You know, as an international student coming to Trinity this fall, I've read a lot of comments and reviews, looked through statistics and rankings on various web-sites. My final conclusion about the college as a whole is quite positive (I assume that my comment might be quite groundless - well I haven't even visited Hartford yet).
Still, I was trying to generalize all the reviews (both positive and...well not so positive) and ran into several conclusions regarding some of the aspects of college. Several of them are:
1) Social life - Maybe, just maybe, I don't quite understand the American way of thinking about the social life in the undergraduate institution, however, my understanding of social life stands on the idea, that you are the one, who's responsible for your social success. Not some privileged fraternities and rich kids determine your social environment. You do. Be friendly, smart, helpful and mature and no matter what race, wealth, sexual orientation or religion you have, people will come to you. All the students on campus have their social needs and they might as well satisfy them by having a friendship with someone with qualities listed above. Another thing about the social life is that you don’t need to have dozens of friends to be social. You might as well have five real friends and be more social, than a person having fifty of them knowing only the first two letters of each of their names.
2) Education - well the reviews about the education are quite ambivalent. The only thing, that was generally praised (as far as I know), was the high quality of the faculty in the college. In my opinion, the quality of faculty is the most important aspect of the college education. Think about it. If you are a physicist and you are offered to visit one of the Einstein's lectures on the condition that you’ll be sitting next to some drunk homeless person, would you visit the lecture anyway? The fact that there are many uninterested students only makes the education better. With 1 to 9 faculty/student ratio with (let’s say) half of the students uninterested in the subject matter, you’ll have 1 to 4.5 ratio. You’ll be able to spend more time with professors and lecturers, than anyone else in the country simply because other students don’t bother to. Having many uninterested people in the class doesn’t make the class less interesting for you.
3) Environment and location - well, mixed fillings - having your college located in the low income area does make it dangerous to leave your car unattended. But has anyone ever considered what this college does for a local community? Having a highly ranked liberal arts college improves the community! It raises the land price, attracts the infrastructure. The Community improves as Trinity improves! Trinity gives its students 100% of their financial need! Isn’t it worth being careful with choosing your parking spot or staying off the streets at night? If paying twice or trice the price of tuition and having your parents working day and night for having your college located in the area which is already well-developed and wealthy sounds like a right choice for you - well go for it.
4) Food - well I’m not very choosy with food. No comment here.
I would like to talk about a personal experience, which is significant for me because it has made me become not only a hard-working student but also a purposeful and determined person. I was sixteen when I planned to pass the BEPC, which is one of the most important tests in my native country, Cameroon, for it allows passage to a second cycle in any Cameroonian high school; unfortunately, I failed the BEPC in 2008, and my I failure was due to my obsession for a Japanese anime, Naruto Shippuden (N.S.). I managed to pass the BEPC in 2009 by undertaking many actions. First, I threw away all the books about N.S. that I bought since I read them almost all the time instead of reading my note books. Second, I reduced the number of hours that I spent watching N.S. from ten hours to three hours; the rest of the seven hours, I used them to study straight without breaks. Thirdly, I formed a study group to overcome my intellectual deficiency. Before the failure, I did not study during school breaks, nor did I study during weekends, but after the failure, I started to study during school breaks and weekends including holidays. By being perseverant, I ultimately passed the BEPC and since then, I have not failed any other tests. My failure was a despair, but a despair that made me realize that I should work hard whenever I hope to accomplish something and should pursue my education, and Trinity College made me realize that I did not make the wrong decisions when I chose it as my first choice after admission.
It's a good school that could do more for financial aid. People seem to be afraid of Hartford but it's a great city with lots to do and lots of cool community events and such. The campus is beautiful and on-campus employment is always available. Some greek houses are typical frats or sororities but there are others that are really cool and welcoming.
I absolutely love this school! There are a few minor problems, but if you are mature enough to know how to have a conversation about things, or agree to disagree on opinions, this school will be great for you. The food is the biggest problem, with wifi being second. However, overall I am so proud to be a bantam!
