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.

Six Activities to Do Around Hartford

Six Activities to Do Around Hartford

Living in a small city can have its advantages, especially around holidays. Hanging out around Harwith friends is so convenient considering that there are not that many miles to walk through. Hartford is a vibrant place with many activities to do. Here is a list of great things to do around Hartford county:


1) Movie Night

The city of Hartford contains several movie theaters. Trinity College has the privilege to be home to Cinestudio, our on-campus movie theater. However, if you want to leave campus, transportation is always available to take you into West Hartford where you will find Cinepolis, a standard six-screen movie theater showcasing the latest hits. Personally, when I want to catch a movie outside of campus, I try to go to Bow Tie Cinemas in Hartford since they have sales every Tuesday and your wallet will surely thank you.

2) Art Exhibition

Hartford has a thriving art community. Why not experience it with your friends.? Downtown Hartford is home to Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. The Museum holds several pieces ranging from Samuel Colt’s guns to surrealist paintings from Salvador Dali. (Trinity students also receive free admission!) Hartford is also home to Real Art Ways, an independent art gallery and movie theater. This gallery holds pieces from up and coming artist from around the area. The gallery also holds several events such as Creative Cocktail Hour, where people from all ages are invited to come and talk about art over Mocktails (or real cocktails if you’re 21+). Finally, you can always hang out around the city and take the public art tour and experience all the public art that Hartford holds.

3) Good Food

Hartford holds several great restaurants that provide great food. Since there are too many to name, I will name my personal favorites and make suggestions of food that I have enjoyed in the company of friends. If you are in the mood for southern cooking, Black Eyed Sally’s is the place to go. If you go, I recommend the Chicken and Waffles or the Macaroni and Cheese. Another great restaurant is Ted’s Montana Grill, which has great burgers made from buffalo meat. Right next to it, you will find Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ, where the flavors will overwhelm you (in a good way!). Finally, if you are in the mood for Mexican food, I recommend either El Sarape or Coyote Flaco (a debate that can never be settled in my room as to which restaurant is better).

4) Physical Activity

Maybe you are in the mood for some physical activity. A fun place to go with friends is Hartford’s trampoline park, Launch. You can bonce and do flips and overall just have fun as if you were a child. You can also share a couple of slices of pizza with your friends while you’re there. Finally, if you are up for more of challenge, you can go hiking around Hartford’s surroundings towns. The town of Newington holds Cedar Mountain, a good place to hike, read poetry, or just talk once at the top.

5) Stay In

Just stay in and do some homework  with friends or by yourself. More work will probably get done if you are by yourself.

6) Park Day

A good place to visit is Elizabeth Park in West Hartford. During the spring semester, you can visit several of the beautiful gardens around the park. Spend some time taking in the rock garden with a couple of friends and move to the rose garden with that special someone. Try to enjoy an ice cream cone from the local restaurant or eat a hot dog. Meet new people in the park, go look at the dogs, or even take some photography. Overall, this should provide a relaxing experience with friends and will allow you to unwind from the week.

This or That?: My Top 5 Favorite Classes at Trinity

When asked what my favorite thing about Trinity is, I say hands down the academics (okay, maybe not hands down since I have about 20 things that are my favorite thing about Trinity, but it certainly tops the list). I feel so lucky to have taken such engaging classes with professors who love what they teach and the students they get to work with. Looking back on my transcript, there are no classes that I hated. Though some were certainly more challenging than others, I am so proud of the student and individual I have become due to my academic experience at Trinity.

With course registration happening this week, I figured I would round up the classes I think have been the most valuable in my three and half years here (so far!). In no particular order, here are my top five favorite classes that I’ve taken at Trinity:

AMST 203: Conflicts and Cultures in American Society: This is essentially the introductory level American Studies class that examines the social, political, and culture narratives of a certain decade. I studied that 1950s over the course of a semester, but each professor teaches it in a decade of their choosing. Professor Wickman teaches it in the 1970s (i.e.: disco, women’s liberation movement, the first Earth Day, Stonewall Riots), Professor Heatherton teaches the 1910s, and Professor Manevitz teaches the 1820s.

AMST 284: Food and American Culture: What could be better than a class about FOOD?! Nothing, in my opinion. In this class, we studied the history of food in America (think TV dinners to juice cleanses), we analyzed cookbooks (yes, I wrote a 7 page paper on Barefoot Contessa Parties), and even food culture in America (like the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest held on the 4th of July). This class really challenged the way we critique Americans’ eating habits and shaping of food culture.

ENGL 333: Creative Nonfiction: Ethan Rutherford is not only my favorite Creative Writing teacher, but he is one of my favorite teachers in the English department. This class was specifically focused on reading writing creative nonfiction (aka essays). We turned to writers like David Sedaris, Joan Didion, and EB White for inspiration. During this semester, we not only read my all time favorite essayist, Sloane Crosley, but she actually came to Trinity’s campus for a reading as part of the English department-sponsored “AK Smith Reading Series” (if you’re wondering how much I fan-girled over her, check out my Instagram account).

