Ways to Save in College

Everyone knows that being a college student is hard…especially when money is tight. Every time I make my way to the checkout counter at any store, my first question is, “Do you have a student discount?” Luckily, the Student ID we’re issued at the beginning of freshman year is worth more than just an entrance into Mather!

Here are just a few suggestions of places you can use your Student ID to save a little bit of cash:

  • Next time you’re craving Chipotle, show your Student ID for a free soft drink too!
  • If you’re the type of person who likes to keep up with current events, the New York Times offers 50% off the regular rate for students.
  • Keep up with the latest singles by downloading Spotify Premium for students! The 10% discount brings the total down to $4.99 a month.
  • Topshop offers 10% off purchases online and in-store for students with a valid ID as well!
  • If you’re someone who’s really into the latest trends and fashions, H&MBanana RepublicAnn Taylor, and Madewell all offer a 15% discount for students when they make purchases in-store!

Finally, here is one more suggestion for those who have access to a kitchen or prefer to get their own food in place of the on-campus options.

  • Stop&Shop offers a discount card that provides amazing deals every single week. You don’t necessarily need to have a Student ID to benefit from this promotion, but rather just prove that you’re residing in Hartford for an extended period of time. There are many Stop&Shop’s located close to Trinity’s campus, and your discount card can save you hundreds on food and other daily necessities throughout the year!

Obviously these are only a handful of the benefits you can get with that handy Student ID, but I suggest you use them next time you have the itch to go shopping! With Trinity located only 10 minutes away from many of these stores, using the student discounts will make your weekend shopping endeavors that much more enjoyable!

Questions to Ask Your College Tour Guide

Questions to Ask Your College Tour Guide

The average high school senior applies to five to ten colleges before they commit. This can be number can be overwhelming when sorting through which college is the best fit for you. As a tour guide for Trinity, I’m trained to handle pretty much what ever question comes my way from parents or students, and through this as well as my own experience applying to colleges, I’ve come across a few questions that are the most important to ask your college tour guide.

What classes are you taking/what is your favorite class?

It gives parents and students a good was to gage how many classes are being taken, what the variety is, and what is the most interesting class, in the tour guide’s opinion. I always say my favorite class so far has been Psychology of Music because the professor was awesome, it covered two of my requirements, and it was just really interesting too.

Does the college have any traditions?

This could be either superstitions, events that happen every year or every month, or anything else. One of Trinity’s traditions of course that Roosevelt plaque no students dares to step on out of fear they won’t gradate in time, and something about a lemon squeezer being stolen.

What kind of internships do students get?

Sometimes colleges get student’s internships but they are just running off copies and getting coffee but Trinity’s alumni network and relations with various companies enables its students to get the best possible internship. When CT Senator Chris Murphy talked at Trinity he said that he likes to have Trinity students in his office because he knows all about Trinity’s respected reputation. And because we are one of the only colleges in the city, there is not the competition for internships you would find in other cities.

Do students get off campus for nonacademic reasons?

Internships can be a way to get off campus but not everyone has one. Students going downtown shows how active we are in our community and are not limited to just our campus. Museums and parks are perks of living in a city and Trinity students know this. Not only do students get discounts at the Wadsworth Museum, the XL Center right in the middle of the city. Plus there are so many restaurants downtown. And speaking of restaurants…

What are good restaurants around campus?

I love giving tours around 11:30 because I can tell families all the great restaurants that are around Trinity. If you ask 10 students what their favorite places are around campus, you will get 10 different answers. Bartaco, El Sarape, and Bears are always good choices but King and I Thai has to be my favorite place. Before coming here, the most diverse places to eat in my hometown were Mexican restaurants and now I can have Thai, BBQ, Peruvian, and Middle Eastern each weekend.

How many students live on campus?

Living in a dorm creates a sense of community, which is something you get quite often when you go to a small liberal art college. About 90% of Trinity students live on campus and the 10% that live “off campus” live in Greek or themed houses on campus grounds or just across the street. Even though we are in a city, housing is guaranteed for all four years here, unlike other colleges in other cities.

How many students study abroad?

