By Grace Cline –

A little less than a year ago, I started my first year of college at Trinity University. Prior to starting college, many people gave me advice about what to expect and while most of the advice was good, I still don’t think I was fully prepared for what my first year would bring.

Grace Cline, Trinity University
Grace Cline proudly stands next to the Trinity University sign on upper campus.
One of the biggest things I struggled with this year was finding my place. During my first semester, I had trouble finding friends and discovering clubs and people to hang out with. I feel like this aspect of college life isn’t talked about enough to future students. All people ever said to me about college was that it would be the best time of my life. And yes, it has been an amazing time but that comes when you find where you belong, and that is often very hard to do at first.

The first week that I arrived at Trinity was New Student Orientation week. This means that I arrived on campus and moved all of my stuff into my dorm, met my suite mates and roommate, and then spent a week doing a variety of icebreakers to get to know the people around me. I’m normally not one for icebreakers but I really enjoyed NSO because everyone was on the looking to make new friends. It wasn’t like most group activities where everyone has an established cohort of friends already.

Grace Cline, Dorm room, decorations, first year
Grace poses with her decorations in her first-year dorm room.
During the first week of freshman year, nobody really had a friend group and everybody seemed like fair game to strike up a friendship with. That being said, after my first week of college, I was convinced that I had set up my friend group already with these 4 or 5 girls that I met during NSO. For the first few weeks or so, we’d all sit together at meals and text each other but that group of friends lasted less than a month. Don’t get me wrong, they were all very nice people, and we still are friendly but we were all still trying to find our “people” and we banded together at first. By the end of the first month that first group of friends had grown apart and it seemed like everyone around me had at least one person whom they could trust and hang out with while I still felt like all I had were acquaintances.

This doesn’t mean my first semester was bad. It was incredibly good; it was mostly good, in fact. In my first semester, I rediscovered my passion for choir, performed in a talent show solo, joined several clubs, met new people, and fell absolutely in love with my classes along with a slew of other experiences. My first year of college had its highs and lows – the rest of my college career will probably be like this as well. There was a time last semester when I was so overwhelmed by my 17 hours of classes and midterms that I rode home on a bus in tears and was absolutely convinced that college wasn’t for me.

Grace Cline, performing
Grace performs in the Talent Show.
But through all of these things, I have come to know and accept myself better. All of those really stressful moments from college this year passed and overall I had the most amazing first year of college ever.

My advice to any incoming freshman is this: fitting in can be hard at first, it’s like that at any new place and it can be difficult when you add in the added effects of homesickness and newfound independence. The best way to combat the feelings of loneliness during your first few months at college is to join clubs and find people that make you feel special, you may grow apart from these first friends but you will find those that last as well.

You can read more from Grace in her personal blog Coming Out of The Exodus.

About Grace

Grace Cline is a rising sophomore originally from San Antonio majoring in Psychology and Religion. She is co-president of the Jewish Student Association, a member of PRIDE, and a team member on the newly formed Trinity Rock Climbing Team. Grace is an intern for Hillel San Antonio and works as a Trinity tour guide. In her free time, Grace enjoys rock climbing, running, playing guitar, and writing for her personal blog.
By Inka Sklodowska Boehm –

The college search process can be a nerve-wracking one but it’s important to remember that there are people here to help guide you along the way, both literally and figuratively. Tour guides are an excellent source of information, which can quell the fears you might have during your hunt for the perfect school. We also happen to be incredibly funny and really, really ridiculously good looking.

zoolander, beautiful
Source: Giphy
Zoolander references aside, here are 8 questions to ask your Tour Guide to get the most out of your campus visit.

