What a liberal arts education has given me


Photo provided by Georgie Riggs

Trinity hasn’t prepared me for a lot of things. Like what’s a mortgage? Am I supposed to know that by now? I hope not. And what’s the best recipe for chocolate cake? Do I actually need to cover my laptop webcam? Was Emily Dickinson a lesbian?

Okay, so I have actually learned a lot at Trinity. Like how meaningful Shonda Rhimes’s shows become when your suitemate watches it with you every Thursday. Or how Freddy’s at the Quarry becomes fine dining when it’s with your roommate on a Monday night. How after a breakdown at 2 a.m. in the communication lab you will finally feel at-one with the ghost that lives in the women’s bathroom. I’m sure these are all universal experiences for Trinity students.

Really, my time at Trinity has changed me irrevocably, to borrow a word we all learned from “Twilight.” Four years ago, I had long, straightened hair and a Vineyard Vines T-shirt. There were more people in my first-year residence hall than in my high school graduating class. I came as a pre-law, political science major with a “Moonrise Kingdom” poster, a Drake album on vinyl and undiagnosed depression and anxiety. By the time I finished my first two semesters of classes, I felt utterly lost. I had entered Trinity with high expectations for figuring out what I was going to do with my life, but soon found myself in classes filled with people who seemed smarter and more prepared for college than me. Going to a tiny rural high school, being good in a subject becomes a part of your identity, sometimes your entire identity. At Trinity, being good in a subject is a requisite to being a student — in other words, utterly unremarkable.

By my sophomore year, I took Intro to Film Studies and Intro to Non-Fiction Writing. I was always into movies and writing, but since they weren’t class subjects, I had never seen a future in them beyond the film review Tumblr I had in high school. Taking them as courses legitimized my creative interests and made me feel like there was purpose in college beyond the vague notion of “figuring things out.” Other courses like Intro to Anthropology and Public Relations and Social Movements allowed me to think about the social justice issues I have always been passionate about without the pressure to turn it into a career.

There’s so much focus on figuring everything out in college that it took me over two years of being in classes to realize that it doesn’t really matter. Years after I spent countless afternoons in elementary school watching Rory from “Gilmore Girls” writing in her school newspaper, I joined the Trinitonian on a whim in hopes of writing a few Arts columns. Two years later and I’ve met countless friends, become infinitely more involved in campus events and written dozens of stories. I have no clue what’s ahead for me in life, but even if its far away from a newsroom, I am happy I spent a good portion of time in university taking courses I enjoyed and making money writing articles about Fyre Fest, amongst other things.

Soon, I will miss these sleepless, paranormal nights of undergrad. For now, I’m just happy to know how much I have changed since I came here. I entered Trinity thinking I was a Type A Aquarius who could never cut my hair. Countless classes later and I’m secure in my identity as a Type B Pisces with no clue what she’s going to do with her life. I hope the seal in front of Northrup saw me on all the Fridays that I showed up to class accidentally in a burgundy shirt and translated it to maroon.