Studying abroad isn’t always a major topic for some colleges but it’s definitely important here. 60% of Trinity students study abroad, many of whom are athletes and STEM majors. Even if you can’t fit studying abroad during academic year, there are so many summer abroad programs that allow you to experience a different part of the world.

What has been your favorite thing you have done while at college?

One of my favorite memories is either making Nutella pancakes with my friends at 11pm on a Wednesday or writing about the men’s hockey team winning the NESCAC championships and getting my story on the front page of the Tripod.

First Time as a First-Year Mentor

Coming into my first-year at Trinity, I’ll admit, I was profoundly lost. Unlike most of my peers, I was coming from a small private day school in Maine. Only one of my high school classmates was attending Trinity with me. I was not on a sports team, nor did any of my siblings attend Trinity currently or previously. In fact, I was an only child living away from home for the first time. I was both scared and apprehensive, worrying about how I’d adjust to the collegiate lifestyle, and concerned that I wouldn’t make friends easily, or have a “group” on campus. Most importantly, I saw college as a “fresh start” where I didn’t have to be the same person who I was in high school, and that new opportunity meant the world to me.

Despite the fact that there were three alumni from my high school attending Trinity, I still felt as if I had little guidance within my first semester of my first year. I had no teammates, no fellow club members, and no co-workers to provide me with advice. I desperately wanted an upper-year “mentor,” or someone to take me under their Bantam wing for recommendations on how to approach my Trinity experience. I found myself wishing that I had signed up for a pre-orientation program, or the “Big Sister, Little Sister” program, in order to find older individuals to connect with. Even though my First-Year Seminar provided me with not one, but two mentors, I felt somewhat intimidated by these individuals, and I saw them more as TAs than mentors.

Given my freshman experience, and my somewhat “bumpy” transition between high school and college, I decided that I wasn’t going to let anyone else feel the same way that I had. Regardless of the fact that I did not have a real “mentor” my freshman year, I still maintained faith in Trinity, and I knew that the school would give me the opportunity to give back in a manner that I wished I had originally received.

My sophomore year, I signed up to become a mentor in the “Big Sister, Little Sister” program, a facet of the Trinity community run by the Women and Gender Resource Action Center that pairs upper-year females up with first-year females. Although some students don’t take it too seriously, only meeting their “little sisters” once at the beginning of the school year, I wasn’t going to treat the responsibility lightly. Not only did I meet up with my “little sisters” frequently, going to dinner with them, taking them off campus, helping them with their school work, and texting them in order to check in, but I became very close friends with these two individuals. This experience eventually helped me while becoming a First-Year Mentor.

Throughout my First-Year Mentor experience, I have met with my mentees frequently, creating a group chat where they can all voice their concerns regarding everything from “how do I approach editing my paper before turning it in?” to “where’s the best place to order pizza late night?” I’ve hosted “office hours” that have transitioned from “Can you read this over for me and tell me if I’m headed in the right direction?” to “Is it possible to maintain a long-distance relationship while at college?” Watching their questions turn from practical to personal has made me re-realize the importance of what it means to be a First-Year Mentor. Through this past month, I have become more than just their academic liaison, but rather, a friend who will help them with their transition into the Trinity community. Watching them warm up to me has made me hopeful that they see me as someone whom they can rely on within Trinity’s campus when times get tough. (PS: If you are a first-year student, don’t be afraid to reach out to your First-Year mentor(s)! They’re here to help you with any struggle that you may have!)

Even though Trinity has fantastic resources, beautiful aesthetics, and paramount academics, my First-Year mentorship has helped me to realize that the people within this community truly make it an amazing institution. I cannot thank the people whom I have met here enough, not only for providing me with constant opportunities to expand my skills (whether it’s through writing, public speaking, networking, or leadership opportunities), but most importantly, for helping me to learn more about myself. Thanks to the support that Trinity has provided for me, I know that I will enter “the real world” with confidence, and at the end of each day, I will always be a “bant.”

Useful Apps for Trinity Students

Being a college student can be hard sometimes. After all, you have to keep track of homework, class, and keep up a social life. At least we have technology to help us deal with the daily college life. As a Trinity Student, you will be using these couple of apps often since they will become useful.

