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

When Dr. Goodall began to speak at the last Thursday night, it was not the voice of a woman who felt like she was the most intelligent person in the room. It was not the voice of a person with fifty five years of innovative research experience, or the voice of "the woman who redefined man."

Wrapped up in a shawl, with a stuffed monkey and cow perched on the podium, Dr. Goodall spoke to Trinity University’s community in the kind, clear voice of a friend. She began with her childhood, crediting her love of science to her curiosity about hens and worms. Repeatedly, she emphasized her mother’s encouragement of her. When transitioned into speaking about her primatological discoveries, it’s as if she's sharing more stories about her life. Discovering that other primates use tools, and thus changing the scientific community's perception of humanity? Dr. Goodall shares this anecdote humbly.

In fact, every story is shared in this matter-of-fact fashion.

"Going to Africa wasn't brave," Dr. Goodall explained of her first research expedition, "It was my dream. For me, it was going home."

In her soft accent, Dr. Goodall concluded by speaking about the serious issues of climate change and their impact on our environment.Her advocacy was not the reprimand of an older person telling a crowd of younger people to take responsibility, but encouragement instead. Jane Goodall wanted us to know that she thinks we can make a difference.

Afterward, I stood in line to have Dr. Goodall autograph my copy of Trinity University Press' The Jane Effect. I was nervous. I couldn't believe that I, along with any other Trinity students and staff willing to wait in line, was about to meet Jane Goodall herself.

What should I say? What do I do with my hands? The line grew shorter, and Dr. Goodall got closer. Finally, I handed her my book and said...


I was entirely speechless. I actually opened my mouth and nothing came out, as if I were a cartoon character. Dr. Goodall smiled at me and handed me my book, and I was just able to whisper, "Thank you," before I walked away. I remembered to close my mouth a few minutes later.

I can still hardly believe it happened. I’m grateful that I go to a school with resources enough to provide a free and open lecture from the world’s most renowned primatologist, but small enough that almost every student in attendance had the chance to meet her. Many students- braver than I- were able to shake Jane Goodall’s hand, exchange a few words with her, and even give her a hug.

Right now, Dr. Goodall’s lecture is at the top of my “Best Trinity Experiences” list, narrowly edging out last year’s lecture from author Zadie Smith, who in turn edged out Woodward and Bernstein. Still, I have eight months of college left- who knows how Trinity will surprise me?

See a full recording of Jane Goodall's lecture at the Tiger Network here
About Mariah 
Mariah Wahl is a senior at Trinity University, studying English and women's and gender studies. She is the editor of the Trinity Perspective as well as the Trinity Undergraduate Research Blog. In her free time, Mariah enjoys running, and being outdoors. Currently, she is training for her second half-marathon. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau sorority.  
By Megan Reynolds

Megan Reynolds '16
English Major & Varsity Athlete
 It seems like everybody at Trinity University participates in extracurricular activities that range from community service outings, literary clubs, social clubs, athletics, etc. To help you see what a day in my life as a varsity volleyball player and--most importantly-- as a student here at Trinity is like, here’s a breakdown of my average day.

8:45- Wake up.
Even though I don’t actually have class until 11:30 I still like to give myself time to get ready and eat a good breakfast. I also try to knock some reading out in the morning, especially if I didn’t have a chance to finish before I went to bed.

11:30- Peer Tutor. 
I’m a peer tutor for one of our First Year Experiences classes called HUMA. HUMA is a class that discusses the classical works of the ancient world like The Iliad, The Oresteia, and Aristotle’s Poetics. I attend the class period and help students if they need it. I’m mostly there to answer any questions they have and serve as a mentor.

Small class sizes mean more creative, engaged ways of learning.
12:30- The Beat Generation. 
I’m taking an English class this semester that focuses on the Beat Generation, including authors like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Usually we discuss the reading we’ve done for the day and try to delve deeper into the text. This class is really small (only eight people!) so the discussions are always engaging.

1:30- Lunch. 
Around this time I head over to Coates University Center and find some people to eat with. Oftentimes I find one of my sorority sisters or even another volleyball player to sit with. Coates is such a central place on campus that it’s really easy to find someone to hang out with.

