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.

Mariah Wahl '16
English major & Editor
By Mariah Wahl

After choosing a college, the process of deciding what to major in is one of the most daunting decisions a new college student has to consider. It can be overwhelming to pick your degree path, especially when it feels like your whole future depends on it. Picking your major shouldn’t be a stressful and unpleasant process, however. If you keep these three tips in mind, choosing a major can be less anxiety-inducing, and more like the process of discovery and exploration that college is intended to be.

1. You Don’t Have to Decide Right Away

The great thing about college is that you can change your mind, and make decisions at your own pace (to a certain extent-- indecisiveness is only affordable for the first couple of years). There is no need to come to college with a specific major in mind. Organize your class schedule to explore fields that you think might interest you and focus on completing required courses. When at all possible, combine the two.

I was required to take a science lab in my first few semesters of college, but I was also considering a career in education. I managed to complete my requirement and explore the education field by taking a science class designed to help students become elementary science teachers. With a little creativity, you can discover what you enjoy while still getting your credits completed.

2. When You Can’t Pick Just One...

So, let’s say you’re stuck between two fields of study that you love equally, and you can’t pick between them. Fortunately for you, double (sometimes even triple) majors are very possible. If you have one clear major, but a variety of other academic interests, a minor or two might be the right choice for you. Studying multiple fields isn’t right for everyone, but knowing that you can expand your field of study down the line takes some of the pressure off your decision in the meantime.

I knew I wanted to major in English, but I was interested in certain aspects of biology and sociology as well. When I explored Trinity’s course offerings, I found that a minor in women’s and gender studies allowed me to combine classes in those fields, and others that interested me. I was already a junior, but a minor provided me with the opportunity to expand my areas of study, even late in the game.

3. Do What You Love and the Rest Will Follow

Is it cheesy? Yes. Is it true? Absolutely.

When you study something you’re passionate about, that passion makes it easier to work hard and develop skills that you’ll need for any future career. I may not spend my adult life discussing Chaucer and Virginia Woolf, but the ability to write and construct an argument will be valuable in any profession. The skills that you develop as a dedicated student in a field that you love will propel you forward far more than any major you choose without interest, simply for its financial or employment potential.

Choosing a major should be exciting, not scary. If you keep an open mind and realize that you have time to explore and change your mind, the decision becomes a process of self-discovery and growth. Good luck!

About Mariah

Mariah Wahl is a senior at Trinity University. She is the editor of the Trinity Perspective as well as the Trinity Undergraduate Research Blog.
By Brady Iba ('15)
Brady Iba ('15)
Biochemist & Actor

As you gear up for your college transition you may be asking—How am I possibly going to meet all these new people and learn my way around campus before classes start? Never fear, the answer is New Student Orientation (NSO). NSO is different at every school. Some are three days during the summer, while some are a week right before classes. What is the same about all of them is the excitement the new students have to start college and the excitement the older students have to meet and help the new students. The important part is to take advantage of every opportunity.

Orientation opportunities range from one-on-one advising sessions with your advisor, which are highly important so that you start off on the right foot, to early morning (cough) three A.M. (cough) birthday fountain dunking and IHOP adventures, which can start beautiful friendships.

New Student Orientation, Trinity University
First year students volunteer for the San Antonio Food
Bank during NSO.
My advice to incoming First Years is to have fun and enjoy every opportunity offered. Each one serves a unique purpose and is designed to enrich your time. I will say some are more fun than others but each is another chance for you to make a new friend and learn something you didn’t know. The other thing I recommend as we approach the time of orientation is be flexible. Each event is different and new. The flexibility can turn into a great hall bonding experience, like everyone putting go face paint and cheering on our soccer team or a recycling bin drum circle. 

New Student Orientation, Trinity University
Trinity students meet every member of their freshmen class during Playfair--a 30 year old Trinity tradition. 
New Student Orientation can be scary for some people and exciting for others. Either way, NSO only happens once and I don’t want any of you to regret not participating because college is a very special time that, as a senior looking back, creates some of the strongest friendships. I want y’all to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. NSO is one of my favorite memories of Trinity University and I’m sure you will love it too.