Tapingo– Are you hungry? Well this app comes very useful considering that it lets you order food from Trinity locations AND IT WAITS IN LINE FOR YOU. Once your order is ready, you will receive a text letting you know that you can go pick up your food! This time does not only feed you but it also saves you time, and as a college student, time is one of the most precious resources.

GrubHub– Say you don’t want food from the Bistro or the Cave. Well Grub Hub allows you to order food for delivery from various restaurants around Hartford. So order Sushi to your heart’s desire.

Banking App– Most Banks have apps that let you access your accounts and let you transfer money. Download this apps to keep track of your spending and your saving. By managing your finances through your bank app, you won’t be fitting into the “broke college student” stereotype.

Uber/Lyft– Need to get to meeting off Campus? None of your friends can give you a ride because they are in class? Well this app lets you travel around Hartford since you pay a small fee to share a ride with someone. This is a great app for moving around when you do not have a car on campus. You also do not have to worry about parking thanks to this app.

Venmo– Sometimes your friends might pay for your food or you might need to rent out equipment for a club. This app lets you transfer money to the person that needs it. This way you don’t have to deal with pesky cash since you send it directly from your bank account.

Amazon– Are you browsing some water guns to prank your roommate? Maybe you need a nice dress for a formal? Well the Amazon app lets you buy any of these things and have them deliver to campus. This is a convenient way of shopping and browsing.

YikYak– when you want to know what fellow bantams think about events going on on campus, you will be using Yik Yak. This lets people post anonymously and share their thoughts around campus. Sometimes you will be laughing at a random joke and other times you will be engaging in political discussions with a random stranger.

GroupMe– GroupMe is a great app for group texting. You will be using this app to talk to fellow club members about scheduling a meeting. The app can also be used for gooning around with your group or friends since you can send each other memes.

Netflix– When you are done with all your homework, you will want to unwind. What better way to unwind than to binge watch Stranger Things? Use this app to watch various tv shows or movies. Warning: Use app responsibly.

Greek Life at Trinity College

Greek Life is present on Trinity’s campus. According to College Board – my nearly “end all be all” when I was looking for quick facts about schools in high school – 20% of men join fraternities and 16% of women join sororities. Some schools allow first year students to enter “recruitment” or “rush” during their first semester. At Trinity, students cannot do so until their second year. I think this is beneficial, as it allows students time to get to know other details of the school before committing to this process.

While I do think that Greek Life is a big aspect of Trinity’s social culture, I do not think that it is the only option. During my freshman year I was indifferent to the idea of joining Greek Life. This past fall I made my decision to register to recruit. Recruitment — a scheduled, monitored and dry process — began with a meeting on a Sunday afternoon with all potential new members, Rho Gammas, and Rush Chairs from each of the fraternities and sororities. There were two nights of “formal recruitment” that followed. On these nights, potential new members were toured around all of the houses in small groups. Women at Trinity have the option between five societies: Kappa Kappa Gamma, Ivy Society, Cleo of AX, St. Anthony’s Hall, and Zeta Omega Eta. Kappa Kappa Gamma and Ivy Society are all women. Cleo and St. Anthony’s Hall are made up of both men and women. Zeta Omega Eta is a non-traditional feminist sorority. Because it is non-traditional it was not included on formal recruitment night tours. On the fourth evening, all potential new members have informal recruitment. At our group’s discretion, we revisited the sororities that we felt most interested in or connected to. The fifth evening is “preference night.” On preference night, the sororities and fraternities host events at different times for potential new members to return where they are ultimately hoping to get a “bid.” The sixth day, Friday, is bid day.

I received my bid from Kappa Kappa Gamma. Since then I have completed the ten-day initiation process for new members that Trinity has required for the past two years. At other schools, this process can be spread out over six to ten weeks. During initiation we carried out the same rituals and traditions that have been occurring since Kappa’s founding in 1870. I am so happy with my decision to join a sorority at Trinity. I think that this opportunity will allow me to continue to meet other students and get in involved in more service options in the Hartford area.

