On The Trinity Perspective, you will find those answers—or at least someone who asked the same questions. We have been in your shoes. The Trinity Perspective collects advice and stories from current students, parents, faculty, and alumni to share with you—prospective students, families, and the Trinity community.

What I Wish I'd Known Before Starting College

By Dan Farris ('16)
Dan Farris ('16)
Psychology Student & Creative Writer

The first year of college is a very exciting time in most people’s lives.  So many new things happen to you in such a short period of time that it’s easy to just feel overwhelmed and uncertain of what’s going on. This experience is just like the first few minutes of the life of a baby sea turtle; if we pretend that getting into the ocean is like graduating and getting eaten by a bird is like anything happening to you that would prevent you from graduating.  And while you’ve probably heard more pieces of advice than your freshly hatched reptilian brain can process, I’m going to offer you a few more pieces of advice. Only this time, it’ll be from someone who didn’t graduate from college before you were born.  

1. Do it for you

College is meant to be a time for you to figure out who you are and what makes you happy. While you will be tempted to major in something your parents think will be good for you or to spend weekend nights doing things with your friends, these might not always be what will make you happy. Instead, when registering for classes take a few classes you already know you’re interested and a few more in that you think you might be interested but aren’t entirely sure about. At Trinity, it’s still very possible to graduate with most majors even if you only take one or two classes in it during your first two years, so it’s not going to be an issue in the long run if you spend your first year finding out what you like. And if your friends are going to want you to spend your weekends doing things you don’t really want to do, it’s probably best to get new friends. And an easy way to make new friends is to…

What I Wish I'd Known Before Starting College

2. Be open to every experience

There are a lot of things that can happen to you in your first year in college. You are going to meet more people than you’ll possibly be able to remember, you’re going to hear about several events you have no interest in going to, and you’ll probably find a few new things that you never thought you would like until now. Because of this, it’s very important that you try as many new things as you can until you see what you like. Go to club meetings, hang out with people you just randomly ate dinner with for the first time, go to parties, just try as much as you can that’s offered to you. Unless you really enjoy talking to only your suite mates and staying in your dorm room all the time, you won’t know what you like to do or the kinds of people you like to be around until you experience all of it. And while you’re trying new things, it’s very important to keep one thing in mind. And that one thing is…

What I Wish I'd Known Before Starting College

3. Don’t let first impressions be last impressions

When you first meet someone, do not let your initial judgement of them be how you always view them. Some people might have just been really tired or cranky, and others might just give a really bad impression. I have a friend who I once met playing volleyball over Labor Day Weekend. At first she terrified me because she’s very good at sports in general and I’m really bad and was ruining her game. She was not the nicest to me in that instance, but I think it was just because of the heat. Now she’s someone I can’t imagine being at Trinity without. The first impression rule is not just limited to people, but can apply to clubs or other fun activities.

What I Wish I'd Known Before Starting College

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About Dan Farris

Dan Farris is a junior Psychology major & Creative Writing minor from Cranbury, NJ. Dan is the President of the Sexual Diversity Alliance and the Fellowship Vice President of the Co-Ed Service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. During his free time Dan enjoys watching movies or playing Mario Kart with his friends. Some of Dan's favorite things include dogs, beaches, and the color blue.


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