Megan Reynolds '16
English Major & Varsity Athlete
By Megan Reynolds

There are a lot of aspects to consider when you are trying to figure out where to go to college. Logistically, there are just too many schools out there to look into every one as a viable option. There are even too many states to consider. Think about it – even if you wanted to apply to a school in every state that is still fifty schools to apply to! Here are some of my tips for finding your perfect fit when applying to colleges:

1) Figure out a place you would like to live for at least four years. When you really think about it, could you live across the country from you family? Do you want to live in a big city or a rural area? What kind of climate do you like the most? These are all important elements to consider when looking into schools. Personally, I knew I wanted to leave my home state of New Mexico and experience something new. Even though Texas is only one state over, it is still a whole new culture to explore. I also knew that while I could have lived across the country from my parents, I would not have liked it as much as having them one state over. They are far enough away where I still feel entirely independent, but they can also drive in and watch my volleyball tournaments on weekends. I like a warmer climate so San Antonio seemed like an ideal place for me. Remember that while you may only live where you go to college for four years, many people end up staying in the same city or moving someplace close to that city. Find a place you can see yourself living in for a minimum of four years.

2) Find a school that fits your academic needs
Even though your friend may be looking into a certain school, it may not be the perfect fit for you. When researching schools, I always looked at what the most popular majors were. I had no idea what I wanted to major in when I arrived at Trinity, but I knew that Trinity was an amazing academic school. I wanted that intellectual challenge and a small school environment. I came from a smaller high school so I knew I wanted a school where I could forge relationships not only with my peers, but with my professors as well. Additionally, while you may fall in love with a certain school, if they do not offer what you want to major in then that is not going to be the perfect fit for you. Find a school that offers majors you want to pursue.

3) Visit the campus.
This was a huge part of my decision. I initially did not want to go to Texas, but when I visited Trinity’s campus something just felt right. I could see myself living there. I could see myself walking around upper campus and attending classes in Northrup Hall or going to study in the library. Personally, I needed to visit the campus to make a decision. Not only do you get to see the school where you’ll spend four years, but you’ll also meet the people that attend that school already. If you do not like any of the current students you meet, then maybe that is not the school for you. College is a place to create friendships that will last a lifetime. For this reason, you need to make sure you like the people who would be your classmates for four years. Unlike high school, you have more control over the people you will be in a class with. Take advantage of that.

4) Listen to your gut.
I had a really hard time deciding between a few schools, but something kept pulling me back to Trinity. Pay attention to what your gut tells you. Nobody can make this decision for you and ultimately whatever other people want, whether it is your parents or your friends or even your teachers, you will excel at the school at which you feel the most at home. It may sound cheesy, but you have to follow your heart when you make your college decision.

About Megan Reynolds
Megan is a senior English major at Trinity University with minors in Creative Writing and Spanish. She is also a member of the varsity volleyball team. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau Sorority. She will be a co-editor for the Trinity Review, Trinity's literary magazine, this upcoming year. Megan is from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
By Katie Jones
Katie Jones '18
Runner & Humanities Major

Last fall semester, I participated in Dean Tuttle’s Rock n’ Roll San Antonio half-marathon training group. Participating in “Running with the Dean” was definitely one of the most rewarding aspects of my first semester at Trinity. In high school, I ran cross-country and long-distance track. Although competitive running was a valuable experience, I have found that running without a competitive element enriches my enjoyment and appreciation of the sport itself. While training for Rock ‘n’ Roll, I could finally focus on what I love, running itself, as opposed to running faster than others.