2:30- Study.
I lucked out this semester so I’m done with classes after my Beat Generation class. After lunch I head to the library to get some homework done. Being an English major means a lot of reading so I try to get my homework started as soon as I can. When we’re in season I know that a large chunk of my night is devoted to volleyball so I take advantage of the breaks I have throughout the day.

Volleyball is demanding, but its also time spent with friends.
3:50- Head to the gym. 
I get to the gym about 35 to 40 minutes before practice so I can change and go to the training room. I stretch really well and heat my shoulder before practice to not only prevent injuries but also help heal the aches and pains I’m currently experiences.

4:30- Volleyball Practice. 
We practice everyday from 4:30 to 6:30 and then we lift weights two day a week until around 7:00. We run drills and everybody works hard to improve everyday. We all hold ourselves to a very high standard academically as well as athletically. Practice is a time for us to take a break from the school day and focus on playing the sport we love with the people we love.

7:00- Dinner. 
Before I lived off-campus we would always go to Mabee to eat dinner as a team. Our team is really close so we all enjoy spending time outside of practice with each other as well. Now that I live off-campus though, I usually head back home and make my own dinner.

Mabee is a good place to eat and catch up with friends. 
7:45- Study again. 
Trinity offers rewarding but challenging classes, which usually means homework, so after dinner I hit the books. I either study in my room or I go to the library. I love the library because it forces me to focus on studying. I’ve found that always trying to study in your room (especially in the dorms) can be distracting. The library also has some really cool nooks and study spaces that I take advantage of.

11:45- Go to bed. 
I try to go to bed before midnight (emphasis on the word "try," here). Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don’t. I do, however, make sure to give myself enough sleep time to feel well rested for the next day.

Despite the fact that I’m constantly moving from one commitment to the next I can’t imagine any other way I’d rather spend my day. I love being busy – it pushes me to accomplish all that I can and reach those accomplishments with the high standards that Trinity instills in students. I know that running around all day is worth it because it means I’m involved in everything I want to do on campus. I would much rather feel busy and involved in activities that interest me than bored with nothing to do.

Thanks for hearing about my day! Now go out and pursue your own busy schedule. 

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 is a co-editor for the Trinity Review, Trinity's literary magazine. Megan is from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
By Ryan Diller
Ryan Diller '17
Actor & Assistant Editor

First Years Putting on Theater, Phi POT, First Year POT: all are appropriate identifiers of that strange September tradition of the Trinity Theater program abbreviated FYPOT.

FYPOT is student theater at its most populist: theater acted, written, and directed by students, for students, with little to no faculty involvement. Moreover, it is theater at its least elitist. Anyone can sign up to direct a show, and any student who auditions for FYPOT will be cast. Each show lasts around ten minutes, and the vast majority of the casts are composed of first-year students. Any student who has not been involved in a mainstage production can audition, but even then the rules can be bent if a student really wants to be involved (this year, three seniors and one sophomore got in on the fun). 

But even though any student – theater regular or rookie, upper classman or first-year – can audition, the event serves mostly as a large coming-out party for first-year “theater babies,” as this year’s event organizer, Tristan Harness ’18, affectionately calls them.

Zaniness ensues on a Trinity University stage.  
Being written by college theater participants, the shows veer heavily towards the vulgar, absurd, and meta. Previous shows include a Shakespeare mash-up (in which I appeared as Hamlet my freshman year), an irreverent imagining of how the Founding Fathers decided to include slavery in the Constitution (this process involves time travel, musical numbers, and a coin toss), and an inside joke-laden murder mystery in which Trinity’s academic departments, personified as their stereotypes, attempt to uncover which of them murdered Theater. This year, I got to direct a show with my good friend Cole Murray ‘18, in which we parodied indie-leaning movies that rely heavily on the gay best friend and manic pixie dream girl tropes. 

A scene from this year's FYPOT show.
These shows pull in huge audiences every year, easily being one of the most popular and anticipated performing arts showcases on campus. Performances almost always play to full houses, with audience members frequently overflowing the aisles. 

