ACES Thanksgiving Drive

ACES Thanksgiving Drive

Right before thanksgiving break every year, ACES, the community service club on campus, holds their annual thanksgiving drive. They ask for any donations people are willing to make, whether that be money, or food. They also ask students to donate their meal swipes at the end of the week (the swipes that are left over, and won’t be used).

Once they have collected all the donations and the money, the presidents, Alex Donald ’19 and Lexie Axon ’19, and a few other members of the club go to Stop & Shop and buy food to donate. Since the goal is to make 100 full Thanksgiving meals for people who cannot afford them this season, they buy whatever is still needed after people donate food. The goal is to have 100 of each item -turkey, juice, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, beans, peas, cranberry sauce, gravy, dinner rolls, pie crust and pie filling. The workers at Stop & Shop are extremely helpful in this process, since there is so much food to buy. This season, we wound up filling 9 carts full of food, and the workers helped us take it all to the front, check it all out and were even willing to store some of it in the back, so we could come back the next day.

Once all the food has been brought to the community service office, the presidents ask the members to spend just 30 minutes to an hour at the community service office on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The more members that come the more efficient the process, because the office is set up so that the members can make a chain and pack each of the bags efficiently and with all the ingredients. Trader Joe’s donates 200 bags so that each family can get a double bagged meal, since it is very heavy. Once all the bags are packed, the presidents, and their advisor, Joe Barber, take the bags to Hands on Hartford so that they can be donated to families without the means of providing their own Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday.

Things I Learned After My First Semester

Things I Learned After My First Semester

Even though this is only my second semester here at Trinity, I can confidently say that I have learned a lot, in and out of class. For most, going to college for the first time is a major transition, so there is a lot to learn.

Lesson #1- Learn how to manage your time wisely:

My first couple weeks at school, I was amazed at all of the free time I had. I wasn’t really used to having only a couple hours of class everyday and was overwhelmed by my free time. That being said, if you feel that you have a lot of ‘free time’, realize that it is never ‘free’- take advantage of that time and get ahead on work before everything starts piling up.

Lesson #2- Befriend your professors 

One of the major perks about this school is the size. Some of my classes consisted of only ten people which may seem intimidating, but you will soon realize and appreciate how close you can get with your professors. Every professor has office hours which you should really take advantage of. Even if you don’t have a question about the class, go in and have a conversation with them about anything! They will appreciate your efforts to reach out and it will benefit you in the long run. It is also nice to know a little background about your teachers, know where they came from, why they started teaching, and they will always have tips and suggestions for you!

Lesson #3- Try new things

It is really easy to continue your old ways because that is what makes many people feel comfortable, especially when in a new environment. It is important that you branch out, do something you would never have done. Join a club, try out for a sports team (even if its just at the club level), try foods you have never tried, take a class you never thought you would take before, and most importantly- meet new people. It is important to expand your horizons and  be open-minded because you will find out a lot about yourself that you had not previously known.

Lesson #4- Find your place of relaxation

I am not going to lie, college can be very stressful and it is important to learn how to cope with that stress and anxiety. Find that little niche at the Underground Cafe where you can listen to music, find a bench on the quad where you can sit outside and enjoy the environment around you, or find that cozy spot in your room where you can take a nice nap, and relax.

Lesson #5- Have fun!

For many, college will be the best four years of their life. It is a time to explore yourself, have fun, experience new things, and of course, learn. Be social, go out, and enjoy yourself from time to time. Make the most of your four years.

Spring Break is here!

Spring Break is here!

A college Spring Break is a break like no other. Spring Break seems to come with impeccable timing. Some students choose to spend it on a tropical beach with their friends. Others head home with dirty laundry and a full grocery list for their parents. Still, others hibernate in the library, hoping to catch up on their work. Spring Break fosters a time for relaxation for those who leave campus, but for those who chose not to, Trinity is still bustling.

Residential Halls will remain open. However, Dining Services like Mather Dining Hall, Bistro, and the Cave will be closed. The meal plan will be suspended following the evening meal on Friday, March 10th. The Bistro will close after lunch on Friday, March 10th and will reopen Monday, March 20th. The CAVE will be closed Friday, March 10th and will reopen on Monday, March 20th. The meal plan resumes with the evening meal on Sunday, March 19th.

Ferris Athletic Center will be open Saturday, March 11th, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday –Thursday, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, Saturday, March 18th, 7:00 am to midnight, and Sunday, March 19th 7:00 am to midnight.

The Trinity College Health Center will be open Monday – Friday, March 13th – 17th 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, and both the on and off campus shuttles will run on their normal hours.

Some spring sport teams that would otherwise be on campus use spring break as a time to practice off campus. For example, the Men’s Baseball team will be traveling to Florida and the Women’s Crew team will be traveling to Virginia for training.

A community service oriented club on campus, JELLO, will still have their weekly food pantry trips on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

As well deserved as our needed Spring Break might feel, students are always happy to return back ‘Neath The Elms when the time comes.

Best Buddies at Trinity College

In the fall of my first year I joined six clubs. I quickly realized that it wasn’t possible to “do college” the way I had high school in the way of trying to be involved in everything imaginable. While I may have been spread a bit thin, being involved in so much really helped me to meet new people and figure out what I like. Returning for sophomore year, I had a much clearer idea of what I wanted to put my time into.

One club that I have continued with is Best Buddies. Best Buddies is an international nonprofit that allows students and volunteers to create opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Anthony K. Shriver founded Best Buddies in the late ‘80s. Currently, Trinity College is one of almost 1,900 worldwide chapters. We host monthly events where Buddies from multiple academies come to campus. We try to theme our events with the month. For example our next party in late October will be Halloween themed. We usually have pizza and make crafts or play bingo.

