Selecting a School That’s Right For You

Selecting a School That’s Right For You

I applied to nine schools either Regular Decision or Early Action. I did not do Early Decision anywhere. I applied to public and private schools ranging from Wisconsin to New Hampshire. I told my family from the very beginning of the application process that I was not going to apply to any schools in my home state of Maine. I was incredibly indecisive in choosing which school to go to. It was the middle of April when I finally narrowed my decision down to two schools.

I visited Trinity three times during my senior year. I realized during these visits how community centered Trinity is. I found that students have a large presence on campus, and Hartford has so much to offer. I was impressed by the alumni network, small classrooms, beautiful campus, elite reputation, and challenging academics. During my visits I sat in on a class, toured the campus, interviewed, ate in Mather Dining Hall, and visited a friend. I think that for me, spending time observing how a Trinity student spends their time was integral in helping making my decision. After my visits, I was able to imagine myself as one of the students I was walking among. I truly believe that there is more than just one “right school” for everyone. However, I think it is necessary to spend time with or observing the student body to find the school that will make you most happy.

Although I don’t think I — or anyone — could have gone terribly wrong, I do think that Trinity is absolutely the best school for me. I am so happy to be a Bantam!

Beyond Four Years: Making Your College Choice

Beyond Four Years: Making Your College Choice

Where to spend the next four years? It’s an important question, and an enormous decision that colleges around the country ask students to make during the month of April.

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Hartford provides Trinity College students with the urban setting and career development resources to prepare them for life after college.

While I’d love to make that decision easier—and, of course, all of us in the Admissions Office are happy to help however we can—that’s not the purpose of this blog post. Instead, I want to encourage you to think about this decision as one that extends far beyond your four years on campus. Your college choice is really about charting a course through graduation into your career and the rest of your life.

So now that I’ve only raised the stakes of this already huge decision, allow me to share a bit about how we think Trinity serves students with an eye on life after college. Continue reading

Overnight Visit at Trinity

Overnight Visit at Trinity

While I was applying to colleges, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted my school to look like. I already knew that I wanted to attend a small liberal arts college in an urban area. Therefore, my search was narrowed to many schools in the northeast. For this reason, I decided to schedule overnight visits to some of my favorites. Amongst these schools, Trinity College in Hartford, CT had a program specifically tailored for prospective students, and I decided to apply.

While visiting Trinity, I immediately fell in love with the campus. Despite being in the middle of a city, Trinity contains many green areas and having a quad full of elms did not harm the image. Trinity also boasts beautiful architecture around every corner. The Long Walk has old brick buildings with artistic engravings on it. I cannot forget to mention the beautiful chapel located in the middle of campus, which many people enjoy taking photos of during winter or summer.

Unlike other overnight visits, Trinity actually made me feel welcomed. The people I met during my overnight stay were very friendly. They actually made me feel part of the community, even if they knew that I might not be coming here. Everyone I met that day made a good impression on me, and I still say hello to them when I see them going to their classes. The people made me realize that Trinity is made up of a vibrant and friendly community. In addition, the small campus size allows more interactions with people. You will meet many people in your classes, and you will be able to say hi to them around campus or at the dining hall. I knew that I wanted my college experience to be filled with people I knew, not random strangers every day.

In addition to a friendly community, I enjoyed visiting a class during my overnight stay. I could choose which classes I wanted to walk into. I decided to enter a psychology class out of curiosity, and saw that students were engaged and eloquently contributing to the discussion. The professor was friendly and willing to help. Now, as a current student I can say that by far the professors at Trinity are the best part of coming here. They are always approachable. The professors at Trinity made my experience far better compared to other schools.

Consider coming to Trinity and visiting. This is the only way that you can experience how it feels to come here. After my visit, I loved the experience so much that I decided that I wanted to experience it far more than just one day. The people are friendly. The location inside and outside of campus can only be described as perfect. Furthermore, the professors are among some of the best people you will ever meet on campus. I suggest considering Trinity as a serious option for your next four years of your academic career.

Schedule an overnight visit to Trinity herehttps://connect.trincoll.edu/portal/overnight-visit

Gateway Programs

Gateway Programs

During senior year I quickly got used to receiving up to ten promotional mailings from various colleges and universities every day. Many were generic letters, some including visually striking postcards, and a few schools even sent full-color view books. However, the college mailing that had the greatest impact on my life after graduation was a packet from Trinity with brochures for each of their Gateway programs. Each Gateway program consists of several thematically linked courses taken with a small group of passionate students in the first (and sometimes second) year. I was intrigued by the broad spectrum of these programs at Trinity and the availability of such unique learning communities within the larger liberal arts college lead me to apply to Trinity. Here’s a brief run down of each of Trinity’s Gateway Programs:

  • InterArts Program: This program is perfect for artists of all kinds, and spans two semesters. Each year culminates in a big InterArts showcase where students display their work for the entire campus.
  • Interdisciplinary Science Program (ISP): The ISP allows driven science students to begin research in their first year. The program prepares students for successful careers in the sciences.
  • Cities Program: This program involves four courses over two semesters that take advantage of Trinity’s Urban Studies department and unique location in Hartford.
  • Humanities Gateway Program: European Cultures: This three-semester program invites students to explore European culture through an interdisciplinary study of classics, philosophy, religion, history, and literature.
  • The Community Action Gateway: This two-semester program allows students to get involved in Hartford and learn about mechanisms of social change.

Each Gateway Program appeals to a unique set of students and provides a small learning community. I loved being a part of one, and think that they offer a unique start to the Trinity experience. Learn more about applying to one of them here!

Take a Trip to Trin

Take a Trip to Trin

When I was applying to colleges, I began to feel like every school was the same. I spent countless hours perusing university websites, pulling up different campuses on Google Maps, and creating a detailed spreadsheet with all the information that seemed important to me. There were so many options available to me, and I became so overwhelmed with the college application process. I found that actually visiting the campuses I had spent so much time analyzing on paper remedied this confusion.

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I remember my first visit to Trinity so well—the sun, the Long Walk, and even my first experience with Mather Dining Hall. As I walked around campus, I could see myself playing my clarinet at the Austin Arts Center or attending services in the Chapel. I knew that a liberal arts college in an urban setting was unusual, but it wasn’t until I visited that I felt the vibrant energy of Trinity’s location in Hartford. I was able to sit in on a class within my potential major and talk to Student Admissions Associates about their experiences of Trinity.

Once I visited Trinity, I grew in confidence that I had found the college for me. My campus visit helped me convert my mental knowledge of the school into a practical understanding of the college’s atmosphere and my place within a dynamic student body. If you’re currently in the middle of the college admissions process, now is a great time to plan a visit to Trinity!

 

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.

Interview Hack- SAAs share their FAQs

Interview Hack- SAAs share their FAQs

The interview, though not required, can be an extremely nerve-wracking part of the application process. However, think of it as your chance to show off and put your best foot forward. Some of our Student Admissions Associates (read more about them here) have shared their favorite questions to ask in an interview.

My personal favorite is “What has been the most memorable experience you’ve had in high school?” Whether it be a positive or a negative experience, this is an opportunity for students to talk about teachers or students that have had an impact on them, a class or club that has forced them to step out of their comfort zone, or something that is just really meaningful to them. I love how open-ended this question is, since I always get different responses!

Maura– “I like to ask people what their super power would be if they had you. I’ve gotten some really fun answers, and you can learn a lot about someone. For example, someone once said they wished they could be invisible so they could climb statues in public without judgement.”

Sebastian- My favorite question to ask is also the first question I ask: “Tell me about yourself.” This question gives students the opportunity to talk about themselves, which I think creates a more relaxed atmosphere. I also believe that the answer might give another talking point or generate my next question. It’s a great way to have a free-flowing interview, rather than a constant Q&A.

Griffin- “As you think about your transition from high school to college and the opportunity for growth that such a transition offers, what personal traits or characteristics do you want to make sure you hold onto?” After the interviewee responds, I then ask, “So, the other side of this question: what personal traits or characteristics do you want to change or leave behind when you transition to college?”

I leave this bifurcated question for the end of the interview, and — if I’ve done a good job building a rapport with the interviewee — it often elicits an honest examination of the interviewee’s own strengths and weaknesses. I love the question because it leads to responses that are truly telling of how self–aware and reflective an individual is, with these two traits being major assets here at Trinity.

Elise-My favorite question to ask is “If you could go back and take one class again because you loved it so much, what would it be and why?” I like this question because students get very excited to talk about a class that they have loved, and I often learn something new about the topic that the class was based on.”

Sedona- “My favorite question to ask is ‘How would you spend a snow day?’ This is a chance for students to show what they’re passionate about outside of the classroom and what they enjoy doing with their free time!”

Henry- “What is an experience you have had that changed your perspective on the world?”

Interview Do’s and Don’ts

Interview Do’s and Don’ts

Interviews at Trinity are a fantastic way to tell us more about yourself, show your personality and passions, and clarify any aspects of your application. Although they are not required, they are strongly recommended for those reasons. Below are some interview Do’s and Don’ts to help you prepare!

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Prospective students will most likely interview with one of our trained Student Admissions Associates on campus.

 

DO send your interviewer a thank you note! It can be a short email or personalized via snail mail. Either way this shows that you paid attention to what we talked about and are a thoughtful person. It’s another way to show your interest in Trinity and communicate with the Admissions staff. Trust me, it makes my day when I receive a thank you note…bonus points if it is handwritten!

