My Experience Studying Abroad in Ireland

My Experience Studying Abroad in Ireland

Like many of my fellow juniors at Trinity, I have decided to study abroad this semester, so hello from Ireland! Since I’ve been in this new country for almost three months, I thought I’d reflect a bit on my time here so far. I’ve learned a lot about navigating a new country, a university environment, and how to make the most of my travel budget.

Life While Studying Abroad in Ireland

The School

The university I’m currently studying at is University College Dublin, or UCD. UCD is about 15 times the size of Trinity in terms of student population. So that’s something I have definitely been having to get used to. There’s people everywhere all the time! At Trinity I really only feel crowded on campus when classes end and people make their way to their next class or the library or Mather or wherever. Here, there’s 30,000 people who study here so there’s always a crowd of people around. UCD also isn’t directly in the city center like Trinity College Dublin (no affiliation) is, which is nice because it doesn’t feel like a tourist destination. We get a lot of the benefits of living in a city without a lot of the downsides.

The Classes

Irish classes are different than American, or at least Trinity, classes. First off we have to take 6 classes per semester. The normal class load at Trin is 4-5 classes. And there are different amounts of class time in each class (which are called modules) here. Usually most classes will have 1 lecture and 1 seminar/tutorial per week. Lectures can be huge, with up to 200 people. Seminars (also known as tutorials) are much smaller, usually around 15-25 people. But not all classes follow these rules. I have classes that have 2 lectures and 1 seminar, 3 seminars and no lectures, or just 1 seminar and no lectures per week. At Trinity, there are either seminars or lectures, and they meet 2-3 times a week, at the same time. The 3 seminars a week class meets at different times on different days; the two lectures and a seminar class has different meeting times and places for the lectures. This might sound really complicated, but trust me, you do get used to it. Nearly all classes here are 50 minutes and almost no one has class on Fridays, which leaves lots of time for weekend travel to different parts of Europe.

The City

Exploring Dublin
Exploring Dublin

I feel like Hartford has prepared me pretty well for living in Dublin and UCD is kind of like Trinity because it’s not located quite downtown but is still close enough to go into the city very easily. Dublin is obvious much larger than Hartford but it’s not as big as other cities like London or Paris. It’s very easy to get around with the bus and tram system (called the LUAS but pronounced like Lewis) and suburbs like the coastal town of Howth and Blackrock are just a short ride away. I didn’t know much about Irish history before coming here but taking classes on this subject and just living in Dublin has taught me a ton about medieval Ireland, colonized Ireland, and modern Ireland.

How to Study Abroad on a Budget: Travelling

Like many students studying abroad, I want to get the most of my time here and travel all over the country and across Europe. However, even on this continent, those things cost money (Euros specifically). I quickly realized this and, three months in, thought I’d share some things I find useful to get the most of your time here without spending the most.

Save save save!

I cannot emphasis enough how important it is to save up, even just for a semester abroad. I’d recommend saving as soon as you know you want to study away. For me, I have had quite a few jobs on campus and a paid internship this past semester, so I was able to save up a sizeable amount. I also cut a few things out while I was still on campus in the fall that would I know I would be grateful for in the long run. For example, I often told myself I could either get a coffee from Goldbergs in Vernon Social now or a coffee from a local vendor in Paris in a few months.

Make a list of your top places to visit

This semester is a once in a lifetime opportunity to go tons of places I probably won’t be able to see again, at least not for a long time. My friends and I wanted to go everywhere in Europe but quickly realized we only have a certain number of weekends. So we made a list of everyone’s top place to visit and narrowed in down to a few, plausible cities and started planning from there. It’s not possible to go everywhere you want to but make a point of going to your most dreamed about

Shop around

It’s good to have a general idea of when you want to go to certain cities but be open to change. Some weekends are much cheaper than others (for example, the last Sunday of each month, the Vatican Museum in Rome is free) so start planning early to get the cheapest flights possible. Also be aware than the more popular the season, the more expensive—and crowded—a city is going to be. Look on sites that compare multiple vendors, like Kayak or Sky Scanner for flights and Hostelworld for hostels.

Get creative

Maybe late Thursday evening is the cheapest flight you can find but also be aware the extra night you’d have to spend on a hostel. Sometimes the cheapest options turn out to cost you more money. You don’t have to fly home with the same airline you initially flew with. Different airlines have different prices! Also don’t rely on hostel to be the cheapest places to stay. Generally, they will be but you’d be surprised at the prices of some Airbnb rentals and even some hotels (although do your homework if you want to stay at an Airbnb!).

Postcards!

