get work done or just chill and drink some good coffee. It often has local musicians come and perform that can add to your Instagram-worthy cappuccino or chai and pastry.

Tea Break, 994 Farmington Ave, West Hartford

Also on Farmington Ave, a stone’s throw away from Café Sophia, Tea Break boasts mainly authentic bubble tea, and are one of the best places in the state. Their coffee bubble tea is to die for. And if you’re going with someone who doesn’t like coffee, they have a variety of different flavors of bubble, range from ‘coco love’ to ‘plum green tea’. Like many of the other places on this list, it’s a great spot to study but it has more room to spread out, unlike the previously mentioned coffee shops.

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The Waiting Game

Applying to college is probably the most stressful time in a students’ life. There is so much paper work to keep in order, essays to write and edit…and don’t even get me started on CommonApp! However, when you’ve finally hit “Submit” on that final application, that sigh of relief feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders. That moment of euphoria is so fleeting, though, when you realize that now you must wait. Playing the waiting game is so hard when the decision affects what you will do with the next four years of your life. And while yes, it’s hard not to stress out about it, I’m here to tell you not to. I repeat: Do Not Stress! Instead of anxiously waiting by the mailbox for acceptance letters, fill your time with more productive activities, for example:

  • Sit down and make a list of all the activities you are interested in participating in when you get to your new school. Like sports? Look at which intramural teams different schools offer. Interested in civil service? Check out the Student Government Associations on different campuses. There are plethora of group sports, clubs, organizations, teams, and activities on Trinity’s campus – there is literally something for everyone.
  • Keep an open line of communication with your family and friends. Lean on them when you are feeling nervous about this new part of your life – that’s what they’re there for! Talk to them about the different schools you’ve applied to and let them help you decide which is the best fit. Ultimately, the choice is up to you, but it’s always nice to have some support.
  • DO NOT check your email 24/7. (I made this mistake and it almost drove me crazy). Admission departments are tricky and some schools take longer than others to go through the admissions process.
  • Keep up with your routine. Basically, continue living your life as you normally would as if you’re not waiting for these announcements. The best thing you can do to alleviate any anxiety is simply follow your daily routine. Go to school, go to practice, do your homework, and hang out with your friends and family. Your life is about to change so quickly, so take advantage of this exciting and special time!

Trinity was the last college acceptance letter I received. It was also the only one that caused joyful tears when I opened it. I knew in that emotional moment that this was the place I needed to be. It was the best decision I have ever made. So, be patient. Waiting is so hard, but so incredibly worth it.

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Saturday Mornings at Trinity

Saturday mornings at Trinity are some of my favorite moments here at Trinity. I sleep right next to the window, and I am able to wake up around 9am by light sun rays coming through the glass. Waking up on a Saturday morning is one of the greatest feelings ever, considering that during the week I usually have 8am classes which force me to get up earlier. Being able to wake up without an alarm feels nice on a Saturday. Also, seeing the views outside as soon as I wake up feels rewarding and soothing, no matter what season it is.

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Mather Hall does not open until 10:30 for brunch on weekends, so I have about an hour to kill. Depending on how athletic I feel, I either go work out a bit at Ferris Athletic Center or I just stay in my room. Either way, I always put on comfortable clothes, mostly Trinity sweats and a crew neck. Also, if my roommate has already woken up, sometimes we decide to either play some music on his record player or play some video games. This feels refreshing knowing that I have a whole day ahead of me to get work done.

After brunch and a shower, my real day starts around 11:00am. Depending on how much work I have, I either make plans to do stuff with my friends or to go lock myself in the library or my room. If I have a lot of work to do, I decide to get it done before a certain time. As one learns, college is about prioritizing time. I tend to like getting my work done during the day so I can relax at night before going to bed. If I do not have that much work, or it’s a light reading, I tend to go out into town with my friends. There are so many things to do around Hartford. My friend group tends to like certain diners around Hartford or go to the movies on the Berlin Turnpike, which is just 30 minutes away from campus. The route my Saturday takes is determined by how much homework I have been assigned.

Saturdays are convenient because there is no class. Therefore, no required scheduled to follow at Trinity. This gives me time to advance in my homework or to relax a bit. Therefore, Saturday mornings tend to be great at Trinity. The beautiful campus and convenient facilities allow me to relax or be efficient with my work. For this reason, every time I wake up get to be happy because I know it’s a Saturday morning and Trinity has surprises in store for me.  I recommend coming to Trinity and experiencing a Saturday morning for yourself. Overall, the experience and feeling of excitement is like no other. It is easy to see why Trinity is a great campus and location for these reasons!

