The Waiting Game

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.

Staying Organized in College

Staying Organized in College

I think we all can recall one time or another when we find ourselves sitting in the library or at the desk in our dorm room and thinking: “My life is a mess.” Being disorganized can be one of the most stressful and overwhelming feelings during the semester. Also, if you’re anything like me, then being disorganized can make an already stressful situation one hundred times worse. In my opinion, organization and stress levels go hand-in-hand. Now, don’t get me wrong – I know that there are some people out there in the world that do not worry about organizing anything and still make it through life just fine! However, for the rest of us that don’t have that skill, here are some easy tips to help you stay organized for the remainder of the semester.

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  1. Buy an agenda. If you haven’t already done so, I highly suggest investing in a weekly/monthly planner. Not only do they help you keep track of assignments and due dates, but they come in every shape, size, and color – there’s literally one for everybody! Personally, I alway go for the agendas that show the entire month first, and then break it down by week afterwards. I also look for agendas that leave a lot of space to write underneath each day. When there is more space to write, you can be sure later on that you put down all the necessary information for certain assignments and due dates! It’s also just nicer to look at too…
  2. Color-Code everything. The ways in which I keep track of my notes and handouts from each class is by color-coding my notebooks and folders. I know this is seemingly old-fashioned, but I promise it works. Normally I take five classes per semester, meaning that when I go school shopping I purchase five notebooks in five different colors, and five folders in those same colors to match! I always suggest buying 1 inch, 3-ring binders as folders because they are sturdier and you can reuse them. Then, all you have to is find a whole punch and a Sharpie to label everything and you’re in business!
  3. Highlighters rule. When some people prepare readings for their upcoming classes, they prefer to simply underline what they think is important or what they are unsure about. While this is a great tactic, I am a full believer of the highlighter. If you are saying to yourself, “Man, I really can’t stand looking at a paper full of neon yellow lines,” then that’s okay! However, I do suggest that you purchase some highlighters anyway. Even if you don’t use them while you are doing your work, it might be nice to use some bold colors to remind yourself when assignments, projects, and readings are due for specific classes
  4. Ask questions. While this one is pretty self-explanatory, I would just like to reiterate. Unsure about the prompt of an assignment? Can’t remember the exact due date for an upcoming paper? Ask. Do not ever be afraid to clarify things you are unsure about. Believe me, it’s way easier than not asking and then freaking out on a Thursday night because the paper that you thought was due next Friday is actually due tomorrow! (Take me up on this…I write from experience).
  5. Make your bed. This one is slightly different from the tips I’ve shared above, but I think it is just as important. If you take just five extra minutes in the morning to make your bed after tossing and turning all night, you will feel so much better when you return after a long day to go to sleep. Coming home to a nicely made bed is the best feeling of relief when all you want to do it lay down and unwind from stress. When your bed is made, it makes it a little bit easier to keep the rest of your room clean as well! This way, with a freshly made bed and clean room, all the other craziness going on in your life won’t seem so consuming and overwhelming!

Staying organized in college has been a personal struggle of mine for a long time now. Fortunately, I know that I’m not alone in that struggle either. These are just a few things that I do in order to stay on top of my life and keep organized and I hope one or two of them can help you do that too!

The Home-Stretch (Literally)

As my time abroad is rapidly coming to an end, I’m having a hard time grasping how quickly it went by! Although I can’t deny that I’m so looking forward to being back on campus in the Spring…a part of me never wants to leave this place. In my opinion, one semester abroad is no enough to get a full grasp on anything. You travel to new cities and countries every weekend, but only get a small taste of what life is like there. It’s unfortunate that you can’t immerse yourself in every culture you visit – but that’s just another reason to return!

Being away from my family and from Trinity has given me some valuable perspective on life. I don’t want to claim myself to be incredibly cultured or an avid world traveler; I was only in Europe for four months and visited 8 countries. However, the small things that I picked up along the way – in my opinion – are priceless. The way other cultures welcomed you into theirs as an honored guest with warmth and kindness will stay with me forever. Also, traveling alone made me realize that I am (and am not) as direction impaired as I thought I was. Traveling with a group of friends can make the experience so much fun, and you will have a collection of memories that you will hold onto forever. However, after getting over my fear of traveling solo, I realized how much more I got to learn about myself and the place I was visiting!