I really appreciate the attitude of inclusiveness cultivated by our group. We operate on the policy that people of all paces and experience levels are welcome, and everyone stays together throughout the run. This policy is designed to prevent individuals from being deterred by lack of experience, and exposes a greater number of people to long-distance running. This is an important aspect of the group, as the benefits of running are immense, and everyone should have access to them.
Trinity students and staff cheer for their friends and other Rock N' Roll Participants
The philosophy of inclusiveness is also evident in that we increase mileage at a very reasonable pace of 1 mile per week. I have a history of numerous stress fractures amongst other running injuries due to over-training. Because of this history, I really appreciate our group’s prudent training plan. It functions to include a diverse amount of individuals as well as ensure that everyone is healthy and able to participate in the race at the end of the semester.

As a first-year, Dean Tuttle’s running group was an integral part of my college adjustment period. Connecting with individuals who shared my interest in remaining healthy and active in college, as well as my love for running, contributed immensely to my feeling of ease at Trinity.

Dean Tuttle (center) smiles as he focuses in on mile five of the Rock N' Roll Half-Marathon
At the end of the semester, I was incredibly nervous about running in the actual race. I missed the last training run, and so the most I had ever run in preparation was about 9 or 10 miles. I told myself that in the context of a 13.1 mile race, 3 miles is pretty insignificant. But at times that merely seemed to emphasize the enormity of mileage I was about to undertake. During the race, I started to feel mild fatigue after about 5 miles. Feeling fatigue after running 5 miles is relatively normal, but it made me feel incredibly apprehensive whilst the remaining 8.1 miles loomed. This is when the race taught me something of incredible value. I realized that if I hoped to finish the race and have a satisfying experience, it was crucial that I focus on the present moment. Worrying about the numerous miles to come wasn’t going to make my experience any easier or pleasant. It may even encourage me to give up. So I began to focus on where I was moment by moment. It allowed me to notice and appreciate being propelled forward by nothing by sheer muscle power and clarity of mind, and the peace that comes with that feeling. It’s important to have these moments while doing anything one feels passionate about. It reminds a person that what they devote themselves to is meaningful and worth experiencing. My memories of that race are far more vivid than that of many other experiences, and I suspect the reason lies in my conscious decision to be present throughout its duration.

Picture of me post-race, but pre-chocolate muffins. Running a half-marathon is challenging, but that's part of the reward!
I would encourage anyone with the slightest interest in running to consider training for Rock n’ Roll with the group next semester. It’s definitely not easy to run 13.1 miles, but anyone who participates in “Running with the Dean” will tell you its well worth it. And if nothing else, I found the post-race experience of eating three chocolate muffins in under five minutes most gratifying.

You can run with the Dean, too! Learn how here. Learn more about student involvement and campus life here.

About Katie Jones
Katie Jones is a rising sophomore at Trinity University. She plans to double major in Philosophy and English. Her interests include yoga, Game of Thrones, and rap music.
By Mariah Wahl
Mariah Wahl '16
English major and Humanities Researcher

For many students, the opportunity to study abroad is an important part of their college experience. For others, it falls lower on the list. Maybe a study abroad experience seems too costly in terms of time or money, or it doesn’t seem like a logical career move unless the student is majoring in a language. But studying abroad can be a valuable and affordable experience for any student, regardless of your career path. Last week’s posts from Jeff and Robin revolve around Trinity students and their summer study abroad experiences. Here is why you should consider studying abroad as well, no matter who you are:

1. There is more than one way to study abroad

Trinity offers a variety of study abroad experiences, and makes sure you’re prepared to undertake whichever one you commit to. Originally, I had planned to spend an entire semester abroad in London, England. Because Trinity’s study abroad department walked me through several planning meetings, including a look at budgeting and course credits, I came to realize that a semester abroad was not the right choice for me. Because I wanted to spend the summer working or researching, a summer program like our Shanghai experience was not right for me either. Fortunately, I was able to find a class with two weeks spent abroad that was within my budget and would help me develop my interest in German language and culture. Ultimately, I was able to study abroad without giving up a summer job or breaking the bank.

