Welcome first years and transfer students to Trinity University, the place many of us now call home. While your perceptions may vary on what college should feel like–and we think many of us were raised to believe that these will be some of the most carefree years of our lives–we are here to give you a heads up: the next four years will be some of your hardest. You will be challenged mentally, emotionally and often physically, but the questions you ask yourself now will be ones that follow you throughout life. That being said, we encourage you to capitalize on the environment in which you find yourself and make the best of what will come your way.

Trinity is a wonderful university that we believe has a place for each and every one of us, so find yourself. Find where you belong and do not be afraid to try new things or make mistakes. Many of them are worth making. While these next four years will force you to make some hard decisions, they will also force you to find out what you truly believe.

Now, in order to help make that happen, the Trinitonian staff has compiled a list of tips to keep in mind during your first year on campus. We wish we had known these when we first started.

1.     Do not lose your Tiger Card. This little piece of plastic is your key to Trinity. You need it to eat, get into buildings, get into your dorm (for some of you) and many of us have gone down the hard and expensive path to learning this lesson. Your Tiger Card will also get you into cool places like the McNay Museum of Art, the Majestic Theatre and the San Antonio Museum of Art for free, as well as entitle you to student discounts at some places.

2.     San Antonio is bigger than the Trinity campus. Don’t get stuck in your room watching Netflix. Branch out and see what the city has to offer for students. There are always events happening–whether concerts, movies, food or theatre–so take advantage.

3.     Say “yes” to the corny first-year events. They may seem boring or strange sometimes, but this is where you will meet many future friends who help make college worthwhile.

4.     Patronize other school activities. We wish we had gone to more plays, art exhibits, lectures, sporting events and the like while they were free and “in our backyard.” Also, supporting your peers in what they love to do feels great and can help you grow to love other aspects of Trinity. #tigerpride

5.     Make friends in your classes. Class friends are the best study friends, and you already have something in common. Whether it’s your shared love for microeconomics (hey, it happens) or how you were both really into that weird anthropology lecture, classes are prime friend time. Plus, you will be more likely to go if you have someone there to sit next to and laugh with.

6.     Talk to professors. Many of our peers at other institutions don’t have this opportunity, so build relationships with the faculty, staff and administrators while you can-whether it’s coffee or going to office hours. Trinity is filled with amazing professionals who can help you on many personal and academic levels, so take advantage.

7.     Join a quirky club, even if it’s just for a few meetings. Trinity is filled with weird clubs and eccentric students. Expose yourself.

8.     Help yourself. Take advantage of student resources by knowing every aspect of them. Familiarize yourself with things like the library, the Bell Center and where your classes are (before they start) just to make your life a little easier in the long run. Check out “Trinity’s Hidden Gems” on page 18.

Take our tips with a grain of salt and make your years here count. We will try our best to help, so keep checking out the paper for news, developments and fun things to do on and off campus.