If I had to offer some advice for future abroad-goers, some of my top sentiments would be:

  • Travel as much as you can. I’m not saying you have to have every single weekend booked solid for the entire semester, but travel as much as possible! Everyone’s budget is different, but passing up the opportunity to visit at least a couple different cities while abroad will be a regret you have for the rest of your college career. However, don’t forget to explore the city you’re studying in as well! Many times students spend so much time in other countries that they don’t know anything about the place they’ve been living in for an entire semester.
  • Bring a friend. If you are lucky enough to find someone in your program or in your classes that has similar interests or traveling goals as you, then make plans to travel with them! Large groups are fun but can be difficult to manage if you’re traveling a lot. Sometime when it’s just a pair of people, you can fit in more sites and things on your to-do list.
  • Take photos. Investing in a small camera before you go abroad might be the best investment you make all year. Your phone is definitely a great tool too – especially for keeping your snapchat fans updated on your adventures! Either way, you’re going to be so proud of the collection of photos you’ve accumulated by the end of your time abroad.

Like I said, I’m not a world traveler or anything, but I can definitely say I’ve conquered my fear of flying! As the idea of leaving next week looms over my head, I’m so sad that I don’t have more time here. More time to explore, to talk, to learn, to travel, and to discover.

If you have to opportunity to go abroad while at Trinity, I urge you to take it. It will change your life!

 

Politics…Among Other Things

This election season has been a long, grueling and frustrating one for most of us. Whether you are a political junkie – never missing a press conference or debate, or someone who couldn’t care less about politics, it’s safe to say that the current political climate is affecting all of us in some way. As most of the country waited with baited breath as the election results slowly rolled in late Tuesday night and into the early hours Wednesday morning, many of us were left with an overwhelming mixture of feelings. Some citizens were elated with the results, feeling as though their thoughts and feelings were finally being acknowledged. Others, on the other hand, were heartbroken…to say the least. It is not my place to diminish or dismiss either of these sentiments, but rather, recognize that they are both valid. Everyone has a right to their own opinion.

Being a college student during confusing times like these is not easy. It will not be easy for a very long time. However, I would like to credit Trinity College, the administration, faculty, alumni, and current study body, on its ability to rise above the nasty, vicious divisions that politics can create among communities. When I received President Berger-Sweeney’s email post-election day, I sighed a much-needed breath of relief. Aside from offering many open options for students to discuss the outcome of the election and the feelings they have surrounding it, she also reminded the community that the Counseling Center, Employee Assistance Program, and the deans of students and faculty are always available to lend support to those struggling with the outcome. President Berger-Sweeney also reminded us all that: “We at Trinity College will continue in our commitment to build and sustain a welcoming and affirming community for persons of all races, ethnicities, religions, nationalities, and gender identities…Our institutional priorities regarding equity, inclusion, and diversity will not change in light of election outcomes.” After reading these thoughtful and kind words from the president of our beautiful institution, my sense of confusion and devastation eased a little.

It is so extremely important that our college comes together right now, rather than divide among one another. Regardless of personal political believes, we all have an obligation to each other: to treat one another with respect, kindness, and dignity. Regardless of skin color, faith, ethnicity, it is our job as a community to protect one another, and hold our fellow classmates up when they are falling down. I am so proud to be part of a College community that holds these values so close to the core of everything it does. The mutual respect and inclusion I see on Trinity’s campus is what gives me hope for the future. Our generation has so many things to figure out now, but at least it is clear that we are not alone in our path to do so. I truly believe that the more we come together as a community – as a family – the easier we can transcend the strong racial and culture divides that hinders our country from moving forward. There is no other place I would rather be in order to educate myself on these important, life-affecting issues, than Trinity College.

Thoughts from “Across the Pond”

Going abroad for a semester (or even an entire year!) is one of the most exciting experiences of your life. I would like to start off by saying that, if the opportunity presents itself, you should jump on it. There has not been a single moment yet of my semester abroad, that I have regretting studying away for a semester. With this being said, I am not immune to the nostalgia that comes along with being away from Trinity for so long. I believe that the more time you spend there, the bigger space it comes to hold in your heart. After bringing up my homesickness in conversations with other friends abroad, I’ve come to realize that I am not the only one feeling this way. Through listening to conversations of what everyone misses about home, I decided to put together a small collection of “Trin-things” that your fellow mates are missing a little extra this semester.

Brandon Campbell ’18 who is studying in Barcelona, only had one thing on his mind when I asked him what he missed most about Trinity right now saying, “I miss Rashima’s eggs in Mather, hands down.” As most of you may know, the egg-bar is a popular choice among Mather-goers, and especially those made by our beloved Mather employee, Rashima!

