BRIDGE-ing a Gap Year and Boldly Facing Graduation

Macie Bridge ’21, is an English major and a double minor in religious studies and rhetoric, writing, and media arts. Macie has been a part of Chapel Council all four years and served as co-president her junior and senior years. She also co-leads the Spiritual & Religious Life Advocacy Team on campus alongside Diante’ Dancy ’21, and just won the, “Outstanding Advocate for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion,” award alongside Diante for their work. Macie is also a writing associate in the Writing Center in the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric, and she is a part of the Student Advisory Board for the English department.

SoMA, and fellow senior, Kaylen Jackson ’21, recently spoke with Macie about her experience at Trin over the past four years:

Macie Bridge ’21

Why did you choose Trinity?
I remember being on Trinity’s campus and just feeling I could see myself here. I remember walking past the English building and through the Chapel and picturing them as places I could hang out. For me, it was just this sense of home.

How did you settle on your major and double minors?
Freshman year, I tried out a bunch of different classes in different departments, and that’s how I found religious studies. My first-year seminar advisor was Professor Irene Papoulis, who encouraged me to take ENG260 with Professor Christopher Hager—that class made me develop a passion for English.

What’s been your favorite class at Trinity?
RHET302 or, “Writing Theories and Practices,” —a class for students admitted into the writing associate program. I loved that class because everybody got to bond as a part of the Writing Center community. We learned how to think critically about the way we’re talking to others, and our tutoring process. Another class that I feel was a defining moment for me was Profess Hilary E. Wyss’s, “Literature of Native New England,” class. That class pushed my ideas of why I wanted to study literature and what literature is.

What’s your favorite part about being a writing associate?
I get a snapshot of so many different people’s classes. Every time I work with a new student, I always learn something new. I love getting to see what other people are working on and what they’re passionate about. It’s fun to encourage people to become better writers, too. I think a lot of people come in thinking that they’re not as good as they are, so it’s great to be in a position where I can encourage them.

What space will you miss the most on campus?
I’m going to miss the Chapel most when I leave Trin. I spent so much time there doing so many different events every week. I love Chapel Council because everybody comes together to think so deeply about their faith. I’m going to definitely miss that community and that space.

A statement shared by Macie in a recent @trinsrl Instagram post announcing the SRL advocacy team’s new #WhereverIGo campaign.

What’s your plan post-Commencement?
After Trinity, I’ll be doing a service year with the Episcopal Young Adult Service Corps. For the program, I’m going to be in Chapel Hill, NC working at a local non-profit and doing spiritual formation with other core members. For me, this program is the perfect gap year before I get my master’s degree in religious studies. I’m excited to pursue my Master’s and study New Testament, Early Christian history, and women and gender.

During my gap year, I also plan to continue working on my novel that I’ve been working on for a year now! I just finished the first five chapters of it for my creative writing thesis. It is about Julia Ward Howe, who is my great-great-great-great grandma. She was an abolitionist, suffragist, and poet. She’s most remembered for writing, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which became the anthem of the Union.

What is the most important thing you’ve gained during your time at Trin?
I believe the most important thing I’ve gained is confidence in myself and my values. I’m more confident in who I am and living authentically in myself, and Trinity helped me find that. Also, amazing friendships and mentorship.

Describe a meaningful experience you have had at Trin?
I believe it was “Lessons and Carols” my sophomore year—the Christmas service in the Episcopal tradition held at Trinity in the Chapel. I was so overwhelmed and overjoyed with so many people filling the space I love so much. Everybody sang hymns together and it was so great to be a part of it.

Do you have any advice for the incoming class?
Stick to your gut of who you are and what you want to be doing on campus because there are so many things you can pursue. Boldly throw yourself into what you want to do, and know there are people here who want to support and encourage right alongside you.

LET’S BE SOCIAL: @macie_elizabeth54

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