Housing at Trinity College

Housing at Trinity College

One of the wonderful things about Trinity is that students are able to live right on campus all four years. Living on campus allows students to be involved in many different groups and activities without having to go very far. It also creates a fun, intimate and engaging environment right here on campus that makes Trinity a great place to be.

Because Trinity’s dorms are all unique, we asked a few students to talk about their rooms on campus and highlight some of the perks of on-campus housing. Here’s what they said!

Brendan Clark – Class of 2021

What do you like about living on campus?

Living on campus means that you are connected with your peers in a more personal way. Rather than having to coordinate times to come to campus to study or catch up, you can simply walk to their room. Further, living communally prepares you for those essential tasks of life which will become a feature of adulthood: cleaning and laundry. 

What is your favorite part about living in your dorm?

Having a single. You get privacy and the ability to sequester yourself from society when you must get something done, while also having the benefit of still hosting friends and inviting them over for evening discourses. In addition, being able to have space (especially for my wardrobe of suits) makes it all the better. 

Where is your favorite place to live on campus?

As a first-year, I have not had much experience yet with other housing options. I have enjoyed living in Funston because I like being close to Summit Street and it is quieter on this part of campus. As for the future, I have applied to live in the Fred, as the atmosphere with an emphasis on community is something that I find attractive. 

What makes your room unique?

My room reflects my love of antiquities and times gone by. Oil paintings, including a rendition of Renoir’s The Apple Seller and smaller vignettes in the manner of Fragonard, convey my love of Romantic and impressionist works. Further, a small sampling of my collection of tomes on history and law reflect my academic passions. 

Is there anything else you would like incoming students to know about housing?

My experience as a first-year has been great! I had a fabulous experience with my pre-orientation group (Hartford Highlights), which exposed me to many of the fun activities and opportunities available to me. I have also learned to use the Bantam Network as a resource for many events with other organizations I am involved with. As an SGA Senator, I and my fellow class officers worked extensively with the Trinsition Fellows to plan a First-Year Ball. Also, in my work with Admissions as an Overnight Coordinator I have consulted with the Trinsition Fellows to identify potential student hosts.

Brooke LePage – Class of 2019

What do you like about living on campus?

I like not having to find parking everyday, the ease with which I can walk to class, the gym, the library, meetings, etc, the ability to attend all campus events 

What is your favorite part about living in your dorm?

My own room, huge rooms, proximity to Goldbergs, proximity to the going out scene/ trivia, AC, proximity to two parking lots 

Where is your favorite place to live on campus?

Cook- the location is incredible also they have really cute fireplaces, arched doorways, and views. 

What makes your room unique?

The size. Vernon singles are some of the biggest on campus. It’s also one of two dorms that has air conditioning. 

Francisco Chang – Class of 2019

What do you like about living on campus?

I really like that I can see my friends wherever and whenever. It is nice that I can hang out with them really late into the night and then my bed is nothing but a short walk away from their rooms. Living on campus really provides a strong sense of independence and freedom. You also never have to worry about parking or being late anywhere because you live close to everything.

What is your favorite part about living in your dorm?

The best part about Goodwin is the location. As the most central location on campus, everything is super close. The library is right next to the dorm so you can stay in the library until 2 AM and your bed will be waiting there. In addition you are never late to class because all of the classes are located close to it and you never have to walk too far when it is snowing or raining. In addition, the views are priceless since the Long Walk is right next to it.

Where is your favorite place to live on campus?

Goodwin and Cook are my favorite because of their location. Again, nothing really beats those views. During the Spring, its nice to stay with your windows open and yell at friends to come into your room to hang out. Its the best location.

What makes your room unique?

My room is unique because its decorated with various movie posters. My favorite one has to be the biggest one right above my bed which is a poster of my favorite movie Drive (2011). I like that the window is big and allows so much light to come in.

Hadjj Mare – Class of 2018

What do you like about living on campus?

I really love how close all of my friends are. We are all in a small space and can really interact with each other with a quick walk to the dorms.

What is your favorite part about living in your dorm?

That I have a kitchen! I can finally buy groceries and stay in and have dinner if I feel like it.

Where is your favorite place to live on campus?

Crescent without question

What makes your room unique?

My room is a little odd because I designed it without having a lot on the walls but just a mirror with stickers on it. I feel like that’s enough of a decoration without having to do much.

Is there anything else you would like incoming students to know about housing?