2. Studying abroad introduces new, unexpected opportunities
Trinity students meet with the Young Islam Conference
Although I’m an English major, I studied abroad with a political science class. My motivation was mostly about the opportunity to study abroad, and I was initially less interested in the course content. To my surprise, the class’ focus on German immigration was ultimately fascinating and engaging for me. I will be following this interest and working with students visiting Trinity on the German-American Fulbright Commission in the fall. If I had never pursued the opportunity to study abroad, I wouldn’t have this opportunity to work outside of my major.

3. Studying abroad will teach you new things about your own culture

Everyone knows that studying abroad will teach you about a new place and a new culture, but I was surprised at how much I learned about my own culture as well. While we were abroad, we had the opportunity to meet with the Young Islam Conference in Berlin to discuss issues affecting young people in both Germany and the United States. Having the opportunity to compare our experiences and to learn how other countries perceive our culture and policies was probably my most valuable experience abroad.

Whatever you hope to accomplish with your college experience, studying abroad can be an opportunity for you. Learn more about Trinity’s study abroad opportunities here.

About Mariah Wahl

Mariah Wahl is a rising senior studying English at Trinity. She acts as the editor of the Trinity Perspective Blog and Trinity's Undergraduate Research Blog.

Mariah Wahl '16
English major and Humanities Researcher

By Mariah Wahl

One of my greatest college experiences so far has been the opportunity to intern in research and marketing for a non-profit consulting firm. As students, we often hear how important internships are in the hunt for future employment, but the prospect of actually finding an internship can be overwhelming. Where do we start, and how do we secure one of these mystical, mythical internships? These tips are designed to guide you through the process of finding the perfect internship for you.

1. Decide What You Might Like to Do

This can be the biggest stumbling block in finding an internship, but don’t let being unsure of your entire future career path hold you back. Consider former experiences in the classroom, in part-time or summer jobs, or in volunteer or other extra-curricular experiences. Note what you enjoyed (or didn’t enjoy) about these experiences, and consider how an internship could capitalize on those experiences.

When I began searching for a fall internship, I had just finished a summer of research in Trinity University’s Religion Department. I knew that I liked work that involved independent research and writing, but that I also appreciated opportunities to collaborate with others and learn from them. This simple process of thinking about past experience is important in solidifying your goals for an internship.

Experiences in the classroom can be a great resource for considering potential career paths
2. Use Your Networks

“Networking” is a word we frequently hear, but think of only as a vague, business-like concept. It brings to mind old men in collared shirts playing golf while they smoke cigars. In reality, networking can be as easy as letting people know what you’re interested in doing, and asking them for their help or advice.

When I let my research professor know that I liked the work we were doing, he put me in touch with a Trinity alumnus doing work in the non-profit sector. Make it a point to talk with professors, employers and co-workers, friends and family, and anyone else who can help you brainstorm what you might want to do, and how you might achieve it. For me, Trinity’s Career Services was another vital resource for putting together a resume. Use all of your resources to find and prepare for an internship opportunity.

Professional social media can be another great way to network. For a long time, I balked at the concept of Linkedin, thinking it was just one more social media account to distract me. When I finally gave in and joined, I found that it was a valuable and surprisingly personalized resource. Other websites that simply operate as a search engine and remove the element of human connection (i.e. Craigslist, Internships.com) can be useful, but are not always efficient.

Extra-curricular experiences like Undergraduate Research can help with the internship search
3. Apply Early and Keep Applying

It’s important to find an internship long before you need to begin, so that you can coordinate all the other details, including where you will live, how you’ll get to your job, and where you need to adjust the rest of your schedule. Be sure not to apply to only one position, no matter how certain you feel you’ll get it. It’s better to have to say no to several opportunities than to never find an opportunity at all.

I did not do a good job of following either of these pieces of advice. By the time I applied to my (one and only) internship, it was three weeks until classes started. I had already quit my old job. I also had to work for class credit rather than for pay, something I could have weighed more carefully if I’d had more options. All my eggs were riding in that one basket, and it caused me quite a bit of stress that could have been avoided by applying earlier and to more than one internship.       

