Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Trinity Days on Campus

Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Trinity Days on Campus

Although Trinity Days is a time in which many people go home or travel for the long weekend, it is also a pretty special time to spend on a much quieter campus. Whether you are here for sports or just staying, the often overlooked opportunities and ventures available around campus make for wonderful weekend plans for both those looking to relax and those seeking activity.

Not only does the holiday weekend seem to fall at the most perfect time each semester but whether you are home or staying on campus, the break serves as the chance to get ahead on work and get a much needed mental reset. It is hard to not get caught up in a whirlwind of work during the semester, so the chance to re-balance your sleep schedule is crucial during this time. Similarly, if you are one to get overwhelmed by course assignments during the school week, this four day weekend is the perfect opportunity for you to get caught up on your work so that you can return to the semester more comfortable and confident. The beautiful library at Trinity College is the perfect environment to do so, with its calming natural light and even more available seating in light of the holiday! My personal favorite area of the library, aside from Peter B’s (the student run coffee shop) of course, is on the second floor by the tennis courts overlooking the chapel and the sports fields. The plethora of windows allow for a surplus of light to come in, and the large tables are perfect for spreading out your work materials. But no matter where you find yourself in the library, there is always a comfortable place to be the true academic weapon you know you can be.

If you are someone who is looking more to relax during the long weekend, Hartford can help. Despite it being a bustling city, the surrounding areas of Hartford offer a great variety of restaurants, services and outings that can get you both off campus and refreshed. For example, if a good meal is what you are looking for, look no further than the restaurants and shops just down Broad Street. If you travel just a half mile or so off campus you’ll eventually come to an industrial looking square that actually is home to one of Hartford’s best restaurants, Firebox Kitchen. Firebox is a cool, local restaurant that has great food and a great ambiance. Even better, you can feel good about eating there too because Firebox has helped support the local youth and adult workforce of the surrounding communities. West Hartford also has some amazing restaurants to get lost in, such as Barcelona, Averte, Max’s Oyster Bar and more. If you are looking for something a little bit more chill, the plethora of more casual dining options such as Chipotle, Bruggers Bagels, Robek’s Juice Bar, and Hartford Baking Company are all great places to get something to eat without the wait. Additionally, the upstairs seating area in Hartford Baking Co. makes it the perfect place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while reading a good book or doing some work. If you are looking more along the lines of true relaxation during the break, then West Hartford is also a great place to book a massage, get a manicure/pedicure, or catch a yoga or another group exercise class.

If instead you want to do something a little bit more adventurous during your break, then Hartford can help once again. Hartford is a perfectly walk-able city where you can find all sorts of parks, arts venues, museums, and hiking trails.

How to Get Invovled on Campus and Surprise Both Yourself and Your Parents

How to Get Invovled on Campus and Surprise Both Yourself and Your Parents

Upon entering my second semester of my sophomore year here at Trinity, I’ve gradually become more accustomed and familiarized with all of the broad-reaching opportunities this college offers its students both on and off campus. Especially for a student such as myself who struggled with homesickness much of my first semester of my freshmen year, getting involved and keeping myself preoccupied was one of the best things that I could have done to get myself over the homesickness hump. Despite it being overwhelming at first, the campus involvement fair, held every semester, was a great way to explore what the college had to offer and how I could get involved in something that personally interested me. I remember walking through the doors into the Mather Washington Room and being immediately engulfed in a sea of tables and fliers, all backed behind students enthusiastically cooing you to sign up for their club. The fair has everything from Investment Club to Puppy Club, with a series of clubs and organizations that could deem attractive to almost anyone. Looking to join a sports team at school but not exactly sure if you could handle the commitment of a collegiate sport? Look no further than the numerous club sports Trinity offers such as tennis, lacrosse, hockey, soccer etc. Sports aren’t your thing? Not to fear, there are a series of volunteer clubs and organizations connected with the school such as Best Buddies, Big Brother Big Sister, Relay for Life and more. Even if you are looking for a more chill club environment, artistic and musical clubs such as The Mill on campus and the event planning Barnyard Committee serve as a great way to get yourself involved in something that may taper more to your interest.

Another great thing about Trinity College is the availability of on-campus jobs for students. For many students, keeping themselves busy with a paying job can be a much-appreciated bonus. If you were looking for more of an office job on campus, a job in either admissions or career development could be the one for you. Looking for something in the library instead? Lucky for you, the library circulation desk is a great place for students to help other students and become more familiar with the interworkings of our library. If you walk a bit further down the library lobby, you will stumble upon Peter B’s, one of the great student-run coffee shops on campus. Peter B’s is not only an awesome place to hang out, get some work done or grab a coffee or snack, but it’s also a lively and fun work environment. I’ve heard from many of my own friends that there is never a dull moment while working there, and being able to work alongside and serve your friends is incredibly entertaining. And you get paid to do so! The other student run coffee shop on campus, The Underground, is another great, more chill and relaxed coffee shop that is laden with large comfy couches and cool music. If the other jobs mentioned above don’t seem to do it for you, you could also get a job in the Trinity Recreation Department, either being a student gym supervisor or a lifeguard. When looking around at all of the available jobs and resources available to you as a student here, its crazy to think that last year I had hardly any idea these opportunities existed!