Charlotte Stabler ’18, who is a proud sister of Kappa Kappa Gamma on campus, mentioned that it wasn’t so much what she missed about Trinity, but rather, who she missed. “My roommates, definitely.” Charlotte says that being able to have her best friends in the next room all the time is something that she finds herself missing immensely at the moment. She also misses her daily bistro smoothies, and the amazing pumpkin bread at Peter B’s in the library. (Don’t worry Charlotte, you’re definitely not alone on that one!)

“I really miss walking down the Long Walk to go to class in the morning, when the weather is cool and crisp. I also miss anyone and everyone, because it always seems to be someone you recognize. You don’t get that often while you’re abroad. Also, those First and Last lunches they serve at Common Hour events are incomparable…that’s on the top of my list when I get back!” ~Sherri Liao ’18

Similarly to Charlotte and Sherri, Lulu Kammerer ’18 says, “I miss walking around a campus where you know everyone and can say, ‘Hi!’ to the people you pass on the Long Walk. I also miss living with my best friends.”

“I miss being on a campus where I am, at most, ten minutes from all my classes. I also muss the way classes are taught at Trinity and the close contact I have with my professors.” ~Lilla Kis ’18, studying abroad in Scotland at St. Andrews.

As you can tell, studying abroad is an amazing time for every Trinity student, but we still find ourselves missing campus from time to time. I think being removed from the comfortable Long Walk scenery, cozy Raether Library chairs, and endless Mather options can be difficult at times, but just gives us something to look forward to when we return!

If your interested in finding out what it’s like to study away from Trinity for a semester, make sure you follow: @trincollstudyaway on Instagram!

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!

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.

 

5 Reasons You Should Consider Studying Abroad

Hola! Ciao! Bonjour!

In case you haven’t heard, studying abroad during one’s time at Trinity is something encouraged by the entire community! The Study Away Office (located on Vernon Street) is like a porthole to a whole other world outside of our little Hartford oasis. There are so many places and opportunities Trinity offers within the Study Abroad system, that there is practically something for everyone. Trinity has a number of sister campuses in many places around the world, these include: Cape Town, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Shanghai, Trinidad, Buenos Aires and Barcelona. If none of these options spark your interest, you also have the ability to enroll in satellite programs with other schools! With the Study Away Office, you can pretty much go anywhere your heart desires.

After my first two weeks at Trinity’s Barcelona program, I’ve come up with five reasons why everyone underclassmen should consider studying abroad as part of your college experience. So, if you on the fence about this one, just hear me out…

1. Your taste buds will thank you.

If you think your Grandma’s cooking is out of this world, wait until you eat in Italy – one word: PASTA. To be quite honest, when you study abroad not only will your horizons expand, but your palette will too. Food and drink is so important in every culture and when you are surrounded by new smells and flavors, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture in ways you never had expected. Also, if you’re a self-proclaimed foodie, what’s better than enjoying a fresh baked croissant while taking a stroll under the Eiffel Tower? I’ll tell you…nothing.

2. New friendships await you.

When you make the decision to take a semester away from Trinity and spend it elsewhere, you are going to be placed in a program with a bunch of other people that made that same decision. The great thing about the Study Away programs is that they become super-inclusive; you may have seen that girl on the long walk freshman year, but now you’re her roommate at a home-stay in a foreign country. However, not only will you make new unexpected Trinity friends, but you will also have the opportunity to meet other local and international students within your classes. Some Trinity programs have you directly enroll in local university classes, which means you may be flying solo depending on what your interested in. This is the PERFECT time to step out of your comfort zone and make some new friends. Who knows, maybe your long lost BFF has been growing up South Africa this entire time!

3. You’ll learn what you like, but more importantly, what you don’t like.

Studying Abroad is a big step for many college students because it means leaving everything they know and stepping into something completely, well…foreign! Do ever go about your daily routine at home simply out of habit, and not even think about what your actually doing? Well when you go abroad, chances are you’ll realize that there are many things you do in life that are not really your style at all. I know – weird to think about right? Honestly, we all can get caught in a rut at home because it’s whats comfortable or expected of us, but abroad, you have the opportunity to figure out exactly who you want to be. And that’s pretty awesome.

4. You get a break from your phone.

If you consider yourself a “normal college student” then you probably make checking your Instagram and Facebook notifications a daily priority. I hate to break it to you, but unless you want to pay a semester’s worth of tuition in phone bills…you’re going to have to disconnect for a while. In many places abroad, not only can you not use cell data, but WiFi hotspots are few and far between. This is great, believe me. When you finally accept the fact that your daily Instagram crawl will just have to wait, you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. By disconnecting you can give yourself permission to experience your time abroad first-hand, instead of through Snapchat stories. Turning away from the phone screen will force you to explore your surroundings and be present in your daily life. I promise, leave your phone at home and go get lost on the metro…you won’t regret it.

