By Allyson Mackender –

Earlier this week I stumbled upon the first email I ever exchanged with my first-year roommate. It was filled with the expected questions: Where are you from? Do you have any siblings? What colors should we use to decorate our dorm? All the essentials. I couldn’t help but chuckle at one question, though.

What are you studying?

Northrup Hall, home of Trinity's English department. 
I enthusiastically answered, “International studies and political science,” launching into a lengthy paragraph explaining how passionate I was about the disciplines. So, with graduation just three weeks away, I can’t help but ask, how did I become an English major?

During my first semester at Trinity I took HUMA-1600, Introduction to Philosophy, International Politics, and Calculus. I went into the semester expecting to love my International Politics course; I ended the semester swearing to never take another international studies course. My decision had nothing to do with the department itself. Many of my closest friends have had phenomenal experiences as international studies majors. However, during my first semester I was deeply influenced by Professor Victoria Aarons’ Writing Workshop course, which was the first step in my decision to become an English major.

I officially declared my English major in the spring of my sophomore year, but leading up to that my parents had endured many phone calls where I emphatically told them I had found the one. After deciding I didn’t want to study international studies or political science, I considered studying anthropology, psychology, communication, and religion before finally deciding on English.

Victoria Aarons is an O.R. and Eva Mitchell Distinguished Professor in Trinity's English Department
Because of Trinity’s Pathways Curriculum, students are expected to fulfill six criteria: The First Year Experience, Approaches to Creation and Analysis, The Core Capacities, the Interdisciplinary Cluster, The Major, and Fitness Education. This means that during your time at Trinity you will likely take classes in almost every department, giving you the chance to try a plethora of academic disciplines. And if you take advantage of this period of exploration, I assure you that you’ll eventually find the perfect fit.

My advice to future, and fellow, tigers is not to worry if you don’t immediately know what you'll study. When your future roommate asks what you want to major in, it is perfectly fine to say, “I have no idea.” The unique Trinity curriculum and the faculty at Trinity will guide you until you eventually find your place. Stay open-minded. Be inquisitive. Find a mentor. And remember that no matter your major the resources Trinity provides will prepare you for a lifetime of success.

About Allyson

Allyson Mackender is a senior English major from Denver, Colorado. She is the author of Trinity's Experiential Learning Blog and the editor of the Trinity Perspective.  Allyson is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and Phi Sigma Pi
By Andrea Acevedo –

When I came to Trinity, I was not sure what the LGBTQ community on campus would be like. I had a pretty close-knit group in high school so I was afraid of not being as accepted as I had been. One of the first things I did when I was looking into campus life was search for the diversity page, and when I made it to campus, the first club I signed up for at the Student Involvement Fair was the on-campus LGBTQ club – PRIDE.

The fears that I initially had melted away. I met an organization with wonderful and accepting members. However, around the end of my sophomore year, I noticed that the club was losing momentum. I wanted to see the organization continue to make an impact in the Trinity and San Antonio Community, so I ran for club president. As president, I worked to make our campus engagement more present and helped organize a variety of events which were related to both activism and social events. We have brought in speakers such as Michael Sam, the first openly gay NFL athlete and Robyn Ochs, an expert on bisexuality and gender. We have regular events like holiday parties and socials where everyone is invited to come as they are and be themselves.

What I found at Trinity was a community that marched alongside me in the San Antonio Pride parade, that advocated with me at the state capitol for non-discrimination ordinances, and that sat next to me during LGBTQ movie marathons.

However, there is much work to be done for our organization and our community. Today in Texas, we face discriminatory bills targeting members of the Transgender community like Senate Bill 6 and other bills that pose threats to the rights of LGBTQ workers. If you are interested in being an activist for the LGBTQ community, the opportunities to make an impact here in the lone star state are numerous.

If you are someone who has not gotten very much exposure to information or education in the areas of gender identity or sexual orientation, then you have come to the right place. One of our major goals for the organization is to provide community members with more information and education that breaks down misconceptions about the LGBTQ community.

Choosing a college requires you to consider factors like class sizes, campus locations, and academic rigor, but an often overlooked and important factor that students might also consider is how friendly that college is to students of different sexual orientations or gender identities.

Michael Sam at Trinity University.
When considering Trinity, keep some things on your radar:

1) You should make a point to connect with PRIDE, which is the LGBTQ+ club on campus! You can find us at a variety of student organization fairs and during New Student Orientation.

2) PRIDE hosts lots of events that cater to a variety of interests. This ranges from movie nights, to speakers, to activism events for the San Antonio community.

3) Professors will make an effort to accommodate to your preferred gender (don’t be afraid to let them know.)

