CHANEL PALACIOS ’14
Hello, Senior Year. Hello, Class of 2017. Hello, everyone in between. Watching Trinity transform over the last three years has been exhilarating and frustrating. I hate to write a piece that is blatantly nostalgic, but it’s better than complaining about campus safety or a lack of common courtesy on campus. It’s the first issue, we can take it easy.
The new freshmen this year are experiencing a very different Trinity College than the one I arrived to three years ago. There were no new townhouses, just a rather depressing looking Crescent Street. The Vernon Social Center was really just a waste of space. Mather Quad was in need of some renovations. Trinity College was not all that it could be, but I was still unbelievably excited to be here. I hope freshmen this year felt the same way.
As for us seniors, I know I’m not the only one who was more nervous this year than I was freshman year about arriving to campus. There was a huge knot in my stomach because this was the last time I would experience Trinity, unless I decide to just hang around forever. And considering how daunting graduate school research is, I may just never leave Trinity. Coming back to campus this year was a complete roller coaster of emotions. Seeing the new townhouses was exciting, and getting to live in them is, quite simply, awesome. I know everyone wants to live in Jarvis at some point to overlook the quad, but honestly I really like having a full sized bed, my own room, and a kitchen. You Jarvis people can enjoy your Chartwells while my roommates and I cook delicious dinners. No offense, Chartwells but my mom taught me how to cook.
The new Vernon Social Center is more useful now. It’s cozy, it’s got food, and it’s finally a social place. Congrats, you live up to your name now. As for living in the new townhouses, the pros far outweigh the cons. For all those who complain about how far it is, myself included, it’s not a big deal. Three of my classes being in the English building, I can say that the walk doesn’t suck when the weather is nice, people are eager to say hello, and honestly half my roommates have cars. I’m spoiled. Walking across campus makes me want to be productive, go to the library, meet with professors, if only because I walked all that way, I may as well be productive.
The kitchens are nice and new. Only people who don’t clean up after themselves would complain about having to keep the kitchen clean. Each townhouse has its own washer and dryer, free of charge. I can’t imagine what I would ever need bantam bucks for nowadays, if not for food or laundry. The extra cost of the townhouses (which there are grants for) is offset by the free laundry and the reduced meal plans if you choose them. It’s being able to live somewhere that feels a bit like a home. Dorms are the college experience, but we’re leaving soon, seniors. We don’t need to keep that experience forever, we need to learn how to live on our own. But while we ARE still here, let’s enjoy it.
Not to shun the sophomores and juniors, but I really want to say things to the freshmen and seniors. My hope is that the freshmen will really use the new campus, and it is very new, and actually get to know each other. Get to know professors, they aren’t an alien race that we can’t communicate with. Same goes for freshmen in other dorms. Say hello on the long walk, go to more places than just Mather and the library. Go into Hartford and get to know the city. Always be safe, of course, but there’s a lot that I didn’t do as a freshman that I wish I had. I love everything I do, but if I had taken advantage of freshman and sophomore year, I would be doing a lot more. Maybe I would have learned how to sing. Haha. Not. But maybe I would have gone to the performances; I would have seen more shows at the Austin Arts Center, gone to galleries, and a whole lot more. Freshman year is really the time to find new interests, because once you get up to your last year, it’s really hard to make time for new things. That’s not to say all hope is lost for us seniors, though.
Seniors, I’m laughing as I write this. We know what to do at this point. We know our way around campus, we know where to find free printing (shhh, keep it a secret), and we know who we are. At least, I hope everyone does. The only thing we don’t know is what the heck we’re doing after this. I’m obviously not talking to all the over-achievers that have jobs lined up and things figured out. I’m talking to those of us who want to relish in Trinity College, with its new buildings and people. Stop being too cool to say hi on the long walk. Smile, get rid of the frown that makes it look like you need prune juice, and just be glad you made it this far.