Fortunately, I was lucky to find an internship that I enjoyed and learned from. Finding an internship takes time and hard work, but it doesn’t have to be impossible! Use these tips to help make your experience as easy and worthwhile as possible.   

About Mariah Wahl

Mariah Wahl is a senior at Trinity University. She is the editor of the Trinity Perspective as well as the Trinity Undergraduate Research Blog.
By Robin Lipinski
Robin Lipinski '16
Marketing Major 
I always knew I wanted to study abroad since I was a freshman at Trinity. I have been to Costa Rica and Mexico a billion times, and went to Sweden for ten days with the Trinity Women’s soccer team the summer after my freshmen year. But I always pictured myself studying abroad in Greece or Italy; somewhere where the views were breath taking and rich of culture; well that’s at least what I saw in the movies. But when it finally reached my junior year and the time to start thinking seriously about where I was going, Shanghai was brought to my attention. My first thought: “No way am I going to China, I don’t even speak a word of Chinese.” I instantly shut it down, but as the weeks went on and I did my research, the Shanghai program became more appealing for not only my major and resume, but for my experience exploring something that was bigger than myself (shout out to my friends and classmates Ingrid and Beau for convincing me that I would regret it if I didn’t go, and they were totally right).

Study abroad, doesn’t matter where. Just pick a place and do it.

I promise you won’t regret it. It is something that will change your life forever. Trinity has great connections with places all over the world, and they make it a simple and easy process for you. The hardest part is just figuring out where to go. You will discover more about yourself: how you handle culture shock, how you find your way when you’re lost, and how to cope with homesickness.

You will meet some pretty amazing people.

Depending on where you go and what program you are doing, you will most likely be with other students studying abroad, whether they are from Trinity or another school from anywhere in the country. I was lucky enough to be in a group with nineteen other kids from Trinity. In the beginning, I was so thankful for having my friend Nicole on this trip with me, because I literally knew no one else in the group. But it’s been three weeks into this trip and I already have found a new group of best friends. I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that I have gone three years at Trinity without knowing these goofballs. Having a good group dynamic makes the transition from home to a foreign country so much easier, because you are all in the same boat and can lean on each other when you need support.

Our group was lucky enough to have some great Trinity staff and professors accompany us on this trip and it’s like were a family. Olivia Suarez, Dr. Liu and Dr. He are basically our moms (thank you everything y’all have done for us) and a special thank you to Dr. Clark and Dr. Field for teaching us all the development of China and its history during our two-week class.

THE Concrete Jungle

Shanghai could eat New York City in one bite and still have room for more. This place is massive, with a population of 23 million people as well as being the largest city in China. Shanghai not only exceeded my expectations, but it was completely different than what I expected. The crazy, busy streets, the constant honking and the mannerisms of people are what shocked me the most. China almost has this type of “do what we want” attitude and I absolutely love it. If you are crossing the street and don’t get out of the way quickly enough, that’s your fault. If you aren’t aggressive enough on the metro and miss your exit, that’s your fault. It doesn’t mean that Chinese people are being “rude” on purpose; it’s just how the culture is. I think that we (as Americans and Texans) are so used to this “southern hospitality” that exists by saying thank you, or holding doors, and if we don’t do that, then we come off as rude and standoffish. But the thing is, if you take the time to talk to the Chinese, they are the sweetest, most genuine people you will ever meet, despite them almost running you over on their mopeds or pushing you out of the way on the subway.

Shanghai Skyline

So far, we have been able to visit a number of sites and seen breath-taking views. My favorite part was going up to the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower (the spaceship looking thing with the 3 circles attached to it). You could see the whole city from the top and it was incredible. On another note – watch for pickpockets; my phone got stolen out of my pocket and now all my amazing pictures from the top of the tower are gone… Moral of the story: pickpockets LOVE foreigners.

