Thanks for all of the opportunities, Trinity

As I sat down to think about what I wanted to write for this column, I kept thinking to myself: “How can I possibly describe my Trinity experience in a few hundred words?” Then the answer hit me as one word: opportunity.

Over the past four years, Trinity has provided us with a treasure trove of opportunities that, I’m sure you will agree, would not be present at most other universities. I want to spend a little time reflecting on the opportunities I enjoyed here, as well as the opportunities presented to those I know.

One of the greatest opportunities afforded to me at Trinity was the gift of music. I was able to fulfill my lifelong dream of learning the organ, even giving a senior recital in Parker Chapel less than a week ago. Wind ensemble was a constant in my life, allowing me to continue a passion I’ve enjoyed since the beginning of middle school. As for my non-Trinity friends, how many of them can say that they conducted a 50-person ensemble during a public concert (as one of my friends did this year)?

With tremendous support from the music department, I became a founding member of the Trinity Brass Quintet, which I continue to be a member of today. I even started learning the guitar last year.  Many of my friends’ stories are similar to this, and, looking back, I can’t believe how incredibly lucky we were to attend a school that offers such outstanding opportunities for musical expression.

While I will cherish the musical opportunities here, probably the most important opportunity these past four years was the ability to develop meaningful and deep friendships with people. We take it for granted, but the fact that Trinity is so small is such a blessing. I can only imagine the weirdness people who attend UT might feel when visiting campus and observing Trinity students greeting and talking with so many of the people they pass around campus. Only now do I realize that going to such a small school encouraged close interactions that enabled myself and others to develop friendships that will surely stand the test of time.

There were a multitude of other opportunities I enjoyed at Trinity. I studied abroad in Madrid for a semester, an experience which was heavily influential on my worldview. Due in no small part to the support of my friends, I was elected four times to be a senator in SGA.

In the realm of academics, I can’t believe the access we had to professors, many of them leaders in their field.  During my time at Trinity, I was invited to three professors’ houses, an incredibly rare opportunity.

In sum, I can’t stress just how blessed we were to go to a school that affords us opportunities and so strongly encourages us to pursue our various interests and passions. I can’t imagine a better four years.

Ryan Sweezey is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science.