4) Residential life is very accommodating to your rooming needs.

5) If you are looking for a support system, you can find that within our organization or with some of our professional LGBTQ friendly counselors.

If you come from a community where you have not been shown love and acceptance because of who you are, know that you can expect to come to Trinity and find a community that embraces your differences and celebrates diversity.

About Andrea

Andrea is a Junior Communication major and a new media minor from Dallas, Texas. She is the current president of Pride, the lgbtq club on campus. She works for the Trinity Marketing department and is a production assistant for Tiger Network. On her time off Andrea is an avid news reader and strives to one day work for the digital department of a major news organization. Her favorite hobbies include long walks in the grocery store and making digital art.

By Andrew Cable –

Hello there, Tiger Nation!

My name is Andrew Cable and I am currently a junior Biology major at Trinity University. I hail from Tucson, Arizona where I was born and raised. Growing up I didn’t know much more than the Sonoran Desert, but when I received the opportunity to attend Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, I was excited. However, I had my reservations about Texas.

Below you'll find what I have learned from living in San Antonio for three years and why you can, and should, venture away from Arizona to join us here in Texas.

1. Texas is not just cowboy boots and country music, but there is plenty of that if you want it. Contrary to popular belief, people like you and I live everywhere in this country and the culture is not that different from anywhere else I’ve been.

2. There are real trees here! And a lot them! This was huge for me when I moved to San Antonio. I was expecting more brown bushes and sand and small trees like back home but there are actual tall trees and grass and green plants that grow naturally here.
Right: Tuscon a.k.a. bushes, sand, cacti. Left: Trinity's green campus filled with trees and happiness everywhere. 
3. You can still find incredible Mexican food pretty much anywhere in San Antonio. This is a bold statement, I know. And, I have to say that the Mexican food is different from Sonoran-style Mexican food (like in Arizona), but it is still quite delicious. In our current society, we are often challenged to celebrate our differences and what better way to do just that by eating tacos all over San Antonio?

4. It’s still hot here, but not as hot. It gets to about 100 degrees here in the summer, which is nowhere near as bad 115 degrees. 

5. The sports teams here, specifically the San Antonio Spurs, are actual contenders. The Spurs have won more titles than the Diamondbacks, Cardinals, and Coyotes combined, and no one looks down on you for hopping on the bandwagon. 

6. I moved from Arizona to Texas and I got to meet Macklemore because of it. Coincidence? I think not.

Cable '18 (right), Macklemore (center), and Austin Guerrero '18 (left) 
7. Texas doesn’t have to replace your home! It simply can serve as a wonderful home away from home and may even cause you to celebrate Arizona once you have been away for a bit.


About Andrew

Andrew Cable is a Junior biology major and classics minor from Tucson, Arizona and is hoping to attend graduate school in Physical Therapy after his time at Trinity. He is a Resident Assistant in the Sophomore Area, is a member of the social fraternity Omega Phi, and works in the Athletic Training Room. His favorite hobby is eating, though playing any sport holds a close second. He loves cheese, the Green Bay Packers, laughing, grocery shopping, outdoor adventures, cheese again, watching movies and writing.
By Meg Chase –

When I began the college search I knew the last place I wanted to end up was Texas. Why would I trade the Rocky Mountains, 300 annual days of sunshine, and refreshingly dry air for a state that at one point wanted to be its own country? I have a lot of Colorado pride, and I wasn’t about to let Texas try to take any of that away from me.

Meg Chase '18 and Andrew Cable '18 explore the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. 
Even though my love for my home state was intensely powerful, I knew I wanted to branch out and experience life for the next four years somewhere else; that way Colorado would be that much more special when I came home. I looked at schools on both coasts, I toured universities all over the country, and to my parents’ dismay I was plagued with a terrible case of indecisiveness that led to many nights spent crying and questioning my existence and worth as a student.

A recruiting letter came in the mail from Trinity University, a small liberal arts school in San Antonio that wanted me to swim for them. My pretentious pride was immediately turned off to Trinity after discovering my small high school and circle of friends had no idea what Trinity was.

“Texas?” They would ask. “C’mon, you’d come back loving oversized belt buckles and have big, poofy hair. You wouldn’t fit in.”

I reluctantly took a recruiting trip to see if there was any chance of me actually enjoying Texas. I came in with a closed mind, and left with a mind sealed shut.

“No way am I going here, Mom,” I said as I called her from a Trinity dorm. “It’s so humid, my skin is already burned, and everyone says ‘y’all’. I’m not about it.” I wrote off the school as quickly as I wrote off Texas. 