I can honestly say this trip is changing my life for the better, and it makes me sad that it is going by so fast. The homesickness comes and goes and seeing pictures of my dog makes me a sappy emotional girl, but I couldn’t be more thankful to be where I am right at this moment. So take my advice, put your finger on a map and go. The places will shock and surprise you, but even more than that, you’re going to surprise yourself.

About Robin Lipinski

Robin is a junior attending Trinity for a BS in Business with a major in Marketing and minor in Communication Management. She is a member of Spurs Sorority. Read more about Trinity students' adventures in Shanghai here.

By Jeffrey Sullivan

Jeffrey Sullivan '17
Political Science and English
One distinct difference I notice about being a college student is that summer time doesn’t quite feel like it used to. The days of absolute carefree freedom are now mainly devoted to work, internships, summer classes, or mild anxiety induced by the absence of any of these. Pressure to spend fleeting summer months building up a résumé can keep students from fulfilling other life enriching opportunities, such as traveling. Perhaps the most common desire I hear from friends is the longing to travel the world. Yet this strong wish can sometimes be deterred because the time required cannot be spared or the perceived usefulness in traveling is low. In order to turn traveling into a utility many students enroll in study abroad programs where an entire semester may be spent studying in a foreign country; this can be expensive and sometimes too much time away from home for some students. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were some sort of middle ground for college students looking for an opportunity to not only travel but gain life enriching educational experiences as well? I certainly think so, and so does Trinity University. That is why the they offered me myself and nine other students an opportunity to travel to one of our modern world’s most historical cities through a four-credit class named Global City Berlin. A class that met once a week during the semester culminated with a two- week long excursion to Germany’s capital city, Berlin. I’ll be talking about three of my favorite features of the class and why I think that they made it so extraordinary. Here are my three favorite features of the class:

Direct Education

Throughout our class meetings on campus we discussed and researched specific themes and topics that directly relate to life in the global city that is Berlin. Well known as one of history’s most relevant cities, in the present day it is very captivating for both academic study and personal exploration. My research specifically focused on memorialization within the city of Berlin, a topic that has particular relevance due to Berlin’s dark past. Class research was brought to a tangible experience when I got to visit the memorial I’d done so much research on. This provided me with the rare opportunity of seeing classroom work brought to real life. Also while in Berlin, I got to talk about my topic with German students and professors through organized discussions facilitated by our professor. These talks provided me insights into my topic that would have been hard to get anywhere else.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin

Valuable Structure

One of the other most valuable aspects of this course was its structure, which I sincerely appreciated. When traveling throughout a big city, most people want to try and see all of the worthwhile aspects of that city in the allotted time available. This is to be expected but it can be challenging and even stressful trying to find all there is to see on your own and with whatever time you have available. That’s why I’m so grateful for our professor taking us to see several of Berlin’s most sought after sites such as a guided tour of the Bundestag building, the Jewish museum, and the German National Gallery.

The German Bundestag, or Parliament Building
Also, class tours through several districts of the city helped us all find activities we’d like to do with our free time. Which is, of course, what you may have been wondering this whole time: is there free time?


Yes, there was plenty of free time. While the morning hours and sometimes parts of the afternoons were dedicated to class activities on the weekdays, the hours that followed along with the weekends were ours to utilize however we so desired. For instance a group of friends and I all decided to dedicate one sunny Saturday to biking around Potsdam, a city not too far from Berlin. I also thoroughly enjoyed exploring Berlin on my own.

Global City Berlin will be offered again in the spring semester of 2016. It focused specifically on political topics and counted as a political science class. However, there are other programs like this one that take students to other parts of the globe for other fields of academic study. They’re wonderful and fulfilling opportunities that I personally have enjoyed immensely in my college experience.

About Jeffrey Sullivan

My name is Jeff Sullivan and I’m a rising junior undergraduate student at Trinity University. I’m from Dallas, TX so I’ve spent the majority of my life in this massive state. My academic interests are primarily focused in Political Science and English. In my free time I listen to music, search the internet for anything of value, and read.