For all of the flack Trin gets, I find it ironic that the three most important things that set Trin apart from other colleges are rarely mentioned, three things which really make it one of the most inviting atmospheres on campus: community, tradition, and dedication.
While the quad had me at hello, college life and everything it had to offer – in exchange for every other student at U of T either a) scoffing at you b) sneering c) fearfully looking you over- was something I never imagined finding during my daydreams about university in grade twelve spare.
I’ve heard a lot of complaints from students around St.George (both res and non res) who say that they feel like they haven’t experienced their university years properly, or that they don’t feel connected to this campus at all. For me, even as a member of the smallest college, I feel more connected to U of T than ever. Within the first few hours of Frosh Week, the men and women of college solidify feelings of belonging to a larger community, while still helping you adjust to all of the college rivalries that are intact.The strength of the community at Trin is easily seen in how alive spirit and pride is from the start, and the welcoming community is immediate-a visit over to their frosh blog is evidence of this!
Prior to university, my last year of high school was probably one of the hardest of my life. I know everyone says this, and you hear it all the time, but it really was true for me. While I don’t want to dive right into my life as an anxiety-ridden teenager, if you want to talk about how ugly student council elections can get, I’m your girl.
The genuine atmosphere of encountering nice people – where there wasn’t a mean girl bone in any body – I felt during Frosh Week was unbelievable. This community feel only continued for the rest of the year as I ate every meal with all of my peers in first year in Strachan Hall and attended events (where more traditions followed!) that always had the same familiar faces which, as a paranoid first year, always made me feel extra safe. Many of the student leaders who help plan these events have an especially strong and supportive presence online, and had me forgetting for many moments that I was still in the city. In fact, I barely left campus in my first (and even second) year, simply because Trin always had an event on the horizon.
The traditions of the college including the gowns (…robes are for bath time, not dinner time), the Literary Institute – oldest debating society in Canada – and the vivacious student life, made the transition so easy. The traditions not only give students something to remember, but a common bonding ground.
Student life at Trin is far beyond anything that any brochure, magazine or tweet could convey. It is built on all the dedication from the student body that comes out of 5+ hour student government meetings. There’s also the planning that goes into social events for fellow students – I don’t know of any other college on campus where I’ve heard of students dedicating their study (and sleep) time to building a massive ship in the dining hall for a one-night under the sea themed formal. All of this commitment, and shared objective to make the four-year ride memorable, work in perfect tandem with the various traditions at Trinity. See: the greatest frosh week video httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwqPymOHyhs&feature=plcp
Each college is different, and has something to offer for everyone. I would use a certain Harry Potter analogy right about here in regards to houses but in that case, more than a few people would say I’m in Slytherin. We’ll save this discussion for another day- although it is odd how fun and warm Slytherin turned out to be huh?
The traditions, the community, the friendly students and the active college life has challenged me to do more with myself, my ambitions, and has most definitely given me some of the greatest years of my life filled with boat shoes and button-ups.