Yet even with its popularity, FYPOT allows first-years to perform their first Trinity show in a low-stakes environment with a flexible, relatively small time commitment, and it gives them a chance to befriend upperclassmen and castmates within their first month on campus. If you want to get a taste of what theater is like in a fun, friendly environment, I highly recommend participating in it.

An FYPOT audience member might get closer to the action than expected.

About Ryan

Ryan Diller is a junior English major with minors in Theater and Creative Writing. He is an assistant editor for the national creative nonfiction journal 1966, participates in Trinity’s theater program as a writer and actor, and works at the Writing Center.

Find a schedule of this season's Trinity Theater Productions here.

By Christine Crowe
Christine Crowe '15
Program Coordinator & Trinity Alumna

The term “post-graduate” looms over students during their four years of college. It’s the Great Unknown: What happens when this phase is over? Where will I go? What will I do? Who will I become? And even more importantly… who’s going to pay me to do it? It’s like a ticking time bomb that only gets increasingly louder and faster as each year comes to a close. Let me be the first (but undoubtedly not the last) to tell you that the bomb is all in your head, and you will be just fine if you follow a couple do’s and don’ts along the way.

Do: Take it seriously

Post-graduate jobs don’t fall from the sky. Talk to your professors, take internships, volunteer, get active in the community, and have as many people check over your resume and LinkedIn profile as possible. Most vital of all: network! Networking is key to a successful end to the job search for Millennials.

Find people to help you reach your post-grad goals.
Don’t: Panic

For many seniors, the fear of unemployment can become all-consuming during their last few months of college. Don’t let this be you! Yes, work hard. Yes, submit applications. Yes, network your butt off. But don’t forget that you only get four years to discover, explore, and grow with a set of very special people. Relax, the world doesn’t end on graduation day and the right option for you will come at the right time.

Don't forget to explore and enjoy the city of San Antonio.
Do: Try something new

Before you walk out of Laurie Auditorium on graduation day, take the time to try something completely new. The best advice my dad (Trinity Alum ’85) gave me before my freshman year at Trinity was to make time every semester and take a class that was outside of my major or my skill set. These classes opened me up to new perspectives, innovative ways of thinking, and skills that have become incredibly useful in the work place.

Your relationship with Trinity won't end at graduation. 
Don’t: Forget where you came from

Once you’ve crossed the stage, shaken Dr. Anderson’s hand, and waved goodbye to the red brick campus, don’t forget the people and experiences who helped shape you during your time at Trinity. Walk confidently knowing that you have been challenged to think outside the box, to push yourself one step further, and to engage in a thriving and exciting community.

For those seeking additional advice, Career Services is available during walk-in hours Monday through Friday from 1:30-4:00. You may also consider attending their Fall Career Fair on the 21st of October, the Networking Etiquette on November 9th or Professional Dining Etiquette on the 2nd of November.

About Christine
Christine Crowe is a recent graduate from Abilene, Texas. Christine majored in History with minors in Art & Art History and Medieval & Renaissance Studies. She was involved in RUF and Sigma Theta Tau during her time at Trinity. Christine lives in Austin, TX and works as the Program Coordinator for I Live Here, I Give Here.
By Ryan Diller
Ryan Diller '17
Actor & Assistant Editor

For many, just the idea of writing an essay evokes the dread of staring at a blank computer screen, the buzz of coffee highs at 3 am, and maybe the classic childhood image of Spongebob Squarepants writing “The” in unnecessarily stylized calligraphy. However, if done correctly, writing an essay can be a highly rewarding experience. It might allow you to develop your thoughts on a subject you had no idea you cared so much about, boost your grade after bombing the last exam, and assure yourself that – yes – you are capable of sounding intelligent. Here are some tips on how to do it:

1. Breathe in

There are plenty of paranoid feelings you can get as you’re starting an essay: is this a stupid idea? Why did I pick this class? Why isn’t my thesis already perfect after working on this essay for ten minutes!? Relax. Find a cozy corner, decompress your thoughts, and let yourself write. Your initial paragraphs, topic sentences, and even pieces of textual evidence don’t have to be perfect (or even good) when you first write them; that’s what editing is for. To that end:

2. Start early

This will ward off stress and give you time to edit. Working an hour a day for four days is much more effective than working four hours in one day.

