As the semester comes to an end, students have mixed emotions and perceptions of how it has gone. For some, it is their first taste of academic life at Trinity. For others, it is one of their final semesters, if not the last.

First-year students have spent the last few months experiencing life at Trinity and beginning their college careers.

“I think it’s been very positive so far. Everyone has been really welcoming. It’s been very fast-paced, I definitely see the academics of Trinity … I see what it means to be a college student here,” said Mia Vu, first-year student.

Though Vu is currently pre-med and plans to major in neuroscience, it was not her plan coming in.

Senior Derek Weix started out thinking he would be a math and physics double-major, but due to conflicting classes, ended up picking math.

“I don’t think [my plan] has drastically changed, but it’s definitely different. That’s just because you take classes and realize you like different things. If I could go back, I would definitely plan out a different trajectory to follow,” Weix said.

Many first-years are still in the process of figuring out what their paths will look like. They are exploring many avenues, from academics to social activities.

According to Skylar Hergenhahn, first-year student and business major, his classes this semester have gone well and in terms of activities: he played intramurals basketball, ultimate frisbee and is part of the TU Gaming Club. He is not sure he will continue these in the future, however.

“I don’t really know what the true college workload looks like yet,” Hergenhahn said.

This semester has also been first-years’ introduction to Trinity and to finding their place on campus, which is not always so simple.

“Everyone is very nice and helpful. I’ve met a couple of upper-classmen, and they are all really quick to give advice or help me out. So that’s been really nice,” Vu said. “And I really like the atmosphere, like, when I’m up at midnight in the library or [the Center for Sciences & Innovation] studying. I’m not the only one there.”

Though small, the Trinity community makes up through quality what it lacks in size, according to Hergenhahn.

“The school is a bit small, but I like the people. They’re nice. I’ve made some really interesting friends on campus, especially my roommate and my friend Dennis. But honestly, at first I was thinking about transferring,” Hergenhahn said.

According to Mindy Tran, senior and theatre major, the size of the school was also a concern for her coming in.

“I came from a small school where I knew everybody, so I didn’t want that experience again. Fortunately, I don’t feel like Trinity is too tiny, and I’m still meeting new people and experiencing new things,” Tran said.

Having spent the most time at Trinity, seniors have had several years to get comfortable with and integrate themselves into the community socially and academically.

“I definitely feel like, at this point, I’m part of the Math Department. I’m there all the time, all the professors know me, I know all of them,” Weix said.

Living off-campus is also an opportunity seniors get to enjoy.

“I thought I was going to hate the three-year requirement on campus, but now that I’m off campus I genuinely miss it,” Tran said. “I’m glad I got to spend my junior year in City Vista, but I never got those infinite bonus bucks.”

This semester has had a certain impact on seniors as they near graduation, which for some is less than a month away.

“Maybe I should feel more pressure [as a senior], but I don’t. Most of that would be in terms of after graduation,” Weix said.

According to Hunter Sosby — political science and Spanish double major as well as future December graduate — Trinity has been a place of change, as he has begun to see how much he has grown since his first year.

“I definitely had hard classes this semester, harder than some previous semesters. But since I know I’m leaving, I think I’m appreciating everything a little bit more — being able to take interesting classes, being with my friends here, all of that sort of thing,” Sosby said.

While seniors may see their days at Trinity as numbered, first-years have many semesters to come and the goals that go with them.

“[For next semester,] I want to get better grades, try to study more, try to talk to more people and make more friends,” Hergenhahn said.

“My advice would be to do things that interest you — take classes that sound cool, major in something you like, don’t be afraid to meet new people or join new organizations … Trinity was a place where I was able to take advantage of the opportunities to explore things that interested me, and I really appreciate it for that,” Sosby said.

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