Just enjoy it and take advantage of the close quarters with friends because this only lasts for 4 years haha!

Being a First-Year Seminar Mentor at Trinity

Being a First-Year Seminar Mentor at Trinity

I believe a very strong piece of Trinity is our First-Year Seminars and First-Year Programs. I remember mine well. I interviewed my roommate, Chandler Solimine ’19, on what it is like being a First-Year Seminar Mentor.

What is a First-Year Seminar Mentor?

-A mentor is an upperclassmen who assists a professor in running their first-year seminar. My role is to help the students with their work for the seminar as well as their work for other classes, but more importantly, to guide them through their first semester at Trinity and answer any questions they have about all aspects of life on campus.

What is your seminar about? Who teaches it?

-My seminar is titled “Mind, Body, and the Concept of Mindfulness,” taught by Dr. Randy Lee. Over the semester we have and will continue to look at a number of different aspects of the relationship between mind and body, and understanding the difference (or lack thereof) between them. We look at some interesting questions and issues about mind and body and their interrelationship such as: exactly where in the “body” does the “mind” reside? What are hallucinations? Is depression physical or psychological? What really happens in hypnosis? Is meditation an effective way to stay physically healthy? How does stress affect us? Can the brain really rewire itself throughout our lives? Can stress cause cancer and other health issues? We also examine different practices of mindfulness and experiment with them ourselves to learn how we as individuals can be more mindful in our everyday lives.

How did you get this position?

– I was in this exact seminar with Professor Lee when I was a freshman, and I continued to have a great relationship with him after the class was over and into my sophomore year. Last winter he reached out to me and asked if I was interested in the mentor position and I didn’t hesitate for a second to accept.

What kind of responsibilities does it entail?

-My main responsibilities are to take part and facilitate class discussions, meet with students outside the class to help them prepare their classwork, talk to them about how they are assimilating onto a campus and Trinity’s culture, etc.

What is your favorite part about being a First-Year Seminar Mentor?

-My favorite part is being about to meet so many new students and build relationships with freshmen that I probably never would’ve met otherwise. I enjoy being in a mentor sort of role and taking what I struggled with as a freshmen and turning it into advice for them.

What is most challenging about being a First-Year Seminar Mentor?

-Sometimes it is challenging to help the students find answers to questions I am unsure of because it is out of my realm of knowledge.

How is your seminar unique from the others?

-I would consider my seminar to have a very relaxed and friendly environment because the topic we are studying itself as well as the open environment that Professor Lee creates. There is a never a lecture, but always a group discussion where everyone chimes in with whatever is on their mind. While I am sure most first-year seminars foster this sort of environment, I feel that the lack of “black and whiteness” of the topic we are focused on allows for even more back and forth discussions to flow.

 

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!

How to Deal with Homesickness in College

How to Deal with Homesickness in College

Every college freshmen, whether they liked to admit it or not, has dealt with some type of homesickness when making the transition into college. Of course it is all relative, for some incoming students had experience living away from home because of boarding school, so therefore the move into college wasn’t that big of a deal for them. For me personally, I was the type of person who had been going to a school with the same people from preschool until senior year of high school. I had always been a homebody and I loved everything about my small hometown, which you can imagine made it harder when it was time to enter this new chapter in my life. The thought of leaving friends, family and the safeness of home made me uneasy and nervous. Back in the fall, I knew that I was going to struggle in adjusting to the new dramatic change of independence and that homesickness was inevitable, but these strategies helped me change my perspective and grow to love the fun and freedom of college life.

First off, its really important to understand that what you are feeling and going through is totally normal, but it will get better and you will be able to overcome it. Moving to a new place can be overwhelming because you are suddenly engulfed in a completely new environment. Give yourself time to grow comfortable and accustumed to this new space by making your room a special safe haven. Being able to decorate and manage your own dorm can be really fun, so make it a warm environment that both excites and comforts you to call “home”. Another way to get over this homesick bump is to distract, distract, distract. Distracting yourself through activities, classes and time with friends is one of the best cures for homesickness. If you surround yourself with fun, positive people and involve yourself around campus, you’ll be so busy you won’t have time to be homesick. If you find yourself getting more homesick at night when you are falling asleep, try watching one of your favorite shows or movies to help get your mind off things. If you find yourself getting homesick when you are alone, then make an active effort to seek out your friends or meet new people during these times. If none of these strategies work for you and you still can’t seem to get out of your slump, consider talking with one of the many helpful resources that Trinity has around campus, like the Residential Advisors (RA’s), TRINsition Fellows or counseling center.