Give yourself time to edit your writing and work through multiple drafts, if need be. 

3. Know Yourself

Everyone writes their essay in a different order. Whether you begin with an outline, a proto-thesis, or an impromptu paragraph, there is no one way to start an essay. By knowing how you order the writing process, you can schedule your drafting appropriately. If you don't have your system down yet, give yourself time to experiment and figure one out.

The library is an excellent space for quiet writing and, conveniently, is also home to the Writing Center.
4. Have someone else read it

It’s the most recommended tip for a reason. Your professor, roommate, and the Writing Center can all make sure you’re clearly communicating your ideas.

5. Proofread

This is the easiest way to improve your grade and make your essay more readable. If nothing else, at least do this. Your professor will thank you.

Proofread your work and ask others to read it. 

About Ryan

Ryan Diller is a junior English major with minors in Theater and Creative Writing. He is an assistant editor for the national creative nonfiction journal 1966, participates in Trinity’s theater program as a writer and actor, and works at the Writing Center.
Brian Goll '17
Student Ambassador & English Major
By Brian Goll

The night before leaving for my freshman year at Trinity University, I remember tossing and turning, unable to control my excitement and anxiety about the next four years. Looking for a distraction from my anticipation and doubt, I hopped out of bed and went downstairs only to find a copy of Dead Poets’ Society on the kitchen counter. Taped to the front of it was a note from my sister that read: “College is a life-changing experience—embrace everything it has to offer.” Trinity offers a liberating experience that intellects of all ages dream of taking through its commitment to academic excellence. A liberal arts experience may not appeal to everyone, but here is why Trinity’s liberal arts education appealed to me:

1. The Beauty of Learning
At the cornerstone of a liberal arts education lies the ability to learn and think for yourself. Professors want you to succeed; in order to do this, you have to put away the iPhone (after sending one last Snapchat, of course) and express your thoughts in an articulate, convincing manner. Trinity is known for its academic standard. This standard is driven by the professors’ resolute desire to teach and the students’ desire to learn. Learning is a gift, and the liberal arts experience provides numerous pathways that welcome such a gift. Sadly, students, especially myself, tend to believe that grades and learning go hand-in-hand. Such narrow-minded thinking blinds us from what a Trinity education makes of its students: lifelong learners. Thus far, I have found that the less I focus on grades and the more I focus on passionately pursuing a calling to learn, the more valuable my Trinity experience becomes.

Even in the classroom, college is about more than just your GPA.

2. Joy in the Struggle

Despite its unmatchable advantages, a liberal arts education isn’t always fun and games. As a Trinity student, you’re called to: read more than ever, contribute regularly and meaningfully, and actively, sometimes exhaustively, engage with students and professors. I remember one week in particular when I felt woefully overwhelmed and one of my professors approached me and asked, “Are you okay, Brian?” I talked about the abundance of reading I had, and, with a smile, he said, “What a wonderful problem to have.” His response didn’t register to me then, but it does now; the liberal arts experience is a journey full of dazzling highs and crushing lows—isn’t that what life is? A liberal arts education doesn’t just ask you to find joy in the struggles, it requires you to. It’s a wonderful requirement to have.

The challenges of a liberal arts education are also its rewards.

3. Daily Moments

Anytime I’m unsure of my path, I go for a leisurely walk. Shortly after, I’m reminded why I chose Trinity. I always find myself returning to small moments. Moments when a class discussion transformed an outlook and improved a day. Moments when a fondness for words and ideas grew into a passion. Moments when professors reminded me of why I’m here and in return I, hopefully, helped remind them of why they’re here. Moments are everything in a liberal arts education, and moments continue to make Trinity University my home away from home.

Don't forget to stop and enjoy the experience!
About Brian
Brian Goll is a junior at Trinity pursuing a major in English with a minor in political science. He is a junior senator on SGA, a member Student Ambassadors, involved in the RUF Christian Fellowship, and a member of the Omega Phi fraternity. Following graduation, Brian hopes to teach high school English and coach basketball in the Dallas area.
By Isaiah Mora

Isaiah Mora '18
Communication Major & Future Educator
It’s mid September and chances are your first college exam is not that far away. So you're faced with the tough question: what do I do? Although instinctively you may want to panic, don’t. Here are some hopefully practical tips for the general, overstressed college student:

1. Stay current with assignments and readings

The most effective method to studying for an exam starts far before the week (or day) before the exam. Cramming a a section’s worth of readings the night before the exam is not fun, or effective.