Postcards are a super, super cheap souvenir that are easy to carry and show where you’ve been. Most postcards are less than 80 cent and much smaller than a t-shirt or snowglobe and can be mailed home easily.

Travel within the country

Yeah, Amsterdam and London are cool but have you seen the Peace Wall in Belfast? Or the Cliffs of Moher and Galway? One of the first things my program here stressed was the beauty of Ireland and suggested we not spend every weekend on the continent. We haven’t and I’m glad we did. The Irish countryside is stunning and Dublin is a bustling city full of a vibrant culture. I love learning about Irish history through experience and it’s much cheaper to spend a day in Cork and kiss the Blarney Stone than flying for three days to Prague and spend money on a hostels and nice meals. There must be a reason you chose to study in a certain country so go explore it!

Of course, I’m writing from the point of view of a European study abroad experience. Different countries have different exchange rates and different prices, so I’d highly recommend researching as much as possible ways to save money in the country you’d like to study in but I hope these few tips have helped at least a bit.

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!

Tips for Finals

Tips for Finals

As we leave Thanksgiving behind, finals season creeps in. We are now at the end of the semester and finals are about to start on December 14th! As work starts to pile up, students wind up spending an unfortunate amount of time in the library. Here are a few tips that will hopefully help students get through finals with some ease.

First, find your niche in the library. We are lucky to have a big library with many study spaces. Some students study well sitting at the big tables in the middle of the library. Others find it easier to focus at the cubbies. The library gets progressively quieter the higher up you go. Level 3 is a silent level, while people on levels A and B are free to talk. However, the quietest place in the library is level C, which many people don’t know about. Even further underground than level B, level C is a silent level where students can go to do their work in complete silence. Another feature of the library that should be explored is the study rooms. If there is a group project that requires input by multiple people, or a topic that is easier to understand if it is talked about out loud, students can book the study rooms. These are rooms on each level of the library that have white board walls, where students can collaborate, study and learn together.

Another feature to take advantage of is the office hours and student TA sessions. Professors are always willing to help students with material that they didn’t understand, whether by answering questions, or reiterating part of a lecture. They are also often willing to tell students the format of their exams so that students know how to prepare for their particular test. TAs, or Teacher’s Assistants, are a huge resource for students. The TA for each class has already taken the course, so they know exactly what the exam is going to look like. While they are always willing to help students with homework and with concepts from class, they are especially helpful when exams roll around. They will usually help students by advising them on how to study for the exam, telling them what kind of questions (the format and concepts) they are likely to see on the test. They also often have old exams from their class, or they prepare mock exams for the students to take to gage their preparedness.

Some students, especially English majors, face many more papers during the finals period then written exams. Trinity has a writing center, where students can have their work peer-reviewed. Professors nominate students who have outstanding writing ability to work at the center. Students can make appointments and have a fellow student help them with their papers. The reason this is such an awesome resource is because a student can walk in with as much of the paper as they want – an entire draft, or even just a prompt – and ask for help with whatever they need. Some students have their grammar checked, while others need help starting the paper and organizing their ideas. Whatever the request, the writing associates will help.

My last tip would be to take full advantage of the student run cafes on campus. The Underground Cafe is located right next to the post office, in the basement of Mather. It has a nice, usually quiet, space, with tables where students can grab a coffee or a milkshake and do their work. The other cafe is called Peter B’s and is located on the ground floor of the library. In the morning, Peter B’s serves pastries from First and Last, an outstanding bakery near campus. Their house blend is also extra caffeinated, which provides that extra push to get through finals. Both places are great spaces to study on your own, with friends, or meet with a TA or Professor.

Finals season is never pleasant but these few tips will hopefully make it a little more bearable as we count down to Winter break!!

Avoiding Paper Panic: Writing Tips

No matter how confident I feel going into a new semester, my first essay never fails to strike fear into my heart. Pending deadlines have a knack for making any task seem impossible and causing me to forget how much I have been prepared for my classes. However, after five semesters I have developed several strategies to help me along in the essay writing process from start to finish.

  • Read and reread the prompt as soon as it is assigned. You can write the next great American novel, but if it doesn’t satisfy the prompt you’ll still be out of luck. If you have questions, ask your professor or TA sooner rather than later.
  • Before you write anything, brainstorm and choose a thesis. There’s nothing worse than seeing a blank page and not knowing what you’re going to say, so get your ideas straight first. There are lots of different ways you can do this—outlining, sketching, free-writing, verbal processing, and more. Once you’ve organized your thoughts, decide what you want to argue and make this your thesis.
  • Break up the drafting process. I enjoy writing, but even I don’t like writing a 10-page paper in a single day. Give yourself enough time to write your rough draft over a few days—it’s much more relaxing this way!
  • Revise your rough draft. This is also connected to giving yourself enough time—even the best writer benefits from going back over her work and checking for grammar, spelling, and clarity.
  • Go to the Writing Center! As a writing associate I may be biased, but I love making use of this amazing resource on our campus. The Writing Center can help you at any point in the writing process, whether you just have the prompt and want to brainstorm or are looking for help going over your final draft. Go here to learn more about the Writing Center, book an appointment, and use our amazing writing resources (pro tip: appointments fill up quickly the closer we get to exam week, so make sure you save your space early!)

