Put on a smile and talk to a stranger : Social groups are inevitable. While Trinity’s social scene is more fluid than most, you should take advantage of this time before groups have congealed and meet as many people as you can. Trust me; it is easier to make friends at the beginning of your first year than at any other time during your time at Trinity.
Enroll in a class that has absolutely nothing to do with your intended major: One of Trinity’s strong suits is providing its students with a well-rounded education through the Common Curriculum. Take advantage of these requirements by taking a class that you never had any intention of taking before.
Join something: I think that if you graduate college and the only things that you learned were in the classroom, you did something critically wrong. So join at least one of the varieties of activities that Trinity offers, whether it is a Greek organization, an intramural sport or a club. You will learn something and easily.
Find a mentor: The next four years of your life are going to vacillate from extreme highs to extreme lows compounded with a great deal of uncertainty about your future. How well you handle these bumps on the road depends on your support system. So befriend an upperclassman or a professor whose trajectory you admire, invite them for a cup of coffee and do not be afraid to ask them questions and seek their advice.
Host a movie night with your hall: Some of my favorite memories are watching movies with my hall. Nothing bonds a group of people more than a couple bags of popcorn and some laughs.
Go to a party: I know that the idea of a party is extremely polarizing; the mind conjures snapshots of “Animal House,” and that either terrifies or thrills people. But do not rely on stereotypes or preconceived notions. Just go out to determine for yourself whether you enjoy this aspect of the college social scene. If it sucks, don’t sweat it– at least you discovered your distaste for parties personally and you probably got a good story out of it. Just remember to be safe.
Express gratitude: There’s going to be moments sporadically throughout your college career when you realize you got here because of the help of someone else(since no person is an island and all). Email thanks to your high school teacher or just call your parents to thank them for all their support. It is important to always acknowledge other people’s efforts in your own success.
Get off campus at least once a week: As you can probably tell by now, A&E is extremely passionate about San Antonio and so should you! Explore your gorgeous new home. Go to the zoo, try a new fabulous restaurant– anything really! Experience all that San Antonio has to offer. It is also extremely beneficial for your sanity to escape the Trinity bubble every once in awhile.
Give back: We are so fortunate to be at Trinity since only thirty percent of United States citizens have received a college education. I encourage you to volunteer your time and resources for a cause close to your heart and help individuals not as privileged as you. Volunteering will provide you with invaluable experiences, makes you feel good and keep everything in perspective.
John Mendiola is the Web Master and an Arts & Entertainment Reporter for the Trinitonian. He is a senior computer science and communication major from Houston, Texas (though originally Manila, Philippines). This is his 4th year working for the newspaper.