Six Defining Factors of a #TrinCollFall

Six Defining Factors of a #TrinCollFall

In addition to packing our summer whites away, shorts have been shipped back home, and sandals have slid to the back of our priority lists. Welcome to fall at TrinColl! But just because the air is a tad bit brisker, and the sun is setting more swiftly, doesn’t mean that the excitement on campus isn’t still heating up!

  • Pumpkin Spiced Lattes or Apple Cider at Peter B’s

No one wants to admit that they’re “basic.” However, the PSLs and the Apple Cider at Peter B’s are both addictive and unavoidable – purchase at your own risk! There’s no better way to caffeinate or catch up with a professor or friends than by trying one of these fall favorites. If pumpkin isn’t your primary pick, they have everything from vanilla and hazelnut to white chocolate mocha (my newest discoveries include White Orchid and Bombay Chai).

  • Foliage on the Quad

Although most students are currently away for “Trinity Days,” upon our return after this long Columbus Day Weekend, the fall foliage will be in full effect. The ground will be littered with leaves maintaining red, yellow, orange, and brown hues. Instagram’s will abound with chapel pics including the foliage, so be sure to tag yours with #trincoll in order to show off your photographic prowess. Nowhere is this fall fluctuation more prevalent than on the main quad, where the Elm trees will turn from green to yellow, showering the grass with piles of golden leaves.

  • Fall Sports

Regardless of whether or not you’re the most athletic person on the planet, or if you’ve never seen a live sports game in your life, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to embrace athleticism on Trinity’s campus. And there’s no better time to do it than in the fall while surrounded by beautifully colored leaves (see number two for a description) and while sipping a hot beverage (see number one for some suggestions). From field hockey to football, the fall sports season is in full swing, which means our teams are extra-amped for the audience members that come to support them.

To read more about sports at Trinity, and to see sports schedules, follow this link.

Speaking of football…

  • Homecoming

There is nothing that brings a greater buzz to Trinity than the opportunity for Alumni to flock back to campus for the annual homecoming festivities. Whether you’re a recent grad or graduated decades prior, most “bants” fly back to the coop for a time to walk down memory lane. This year, in addition to a series of events sponsored by Campaign for Community, along with the potential to revive some old Trinity traditions, the football team will not only be hosting homecoming on a *new* turf field, but they will also be facing one of our main rivals: Amherst.

  • Fall Artistic and Musical Opportunities

If you’re more of a thespian than an athlete, have no fear – Trinity is as much immersed in the arts as it is in its athletic opportunities! In addition to a fall dance performance on October 21-22 at 7:30 p.m., Trinity’s fall play titled The Laramie Project premiers November 17-19, at 7:30 p.m. Both of these events take place at Goodwin Theater in the Austin Arts Center. In addition to these two fall arts events, there are a myriad of fall a cappella concerts, some of which are even Halloween-themed!

  • The Emergence of Trinity Apparel

Let’s face it – despite a couple of hopeful seventy-degree days, it isn’t getting any warmer here in New England. But regardless of summer’s slippage into the backs of our minds, this creates the wonderful opportunity to don some Trinity apparel. From hoodies, long-sleeves, and baseball caps, to beanies, quarter-zips, and scarves, the bookstore has a *new* selection of gear to help you show off your Trin pride.

To order some apparel, follow this link.

Fall Highlights at Trinity

I am thoroughly enjoying the start of my semester abroad at St. Andrews, but as October rolls in, I am starting to miss what New England does like no other: fall. While I love living just across from the North Sea here in Scotland, it is hard to compete with the vibrant foliage back at home. Last year Trinity was ranked in the top 10 most beautiful college campuses in the fall, and I’d like to share just a few of the fall highlights that contribute to Trinity’s autumnal atmosphere.