Staying Local

While I was applying to schools, I thought that I wanted to get as far away from Connecticut as possible. After all, college is supposed to be when you fully leave the nest and start becoming an adult. As a Hartford resident, I wanted to leave the city and experience a new city or even the country. Despite me being insistent on leaving Hartford for school, I ended up here at Trinity, the school that was closest to my home. After experiencing three semesters here at Trinity, I know for a fact that I have made the right decision in staying local.

During my first year at Trinity I became home sick. I expect this happens to most students during their first year. The further away you are from home, than the harder it will be. However, I will say that I had an easier time handling my home sickness because I was living in the city that I grew up in still. I just had to remind myself that my parents were always just a bus ride ride away. So I will say that staying local definitely helped me handle the stress of being away from home in a far more relaxed manner.

Staying local helped me gain independence, yet I am close enough that I can reach out to home when I need or want to. Living outside of home made me appreciate my parents since I was on my own. Now, because I decided to stay local, I am able to tell them how much I appreciate all that they have done for me. Staying local also has some other luxuries. As great as the food from the Bistro can be, I will always enjoy my mother’s home cooked meals far more. As a local student, I am able to come visit my parents on the weekend and enjoy their company. I get to study at home during finals if the library is too packed with other stressed out students. So, staying local was a great decision for me.

Another great thing about staying local was that it was easy for me to meet people and make friends. After all, people from all over America and the world come here to Trinity. Why not show them around your local town? Take your new friends to your favorite restaurant. People want to know where is a great place to buy certain items, and as a local I can easily direct them on the right path. I was also very happy to meet more people from Connecticut. One of my roommates is from Middletown, CT, a town which is not too far off. These fellow locals also helped me find new things to like about my city. I was introduced to new local restaurants, which I absolutely love now. I can also guarantee that I will be hanging out with my fellow local friends during summer, when there is no schoolwork involved. Staying within Connecticut helped me meet people.

For reasons such as these, I am happy that I stayed close to home. If you are a local student looking to come to Trinity, I will encourage to you apply. You will be able to handle homesickness in a far better manner then if you were all the way across the country. You will be able to go home and enjoy the company of your family far more often. You will also be able to make new local and foreign friends. For this reason, I encourage local students like me to apply to Trinity.

Studying Abroad: Affordable European Travel

I’m currently looking at my computer screen and “45 euros” is staring back. That’s the cost of a roundtrip flight to Paris, France, a weekend trip that I am considering planning. How amazing, and also incredibly casual, that I can so easily fly from Rome to Paris as a spur-of-the-moment-decision. And even more amazing? The price.

One of my biggest concerns before deciding whether or not I should study abroad was not so much the “base price,” but more the options, or in other words, the cost of travel to other cities both in and outside of Italy. To experience as much of this once in a lifetime adventure as possible, I would literally need to go the extra mile. Naturally, I questioned whether or not I could afford to do this.

As an undergrad, money is always at a premium. But at the same time, life is a journey of learning, and how foolish to squander such an opportunity to gain new world views. Fortunately, after some research, I learned that travel both in and outside of Italy was not something that my bank account had to fear.

My next trip will be during my week-long October break. After I finish my midterm exams, my friend and I will leave for Berlin, Germany, and later, go to Barcelona, Spain.

Before arriving in Europe, if you had asked me how much this would cost, I would have answered “thousands.” And, flying from the United States, that would probably be true. But flying from Rome to Berlin, to Barcelona, and returning to Rome, even adding the expense of hotel accommodations, roughly cost me a mere 500 euros.

This isn’t to suggest that I buy whatever I want, whenever I want it. It’s about being smart with your money. There are certain sacrifices you can make to stretch your “travel dollar,” or euro. For example, the cost of travel by rail will be discounted if you opt for a slower train.

Another worthwhile strategy is to avoid eating in restaurants when possible. When I traveled for a weekend to Florence, instead of going out to dinner both nights, I purchased groceries and cooked in the kitchen of the apartment I had rented. And on that note, Airbnb’s are almost always the smartest choice! For roughly 40 euros a person, I was able to stay in a beautiful Florentine apartment for two nights with three of my friends. Had I stayed in a hotel, I likely would have spent double that amount and have been robbed of the experience of cooking with my friends.