1. What opportunities are there for students in *insert your field of interest here*?
The campus tour is all about figuring out how you would thrive at Trinity. Therefore, ask all the questions you want about research, internship, class, and club opportunities relating to what you are most interested in. There’s no reason to be shy about what you’re passionate about from computer science to cheese rolling. Even if your tour guide isn’t involved in neuroscience or the acapella group, chances are she will know people who are and will be able to tell you relevant anecdotal information.

cheese rolling competition gif
2. What’s your favorite memory or tradition on campus?
Anyone can look online and find the statistical information given on our tours. What makes a campus visit unique is the ability to hear individual perspectives on the real student experience. The more stories you hear, the better picture you get. Plus, you get to feed our egos by letting us talk about ourselves.

3. What were your favorite and least favorite classes?
I was just recently asked this question on one of my tours and it surprised me that no one had asked this before. We are current students so we can offer plenty of advice, from how to deal with academic stress to what professors are the crème de la crème.

Parks and Rec
4. What are the relationships with professors like?
Related to the previous question, if you’re going to invest time and money into a university, you should know how the professors and students interact. At Trinity, we pride ourselves on how involved our faculty is, so you can be sure any response to this question will have at least one anecdote about our fantastic faculty and staff.

Robin Williams teaching
5. How involved are students off-campus?
Having access to a city as big as San Antonio is a great perk of attending Trinity. The city has a lot to offer and while there’s plenty to do on campus, it’s important to know if and how students engage with their community outside of the university. If you’re worried about getting trapped in the campus bubble, ask this question.

Bicycling dog
6. Where would you recommend going in San Antonio?
You now have an insider guide on where to go and what to do after your tour. Asking where we like to eat off campus gives you some excellent culinary options that are often inexpensive as well. If you’re pressed for time and can’t explore for yourself, this question can introduce you to the endless possibilities our captivating city has to offer.

Ryan Gossling taco
7. What is the most underrated aspect of Trinity?
Like I said before, asking questions on individual perspectives helps paint a picture of real life at the university. You may learn something about the campus or university as a whole that most visitors might never have the opportunity to learn.

Bob Ross wisdom
8. Why did you choose Trinity? 
The final recommended question, of course, allows you to get yet another insight into the type of university you’ve just walked around and hopefully better understand what you’re looking for in your future college home and what’s important to you. Finding the school that’s right for you is a daunting task, and your tour guide only wants to help. We’ve all been in your shoes before and each have anecdotes and advice we are more than happy to share with you. The main reason we chose to become tour guides is to share our love of our school with you in the hopes that you’ll see it how we do.

Zoolander ants
Despite my apparent flaw of quoting Zoolander all the time, I’ve found a second home at Trinity, and I hope you will, as well.

About Inka

Inka Sklodowska Boehm is a rising senior from St. Louis, Missouri majoring in Political Science. She is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, Trinity University Players, Trinity Distinguished Representatives and works as a tour guide and an orientation team leader. This past semester she studied abroad in Strasbourg, France, where she studied French and interned at the Council of Europe. In her free time she enjoys kayaking, reading true crime novels, and finding her next slice of pizza. 
By Hunter Sosby –

When I heard that Ron Nirenberg was running for mayor, I was beyond excited. I was already familiar with Ron – last summer I had the opportunity to work as an intern for the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center looking at San Antonio city policy, and I got to see his love of the city firsthand while he was a councilman. I loved his vision for the city and soon found out he was a Trinity graduate. It felt great to see him dedicating himself to our city. That dedication grew in early December when Nirenberg announced that he was running for mayor of San Antonio.

Trinity juniors Danielle Trevino and Hunter Sosby show their support for then mayoral candidate Ron Nirenberg during the June runoff election.

Lots of students – including myself – followed his campaign and looked forward to being able to see a Trinity graduate at the head of our city. At Trinity’s mayoral debate in March, there was a great energy and huge show of support from our community. That excitement remained in June, when on June 10, after a fierce runoff election, Ron was elected mayor of San Antonio.