I know it’s been overstated, but it’s true: effective studying begins with effective and active participation before the exam. This includes committing to the class syllabus and staying on top of assignments and readings, taking legible and concise notes. Also while looking over your class syllabus be sure to look for any information the professor may have provided about the test, such as the format, and other specifics like blue and black pens only. Most importantly, listen for: “be sure to bring a blue book.”

Pay attention to the details a professor provides before and exam.
2. Find your ideal place to study

Have you figured out your study habits yet? Be critical of yourself and decide if you study better in public or in a dorm room. This might seem silly, but where you study is just as important as how you study. Your study area is that magical place, usually on campus where you can focus productively. Thankfully, Trinity has many of these magically places. In case you haven’t found your special spot, find a list of good locations here!

Find a place where you can focus and do your best work.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Lastly, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You are a college student now, but that doesn’t mean you’re expected to understand everything your professor says during their lecture. Learning is about asking questions. The beauty of attending a school like Trinity is that professors are approachable and willing to help, so don’t be afraid to visit them during office hours. Also, some classes have review sessions days before an exam lead by the professor. That's the optimal time to ask questions because odds are someone else has the same questions you do.

Asking questions helps not only you, but also your fellow classmates
About Isaiah
Isaiah is a sophomore student from San Antonio, Texas who intends to major in communication, and to complete the Masters of Education program (M.A.T.) here at Trinity. He hopes to one day be able to inspire first generation students to attend higher education. 
by Brenna Hill

Brenna Hill '17
SGA Senator & Student Ambassador
What draws me to Trinity University is the ability to explore all of my interests without being limited to one activity or area of study; it’s what makes liberal arts colleges special. Trinity students have many opportunities to enrich their lives outside the classroom by getting involved in organizations on campus.
Here are five tips to get involved at Trinity and experience all that our campus community has to offer:

1. Join

Get involved with one, or more, of the 227 student organizations on campus! Don’t see an organization that interests you? Find some like-minded students and start a club of your own.

2. Lead

One of the best things about attending a small school like Trinity is the opportunity to serve as a leader on campus. Consider running for a leadership position through Student Government Association, Campus Publications, Trinity Diversity Connection, or another student organization.

As a First Year at Trinity, I took a chance and ran for Student Government Association and have served as a class Senator for the past 3 years, working closely with administration to address student concerns and represent the student body. I also represent Trinity as a Student Ambassador, helping to bridge the gap between students and alumni. Student organizations are perfect environments to develop leadership skills, learn time management, and make a lasting impact on campus.

3. Learn 

When it comes to getting involved on campus, don't forget about getting involved in academic life outside of classes. Trinity offers many opportunities for students to get involved in research and internship opportunities. You'll learn more about possible career interests while gaining a better picture of the scope of work Trinity accomplishes.

4. Give

You can get involved on and off campus by participating in community service opportunities. Whether you join a student organization devoted to community service, such as TUVAC or HOPE Hall, or take part in a single project, community service can broaden your horizons.

Being involved in HOPE Hall, a living-learning community dedicated to serving people experiencing homelessness in San Antonio, has been one of my best experiences at Trinity. Find a way to get out of the “Trinity bubble” and out into the community. You'll build your resume, gain valuable skills, and feel a sense of pride in giving back.

5. Explore

The next time you hear about an exhibit in a campus art gallery or performance by student musicians or actors, make plans to go! Some of my favorite events at Trinity are the cultural events, such as Diwali and Taste of Diversity. These events offer an opportunity to learn about different cultures, as well as supporting your friends and classmates who are performing.

Trinity also brings in many distinguished authors, musicians, and other guests to put on lectures, performances, and presentations. Take advantage of these opportunities, as these events are free and open to students.

Try everything at least once. You may not like every organization that you consider or every event you attend, but keep an open mind! One of the best things about college is the opportunity to try new things and Trinity offers us many ways to do that.
Find more opportunities by visiting Trinity's student involvement office here.

