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.

By Paige Roth '15
Paige Roth '15
Biology Researcher & Playwright

As the fall semester comes to a close, students once again face the dreaded holiday tradition -- finals. As a high school student, you have likely experienced some version of finals or heard horror stories of college finals. You've heard tales of sleep deprivation, five hour long exams, marked decline of personal hygiene, or the fate of a semester's work hanging in the balance. 

You've heard the advice: get enough sleep, make time for exercise, don't forget to shower, break up your study sessions, don't cram, etc. These tidbits are all valuable pieces of advice that I try to implement in the sprint to the end of the semester. However, given the holiday spirit, I thought it would be much more useful to look at the bright side of finals. 

What? There's something positive about finals, you say?

1. You've seen all the material before (for the most part). I used to panic that I suddenly had to relearn all the material I'd encountered all semester. Wrong. You now know exactly what types of questions the professor asks or what they look for in papers. Though you can expect a few curve balls on the final exam, take comfort in knowing you've seen the material before. Chances are, if the professor found it important enough to include on the first exam, he or she will include it on the final. The odds are ever in your favor.


2. Everyone is in the same boat. Suddenly the library is the most happening place on campus. It is even sometimes referred to as "Club Lib." There's something satisfying to the nerd in every Trinity student to see all their peers working in one hyper-productive frenzy. This sudden influx of study buddies will keep you motivated as you power through your fourth paper.

Trinity's awesome new library reading room! There is nothing more beautiful to a student in the midst of finals than a giant table with plenty of outlets. It's the little things.

3. Crossing the finish line in each class. Count each exam down and each paper turned in as an individual victory. The feeling of closing the door on that class you've been struggling with every week or the class you never imagined you would take is now over. Celebrate the small victories in between events of finals weeks and remember those formidable accomplishments when you are grabbing your third espresso of the night.


4. The Holidays. Fall finals coincide with many university's holiday traditions. At Trinity, finals week is interspersed with my favorite traditions. Take advantage of these festive events as cheerful breaks in between study sessions. If nothing else, play a little Christmas music or light some cinnamon scented candles while you're writing that twenty page paper to ease the pain. 

5. That feeling when you're done. That feeling gets me through finals year after year. The moment when you finish you're last final is one of the most satisfying moments of the year. Revel in all of your accomplishments as you sprint towards the end and be sure to celebrate extravagantly when you're done.

About Paige Roth
Paige Roth is a senior biology & English double major at Trinity and acts as editor of The Trinity Perspective. Throughout high school and the beginning of her time at Trinity, she identified herself as a strong humanities student. However, after a serendipitous meeting with her introductory biology professor, Dr. Jim Shinkle, she took her first tentative steps into the world of research where she’s studied cucumber sunburns ever since. Merging her loves of science and humanities in a true liberal arts fashion, Paige is now the author of Trinity’s Undergraduate Research blog. Paige enjoys all types of writing, from non-fiction to playwriting. In fact, she’s produced two plays off Broadway in New York and off Sunset in Hollywood. In her spare time Paige loves spin class, singing, running with the Dean of Students, and spending time with her residents as a resident mentor for first-year student.




By Paige Roth '15

At this point in your college search process, you are probably experiencing lingering doubts about the number of schools on your list. Too many? Too few? Do I actually have a shot at getting in? Will I ever finish all the supplement questions? You are in good company. Even that 5.0 GPA, perfect ACT score, spent every summer as a medical volunteer in Haiti, chess club environmental chair, and class president sitting next to you is worried. I promise. 

As a college senior who just registered for her last semester of classes (yikes), you may be thinking, "Oh yeah, 'relax,' easy for you to say." But how wrong you are! I'm not going to tell you to relax, because, frankly, it's not going to work. I found my anxiety quite productive, and slightly invigorating--in moderation. That anxiety is the same impulsive streak the inspires you to apply to that reach school, write the quirky college essay instead of the "Day at the Food Bank that Changed My Life Forever" essay, and makes the college search exciting. And, to be honest, I remember being in your shoes like it was yesterday.

But before I wax nostalgic, let's get down to brass tacks (I see you math minded people sighing with relief--Finally!). I applied to ten schools. That's not a magic number. I applied to 3 safety schools, 3 match schools, 3 reach schools and Trinity. Ten applications became a very manageable number. Several of the schools did not have supplement questions (Hallelujuah), some had nine (I'm looking at you, Wake Forest). I doubt any college counselor would tell you this, but if you are feeling last minute nerves about not having enough safety schools, fire off some extra applications to those schools that don't require any extra work. If it gives you and your parents some peace of mind, it's worth it.

My last, and possibly most important piece of advice, is this: apply to that one school your college counselor keeps putting on your list, even if you can't imagine yourself attending that university in a million years. 