At Trinity, people believe in independent thinking. They stand for it and they teach it. So you can pursue engineering and minor in art. You can chase a career in politics and also cultivate a love of biology. They’ll help you pursue whatever path piques your interest. And though your time here will require hard work, the effort will be well worthwhile.
Trinity provides a real-world education. It offers for-credit internships, research opportunities, community-based learning, study away, and groundbreaking centers and programs that allow you to participate in academic pursuits that have lasting impact.
I love Trinity College!
Trinity hasn't seemed to change much. I went online to look up what has changed since I was a student (2013)--hoping things had for the better. I didn't have a bad time at Trinity rather that it was average. About me: I am black, I am a woman, I weighed significantly more than I did now at school, and because of Trinity I wanted to be a filmmaker--which I am now pursuing--which I thank it for. It shaped my love of the arts and film. It also made me into a huge feminist. Were this to put you off or on, it is still an honest perspective albeit mine.
I learned a lot from classes and generally had good professors. The class sizes and professor availability is the best part. Most professors are incredibly skilled and knowledgeable. Most of them are nice. I had a philosophy class that was incredibly difficult and was helped greatly by the professor; I will never forget that.
Now, on to social life/quality of life...the fact that greek life still exists is a large detractor considering that 22% of the population out of what? 2500 students is in it. Of these 2500 students the ones in the "popular" frats and sororities are predominantly white. Outside of that, most students are rich (very. very. wealthy), white, and from boarding school.
I distinctly remember a couple of years ago the ex-president getting in trouble over how divided the main dining hall on campus was. Generally people of color/not in greek life sat on one side and on the other were white people and sports teams. I partook in my fair share of greek life with parties and knowing someone in the frat that wasn't psi u or AD but I forgot the name (because I don't care but that sounds bitter. It's on the tip of my tongue.)
I find that people in these/the general population were self-important, I found that the racism outside of parties and on campus (further proving my point is the abysmal way the school handled what happened with Johnny Williams) disgraceful, the sexism shameful (not to mention the sexual harrasment I have witnessed/been subjected too and the sexual assault numbers being reported not matching what is actually happening; please give men consent classes), and the homophobia disgusting. The fact is everyone is a carbon copy because that's all they know. Being black in this sea of people I found strange and isolating with little reprieve--which is common in predominantly white universities.
Hopefully one day these things will change further and for the better but as it stands culturally and socially I see no reason to think or believe that they have changed. And in 2017 that is a problem. As well, the college sits smack dab in the city--one of the poorest cities in America--with gates and a very large, mostly incredibly wealthy, white population and there is little-to-no engagement with this city. Not with the inhabitants, not within its beautiful art life, nothing to do with the community.
As well it's not that it's not safe; it is like any other city. There's a more affluent part of town right next to Hartford. It's that when you see someone who you make no effort to interact with or understand (i.e. a black person) you get scared.
There's a lot of apathy and little to no action. I wouldn't exactly suggest this to someone who couldn't really or doesn't have a desire to be like the majority of the school's population. It can be hard to make friends. But it's also doable if you feel like college is just something you have to do. Either way, you'll get through it.
Very preppy and not accepting of many people. Reviews online say this school is affordable to many but they only give help to 11 percent of their students.
The short and sweet: Trinity is a bit of a party school with a lot of heart.
The long and sweet: Trinity is the best fit for the kind of student that doesn't mind asking for something. Active participation is a required element, not just in class but in clubs or sports, for success on campus. Class sizes are small enough that absences will be noticed, but your professor isn't going to chase you down for an explanation (if they see you at the football game that night, they may ask questions, however). Academic opportunity abounds - there's a design your own major option that actually gets used each class year, and professors are usually pretty flexible about papers if there is a particular academic rabbit hole you want to jump down. Socially, Greek life is a loud minority. There are lots of other things to do on campus on the weekend (the Mill, Fred, Cinestudio, Vernon Social, and Barnyard activities, just to name a few) so if it's not your thing, it's really no big deal if you don't want to go.
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