5. Well-roundedness is almost inevitable.

Let’s face it, if you decide to go abroad, you’re bound to become (at least) a slightly different person than when you left…that’s AWESOME. If you’re lucky enough to live in a home-stay during your program, you get to see what and how a typical family in a certain culture eats, converses, works, and values. Taking classes at local universities exposes you to different styles of teaching and learning, and may be helpful when you return to Trinity. Depending on where you chose to study abroad, being surrounded by other languages may be overwhelming at first, but will ultimately make you stronger in the long run. Learning how to navigate yourself and your life in a new place can be a very humbling but growing experience. The chances of you returning home with a greater sense of perspective is possibly the best thing to be gained from your time abroad.

These are obviously just a handful of the millions of reasons you should consider taking some time to Study Away during your Trinity career. Be sure to stop by the Study Away office or the online info here, if you want to learn more about the amazing opportunities that await you! But for now, enjoy the beginnings of another wonderful Fall Semester in Hartford…nothing beats a Chapel picture in October!

 

 

 

Pre-orientation Programs: Venture Trinity

Hey all! I’m reaching out today to all the ladies of the class of 2020 to tell you about one of the amazing pre-orientation programs offered here at Trinity! Venture Trinity is an exclusively female-orientated program happening August 25-27th. At Venture, about 40 incoming First Year students will have the opportunity to come to Trinity a few days early and meet some of your fellow classmates and future professors and administrators. Venture is an amazing program for a few reasons. First, you are able to meet some new people before the rest of the class floods the campus during orientation. This can be helpful (and slightly relieving) to know a few people prior to those first few chaotic days on campus. Second, Venture brings in past participants, whom are now upperclassmen, to show you the ropes and provide useful First Year advice. Third, the networking opportunities that Venture provides can open doors for internships and connections in the future!

Although Venture only lasts for two days, there are so many activities and events packed within them. There are things like team-building tasks and large group debates and discussions. Also, a highlight of the program in the all-women panel of speakers that are invited to present and answer questions. Many of these women are Trinity Alumni who have become successful in many different walks of life, all of whom desire to come back and share their stories and advice with the new generation of Trinity women. Finally, if you’re lucky, President Berger-Sweeney will make an appearance as well!

Personally, Venture Trinity was a great first step for me into life at Trinity. I was able to connect with some amazing women and with a handful of professors that I remain close with today. After Venture ended, I had a new sense of confidence and excitement in beginning my college career. Also, I can’t go without saying that through Venture, I have met some of my best friends in life. The relationships that you build with the women around you during the Venture experience are certainly ones that will remain with you throughout your time at Trinity. I would encourage all women in the class of 2020 to consider applying to be a part of this wonderful opportunity Trinity has to offer!

 

Find out more about Venture Trinity here.

Coffee with a Bantam!

As I’m sure you’re all aware, May 1st is right around the corner and that means it’s crunch time for decision day! In anticipation of this exciting day, I want to tell you about a program we offer here at Trinity that will (hopefully) make your decisions a little bit easier. Coffee with a Bantam! This program is a great opportunity to explore campus and talk with a current student in the most laid-back environment!

During Coffee with a Bantam you can meet with a Student Admissions Associate in the Admissions Building and head out to any one of our cozy coffee shops – Peter B’s Espresso, The UnderGround Coffeehouse, or Goldberg’s on Campus. Throughout the time with your SAA you can explore almost anywhere on campus that sparks your interest or curiosity! Also, don’t be afraid to ask your SAA any questions or share concerns you have about Trinity, that’s exactly what they are there for!

A few things to know about Coffee with a Bantam:

  • It’s completely free! The Office of Admissions takes up the bill on this one, and as all you soon-to-be college students will quickly realize – there is nothing better than free stuff.
  • Your parents and guardians are invited! You’re more than welcome (and even encouraged!) to go-it alone on this one, but if you are making your first visit on campus and want your parents to tag along for the experience, they are more than welcome to do so.
  • The whole thing will take about 45 minutes! This means that you have almost an hour with a current student at your complete disposal. Make sure you take advantage and ask them anything and everything that comes to mind.

I really hope that everyone takes this amazing opportunity to be a part of Coffee with a Bantam and have the best time roaming the campus! Happy exploring!

Schedule your Coffee with a Bantam today by calling 860-297-2180.