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.

As nearly 500 new Trinity graduates stepped out into the real world this month, Tigers from decades past offered advice for newly minted alumni. Read their tips below, and offer your own in the Trinity Alumni Facebook group.

Stepping out into the real world is scary—embrace the unknown.

  1. You may not be handed your dream job because you now have a diploma, but the skills, knowledge, and work ethic you have gained while at Trinity will ensure you’ll end up where you need to be faster than anyone else in life who didn’t receive one from Trinity. - Donald Dimick
  2. Whatever plans you have for the next steps of your life, they will probably not go exactly as you anticipate. Don’t let the stress of uncertainty or roadblocks deter you. Your journey will be the right one as long as you stay true to yourself and believe in your abilities. The unexpected twists and turns along the way will only make your life richer in the long run. - Matt Keidan ’02
  3. Do not fear failure. You cannot succeed if you don’t try new things, and you won’t be great at everything. - Diqui LaPenta ’88
  4. You[r] life journey will not be a straight line in which you will go from success to success. When you fail, make sure you fail forward and embrace the lessons learned. And when you succeed, celebrate. - Marc Jorge Estrella
  5. Take a moment to write down what’s important to you now, your hopes and plans. Save it with your diploma to visit sometime in the future. - Patti Bender ’76

Be grateful for your Trinity education.

  1. Your major does not define you! Put the liberal in your liberal arts education and think outside the box. - Laura Wojtalak Morrison
  2. Be flexible! You do not know where your great education will take you! Be grateful for your liberal arts education and the creativity that it has taught you! You may be a music major now, but you may end up a computer programmer later, and both the musical world and the information technology world (and your world) will be the better for it! - Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner
  3. Thank your professors and stay in touch. They’re amazing resources and can be helpful friends to ask for advice. - Cameron Meyer ’09
  4. Your post-collegiate life will invariably be different from what you have imagined...and that’s a good thing! Stay curious and take heart knowing your Trinity education has provided you with the most invaluable things—a well-rounded mind, critical thinking skills, the ability to write your way out of a corner, and a deep curiosity about the world! - Kimberly LeBlanc ’05
  5. Your degree is just the beginning of your journey. Use the critical thinking skills you have learned at Trinity, apply them with a pliable and open mind and attitude, along with a generous heart, and you will undoubtedly make the world a better place. - D’Ann Nichols Drennan ’93
  6. Find a location on campus in which you distinctly remember feeling like a brand new college student just four years ago. Go there, stand in silence and reflect on how far you've come. Capture the full impact of your education in that moment. That is what this journey has been all about. - Ben Newhouse

Know that your first job is just the first step

  1. The hardest job to land is your first one. It's usually not your ideal job, but just get in there, learn, grow and achieve. Don't expect it to come easily, but hard work and perseverance is rewarded. - Scott Francis ’95
  2. When choosing between job offers, evaluate the entire compensation packages, not just the base salaries. Health insurance premiums, matching 401K contributions, and little things like parking subsidies make a difference! -Chelsea Chapman ’01
  3. Say hi to everyone the first two weeks of being somewhere new, take the risk of joining people at their table at lunch and introducing yourself... because after that your group becomes those you met during that period. - Charmie Cuthbert ’03
  4. Your first job may not be ideal, but find enthusiasm to do the best you can at it, because you never know who's watching and noticing your potential that will ultimately move you to where you really belong! - Candace Rauschuber ’97, ’98
  5. If you are startled to find you picked a career path that does not 'feed your soul,’ do something about it sooner than later... life is way too short to be miserable. - Spring Willow Lee ’86 

And finally, you can’t beat some good ol’ life wisdom.

  1. The secret to life is enjoying the passage of time—don’t be in such a gosh darn hurry! - Grant McFarland ’87
  2. Wear clean underwear. Just sayin'. - Tim Read '78
  3. Sounds old fashion[ed], but send a thank you letter to your favorite faculty. You’ll be surprised by who writes you back. I treasure the notes I received in response. - Sujey Doctoroff ‘98 [Editor’s note - many, many people wrote about the wisdom of a handwritten thank-you note.]
  4. Life will humble you. Do yourself a favor and try your best to start out with a humble heart. - Jennifer Pruessner Hong ’03
  5. Back up anything you want to save from your Trinity email before it goes away. - Maria O’Connor ’13, ’15
  6. Print out your pictures! You've taken many, possibly thousands, over the course of your college career. Guess what? Unless they time-hop into your Facebook feed, you will forget them, and Trinity will fade from your mind. Don't let it. Print the photos, and display them proudly. Not all ten thousand, but the best ones with your friends, your strongest memories, and the moments you'll always remember with Tiger pride. - Sara Holton Gard ’03
  7. Commit with your closest friends to meet every year for a reunion and start year-one. It will be the most cherished tradition you have. - Karla Hagen Phillips
  8. Google yourself every few months to see what kind of pictures and information is floating around about you. Future employers most likely will search for you on social media, and partying pictures can make a lasting negative impression.
  9. Make coffee at home. Those Starbucks trips add up quickly. - Lauren Ashley Scott ’05, ’06
  10. Making friends as an adult is really challenging, so you’re going to have to put yourself out there and feel uncomfortable. Try joining a group that does something you love and meeting people that way so you don’t only have work friends (though work friends are great!) It’s going to feel awkward, but that’s okay! - Megan Reynolds
  11. Keep an eye on your credit score and make payments on time to keep it strong so you'll get good interest rates some day when you apply for a mortgage or a car. - Kristan Doerfler Siegel
  12. Enroll in your 401k immediately - Denise Mann Midthassel ’88
  13. Now that you are out of school, start making friends with people who aren’t in your own age group. You’ll get a much broader perspective on the world and some great advice. - Anne L. Trominski ’01
  14. Don’t lose sight of that kid with wonder who got you into Trinity in the first place. - Lauren Harris ’17
  15. Remember, it’s the Trinity phonathon calling! - Craig Ross
Advice has been modified for grammar and length.