Chase and her peers enjoy an outing in San Antonio.
As spring was approaching I was frantically trying to decide where to go, where I could make a home away from home. Texas was still at the bottom of my list, and I planned on keeping there. A series of unfortunate rejection letters and an opportunity to visit Trinity one more time, however, forced me to reconsider Texas. I wish I knew then through the tears how incredible Texas would be.

As a native Coloradan and someone who had never lived anywhere else, I was shocked to discover that February could have 28 consecutive days of temperatures averaging 75 degrees, that authentic Tex-Mex is good for the soul, and, contrary to popular belief, Texas is not one giant desert filled with tumble weeds. 

One Texas stereotype that is true is that Texas. Is. HUGE. It takes a few hours to drive from one major city to another, but Texas’ size also means there are opportunities for adventure everywhere you turn. The Hill Country offers hikes completely different than those in Colorado, but just as stunning. In one single city you can find natural swimming holes, skyscrapers, and a multitude of music festivals. You can strut in your heels in the heart of downtown or grab your cowboy boots and escape to the rodeo. The options are endless.

Opportunities for adventure aren’t the only attraction to Texas, so is the food. After discovering Whataburger’s Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits and Cane’s Fried Chicken, I don’t think I could ever eat at any other fast food restaurant ever again. Texas is also filled with local restaurants everywhere you turn. From authentic street tacos to down home barbecue, you can get the best of the best less than a block away. Don’t worry, there are plenty of healthy dining options as well, including acai bowl cafes, farmer’s markets, and completely vegetarian restaurants. The best part is definitely being able to eat tacos for every meal of the day and still being accepted by your friends. Oh, and did I mention there’s a restaurant (Lulu’s) that sells three-pound cinnamon rolls?

Chase and Haile Duplantier '18 participate in San Antonio's MLK March. 
San Antonio specifically is a city filled with not only delicious tacos but also with a vibrant culture and addicting energy. I was afraid to leave Denver’s beautiful parks, its views of the Rocky Mountains, and the generous and happy population. San Antonio’s southern hospitality, however, invited me into one of the friendliest, happiest, and most welcoming cities I’ve ever been to. I quickly found my home away from home in a city which loves the Spurs more than I love chocolate, celebrates for an entire month with the incredible tradition of Fiesta, and has one of the country’s largest MLK marches. This big city has a small city feel and has something new to do or experience every day. San Antonio has stolen a piece of my heart, and for that I will be forever grateful.

The best part about leaving Colorado for Texas, however, is the experience of returning home for winter break and watching the snow fall over the mountains, eating at your favorite restaurant, and appreciating both Colorado and Texas for the incredible places that they are. Living in Texas has not only opened my eyes to a new, fantastic culture but has also made coming home to Colorado that much more special. Of course while I’m in Texas I miss the Colorado snow, the Rockies, and the dry air. But I am extremely grateful for Texas’ warm winters and magnificent people. I have learned how to two-step, how to not look like a tourist on the River Walk, and how to love Texas and make a second home in San Antonio.

Do it. Take the risk. Move to Texas. If your experience is anything like mine, you will not regret it.

About Meg

Meg Chase is a junior History major from Denver, Colorado. She is a student-athlete on Trinity’s Swim Team and a Resident Assistant in the First Year Area. In her spare time Meg enjoys binge watching Parks and Rec, searching for San Antonio’s best burger, and spending time with her friends and teammates. After graduation Meg hopes make a positive impact on the community in which she lives and make at least one person smile every day.
By Allyson Mackender –

Throughout my life, my identity has been rooted in two entirely different worlds.

While Denver, Colorado (population: 2,814,220) was technically where I was raised, Cozad, Nebraska (population: 3,934) felt just as much like home. My loyalty was fractured between the big city and the small farm town where my family lived.

When my college search began I was adamant that I would not go to school in a city. I wanted the small town feel to match my small campus ideal. I dreamed of the midwestern liberal arts college tucked away in a corn field. So when my dad suggested I apply to Trinity in the seventh largest city in the nation, San Antonio, I was very hesitant.

As I toured school after school, my perspective began to change. I fell in love with Chicago, craved the energy of Minneapolis, and ultimately found my home right here in San Antonio. I, much to my own surprise, was going to college in a city and I could not be happier with my decision. Urban San Antonio has provided me with the best college experience possible and here are ten reasons why: 

1. It is diverse. 

One of the reasons you go to college, especially at a liberal arts school, is to become more open-minded and aware of cultures unlike your own. Going to school in San Antonio has allowed me the opportunity to surround myself with people from all over the nation and world. I recently heard San Antonio referred to as the "original melting pot" and from my experience this certainly holds true. Over the last four years, I have met people from different backgrounds; we speak different languages, we participate in different traditions, and our cultures are not alike but the vibrancy of San Antonio is our commonality. 