The crowd at the Arneson River Theatre for the inauguration of Mayor Ron Nirenberg and the city council.
I was lucky to have the opportunity to attend the inauguration of Mayor Nirenberg and the newly elected City Council members. When my friend Danielle, a fellow Trinity student and a San Antonio native, and I arrived at the event we immediately ran into two more friends of ours from Trinity. Once the four of us sat down, braving the heat and sun in the back row of the outdoor Arneson River Theatre, some Trinity staff members that we knew ran into us and joined our party. Our Trinity corner was ready to cheer on our new mayor!

Left: Ron Nirenberg giving his first speech as Mayor of San Antonio. Right: Mayor Nirenberg with Trinity students Andy Acevedo '18 and Madeline Kennedy '19 at San Antonio Pride, curtesy of Trinity University Instagram.

Throughout the evening Ron received multiple standing ovations and some especially loud cheers from his Trinity family. It was incredible to see the support he garnered from all across the city and how many people were so clearly inspired by the message he sent. His speech followed a round of hard-to-beat impassioned and exciting speeches from the new council members, and what I saw that evening was a leader who cares deeply about the future of his city and everyone in it. I’m so proud to know that Trinity shares in Mayor Nirenberg’s vision for a city that welcomes and works for all, and I’m looking forward to what the next two years have in store for this #CityOnTheRise.

About Hunter

Hunter Sosby is a rising junior from Wimberley, Texas majoring in Political Science and Communication with a minor in Spanish. He is a member of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Alpha Phi Omega, PRIDE, Trinity Distinguished Representatives, and works as a Tour Guide. This summer, he is researching free speech and civil liberties in San Antonio. In his free time he loves to travel and hike, is always down to see a good musical, and enjoys exploring San Antonio.
By Curtis Whitacre –

It seems like every high school tells its seniors to decide on a major before graduating - before they’ve even started considering which colleges to attend, if any at all. My high school was no exception. Looking to my future and exploring my options with loved ones, I eventually stumbled onto the idea of a Psychology major. I always liked psychology and the idea of helping people so it seemed like the perfect fit. Senior year came and went and with my high school diploma in hand I was off to attend Trinity University in the fall of 2014.

I spent the next two years at Trinity working towards that coveted Psychology degree. However, I managed to sneak in a lower division Latin course during my first semester. I had always been interested in the language as a hobby, so I jumped at the first opportunity to learn it in an academic setting.

As time passed, I found myself filling up my schedule with more and more Classics courses. Statistics and heavy textbooks were replaced with Ancient Greek and Latin poetry and prose. I had fallen by the wayside of my original path, but much to my surprise, I had transformed from a budding Psychologist into a flourishing Classicist.

I dropped the Psychology major and declared a Classical Languages major in the same breath. A whole new world had been opened and welcomed me with open arms. I became the Vice President of the HOMER society, a club dedicated to working with ancient manuscripts. I composed an english translation for a section of an untranslated 12th century Latin manuscript as a final project under Andrew Kraebel, professor in the English department. I enrolled in so many amazing courses that explored the beauty of ancient language and the persisting effect of the classical world on today’s pop culture. I was even able to publish my work in the San Antonio Current, with the help and encouragement of Thomas Jenkins, professor in the Classics department.

Tim O'Sullivan, Ruben Dupertuis, Caroline Kerley, Curtis Whitacre, Andrew Tao, Roman World Lab, Classics, Humanities, Undergraduate Research
The Roman World Lab, curtesy of Dr. Dupertuis.
Back left to right: Tim O'Sullivan, Ph.D., Ruben Dupertuis. Ph.D. Front left to right: Caroline Kerley, Curtis Whitacre, Andrew Tao.
It only took one year for my entire perspective to shift, my identify to metamorphose. I’m now working with Tim O’Sullivan, professor of Classics and Ruben Dupertuis, professor in the Religion department in the Roman World Lab, a product of the Mellon Initiative’s Undergraduate Humanities Research program. For ten weeks, we’ll be working on the unique intersection of early Christianity and the Ancient narrative, as well as exploring the exceptional works of the Gospel of Peter and Book 11 of Apuleius’ The Golden Ass.