Another useful and cost-effective tip is to avoid tourist traps. In Rome, you will quickly learn that near the touristy sites, restaurants are very over-priced; yet if you take the short walk to the bottom of the hill where I live, a cappuccino and croissant cost less than two euros.

Certainly, compromise will almost always factor into your travel decisions. I will not deny that an additional 500 euros in my back account could be spent on more expensive presents for my friends back home or even on airfare to more new and exciting places. In fact, I had to decline an invitation to join my friend in Sweden because I wanted to have extra spending money when I go to Berlin. Now, instead of going to Sweden that weekend, I will remain in Rome, where I will try a new restaurant and visit museums.

That’s the nature of compromise—you give some, you get some. I will not regret missing Sweden because I’ll be more thoroughly exploring Rome. Nor will I miss Rome when I’m in, say, Berlin or Barcelona, places I have not yet seen. Let’s face it: regardless of what’s in your bank account, living in Europe for four months is a magical, unbeatable experience, where there are no bad scenarios. Just a lot of amazing choices.

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!

Questions to Ask Your College Tour Guide

Questions to Ask Your College Tour Guide

The average high school senior applies to five to ten colleges before they commit. This can be number can be overwhelming when sorting through which college is the best fit for you. As a tour guide for Trinity, I’m trained to handle pretty much what ever question comes my way from parents or students, and through this as well as my own experience applying to colleges, I’ve come across a few questions that are the most important to ask your college tour guide.

What classes are you taking/what is your favorite class?

It gives parents and students a good was to gage how many classes are being taken, what the variety is, and what is the most interesting class, in the tour guide’s opinion. I always say my favorite class so far has been Psychology of Music because the professor was awesome, it covered two of my requirements, and it was just really interesting too.

Does the college have any traditions?

This could be either superstitions, events that happen every year or every month, or anything else. One of Trinity’s traditions of course that Roosevelt plaque no students dares to step on out of fear they won’t gradate in time, and something about a lemon squeezer being stolen.

What kind of internships do students get?

Sometimes colleges get student’s internships but they are just running off copies and getting coffee but Trinity’s alumni network and relations with various companies enables its students to get the best possible internship. When CT Senator Chris Murphy talked at Trinity he said that he likes to have Trinity students in his office because he knows all about Trinity’s respected reputation. And because we are one of the only colleges in the city, there is not the competition for internships you would find in other cities.

Do students get off campus for nonacademic reasons?

Internships can be a way to get off campus but not everyone has one. Students going downtown shows how active we are in our community and are not limited to just our campus. Museums and parks are perks of living in a city and Trinity students know this. Not only do students get discounts at the Wadsworth Museum, the XL Center right in the middle of the city. Plus there are so many restaurants downtown. And speaking of restaurants…

What are good restaurants around campus?

I love giving tours around 11:30 because I can tell families all the great restaurants that are around Trinity. If you ask 10 students what their favorite places are around campus, you will get 10 different answers. Bartaco, El Sarape, and Bears are always good choices but King and I Thai has to be my favorite place. Before coming here, the most diverse places to eat in my hometown were Mexican restaurants and now I can have Thai, BBQ, Peruvian, and Middle Eastern each weekend.

How many students live on campus?

Living in a dorm creates a sense of community, which is something you get quite often when you go to a small liberal art college. About 90% of Trinity students live on campus and the 10% that live “off campus” live in Greek or themed houses on campus grounds or just across the street. Even though we are in a city, housing is guaranteed for all four years here, unlike other colleges in other cities.

How many students study abroad?

Studying abroad isn’t always a major topic for some colleges but it’s definitely important here. 60% of Trinity students study abroad, many of whom are athletes and STEM majors. Even if you can’t fit studying abroad during academic year, there are so many summer abroad programs that allow you to experience a different part of the world.

What has been your favorite thing you have done while at college?

One of my favorite memories is either making Nutella pancakes with my friends at 11pm on a Wednesday or writing about the men’s hockey team winning the NESCAC championships and getting my story on the front page of the Tripod.

Useful Apps for Trinity Students

Being a college student can be hard sometimes. After all, you have to keep track of homework, class, and keep up a social life. At least we have technology to help us deal with the daily college life. As a Trinity Student, you will be using these couple of apps often since they will become useful.

Tapingo– Are you hungry? Well this app comes very useful considering that it lets you order food from Trinity locations AND IT WAITS IN LINE FOR YOU. Once your order is ready, you will receive a text letting you know that you can go pick up your food! This time does not only feed you but it also saves you time, and as a college student, time is one of the most precious resources.