2. There are plenty of opportunities for internships. 

Source: Texas Monthly
No matter what you are studying, a city the size of San Antonio can accommodate your internship request. With thousands of corporations and non-profits, you are bound to find the perfect internship opportunity to buff up your resumé and to get some much-needed job experience. 

3. You will never be bored on the weekend. 

If you search San Antonio on Google it will likely tell you to visit the Riverwalk and the Alamo. Honestly, Trinity students avoid both of these places like the plague. Instead, Trinity students will frequent The Pearl for it's weekly farmer's market or visit one of the city's awesome museums. There are always fun concerts to attend and the city seems to be having a festival every weekend. If that's not your thing, go to a Spurs game; Trinity even offers discounted tickets twice a year to students. Want to know where to visit in SA? Check out this article.  

4. If you are an out-of-state student, it is easy to get home for holidays. 

This was not something I even considered when applying to college. However, now that I have spent four years at Trinity I am forever thankful that we are just five minutes from an airport that has daily flights to anywhere in the US. The accessibility of the airport and the availability of flights has been life-saving; going home for the holidays is a breeze. 

5. San Antonio is proud of its heritage. 

Perhaps more than any other city I've visited, San Antonio is oozing with pride. During Fiesta, there are parades every day and fun cultural events to attend. And these aren't small town, homecoming queen parades. San Antonio's parades are a celebration of history and culture with river floats, cascarones, live music, and a three day party called NIOSA. San Antonio's tricentennial is coming up in 2018 so now is the perfect time to move here! 

6. It's easy to get around.

You really do not need a car if you go to school in the city. Not only are there Zipcars on campus and shuttle options, the San Antonio bus stops right up the street and can take you anywhere in the city. Also, Ubers are cheaper and you can guarantee there will be one within 5 minutes of campus at any time. 

7. Need an escape? Take a trip out of town. 

Surely every once in awhile the hustle and bustle of city life becomes overwhelming. Fortunately, it is less than an hour to those small towns you might be considering for college. The Texas Hill Country is a day trip away and you can be back to campus by dusk. If you want to hike, float the river, peruse antique shops, or enjoy some Fredericksburg peaches, San Antonio can give you the best of both worlds. 

8. The best food you can imagine. 

I'm not sure if this is true of all cities but it certainly is true in San Antonio. If you somehow get sick of on-campus options, San Antonio has every kind of food you could possibly crave and it's all delicious. Whether you're looking for a Tex-Mex restaurant like Tomatillos or a hip Asian Fusion restaurant like Hot Joy, you will never run out of new places to try. Also, living in a city means you have access to food trucks, the greatest concept every created. Try out the taco truck on North Saint Mary's. It's only open at night but it's worth staying up past your bed time for some authentic Mexican cuisine. 

9. Even though it's urban, Trinity still feels like a tight knit community.

Source: The Princeton Review
One of my biggest fears going to school in a city was that the campus would not be its own entity. I was worried that campus would be spread out and there would be no sense of student unity. This is not the case at all. With not a single street running through the already small campus, Trinity feels like a haven in the middle of the city. If you never want to get out and explore San Antonio, it would be very easy to do that, although I wouldn't recommend it. Trinity students often joke about the "Trinity bubble" because being on campus is like being in a world of your own. You truly get the best of both worlds – a close and active campus community and all the opportunities a city has to offer.

10. It eventually won't feel so big. 

Honestly, for the first semester I was scared to death every time I left campus. It seemed like I was always lost and turnarounds were a brand new idea for me. But after a while the streets look familiar, the surroundings become comfortable, and San Antonio will quickly become your home. Unlike other cities I've visited, San Antonio feels very family oriented. Even though you are in the middle of a metropolis, there are families everywhere you look, which gives it a small town feel.

As my senior year draws to a close, I find myself saying, "I love San Antonio," pretty much everyday. I officially have to add a third "home" to my list: Denver, Cozad, San Antonio. San Antonio has given me the chance to see the two pieces of my identity merge into one unified whole. My love for the city and for the cow town I called home have transformed into a love for the vibrant cultural destination that Trinity calls home. After four short years, it feels like I've lived here all my life and I can't imagine having spent my college years anywhere else. 

About Allyson

Allyson Mackender is a senior English major from Denver, Colorado. She is the author of Trinity's Experiential Learning Blog and the editor of the Trinity Perspective.  Allyson is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and Phi Sigma Pi