In the end, its important to remember that your home will always be your home but this new time and place in your life can be just as exciting too! It will take time but be patient with yourself, for it won’t take much time for you to fall in love with Trinity.

The Housing Selection Process

Trinity is a residential campus. The vast majority of the student body lives on campus for all four years. I love being a part of a community-centered living environment. There are twenty-six residence halls at Trinity. Some are older than others, but each hall has it’s own character and reputation.

All freshmen reside in residence halls in the “concrete jungle,” on south campus, with the exception of one hall on north campus. Upperclassmen can choose where they live through a housing lottery held every spring. Students are assigned a lottery number based on the determined rating of their building. I found this lottery system to be a rather convoluted process. For example, if you were unable to come, you were required to have a proxy complete the housing process for you.

This year, the housing selection process will be done entirely online. Susan Salisbury, the Director of Residential Life, held multiple housing selection informational meetings to outline the new process. She explained that the housing portal will open on April 6th, and students will have time between April 6th and 12th to add housing to their wish list. Groups can do so under the name of a “group leader,” who will select their wishes. After the 12th, Susan Salisbury said that lottery numbers would begin to process in batches. Once numbers have been assigned housing, you can no longer change your wish list, and the housing selection process is complete.

I think that this new housing selection process will be great for students and allow for much more flexibility in selecting. With all of the great residential housing at Trinity, I look forward to living on campus all four years.

How to Utilize The Bantam Network

How to Utilize The Bantam Network

Last week, a friend from Trinity visited me here in Rome, Italy, where I am currently studying as a member of Trinity’s Rome Program. Although we went sight-seeing and tried new restaurants together, the majority of my friend’s time was not spent with me, but rather in an office. Indeed, as a first-semester senior who was already offered a job in Rome, she had spent last week enjoying an employer-paid visit to attend a week-long conference. Come July, her job will officially begin.

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I asked her how she had gotten so lucky.  She replied simply, “I interned there last summer.”

My friend’s experience reinforced what I had already suspected, that internships are an integral and necessary rite of passage for any successful college student. Yet, from the experience of most millennials, these internships are also often unpaid and, depending on where you are from, could be inconveniently located. Certainly, finding the perfect internship, and later, the perfect job, can be a very daunting task.  Fortunately, Trinity College is an incredible resource. 

Prior to the beginning of my first year, all members of my incoming class were invited to an alumnus/alumna-hosted event, located at the home or club of the alum. There were multiple events hosted throughout that summer, in locations spanning the entire nation, so that as many students as possible could partake. These meet-and-greets were attended by many alumni, current-students, professors and other incoming first years. Notably, these events occur every year, for every Trinity-class. Apart from being an occasion to make new friends or to meet your professors, it also presents an amazing networking opportunity. 

Such was my experience when I attended a reception in the Hamptons, Long Island, at the home of a highly successful entrepreneur whose business had gross sales in excess of 500 million dollars. She was not simply a gracious hostess, but very generously provided me her contact information with an offer to apply for an internship with her Manhattan-based company during the summer of my junior year. 

Without question, the Bantam alumni are a tight-knit group who are dedicated to transitioning the next generation of graduates into the work place.

However, if offers from alumni are not enough, there is also an on-campus Career Development Center. There, you can find leads for internships, seek help creating a resume, schedule a mock job interview or simply seek advice from a career advisor.

Notably, Trinity also offers rare and unique student research opportunities. Since Trinity does not have a science-graduate program, all of its’ research is conducted by its’ undergraduate students. As early as your first year, you can begin to conduct professional research alongside your professors. Many of my friends who are majoring in Engineering and Biology have benefited from these programs. They spend their summers on Trinity’s campus, taking advantage of this exceptional opportunity that so few other institutions of higher learning offer.

As for me, I am currently teaching English to children ranging in ages from 8-12 years at a middle school here in Rome. I obtained this internship through Trinity’s Rome Program, which offers countless other opportunities depending on your level of Italian competency. For instance, if you speak little to no Italian, you can work with an Italian (but English-speaking) chef. Or, if you’re fluent in the native language, you can give tours in museums or conduct research in basilicas alongside church authorities. There are a variety of internships that fall along this spectrum, such as my position at the middle school. It certainly has been one of the most satisfying and transformative experiences of my life, and I do not doubt that it has given me skills and experiences that will help me secure a job in the future.