HIST 354: The Civil War and Reconstruction: This class was taught by Professor Scott Gac, who is the Department Chair of the American Studies department. It was a once a week class for two hours and 50 minutes and with only 15 students in the class, we were able to go in depth with the material and our discussions. We read some of the foremost Civil War historians, including Eric Foner, David Blight, and James Oakes. I wrote my final paper on historical Memories and Regional Identity in the South, specifically looking at the transformation of plantations to tourist attractions.

SOCL 101: Principles of Sociology: This was an extremely useful class for an introduction of sociological perspectives and the intersection of class, race, and gender. Professor Tanetta Andersson specializes in U.S. and Global Gender Inequalities; Health, Illness; and Social Behavior. Nearly all of the topics that we discussed in SOCL 101 appeared in many of my other classes. Professor Andersson is not only extremely intelligent and passionate, but she cares about her students, their grasp of the material, and their understanding of the relevance of these topics in the 21st century. As an American Studies major, this class was essential for developing the skills I used as a critical thinker and researcher. It also proved how truly interdisciplinary so many of the majors are at Trinity!

Trinity students don’t have to declare a major until March of their secondyear. The first few semesters are a great time to take lots of introductory 100 and 200 level classes to find what you are interested in pursuing as a major! Take as many classes in as many different departments as possible and don’t feel pressure to know exactly what you want to do!


Trinity Favorites: Spring Semester Thoughts

As I made my way around campus today, the post-syllabus week climate was refreshing – and definitely not as cold as I was expecting! I don’t know about you guys, but my winter break was relaxing and just long enough for me to miss being back on campus. Now with syllabus week behind us, we can focus on all the great potential that Spring semester at Trinity has to offer! During my free time between classes I ran into some friendly faces and asked them about their Trinity Spring semester favorites:

Emily Claytor, 2018

International Studies; Minor: French


What is your favorite thing about Spring Semester at Trinity?
My favorite thing would have to be Spring weekend and quadding with my friends (enjoying the weather on the quad)

What is your favorite memory of Springtime at Trinity?
I really enjoyed rowing for the crew team last Spring because it was a lot of hard work but really rewarding in the end.

What are you looking forward to most at Trinity this Spring?
Going out to brunch with my friends on the weekends!

Do you have a fun fact about yourself?
I’m a twin!

Amro Arqoub, 2018
Neuroscience, French


What is your favorite thing about Spring Semester at Trinity?Spring weekend is definitely my favorite.

What is your favorite memory of Springtime at Trinity?
Going out to Ichiro (West Hartford) for hibachi with a huge group of friends!

What are you looking forward to most at Trinity this Spring?
I think Spring Break and the beautiful Spring weather.

Do you have a fun fact about yourself?
I came to the United States from Palestine when I was only 16 years old!

Christina Claxton, 2016
Public Policy and Law; Philosophy
Antonia Lluberes, 2016
Public Policy and Law; Minor: Hispanic Studies

IMG_4490What is your favorite thing about Spring Semester at Trinity?
C: Hanging out on the quad with my friends.
A: The warmer weather that comes after the cold Winter here.

What is your favorite memory of Springtime at Trinity?
C: Doing singing valentines around campus with my a cappella group – the Trinitones!
A:Professor Cabot held an “Oral Argument” class in the Spring of my junior year. He’s one of my favorite professors and the class was great!

What are you looking forward to most at Trinity this Spring?
C: Just enjoying the time I have left with my friends and the faculty I’m close to.
A: All the events they have planned for the senior class!

Do you have a fun fact about yourself?
C: I can drive a stick shift!
A: I’m a vegan!

Ben Chait, 2016
Art History

IMG_4485What is your favorite thing about Spring Semester at Trinity?
Cozy days in the library.

What is your favorite memory of Springtime at Trinity?
My semester of study abroad at Trinity in Paris during Spring semester of my junior year was one of the best experiences in my life!

What are you looking forward to most at Trinity this Spring?
Finishing my thesis!

Do you have a fun fact about yourself?
I have 44 tattoos!

Allison Butera, 2018
Economics; Minor: Studio Arts

IMG_4468What is your favorite thing about Spring Semester at Trinity?
Probably walking down the longwalk to class with the sun shining…and not wearing a parka!

What is your favorite memory of Springtime at Trinity?
Learning how to slack line on the quad –  even though I fell off every time!

What are you looking forward to most at Trinity this Spring?
Spring Break and all the memories I’ll make with my friends.

Do you have a fun fact about yourself?
I’m a Kappa Kappa Gamma sister and a legacy here at Trinity! My dad graduated from here in 1988.