Dorm Room Essentials

One of the most exciting things for me as I was getting ready for my Freshman year was decorating my dorm room. It is important to make your room your own and have all the essentials.

First, make it cozy. This is where you will be living for the next eight months so you need to make it a place where you will happily go to sleep, hangout with friends, do your homework, and even eat. Perhaps add string lights to create a nice ambiance, a couple throw blankets, extra pillows, a comfy rug and if your lucky to have enough space- add a chair/beanbag for guests.

One thing I could not live without in my dorm is a power strip. Unfortunately there aren’t that many outlets in my room which is why a power strip is essential. I now have all my electronics and chargers in one spot rather than having them sprawled out around my room.

Another dorm room must have is a mattress pad. This will make your bed feel just like your one from home. It will be super comfortable and you will never have trouble falling asleep.

Lastly, the most important dorm room essential is YOU. Your room should be a reflection of your hobbies, happiness, and life to show who you are as a person! Add a wall of photos, posters of your favorite band, a tapestry, and of course a Trinity College banner!


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.


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!

Pre-orientation Programs: Hartford by Bike

Pre-orientation Programs: Hartford by Bike

You’re probably thinking to yourself: why should I pick this program out of all the countless options I have?

Three years ago I was in your shoes, trying to figure out which pre-orientation program to participate in. I remember being completely overwhelmed with all of the options to choose from. I picked the Hartford by Bike Program because I love biking.  Since then, I have come back three years in a row for all the action-packed fun.

Continue reading

Pre-orientation Programs: Quest

Pre-orientation Programs: Quest

You may be familiar with Quest, whether you have seen it on the Trinity website, in postcards mailed home, or through word of mouth by other students when visiting the college. All incoming first-year students in the class of 2020 have the opportunity to start their four years at Trinity College with a wilderness adventure on Quest, Trinity’s extended pre-orientation program on the Appalachian Trail.

I signed up for Quest three years ago when a friend’s older sibling, then a student at Trinity, encouraged me to sign-up for the trip. Having no real outdoor backing experience nor knowing anyone else who may be on the trip, I didn’t quite know what to expect. Continue reading

Pre-orientation Programs

Congratulations – you’re a member of TrinColl 2020!  …now what?

If you’ve visited the new student site, you’ve most likely seen the checklist we put together to make sure you know when to complete your required forms and tasks.  You may notice that the month of June is the time to register for pre-orientation programs.  If this has you asking: “What are those and why should I register for them?” …we have your answers!

Over the next few days, we will be publishing a series of posts written by current Trinity students who have participated in these programs.  You will hear all about their experiences, why they chose the program they did, and why they were thrilled with their decision to participate in a pre-orientation program! Stay tuned!

For more specific information about the pre-orientation programs, please visit this link

Guest Blogger: Greg Gavelis ’08

Guest Blogger: Greg Gavelis ’08

In spring of 2004, shortly after my acceptance to Trinity College, I got an unassuming letter inviting me to the first-year Interdisciplinary Science Program (ISP). I couldn’t know it at the time, but this letter initiated a cascade of events that would plunge me up to my eyeballs in science. Unlike the thousands of biology undergraduates at the university where I just completed my doctorate, at Trinity College I had the opportunity to do research as a freshman, camp at an experimental farm, and present my findings with [Thomas S. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Biology] Dan Blackburn at the National History Museum in Paris. In hindsight, the invitation to that first-year program was a lot like getting a first owl from Hogwarts.Greg Gavelis ’08 Trinity College

But it’s impossible to see the bigger picture while it’s still being written. Truth be told, I arrived at Trinity full of doubt. The weekend before classes, I’d gone for an extramural camping trip with a Trinity sports team and immediately learned that some college scenes just weren’t for me. (I discovered the delayed effects of facial poison ivy during orientation weekend. And while camping, I learned why not to put place your sleeping bag downhill from the designated pee tree – a morning too late). By contrast, my twin had joined the cross-country team at Wesleyan and was loving it. I was green with envy and red with poison ivy, but soon, our college experiences would take a turn.