Furthermore, as a student reaching their sophomore/junior/senior year at school, the presence and talk of internships can become all encompassing. Lucky enough for us, Trinity offers a series of internships during the school year both on and off campus that can allow you to get a head start on your early-job experience. One trip to the Career Development Center will help you gain a better understanding as to what you may want to focus your interest in on, and how you can find the perfect local internship match for you!

We are incredibly lucky to go to a school that has all of the available resources and opportunities that Trinity College does, whether that is in terms of clubs and organizations, on-campus jobs or networked internships. Don’t string yourself along with empty promises that you will sign up tomorrow…get involved today!

Living in Barcelona

Living in Barcelona

Hola todos! (Hello everybody),

I am in Spain for the semester! Though the pre-studying abroad process can feel stressful and frustrating, especially since study abroad always feels so far away, it is by far one of the more worthwhile experiences I have had in my life. I am living in Barcelona, Spain for the semester and just wanted to share my first few experiences, impressions and struggles studying abroad.

I have been to Spain many times in my life, and I even have family that live in the capital, but coming to Barcelona has been a difficult and amazing adjustment. The first thing that hit me was the time difference. Since Spain is 6 hours ahead, adjusting was difficult because I was used to sleeping during the daytime here and doing things during the night. However after a few days of forcing myself to stay up during what felt like the night, it has become normal.

The Trinity team is full of nothing short of miracle workers. Agueda and Brian work to coordinate our schedules, our field trips, our money vouchers and so much more. Though we have been here a mere 3 weeks, we have had numerous outings, both optional and mandatory, which include museums, cooking classes, hikes, tapas eating, trips outside the city, flaminco dancing, self-defense and more. Gabriela, also on the Trinity team, often takes students on optional field trips.

We have been lucky enough, through Trinity, to access some amazing sites in Barcelona for free. The Trinity space itself is located on Pau Claris, which is an avenue in the center of Barcelona in walking distance from the Gaudi buildings and parallel to Passeo de Gracia. The advanced students are taking a history class which is located in the Ateneu, a historical building located right off the Ramblas, which has a renown library, a beautiful cafe in the courtyard, and classrooms on the top floor. The rest of our classes are at the UPF (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) and are in the middle of the city, in all different parts of the school.

As far as housing during study abroad here, there are 2 options. Students can choose to stay at the TSH (The Student Hotel), which is located in the Melon district, or students can choose to live in a homestay. There are upsides and downsides to both choices, as with many things, but the perks of both situations significantly outweigh the potential costs.

In a homestay, students have the chance to fully immerse themselves in the Spanish language. Students are placed with families, meticulously vetted by Trinity’s staff, who have expressed an exceptional interest in taking in an international student. Students fill out a survey explaining both what type of living situation they are looking for (for instance, do they want little kids, pets, etc) and a form explaining their living personality. The host families do the same and students are matched to the best of the programs ability with a compatible home. Though the families all speak Spanish in the household, they are very patient with students learning the language. This semester we have a student in a homestay who speaks very little english, and both he and his host family are very patient with each other learning to communicate in broken Spanish and broken english. But the advantage of living in a homestay is just that:┬áthe student picks up the language at an alarming rate. Learning to speak in a language is very different from learning the dissect the language into grammatical concepts. Students in homestays get the chance to practice their conversational Spanish everyday and everyday they become better Spanish speakers. Another advantage of living in a Spanish household, is the advice they can give you about the city. Nobody knows the ins and outs of the city better than they do because it is the city they live in, and for many, the city they grew up in. Host families can give the best advice as to places to eat and exhibits to visit, but also the places to avoid, the cautions about living in the city and much more. Many people in homestays eat at least dinner with their families which gives them time to bond and time to practice their Spanish!

The other option offered to students is TSH. The Student Hotel is located in the Melon district and is home to hundreds of students from all around the world. From the TSH dorms, it is about a 5 minute walk to the metro and it’s within walking distance of the beach and the university. Each student is issued a room key that allows access to the cafeteria, the building, the kitchen and the common areas. Each floor consists of about 10 rooms on either side of the hallway and at the end there is a shared kitchen. The cafeteria is on the ground floor and is connected to TSH but is a public restaurant in the area. The common space consists of a large study room, a large TV and viewing area, a pool table, ping pong table, fusbol table and more. The residents of the space are invited to regular events that are put on by TSH that engage students in activities with one another. Students at TSH also get to enjoy the rooftop area, which looks out on the city of Barcelona from 12 stories up, as well as a rooftop pool. There are also many advantages to living in the TSH. The rooms are small, but private with queen beds, and private bathrooms. There is a cleaning service that comes once a week, and a service that cleans the kitchen as well. There are shared fridges and cabinet space with allows students to cook during the week as well as store groceries for convenience. Living at TSH, students are entirely independent and entirely responsible for themselves and their needs, such as laundry and meals.

Either way, every student has amazing living accommodations while studying abroad in Barcelona and students from TSH and homestays have plenty of opportunities to spend time together during the week and on the weekends. Trinity does a great job with matching up families with students as well as placing students in the generous hands of The Student Hotel.

Overall, this trip has been amazing so far. We are so lucky to have so many amazing people on the Trinity in Barcelona staff who have helped us to get settled and encouraged us to explore on our own. So far, this has been an amazing semester and I cannot wait to share more of it with you as I go!