DO ask questions and show that you’ve done your homework! It could be something as simple as “where’s your favorite place to eat on campus?” or “why did you pick Trinity?” Any way to thoughtfully engage with your interviewer will help you to stand out in their mind!

DO be able to point to a few things unique to Trinity that you would like to participate in. Whether it be a specific department/major, a couple of extra curricular clubs, or taking advantage of Hartford, interviewers like to see that you are genuinely interested in Trinity and would make the most of your time here!

DO talk about your passions, hobbies, and anything else to help you stand out! Interviewers meet with hundreds of kids every year so having a few special details to make you memorable during reading season will definitely help!

 

DON’T wear gym shorts…but also don’t feel pressure to wear a three-piece suit. It’s important that you make a good impression and are putting your best foot forward. Of course your outfit will not make or break the interview, but it does reflect how much you care!

DON’T contact the office every two weeks telling us how much you want to come to Trinity. Of course we love your enthusiasm, but make your contact with us meaningful and pertinent!

DON’T forget to call us if you’re going to be late or need to reschedule your interview. We understand that traffic, bad weather, or things at home can happen unexpectedly and be out of your control! Please just be considerate enough to let the office know!

DON’T be nervous! This is your time to shine! The best interviews are often the ones where the prospective students are confident, comfortable, and personable. Of course your interviewer understands there is a ton of pressure in this moment and it’s okay to make mistakes or not have the perfect answer. But try your best to let your nerves not get in the way of your ability to talk about yourself. If you would feel more comfortable interviewing via Skype or with an alumni outside of the office, contact the Admissions Office!

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!

Becoming a Bantam: Why I Chose Trinity

Becoming a Bantam: Why I Chose Trinity

Unlike most matriculated Trinity students, my first campus tour was in 4th grade. My teacher was an alum of Trinity and wanted to take us to his alma matter to show us a real college campus. I remember having a picnic on the quad, getting to see a dorm room (in retrospect, it was most likely a one room double in Goodwin) and being SHOCKED by how tiny it was, and absolutely loving the swimming pools (I had a weird obsession with swimming pools at the time). I remember driving away from the campus, sitting next to my friend Jenn on the bus, and saying “This was such a cool school, we should go here and live together!”

115 Vernon Street is home to the English department and The Writing Center.

Subconsciously, Trinity must have stuck in my mind for another nine years when I decided to apply. I have never been able to settle on one definitive career path- I’ve been interested in everything from becoming a fashion designer or a writer, a bakery owner or Food Network star, a teacher, journalist, or stay at home mom. When I started looking at colleges during my junior year of high school, I knew I wanted to attend a small school with strong academics that would let me pursue any and all of my interests. Most of the school I looked at were in an urban environment and that definitely was more appealing to me than an isolated, rural campus (I’ve never really considered myself to be an “outdoorsy” person). On paper, most of the schools I ended up applying to were very similar- they all had strong english, history, and theatre departments, had a student body of about 2,500 students, were pretty selective, and most importantly, had awesome on campus coffee shops.

Why I chose Trinity

To help me decide whether or not to apply ED to Trinity, my parents and I made more pro-con lists than we could keep straight, but at the end of the day, Trinity really was the standout school. It felt special. The pride that alumni had in calling themselves Bantams felt like a community I wanted to be a part of and I really felt like this is would be a place where not only would I grow, but I would have the opportunity to thrive. Aside from the campus looking like Hogwarts, being thirty minutes from my house (my parents gave me a two hour radius of schools which I was allowed to apply to) and the swimming pool that first caught my eye at age nine, Trinity had so many opportunities that I wanted to take advantage of. I met with several different professors on campus who were all welcoming and encouraging, sat in on an Introduction to Creative Writing class, and walked around this campus more than any other college. Trinity was where I wanted to be, and I knew that if I were to attend, I wouldn’t be limited to one major, one club, or one passion. I believed that Trinity would bring out the very best in me and it has.

I was about 90% sure Trinity was the right school for me when I decided to apply ED 1 and left the other 10% up to fate. During the one month waiting period after I applied, I kept repeating to myself, “If it truly is the right school for me, I will get accepted.” I spent 40 minutes refreshing the web browser that held my decision and screamed when I saw the words, “Congratulations! You have been accepted to Trinity College!” pop up on my screen. When you decide to apply, and ultimately matriculate, to a college, don’t settle for a school that you think will be “okay” or “fine.” Go for the Gold. Like Simone Biles on the gymnastics floor or Ina Garten in the kitchen, you will know when you have found the right place for you to thrive. For me, that place was Trinity.