In the ISP, Alison Draper [director of the Interdisciplinary Science Center and a lecturer in interdisciplinary science] immediately engaged us in science. Within the first few weeks of class, we went out into Hartford and measured lead levels at an abandoned city lot. She helped us present our findings before a Hartford urban planning board (the lead levels were negligible, and the lot is now, happily, a community garden). Not long after, at a poster presentation, Professor Blackburn invited me to join his lab. I was also taught electron microscopy personally by Dr. Ann Lehman, who oversaw the electron microscopy facility. The strangest part was, I wasn’t a straight-A student; I was just an awkward freshman excited about biology.

This kind of thing isn’t possible in most universities. With sprawling science facilities, university labs are larger but far less personal. Research in each unit is done by dozens of grad students and postdocs, while the professor is occupied primarily with the tasks of administration and writing grants (teaching falls mostly on lecturers). In this, the standard model, students and professors rarely interact. By contrast, labs at Trinity consist of one professor and just a couple students, and we spoke with our professors every day. My faculty adviser, Scott Smedley [associate professor of biology], took us on field trips to Church Farm, and [Charles A. Dana Professor of Biology] Craig Schneider trekked with students to Nepal (he still does). Both professors, on several occasions, invited classes for lunch or dinner at their homes. Once, on a drive home from a dinner seminar, a friend confessed that if she ever got in a jam, she wouldn’t know who to call first – her parents or Doc Schneider. I didn’t realize how rare these experiences are until I went for my master’s and Ph.D. at large universities. At Trinity, these faculty encounters weren’t unusual, they were just life.

Unlike my brother, I never got into the college party scene, but Trinity presented opportunities whose benefits were more enduring. Among the handful of friends that I “nerded out” with, one is now a doctor, two are professors (in chemistry and physics), and I’d like to think that in biology, I’m on my way. So now, as I pack up for a research position in the largest university in the U.S., I hope to bring Trinity’s small-school lessons with me. There are many steps to being a professor, and I don’t know when I’ll get there, but thanks to Trinity, I know exactly the kind of professor I want to be.

Greg Gavelis, Ph.D., is currently a postdoctoral researcher in cell biology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. As of November 2016, he will be a postdoctoral researcher at Arizona State University. He recently had a paper published in the journal Nature.

This article was originally published on Trinity College’s website

Study Away Stories: Cape Town

Study Away Stories: Cape Town

Chelsey Crabbe ’17, a double major in history and community action, spent the Fall 2015 semester studying in South Africa through the Trinity in Cape Town program. The junior from Massachusetts is on the swimming and diving team and is a mentor for Trinity’s Venture women’s leadership program. Crabbe says she is passionate about traveling, so it is no surprise that she is Trinity’s Global Ambassador for Cape Town. She is excited to share some of her memorable experiences in this interview: Continue reading

Study Away Stories: Buenos Aires

Hadley Merrill ’17, a double major in environmental science and Hispanic studies, spent the Fall 2015 semester studying in Buenos Aires, Argentina, through the Trinity in Buenos Aires Study Away program. The junior from Connecticut is on the swimming and diving team. Merrill is Trinity’s Global Ambassador for Buenos Aires, and she shares some of her unforgettable experiences in the interview below:

What attracted you to South America and to the Trinity in Buenos Aires program in particular?

I wanted to study abroad in a country where I could interact with native speakers and improve my language skills, being a Hispanic studies major. Also, I had never been to South America so I thought study abroad would be a great opportunity to explore a part of the world that I knew little about.

What classes did you take while abroad, and how did they fit in with your course of study in Hartford?

In addition to the program core course, “Buenos Aires: The Urban. Experience, Human Rights and Cultural Production,” taught by Trinity in Buenos Aires Faculty-in-Residence Maria Silvina Persino, I enrolled directly in two classes at the Universidad del Salvador (USAL): art history and environmental science. I particularly enjoyed the environmental law class because it allowed me to combine my interests in both Spanish language and environmental studies. While it was challenging to take classes in another language with Argentine students, the professors were extremely understanding and helpful. Taking classes at a local university was a great way to form friendships with Argentines my age.

What tips do you have for overcoming the language barrier?

Adapting to a new place and culture is always a process. When I first arrived in Buenos Aires, I had difficulty articulating what I was trying to say, but with time I became more and more confident in my ability to communicate. My advice would be to not stress out! You will slowly break down the language barrier as you become more and more comfortable in your new surroundings.

What was your favorite trip outside of Buenos Aires?

