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.

The Wonderful Struggle of a Liberal Arts Education

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.

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