Coming to Trinity in the fall of 2014, I didn’t know what to expect when it came to my living situation. I had received my housing assignment via email, I had been in contact with my randomized roommate (who ended up turning out to be one of my best friends), and I had scoped out my room dimensions online. Aside from those various aspects, I was completely unaware of what the interior of my dorm room would look like.
When I first stepped in through the doorway of my freshman year dorm room, reality began to set in and I started to panic: this was my first time living away from home. How would I manage having a roommate? A dorm with a communal bathroom? The two-hour distance from home?
In order to force these fears to dissipate, I spent a lot of time focusing on decorating the physical space of my room in order to make it feel more like home. I decked it out with curtains and a shag rug (which, I totally suggest you do, because these two items automatically create comfort in a space). What I eventually discovered was that regardless of how many throw pillows I added, how many pictures I hung up, or how many decorations flooded my walls, it was extremely more important to me to find spaces of comfort on campus that existed outside of my dorm room’s walls, especially during my freshman year.
I had remembered from my tour of Trinity that there was a coffee shop located beneath the main dining hall, and so within the first month of school, I decided to go on a mini adventure and see what it was like. Little did I know that I was about to find a cozy haven away from my dorm room.
Walking into The Underground is a tunneled, old hallway that at most times appears dark and desolate, but behind its large wooden door lies a gem of a space. The venue incudes every type of seating from barstools to comfy couches. The dimly-lit ambiance gives just the right amount of lighting to get reading and studying done, but is also fantastic for relaxation, making art pieces with friends, or even taking a quick nap prior to class. As much as the environment is aesthetically pleasing with student art hung on the walls, the coffee is even more fantastic, as much was the fact that I immediately felt at home within a randomized space on campus.
Although it may be easy to spend your freshman year camped out within your dorm room, it is incredibly important to explore your campus and find nooks within public venues where you can feel a sense of comfort, but can also enjoy running into new people while within this space to enhance your freshman experience.