Although the prospect of searching for internships and jobs can be stressful, it is reassuring to know that Trinity’s wide-ranging alumni connections, offered-programs, and opportunities available in locations such as Hartford and even Rome, guarantees something for everyone. As I prepare to enter my senior year and graduation draws near, I am confident that Trinity will provide me with all of the necessary tools to successfully transition to the work place and that, if I utilize them, the future will be mine for the taking!

A Home Away from Home

Coming to Trinity in the fall of 2014, I didn’t know what to expect when it came to my living situation. I had received my housing assignment via email, I had been in contact with my randomized roommate (who ended up turning out to be one of my best friends), and I had scoped out my room dimensions online. Aside from those various aspects, I was completely unaware of what the interior of my dorm room would look like.

When I first stepped in through the doorway of my freshman year dorm room, reality began to set in and I started to panic: this was my first time living away from home. How would I manage having a roommate? A dorm with a communal bathroom? The two-hour distance from home?

In order to force these fears to dissipate, I spent a lot of time focusing on decorating the physical space of my room in order to make it feel more like home. I decked it out with curtains and a shag rug (which, I totally suggest you do, because these two items automatically create comfort in a space). What I eventually discovered was that regardless of how many throw pillows I added, how many pictures I hung up, or how many decorations flooded my walls, it was extremely more important to me to find spaces of comfort on campus that existed outside of my dorm room’s walls, especially during my freshman year.

I had remembered from my tour of Trinity that there was a coffee shop located beneath the main dining hall, and so within the first month of school, I decided to go on a mini adventure and see what it was like. Little did I know that I was about to find a cozy haven away from my dorm room.

Walking into The Underground is a tunneled, old hallway that at most times appears dark and desolate, but behind its large wooden door lies a gem of a space. The venue incudes every type of seating from barstools to comfy couches. The dimly-lit ambiance gives just the right amount of lighting to get reading and studying done, but is also fantastic for relaxation, making art pieces with friends, or even taking a quick nap prior to class. As much as the environment is aesthetically pleasing with student art hung on the walls, the coffee is even more fantastic, as much was the fact that I immediately felt at home within a randomized space on campus.

Although it may be easy to spend your freshman year camped out within your dorm room, it is incredibly important to explore your campus and find nooks within public venues where you can feel a sense of comfort, but can also enjoy running into new people while within this space to enhance your freshman experience.

Pre-orientation Programs: P.R.I.D.E. Welcome Weekend

Pre-orientation Programs: P.R.I.D.E. Welcome Weekend

My heart raced with excitement and fear as we drove past the “Trinity College” sign that symbolized my transition from the South Bronx to Hartford. The summer before my freshman year I listened to countless college success stories and nightmares, all while trying to separate the exaggerated details from what I should actually expect. Besides the obvious academic aspirations that I held near and dear, one of my goals was to make Trinity my new home.

I had so many questions about Trinity:  social life, campus culture and tradition, the important events and gatherings, and the rich variety of off campus restaurants and activities. My solution was to get to campus as soon as I possibly could find my answers, which led me to a list of Pre-Orientation programs. The program Promoting Respect for Inclusive Diversity in Education stood out to me because of its mission to, “to provide social and academic support for incoming students from diverse cultural backgrounds and to increase awareness and acceptance of difference.” I was greeted by the warmth of PRIDE Leaders who helped me move into my room, answered my questions in detail, and informed me about the important campus resources and important locations in the surrounding community.

PRIDE Welcome Weekend

Welcome Weekend gave me the opportunity to form meaningful bonds with other first year students and upperclassmen, and PRIDE became more than a pre-orientation program; it became a family. I remember workshops with different campus offices and resources being scheduled throughout the weekend, which gave me an opportunity to learn more about Trinity’s academic and social structures. The program concluded with a cookout, where I heard all kinds of music and tasted different culturally authentic dishes. PRIDE becoming my family encouraged me to make Trinity my second home.

This year will be my third year in the PRIDE program. As a first year student, I benefited from having a leader in my dorm that provided guidance and support. My sophomore year, I decided to become a PRIDE Leader to support incoming first year students in the same way I knew I could rely on my PRIDE Leader. This year, I am an Assistant PRIDE Leader because I value the experiences and services PRIDE provides, because PRIDE is my family and Trinity is my home, and Hartford is my community.

Find out more about the PRIDE Welcome Weekend here.

Written by Kimberly Marzant ’18.