Every November Quinnipiac University hosts a Best Buddies 5k walk. It’s a great opportunity for so many different Best Buddies chapters to get together. This is where I met my current Buddy. This special opportunity to be matched with a Buddy is one step further than just being a member of the club. My Buddy and I get together on our own once a month in addition to the events on campus, and have weekly phone calls. A couple of our most memorable times spent together last year were having dinner at First and Last in Hartford and going to the movies.

Joining Best Buddies at Trinity College has been an awesome choice for me. It’s fun to return this year and see new members in the club get the opportunity to build relationships with the Buddies. I’m excited for what this year will bring!

Falling into the Spring Semester

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I left my dorm this morning with a spring in my step (pun intended) as I headed to my 10:00A.M. class. I live in a building called Jarvis, which is considered prime real estate on campus, since it’s located on “The Long Walk.” As the sun was shining and the wind blew through my hair, I allowed myself to become embraced by a throng of my peers commuting to their classes. I couldn’t help but notice they each seemed to embody the equivalent amount of energy that I possessed at the start of this new semester.

As we begin the transition between fall and spring semester, it is impossible to avoid the buzz of excitement that permeates Trinity’s campus community after a long winter break. With the promise of new classes, becoming acquainted with different professors, as well as catching up with old friends who have returned from studying abroad, it is safe to say that the new year has officially begun to take off here in Hartford.

For many of us, spring is an exciting season: on the academic front, some students are currently taking the final steps towards completing their thesis for their major (or majors), while others are about to officially declare a major. Regarding campus social life, not only has this unusually mild New England winter put everyone in a positive mood, but it has also increased school-wide anticipation of our annual Spring Weekend concert.

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A year ago as a first year student, I was incredibly eager to begin the spring semester. I heard from a multitude of upperclassman friends that spring semester of freshman year was supposedly more fun than fall (although that belief can be seen as completely subjective). As I sit here composing this post, I feel a similar anticipation regarding my sophomore spring.

Two years ago, however, I was more anxious than eager as I sat patiently awaiting to hear whether or not I had been accepted, rejected, or waitlisted from some of my top choice schools. I did not apply early decision to Trinity (or to any other school, for that matter), but fear not applicants! Your decision letters will arrive sooner than you think!

If there was ever a time to continue pushing yourself in school, it would be now. I’m sure you’ve heard that a million times from both your parents as well as your college counselors, but it really is the truth. If you find that the college process is increasing your stress levels, just remember that ultimately, your future is your choice, and we’d love to have you spend the next four years of it with us!

Feel free to contact me for more information regarding the Trinity College experience: mackenzie.levy@trincoll.edu

Turning the Tide: What It Means for You

Forget everything you thought you knew about building your laundry list of AP courses, far-off service trips, and the myth of “well-roundedness.” Turning the Tide, a new Harvard Graduate School of Education report that Trinity College is a signatory to, formally restates what many admissions counselors and school counselors have been telling students for years about how to impress admissions offices: do what you love, engage with your community, and tell us what you really care about.

Turning the Tide makes some specific recommendations in three main areas. Here is what each means for you as a prospective college applicant.

Promoting more meaningful contributions to others, community service and engagement with the public good.

When colleges – Trinity included – are admitting a class, they’re not just striving to bring in the students with the most AP classes or the highest test scores. We’re admitting a community, and the best predictor of what kind of community member you’ll be at Trinity is what kind of community member you’ve been.

So engage with your community, and not just for a few hours each year. Make a sustained commitment in an area you are passionate about. That might be helping out in a soup kitchen, or it could be volunteering to coach youth softball. It might be joining a group that cleans up a local park regularly, or reading to children at your public library. The truth is, we don’t care, as long as you care!

Assessing students’ ethical engagement and contributions to others in ways that reflect varying types of family and community contributions across race, culture and class.

It should be obvious that you don’t need to fly halfway around the globe to impress us with your service and engagement. But did you know you don’t necessarily have to even leave the house? So many of the strong applicants we see at Trinity each year have significant responsibilities at home: supervising younger siblings, caring for a grandparent, or working a part-time job to help pay the bills. This tells us more about someone’s character and dedication to others than any exotic service trip ever could. Don’t be afraid to put these activities front and center when you’re telling colleges what you’re involved in.

Redefining achievement in ways that both level the playing field for economically diverse students and reduce excessive achievement pressure.

Unless you’re talking about pizza, more is not always better. This is true of after-school activities, AP courses, and the emphasis too many of us put on standardized testing. As far as activities and courses, remember to put quality over quantity. If you’re joining three extra clubs because you think it’ll impress colleges, take a step back and think about how you could best use that time. When you’re selecting courses, don’t strive to take every single AP class that your school offers. Challenge yourself, yes, but not to the extent that you’re compromising your happiness or drawing yourself away from the things you’re passionate about. And if your school doesn’t offer APs, don’t fret. We consider every applicant in the context of their school and what’s available to them.

As far as standardized testing, we took one of the report’s proposed steps last year when Trinity College announced that we would no longer require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. A better measure of socioeconomic status than academic promise, standardized tests don’t deserve the disproportionate hype, time, or stress that they get from many college applicants. Remember, three years of high school tell us so much more than three hours on a Saturday morning.

Finally, be honest and authentic. We can tell. We want you to put your best foot forward, but above all else, we want to get to know you. When you’re engaged in your community and doing the things that excite you, it really comes through. If you do that, you can rest assured that the college you end up at is the right place for you. That is, after all, what the entire admissions process is about.