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How to Decide Where to Sit in the Library

The library may seem like an overwhelmingly, large, daunting building- but don’t let it scare you because it WILL become your best friend, and probably where you will spend a lot of your time. To be honest, it did take some time to find my ‘seat’ in the library. To me, every room in the library is different and used for different tasks.

Cubicles:
Cubicles are my go-to 90% of the time when I am at the library. They allow me to focus on my work without the distractions of people and the environment around me. When you have a short amount of time to do that large reading assignment that is due at 8am or when you just need to focus and really think about your math homework or an essay- cubicles are the way to go. However, they are very popular, so on super busy work days, or during finals and midterms, be sure to secure your cubicle early! My favorite cubicle to sit in is on the third floor of the library, overlooking the Chapel, sports fields, and the main quad. It is very stress-relieving to be able to look up after a long reading and tiresome day and see the most beautiful view on campus!

Reading Tables:
Reading tables are great, but that can sometimes be a little scary. My first week at Trinity, when the workload was pretty light, I found myself at the reading tables on the second floor surrounded by lots of friends. I quickly learned that these long, six person tables are not the place to go when you need to focus by yourself. However, they can be very helpful when trying doing simple homework tasks, watching a movie for a class, or even when doing work with friends.

Work Rooms:
The private work rooms in the library are a really great addition. They are very vibrant, secluded, and private. The rooms typically consist of a large table, with several seats, and a full wall of white boards. These are the perfect place to go for a group project because they are a good size, and you can be loud without distracting those in the rooms next to you. The work rooms are also very easy to book- just one email, and you’re all set!

Peter B’s:
Peter B’s is not only my go-to coffee shop on campus, but it is also one of my favorite places to do work. With the maroon and navy club chairs, or booth desks in the corner, Peter B’s is hands down the comfiest place to sit in the library. You can normally find me there in between classes, or before tests when I grab a cup of coffee and go over my last minute flash cards.

With six floors, and a countless number of rooms, it is not hard to find a good workplace for every student!

Posted in Academics, Around Campus, campus tour, Community, First Years, first-year experience, Introduction, library, Lifestyle, On Campus, Raether Library, Readings, Testing, The Chapel, Trinity, Trinity College Chapel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why We Love Division III

One factor of college life that can be an important point when deciding which college is best for you is athletics. Whether you’re into them or couldn’t care less, athletics are an important part of any college experience. When I was deciding which school to go to, I really didn’t take into consideration the sports that were offered because I knew I wasn’t going to be playing. When I was on a tour of Trinity, one thing that stuck out to me was the camaraderie that comes with watching a sports event.

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Being from Massachusetts, I grew up watching the Red Sox, the Patriots and the Bruins, and going to live events was even better than watching on TV. When I came to Trinity, I thought I wouldn’t like going to a college sports game, especially at a D3 school, where there’s not as much emphasis on athletics. Then I went to a hockey game.

Last year, our men’s hockey team was amazing, scoring an average of 3 goals a games and when the finals came to Trinity, every student wanted to go to the ice rink to see them play. I covered them quite a bit for the Trinity Tripod, our school newspaper and I even convinced my non-athletic friends to come along. They were skeptical at first but they grew to love the sport and even came with me to the NESCAC championship, held in our very own Koeppel Community Sports rink. Trinity men ended up dominating and won the championship last year and it was really fun to go and watch.

A great thing about Trinity is that you can play a sport and be an athlete but be other things too. The captain of the women’s soccer team isn’t just a soccer player; she’s an engineering major with an interest in education. The third line men’s hockey forward isn’t just a hockey player but also an English major with a Hispanic studies minor. Sports do not dictate how other students perceive athletes and that’s one of the reasons I love Trinity. You can have many identities and one is not stronger than the other.

People may think that because we are D3 in all og our sports (expect for D1 squash!), we don’t care as much about athletics. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We are as excited for our soccer teams as Notre Dame is about their football. And we don’t put our focus on athletics. Trinity knows that getting an education and a college degree is just as, if not more, important than winning that one game. That’s why I’m proud to be a Bantam.

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