Your first year is arguably one of the most overwhelming times of your college career, as you will be inundated with enthusiastic upperclassmen and way too many brochures and email which you’ll never read. To make your semester a little easier and a lot more rewarding, here are five things that all freshman should take advantage of!
One thing that all Trinity students can agree on is that the faculty truly make the academic experience so much more rewarding. I think we are spoiled in having the ability to have and maintain such close relationships with our professors, including those who teach lectures. However, a lot of students (especially freshman) only form a relationship with their advisor and only meet with professors when they need help on an assignment…if that. I highly recommend stopping by your professor’s office hours at least once a month (total of 4 times a semester…that’s pretty manageable) just to check in on your progress and pick out one thing from class that you’d like to discuss further. Especially if you tend not to participate as much in class, this is a great way for you and your professor to get to know one another better and show them that you care.
Setting up an appointment with a student writing associate can be a great way to enhance the quality of your paper, clarify your thesis, or work on the structure and organization of your ideas. It’s always beneficial to have someone read over your paper for things that you may have missed after staring at your computer for hours on end. As much as our own friends are supportive and willing to help us, writing associates are trained (and paid!) to read drafts and help with any and all issues in your paper. You can set up an appointment here: (https://trincoll.mywconline.com/)
Attending one event/club meeting for something you don’t think you have any interest in
Your first year is the best time to get involved in anything and everything- you will get to see everything that Trinity offers and make some great friendships, especially with upperclassmen. No one expects you to stay involved with every club whose meeting you intend- that would be impossible! However, you should pick two or three organizations that you are actually excited about with members who you get along with. Clubs are the best way to pursue your non-academic interests and make friends with people you might not otherwise have the chance to meet.
Meeting with a Research Librarian
Although this is somewhat based on a relative need for an assignment, you will most likely have to write a research paper during your four years at Trinity. And you will most likely have to use some sources that weren’t given to you in class. And you most likely will have no idea where to get started. Research librarians are great individuals to meet with, since it is their job to help your find primary and secondary sources online and in Raether. You can set up an appointment and tell them your assignment ahead of time so by the time you arrive, they will have already pulled some sources for you to use. You then can talk to them about your ideas and they will absolutely help you to come up with an interesting angle for your thesis inspired by the unique sources you find.
Tons of academic departments and student organizations host lectures throughout the year with scholars from their respective field from a different university that have completed independent work to share. This is a great way to meet other students interested in the same subjects as you and further your knowledge outside of the classroom. I’ve attended some lectures as a requirement for a class that I thought would be incredibly boring and they actually ended up being interesting and relevant for the work I did in class throughout the semester. It’s also a bonus if your professor happens to offer extra credit for attending a lecture!