Traveling around Argentina was a priority for me. During my time abroad I visited six different places in Argentina and Chile, and one of my favorites was my trip to the northern region of Argentina. My friends and I rented a car and did a five-day road trip through Salta, Argentina. The landscape is truly incredible up north and the life up north starkly contrasts with the city life.

Did you participate in an internship while studying away?

I had an internship with FARN (Fundación Ambiental Recursos Naturales), which is an environmental NGO. During my 13-week internship I worked on several projects regarding environmental issues in South America. Primarily, I gathered information on the World Bank’s involvement in large infrastructure projects in South America and how the World Bank’s safeguards either positively or negatively impacted the environment.

How did your semester in Buenos Aires change your perspective?

I matured exponentially over my five months in Buenos Aires. Without my parents close by I was forced to make my own decisions regarding school, travel, and work. I think I became more confident and independent.

What do you miss the most about your host country?

Every day there was something new to do, and I already have a list of things I plan on doing when I return.

What is the next travel destination on your ‘bucket list’?

I want to visit Nepal because the environmental scientist in me wants to visit the Himalayas to observe the impacts of climate change on the iconic mountain range.

Tell us about your Study Away experience in no more than five words.

A challenging, yet unforgettable experience.

This blog was originally published on Trinity College’s website.  For more information from the Office of Study Away at Trinity College, please click here.

Study Away Stories: Paris

Elizabeth Snyder ’17, a double major in American Studies and sociology, spent the Fall 2015 semester studying in Paris through the Trinity in Paris program. The junior from Princeton, New Jersey, is the community manager and co-leader for the Trinity College chapter of Spoon University. Snyder says that she loves the authentic Parisian experience, so it is no surprise that she is Trinity’s Global Ambassador for Paris:

​Emily Bernstein ’17, Isabelle Choy ’17,
Elizabeth Snyder ’17, and Klair Siciliano ’17.

What attracted you to the Trinity in Paris program?

I visited Paris a few years ago and have always wanted to go back. Primarily, I wanted to learn a new language after studying Spanish. Trinity’s Paris program has apartment-style housing, which spreads out across the city. It truly gave me an experience of living in an international city and not just studying there. Having to figure out how to commute to class, cook meals, and communicate in French made my time abroad feel like an authentic Parisian experience.

How did the academics enhance your course of study in Hartford?

I was able to take courses in sociology and American studies at the Trinity in Paris program, which counted towards my major requirements – “Sociology of Paris” and “Visual Culture of WWI.” I also took “Exotic Fare,” which focused on the food and culture of France, photography, and a French language class.

What surprised you most about your study away experience?

I was surprised by how much French I learned in a short period of time. The European lifestyle is very different, which was a nice break from the American college experience.

What was your favorite experience exploring Paris and beyond?

The weekend we spent in the Loire Valley was incredible. The amazing and varying in style chateaux that we saw were extraordinary. The open-air market that we explored was unbelievable, and the views of the French countryside were like none other. I also enjoyed my weekend trip visiting the house of one of our professors, Susan Loomis. She was my professor for the “Exotic Fares” class and previously a New York Times writer and food critic. She lives in a beautiful old house surrounded by apple and fig trees. Just past her fence overlooks an old Gothic church. We learned how to cook delicious French dishes and relished time away from the city in the French countryside.

​Elizabeth Snyder ’17, Catherine Cebulla ’17, Isabelle Choy ’17, and Leah McIntosh ’17.

What do you miss the most about your host country?

Pastries. The café culture of France reflects the outlook on life that Parisians have and is something that I began to miss within the first few days of returning home.

What did you miss most about Trinity in Hartford while you were away?

I missed the sense of community that is present at Trinity in Hartford.

Where do you hope to travel next?

I would love to go to Peru and Brazil. The idea of hiking through Machu Picchu and taking in the excitement of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro would be incredible.

This article was originally published on Trinity College’s website.  For more information from the Office of Study Away at Trinity College, please click here

Introducing: Study Away Stories

We are excited to announce a new series of posts: “Study Away Stories”.

Throughout this series, the Office of Study Away’s Global Ambassadors will share the experiences they had while studying abroad!  These Q&As will highlight Trinity’s various study away locations and give you a taste of what is in store if you choose one of these exciting adventures. Stay tuned!