  • Hot cider at Peter B’s is a great way to warm up, and I recommend getting it with whipped cream! Pumpkin bread is an appropriate supplement here.
  • The in-between days where the leaves are falling but it’s warm enough to read on the quad and soak up some sunshine.
  • Football games are incredibly fun whether you care for the sport or not! They’re a great chance to don some Trinity gear, see all your friends in one place, and hear the Bantam call over the loudspeakers every time we score.
  • In a similar vein, Homecoming weekend offers the opportunity to chat with Trinity alumni of all class years, from your friends who just graduated to wise graduates who remember what the campus was like a few decades ago. I love connecting and reminiscing with members of the Trinity network!
  • Trinity days always manage to come at just the right time and offer a mix of both productivity and relaxation. Whether you head out for the weekend or stick around campus, you’re sure to enjoy the long weekend.

This list is just a few of my favorite aspects of fall at Trinity, and I can’t wait to enjoy them all again in the fall of 2017.

It’s OK to be Homesick in College

As Parent’s Weekend has come and gone this semester, you may come to find yourself feeling a little homesick for your Mom’s cooking and your bed…and possibly your dog too. Whether you live just outside of Boston or halfway around the world, it is so easy to become homesick during your college years. Fortunately, Trinity creates an atmosphere that feels like one we are all living as one big happy family on our little campus! However, theres nothing wrong with the occasional twinge of sadness when you’d rather be cuddled up at home instead of in the library!

I’m here to tell you that being homesick every once in a while is a very real feeling, and it is OK. In many instances I’ve found myself denying my homesickness, when it was really affecting how I went about every part of my day. If you’re similar to me, you hold your family very near and dear to your heart, and being at school for long periods of time can make your heart ache for that family dynamic you are so comfortable with. If you are not fortunate to live close enough to Trinity where you could sneak away for the weekend, I have a few remedies for that homesickness tugging at your heart strings.

Make a FaceTime date and stick to it. Thanks to technology we have the ability to come face-to-face with our loved ones even if we’re hundreds of miles apart. Next time you are feeling in need of some family bonding, make a family group chat and figure out a time that every can sit down and reconnect. Although you can’t be at the dinner table together, at least with FaceTime and Skype, just being able to see a familiar face can make all the difference.

Recreate your favorite home-cooked meal. Trinity offers many spaces around campus where students can cook meals for themselves when they need a break from Mather. If you are craving a little taste of home, take a ride to the grocery store and grab the ingredients to a meal you love that you can only get from home. Call up Dad, or Grandma (or whoever knows the best lasagna recipe), and ask them to explain how they create your favorite dish. You can then head over to any of the freshman dorms, or borrow a friend’s kitchen on Crescent St. and get cooking! Even if you’ve never attempted your favorite dish before, it could be an awesome learning experience while also bringing a small piece of home to campus. It may not taste as good as it would from your own kitchen, but it may tide you over until the next time your home on break.

Talk to someone about it. There is absolutely no reason to be embarrassed about being homesick because it happens to everyone. You should never feel as though you have to hold it in either. The Trinity community is made up of so many wonderful Professors, Counselors, Coaches, and Administrators that are here for whatever you need. If you are simply looking for someone to listen, their doors are always open. Also, Trinity has an on-campus counseling center specifically for students looking for a little extra support. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of any of these amazing people at Trinity, they understand how hard it can be to adjust to new surroundings and how to cope with missing loved ones.

Homesickness creeps up on you when you least expect it, but don’t push it away immediately. Recognize that, even though college is an opportunity for newfound independence, we still need the support from the people that got us this far. If you are feeling a little down because Thanksgiving break is just too far away, take some time to call up Mom and Dad and tell them you love them. I promise you’ll feel a whole lot better afterwards.

 

“She was an American Girl”: Why I Chose to Major in American Studies

“She was an American Girl”: Why I Chose to Major in American Studies

I am always asked the question, “Why did you pick Trinity?” Even though my long answer includes about 10 different reasons, my short answer is the academics and ability to take anything and everything I wanted! In high school, I absolutely loved my US History classes and AP US Government and Politics class and knew I wanted a college that had strong history classes, even though I didn’t think history was the perfect major for me. To this day, I still have so many academic interests – history, English, the arts, politics- and as a first year student, I figured the only way I would be able to fulfill everything I wanted to study would be by quadruple majoring. It wasn’t until I took AMST 203: Conflicts and Cultures in American Society that I realized the American Studies major combined everything I wanted to study.