About Brenna
Brenna is a junior from Arlington, Texas majoring in Urban Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish. Brenna is a Student Government Association Senator for the Class of 2017, a Trinity Student Ambassador, a two year member of HOPE Hall, and a member of Sigma Theta Tau sorority. Brenna also serves as a student representative on the Coalition for Respect. She hopes to attend graduate school and work for a non-profit after graduation, using her education to benefit the community.
By Ana Ruiz
Ana Ruiz '16
Dancer & Community Ambassador

My parents didn’t go to college. My parents knew nothing about the college application process. But they knew their daughter would attend college. Despite not knowing how I would get there, they always gave me the support and love I needed to keep giving my all. While being a first generation student can be difficult, here is some advice that has given me the fuel to keep pushing through the rewarding educational opportunity that has been Trinity University.

1. This is new for your parents.

Remember that as much as this is all new to you, it’s probably new for your parents as well if they didn’t attend college. If your parents don’t speak English, contact the admissions office and see if someone speaks the language they are most comfortable speaking in. Don’t let a language barrier, shyness or a feeling of inferiority (yes, unfortunately it can happen) prevent them from getting their questions answered.

Your family goes through the college transition process, too!

2. It’s okay to ask for help.

Don’t feel like you have to do everything on your own. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Take advantage of the many opportunities available to you.

Cultural events like Diwali can help you to share your culture and embrace new ones. 
3. Don’t just remember your roots, embrace them!

Your roots make you unique, be proud of them! Share your story and hear others! As a Trinity student I have loved sharing experiences from my culture and being able to learn more about others through attending and performing in yearly campus shows such as Diwali, Lunar New Year and Mabuhay.

4. ¡Es por tu bien!

For many students, this is our first time being away from home. While you may feel homesick and miss your family, don’t lose sight of why you’re in college. For me, my family has been my fuel and inspiration. I keep a picture of them on my desk that helps me when I can’t get myself to start studying. Identify your “Why?” and keep something near to remind you of your inspiration. It will definitely help when you have long nights of studying.

Take time to explore and enjoy yourself as part of the college experience!

5. ¡Si se puede!

Yes you can! Whether you’re applying to colleges, or are a first year: you got this! Grow and have fun throughout the journey!

About Ana Ruiz
Ana Ruiz is a Senior from Houston, Texas studying Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. Both of her parents were born in Rioverde, San Luis Potosi, Mexico and later moved to the United States. Neither of them attended college. Ana is the Director of Community Outreach and Relations for HOPE Hall and the Student Philanthropy Chair for the Student Ambassador Association. During her spare time she loves to dance and get involved around campus.
By Briauna Barrera
Briauna Barrera '17
Outdoorswoman & Slam Poet

As you begin your transition into college, or return for the new school year, you may be more than familiar with anxiety. We don't talk about it much regarding the college transition, but anxiety is commonplace and more likely than not, you can easily find someone who relates to you if you suffer from it. However, it doesn’t always feel that way. In the midst of anxiety, it is incredibly easy to forget that you are not alone. It is easy to forget that you have people who care about you, or you forget that there are institutions in place that can help you manage your anxiety. Sometimes you forget everything except the panic and the fear that are consuming you.

I know, I’ve been there. Often.

"Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems on college campuses. Forty million U.S. adults suffer from an anxiety disorder, and 75 percent of them experience their first episode of anxiety by age 22."

I’ve always been somewhat of an anxious person. Ever the worrier, disliker of unnecessary risks, and fearful of something that I could never quite articulate. When I got to college, my anxiety only worsened. Even though I was excited to begin my college career at Trinity, the transition was hard, like it is for many people. I had my first panic attack and then my second and then my third. I thought I was weak. I thought I was defective because everyone around me appeared to be dealing with life just fine and I was unravelling at the seams.

Eventually (and thankfully), I got help. I started attending counseling the second semester of my first year at Trinity University, which I continue to attend. This is personal information, but I am talking about it because there is no shame in having anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or any other type of mental disorder.

For the longest time, I continued to think I was weak. I told myself time and time again that I just needed to get over my insignificant problems and stop being pathetic.