Andrew Kraebel, Curtis Whitacre, Latin, Translation,
Professor Kraebel and Curtis Whitacre looking over their translation work.
As the summer moves forward, I hope to continue working hard at my newfound passion. Working in the Roman Word Lab has exposed me to new areas of study that I otherwise wouldn’t have considered a necessary part of my education. Not only am I strengthening my Latin and Ancient Greek abilities, I’m also fostering an appreciation for Early Christian literature and the Ancient Greek novel. I cannot imagine what my future has in store for me, but I know that Trinity has so many more surprises just beyond that rosy fingered dawn, and I can’t wait to fly headfirst beyond the horizon.

About Curtis
Curtis Whitacre is a rising Senior and Classical Languages major from Costa Mesa, California and hopes to attend graduate school in Classics after graduation. He is the Vice President of the HOMER society here at Trinity, has been published in the San Antonio Current on classical reception in modern day comics, and works in the Roman World lab with his professors and fellow peers this summer. In his time off he enjoys playing Dungeons & Dragons, creating art, writing, and learning new languages.
By Miriam Cone

Before coming to Trinity I had only visited San Antonio three times. I say only, but for a student from the Tampa Bay Area in Florida, it felt like a lot. During my first visit I didn’t see much of the city beyond the Alamo and the River Walk. The two subsequent trips were to see if Trinity was the university for me, so I spent most of my time on campus. Although I had only seen a limited amount of San Antonio’s rich history and vibrant community, I knew the city was somewhere I’d love to live. Now that I’m a rising junior, I’ve had numerous opportunities to go out and experience a lot of what the city has to offer.

This summer I’m a marketing intern at Trinity University Press, which has been an amazing experience so far and a literal dream come true. An unexpected bonus of interning with TU Press is that it has allowed me to get to know San Antonio even better.

I thought I learned a lot about the city, but reading Mark Louis Rybczyk’s book, San Antonio Uncovered, I realized how much I didn’t know. The book, subtitled Fun Facts and Hidden Histories, published by TU Press in August of 2016 as an updated edition, discusses San Antonio’s history and peculiarities, from the reason why the Hogwild Records building has a sign with the number of miles to the North Pole (4,189) to the origin story of Fritos chips.

North Pole sign, Hogwild Records, Miriam Cone, around San Antonio
The North Pole sign can be found on the Hogwild Records building, near San Antonio College.
I read the book for my internship to prepare for a San Antonio Uncovered inspired trivia and book giveaway we are doing to celebrate summer in San Antonio. As a part of this, I went around San Antonio taking photos of different places, many of which I’ve never been to before like the Mission San Jose to see the Rose Window and St. Mary’s University, where former president Dwight D. Eisenhower was briefly a football coach.

Even at places I’d visited more times than I can count, like the River Walk, I learned something new. I never knew that the River Walk architect, Robert H. H. Hugman, had been fired without a hearing in 1940, a year before the River Walk was completed. It wasn’t until 1978 when he was recognized for his vision and work. I also never noticed that each of the River Walk stairwells are unique and that this was intentional in Hugman’s original design.

Robert H. H. Hugman’s bust can be found at the  bottom of the west staircase leading down from Commerce Street on the River Walk.
San Antonio has a host of more places to discover, food to eat, and stories to uncover. Anyone visiting or living here really needs to take the time to explore it, and reading San Antonio Uncovered is a good place to start.

The book giveaway will begin on the June 20th and run until August 1st, so follow Trinity University Press on Instagram (@tupress), Twitter (@tupress), and Facebook to participate. Also visit our website to learn more about the press and to sign up for our email list.

About Miriam

Miriam Cone is a rising junior from St. Pete Beach, Florida, and is an English major with a minor in creative writing. She is involved in Alpha Phi Omega, with the Trinity Review, the Cat Alliance, O-Team, is a Trinity Distinguished Representative, and is a marketing intern for Trinity University Press. When she has free time she enjoys swimming, cross stitching, crying over cat videos, and cooking.