GrubHub– Say you don’t want food from the Bistro or the Cave. Well Grub Hub allows you to order food for delivery from various restaurants around Hartford. So order Sushi to your heart’s desire.

Banking App– Most Banks have apps that let you access your accounts and let you transfer money. Download this apps to keep track of your spending and your saving. By managing your finances through your bank app, you won’t be fitting into the “broke college student” stereotype.

Uber/Lyft– Need to get to meeting off Campus? None of your friends can give you a ride because they are in class? Well this app lets you travel around Hartford since you pay a small fee to share a ride with someone. This is a great app for moving around when you do not have a car on campus. You also do not have to worry about parking thanks to this app.

Venmo– Sometimes your friends might pay for your food or you might need to rent out equipment for a club. This app lets you transfer money to the person that needs it. This way you don’t have to deal with pesky cash since you send it directly from your bank account.

Amazon– Are you browsing some water guns to prank your roommate? Maybe you need a nice dress for a formal? Well the Amazon app lets you buy any of these things and have them deliver to campus. This is a convenient way of shopping and browsing.

YikYak– when you want to know what fellow bantams think about events going on on campus, you will be using Yik Yak. This lets people post anonymously and share their thoughts around campus. Sometimes you will be laughing at a random joke and other times you will be engaging in political discussions with a random stranger.

GroupMe– GroupMe is a great app for group texting. You will be using this app to talk to fellow club members about scheduling a meeting. The app can also be used for gooning around with your group or friends since you can send each other memes.

Netflix– When you are done with all your homework, you will want to unwind. What better way to unwind than to binge watch Stranger Things? Use this app to watch various tv shows or movies. Warning: Use app responsibly.

Resources On Campus Most First-Year Students Don’t Take Advantage Of (but should!)

Your first year is arguably one of the most overwhelming times of your college career, as you will be inundated with enthusiastic upperclassmen and way too many brochures and email which you’ll never read. To make your semester a little easier and a lot more rewarding, here are five things that all freshman should take advantage of!

Office Hours

One thing that all Trinity students can agree on is that the faculty truly make the academic experience so much more rewarding. I think we are spoiled in having the ability to have and maintain such close relationships with our professors, including those who teach lectures. However, a lot of students (especially freshman) only form a relationship with their advisor and only meet with professors when they need help on an assignment…if that. I highly recommend stopping by your professor’s office hours at least once a month (total of 4 times a semester…that’s pretty manageable) just to check in on your progress and pick out one thing from class that you’d like to discuss further. Especially if you tend not to participate as much in class, this is a great way for you and your professor to get to know one another better and show them that you care.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Writing Center

Setting up an appointment with a student writing associate can be a great way to enhance the quality of your paper, clarify your thesis, or work on the structure and organization of your ideas. It’s always beneficial to have someone read over your paper for things that you may have missed after staring at your computer for hours on end. As much as our own friends are supportive and willing to help us, writing associates are trained (and paid!) to read drafts and help with any and all issues in your paper. You can set up an appointment here:  (https://trincoll.mywconline.com/)

Attending one event/club meeting for something you don’t think you have any interest in

Your first year is the best time to get involved in anything and everything- you will get to see everything that Trinity offers and make some great friendships, especially with upperclassmen. No one expects you to stay involved with every club whose meeting you intend- that would be impossible! However, you should pick two or three organizations that you are actually excited about with members who you get along with. Clubs are the best way to pursue your non-academic interests and make friends with people you might not otherwise have the chance to meet.

Meeting with a Research Librarian

Although this is somewhat based on a relative need for an assignment, you will most likely have to write a research paper during your four years at Trinity. And you will most likely have to use some sources that weren’t given to you in class. And you most likely will have no idea where to get started. Research librarians are great individuals to meet with, since it is their job to help your find primary and secondary sources online and in Raether. You can set up an appointment and tell them your assignment ahead of time so by the time you arrive, they will have already pulled some sources for you to use. You then can talk to them about your ideas and they will absolutely help you to come up with an interesting angle for your thesis inspired by the unique sources you find.

Lectures

Tons of academic departments and student organizations host lectures throughout the year with scholars from their respective field from a different university that have completed independent work to share. This is a great way to meet other students interested in the same subjects as you and further your knowledge outside of the classroom. I’ve attended some lectures as a requirement for a class that I thought would be incredibly boring and they actually ended up being interesting and relevant for the work I did in class throughout the semester. It’s also a bonus if your professor happens to offer extra credit for attending a lecture!