“I’m really scared for when the workload for classes really starts picking up,” said Shelby Eberlan. “Combined with dealing with my residents’ issues while still having the college experience – meeting new friends, socializing and doing the other organizations I’m a part of. Oh, and possibly graduating early.”

Shelby will have enough credit hours to graduate a semester early so  her strenuous workload is a wise decision.

“I’ll hopefully be in an apartment with my friends so it won’t feel too weird. Plus, I’ll have a job so I’ll be making money. That’s always nice.”

“Surprisingly, I wasn’t afraid of anything before school started. I just don’t get scared,” said Lauren Jaramillo who is starting her first year at Trinity as a sophomore; she transferred from Stephen F. Austin State University.

I give her a look of doubt after she spoke.

“Fine, fine. I was deadly scared to start. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life and everything was new and I didn’t know my roommate. I was panicking.”

Shelby has been a part of a close friend group for the past two years; the group even has a name, bbfs, and a group text.

“The group text isn’t used as much now since the three other girls live together and the guys are off doing their own thing. It’s harder to find out what’s happening. It’s just weird being all the way on the other side of campus. I mean, we’re still all really close. These are people that I’ll actually keep in contact with post-graduation.”

Lauren moved in at the same time as the first years since transfer students have to be dunked in the baptismal water of New Student Orientation (NSO) as well. Unfortunately (or fortunately), her roommate was not there at the time.

“I got here and Sarah Perkins had a note and a gift on my bed when I moved in. Who does that? I wouldn’t do that. I don’t know, it was such a surprise. A good one though.”

The majority of the people at Trinity are, to Lauren, very different from the majority of people at SFA.

“Everyone was so friendly when I’d walk around campus. Everyone was not normal.”

We both laugh out loud at that comment. I ask her to explain what she means.

“Coming from a school where you don’t get smiled at or people don’t shake hands. Here, everyone seems to want to know everyone. I’ve made more friends in 2 weeks here than I made last year. The whole year.”

As a Resident Mentor, Shelby is in charge of 18 first year students.

“Training was scary. It was about all the things that could go wrong.”

We have to stop talking for a few moments because one of her residents comes in and asks if it would be okay for her to skip playing Sand Volleyball for Hallympics. She explains that she hit her head on something because of some other residents and she has a headache. Shelby talks to her for a bit and, ultimately, says okay.

“It was nice, during training, when we weren’t talking about all the awful things that could happen, how all the res life kids bonded with each other. It feels nice being a part of a team. But the kids came and they were awesome. They even all call me mom now. It’s adorable. I hope they know that I’m not actually their mom though because I’m not doing their laundry for them.”

Lauren was involved in choir all throughout high school and was a music major but, at Trinity, she is attempting to major in Computer Science.

“It made me sad thinking about not being involved in music. I got an email from the choir director about auditions. I went and he asked me why I wasn’t auditioning for Chamber Singers. When I got his email asking me to be a part of the ensemble, I was so happy. I immediately forwarded the email to my mom.”

Lana Del Rey’s somewhat monotone and sad voice quietly fills the air as we sit in her bed.

“I’m glad that it isn’t just something once a week but 4 times a week. Music gets to stay in my life. Without music, I don’t think I would be Lauren.”