Yet, berating myself with these kinds of thoughts didn’t help, if anything they only hurt me more. During my time in counseling, I’ve gained awareness of my unhelpful cognitive habits and I’ve learned constructive ways to try and correct them. I’m still learning and at times, I struggle, but it's better than the alternative of letting my anxiety consume me.
It's a hard journey, but a necessary one.

If any of my story resonated with you, I'd suggest you look into Counseling Services here at Trinity. Their office is on the second floor of the Halsell Center in Suite 201 and their walk-in hours are from 3:00 to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday and by appointment (Walk-ins are for new clients only).

In addition to counseling, I recommend getting enough sleep, regularly exercising, and eating healthy-- they really do help. They're may seem like little things, but they make a huge impact on your overall well-being.

You're not weak because you have a mental disorder and neither is asking for help.

You deserve to be happy and have peace of mind. We all do.

For more information about Trinity University’s new centers, including the Center for Student Success that unites counseling, ability, and other student services, click here. For more information from our Student Success Team on what to do if you have concerns about yourself or another student, click here.

About Briauna Barrera
Briauna is currently a junior, who is double majoring in Environmental Studies and Urban Studies and minoring in Creative Writing. She works as a trip leader for OREC and is the community garden director. In her free time, Briauna enjoys reading, petting animals, gardening, and daydreaming about having superpowers.

By Ciara Bergin
Ciara Bergin '16
O-Team Leader & 1966 Editor

In some ways, studying abroad is just like starting over as a first-year. When I studied abroad this past spring, the uncomfortable feeling of unfamiliarity at my new university was just as overwhelming as it was the day I arrived at Trinity: I didn’t know anyone, or where anything was, or what I was doing in such a foreign environment. The anxiety I felt at being in such a position of unknowns threatened to develop into a full-fledged existential crisis. At my host school, there was no bona fide orientation team like the one at Trinity; no mass of screaming, energetic maroon blurs making me feel slightly weirded out but excited to be there. I was utterly alone, for six months, and this is when I realized that the orientation team at Trinity was one of the things that made the first-year experience great: that our team made orientation such a helpful, inclusive, and exhilarating time for those adjusting to something new. At this point in my college career, I’d been a member of the orientation team at Trinity, the O-Team as we call it, for two years and was signed on for a third year, and I was disappointed that my host university’s team was close to nonexistent. As a sophomore, I approached O-Team as a means of giving back to a campus and a community that I adored being a part of. The O-Team at Trinity is comprised of students who pride themselves on embodying love and enthusiasm for the university, and they are charged with the task of imbuing that enthusiasm for the entirety of New Student Orientation. I was saddened by the blatant lack of this enthusiasm on a different campus, and it made me wonder about the orientation experience at different schools.

Every O-Teamer at Trinity can tell you their own story of the moment they realized that they were making a difference in the experience of a first-year. We all have a defining instance in which we felt like our help and our presence mattered. And that’s the reward: when you establish a connection with new students to make them feel more at home; in reassuring parents that they can safely leave their child behind in an environment in which they know they’ll thrive; and in creating a comfortable atmosphere for fun and excitement about life in a new place to flourish. A few friends of mine from the team recall the feeling of satisfaction in which these rewards occur: the moment an enthusiastic first-year remembers your name and face and all you’ve done to help them, the moment an appreciative parent personally thanks you for abating their fears. That’s the difference at Trinity. We are comprised of people who care about one another, who support each other, and who strive to make a difference in other people’s lives. 

Ultimately, I joined the team because I wanted to inspire first-years to feel the same as I did when met by the O-Team: as if I was home. We are all just people trying to find our own unique happiness and a place that we can call home. Sometimes, there is nothing more profound than the feeling of unbelonging, but the greatness of the Trinity community is steeped in how we all strive to make each other feel like we belong.

About Ciara Bergin 
Ciara Bergin is a senior English major with minors in Creative Writing and Women's and Gender Studies. She currently works as an Associate Editor for 1966, a national online journal of Creative Nonfiction based on Trinity's campus and is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon, the international co-ed music and service fraternity. She plans on utilizing her writing to inspire active thought and change in the surrounding community and world at large.