This weekend, I participated in Hallympics for my first time as a Trinity student. I couldn’t be more disappointed in myself for that fact because — contrary to what I thought before even showing up this year — I had a great time.
I got to not only hang out with new sophomores — who, for the most part, I had never met — but also witness the true purpose of why these arbitrary games where instituted: The creation of a community.
While I was coaching the Sophomore College (SoCol) to a respectable second place finish in the volleyball tournament, I became part of a community that was created purely by the shared year of the players. People from Bruce Thomas Hall, Dick and Peggy Prassel Hall, the Swashbucklers and Murchison Hall banded together in the shared goal of crushing all opposition in their path.
What spawned from the unifying drive was a group of people who had mostly never met becoming teammates and supporting one another. Even if it was for only one weekend, the sense of belonging and membership that came out of this newly minted team was a gratifying experience, not only for the players but also for me.
I’ve never been prouder than when I watched as my team leapt for joy after they won a point off of the overpowered Upper Division team.
I personally had an incredibly tough time adjusting to college life — being away from home, not seeing friends or family and trying to find my place in a new environment all took their toll on me. If I had gone to Hallympics and been a part of a team, my dismal first month would have been worlds better.
At its core, that’s what Hallympics really does for Trinity students. It creates an environment within which, for a weekend, you and your fellow classmates join together and work towards a goal. That creation of a team — a place where someone can belong — is more important than winning a shirt or a trophy.
The camaraderie of teammates can stick with someone for longer than many can understand. When one of my friends first invited me to watch a game with him during my early months at Trinity, it meant the world to me. I had no friends at Trinity; I spent most of my days rewatching Friends, avoiding Mabee and calling my parents. So when he extended that hand and helped me find my place in the jungle we call college, it turned my whole year around.
While I don’t exactly know if Hallympics made anyone feel like that, I do know that I felt like I was on a team. I watched as teams from Verna McLean Hall’s first floor, Robert R. Witt-Carleton R. Winn Hall’s second floor and all of the other halls on campus banded together, wore matching colors and supported one another as they played kickball on the hottest field I’ve ever been on. I felt like I was melting every second I stayed on that field, but it didn’t matter because I was there with SoCol, and it felt great to be part of a team again.
College is a difficult for everyone for different reasons. For my dad, it was a bad break up, for my mom, it was figuring out her major ,and for me, it was feeling like I didn’t belong.
Sometimes, all it takes is for you to get out of your comfort zone and go to that event you didn’t care about; that very event could be where you meet the friend group that turns your year around. It could also be the event where you learn that you aren’t as good at trivia as you thought. You’ll just have to find out for yourself.