You may decide you were right all along, but that last minute capitulation might just determine the next four years of your life. Do you feel a story coming on? There are those careful reading skills kicking in!

Here is my abridged "Why Trinity?" story, in case it helps ease your anxieties:

I had no interest in coming to Texas. I pictured Trinity University with pueblo buildings and dirt and tumbleweeds obstructing the paths of cowboy boot clad students. (I have since learned to do my research). My college counselor, a wise person and Trinity alumnus, added Trinity to my very first college list on Naviance. Though I stealthily removed Trinity before each meeting, he would passively add it back and so the cycle continued. I wanted to go back East. I wanted small liberal arts or maybe a big sports school. I wanted to be a vet and a lawyer and a scientist and a poet and maybe an opera singer (I still want all those things, by the way). 

Needless to say, I hadn't the slightest idea what I wanted. And finally my college counselor, Mark Moody, told me, "Just apply. They don't have any supplement questions."

"Fine." I responded petulantly. 

And that was the best decision I almost didn't make. Thank you Mark Moody (in case I never said it).
So here are my takeaways:

  • Listen to your college counselors. They're right.
  • Don't go overboard on your applications, but if you're feeling nervous, send off a few extra applications that require minimal effort. (Can you tell I'm a graduating senior?)
  • Err on the side of quirky in your essay and supplement questions. The Trinity admissions staff still remembers my college essay on sea anemones stinger cells.
  • Enjoy shopping. Your anxiety (in moderation) is a reminder that something awesome is just about to happen in your world.

About Paige Roth
Paige Roth is a senior biology & English double major at Trinity and acts as editor of The Trinity Perspective. Throughout high school and the beginning of her time at Trinity, she identified herself as a strong humanities student. However, after a serendipitous meeting with her introductory biology professor, Dr. Jim Shinkle, she took her first tentative steps into the world of research where she’s studied cucumber sunburns ever since. Merging her loves of science and humanities in a true liberal arts fashion, Paige is now the author of Trinity’s Undergraduate Research blog. Paige enjoys all types of writing, from non-fiction to playwriting. In fact, she’s produced two plays off Broadway in New York and off Sunset in Hollywood. In her spare time Paige loves spin class, singing, running with the Dean of Students, and spending time with her residents as a resident mentor for first-year student
By Elizabeth Gilbert '14
Elizabeth Gilbert, The Trinity Perspective
Elizabeth Gilbert '14
Anthropology Researcher &
Christian Fellowship Leader

I have always been involved in the church. In high school, it was one of those things on my list of extracurricular activities; involved in church youth group, youth choir, the whole bit. I grew up in the church and my faith is incredibly important to me. Somehow, however, it never occurred to me to look at opportunities to pursue that faith in a college. Between the academic status, the dorms, and the campus food, religion got lost. I ended up at Trinity without considering how that might affect my Christian pursuits.

Upon deciding to attend Trinity I discovered “The Plunge,” a pre-orientation program for first years that focuses on service and faith. It is a week-long event which takes first years and upperclassman mentors downtown for a week to volunteer in San Antonio. Although the main focus of the event is service, there is also a significant focus on Christian fellowship and worship. 

Attending The Plunge was the best decision I made at Trinity. It allowed me to meet, before anyone else even got to campus, some of my best friends at Trinity. 

It introduced me to people who both shared and challenged my values, helped me to plug into San Antonio as a city, and feel welcome in a new place right from the start.

One of the most useful things The Plunge did for me was introduce me to people involved in Christian fellowships on campus. In fact, my small group leaders were each involved in a different group: Intervarsity, RUF, and Catholic Student GroupThis gave me the connections to try each group with the assurance that I would know someone there.

Continuing Your Spiritual Life In College, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship

For a while I participated in more than one fellowship, but when the time commitment became too much I narrowed my commitment down to one group. I now serve in multiple leadership positions with RUF and spend a good deal of my time with the organization. As a first-year, RUF gave me the opportunity to sing and play piano with the worship team, create meaningful relationships, and pursue my faith. Many of my friends in RUF, and in the other groups, are also involved in many other organizations, making up the well-rounded community I have come to love. They provided me the Christian home I had never even thought to look for.

Continuing Your Spiritual Life In College, Parker Chapel

Whether looking for a Christian community, or just for a place to come with questions, Trinity has many spaces open for you. I am so grateful to have spent my college years with friends I met even before orientation began and ones I am still meeting. There are opportunities for many faiths and different styles, and I know that I have enjoyed college more because of it.

About Elizabeth Gilbert:
Elizabeth Gilbert is a senior Anthropology major from Alvin, Texas. Her plans after graduation include graduate school and continuing to work with non-profits. Currently she works with the San Antonio Food Bank, is a member of Sigma Theta Tau social sorority, and Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) on campus.