In AMST 203, we studied the political, social, and culture movements of the 1950s. This meant that we were watching episodes of Leave It to Beaver, reading literature like The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, and beat poetry, learning about McCarthyism and the Red Scare, and even reading scholarship on Jackie Robinson. I took this class during the spring semester of my first year and was so confident that this was the perfect fit for me that I declared a major in American Studies in April of that same semester. American Studies is an interdisciplinary major- this means that I was able to take an arts policy class in the public policy & law, an introductory class in the sociology department, American literature classes in the English department, and U.S. history classes based out of the history department.

American Girl

I feel incredibly close to the faculty members in the American Studies department. Even though I have one advisor, I am comfortable going to any of them for questions on classes to take, research opportunities within the major, or advice on my post-graduate plans. The department is small but mighty and I know I am lucky to have their support and guidance in ways that my friends in other majors don’t have.

I also knew all along that I wanted to write a thesis for American Studies and when it came time to think of a topic, I made a list of everything I was interested in researching. The themes I studied in that first American Studies class- mass media, gender roles, and popular culture-  still stuck with me. After looking at the ideas I had come up with, and talking with my thesis advisor Professor Jack Gieseking, as well as Professor Scott Gac and Professor Tom Wickman, American Girl dolls seemed to be the most unique topic that engaged with all of the areas I enjoyed studying. Even though I am still continuing to shape my thesis as I write and research it, I am currently looking at the intersection of race, class, and gender represented by the dolls, as well as what version of the American past the dolls’ storybooks convey. Although many people don’t necessarily understand just how much there is to research on American Girl dolls, I absolutely love my topic and really feel it is the perfect culmination of my personal and academic interests. It truly is an interdisciplinary topic and goes to show how many possibilities there are within American Studies scholarship. It is a major I highly recommend to any student interested in understanding American history and culture within the context of today’s society!

My First Month in Rome

My First Month in Rome

As an introvert who had not yet traveled outside of the USA, I was initially hesitant to study abroad. On campus, I had the security of my closest friends and felt comforted by the familiar. As a great unknown, the idea of living in Rome for four months, despite its promise of adventure, was daunting. Nonetheless, after speaking to staff members from the study away office, I realized a new perspective: this was an experience that would only come once, that could potentially be the best and most transformative of my life.

And so, I took a chance.

Emily

As of today, I have lived in Rome for a month. Though only thirty days in, my adventure thus far has taken me beyond Rome to such exotic, exciting and fascinating places as Florence, Naples, Pompeii, Capri, Venice and Ravenna. I have seen Michelangelo’s paintings in the Uffizi, tasted an authentic Neapolitan pizza and gazed upon Mount Vesuvius from the same vantage point as the Pompeiians who perished almost two millennia before. I’ve sailed in a boat around the Amalfi coast where I stopped to swim in grottos, met Franciscan monks on their isle in the Venetian lagoon and toured numerous ancient basilicas.

And best of all is Rome. There, I have toured parts of the Vatican unaccessible to most thanks to my professor, who is employed there as an art conservationist. Among other sites, I have explored catacombs and seen the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum, Spanish Steps and the Pantheon. And for the foodies among you, I have been eating the best food of my life!

During this limited stay, Rome has changed who I am as a person. I am more outgoing, confident and willing to try new things. Despite once being the girl in gym class who would do anything to get out of participating and who was hesitant to raise her hand in class, starting next month I intend to enroll in boxing lessons at the nearby gym. I am also excited to report that I have an internship at a local middle school, where I teach multiple English classes per week.

Only a month ago, I arrived to Trinity’s Rome campus without a friend group, travel experience or knowledge of the Italian language. Now, I have many new close friends I never would have met otherwise, have traveled more in these past thirty days than I have in my prior twenty years and, thanks to my immersion in the culture, I have grown entirely comfortable with the Italian language.

Prior to my departure for Rome, I recall staring apprehensively at the countdown to my flight. It occurred to me that maybe I wouldn’t make friends, that the language barrier would overwhelm me or that I would become homesick. I know now that traveling outside of your comfort zone, even if it’s 4,000 miles away, might just be the best decision you’ll ever make.