There’s a lot to be said for tradition. Some might say it’s hanging on to the past for no good reason. That’s understandable. Change never comes easy and can sometimes be challenging. That’s definitely something you’ll face here in your first few weeks as a Trinity Tiger. There’s an adjustment period when you begin college. It’s natural to be a little nervous and fearful. The traditions of your high school have come and gone, and now you’re settling into your new home. Don’t fret, though; traditions at college had to be started by individuals should remember that the traditions at college had to be started

But, the other side of the coin, tradition is one of the most important ways to respect, honour and remember where and what we have come from. Never forget the traditions of where you’ve come from, but now get set for some new ones as well. Sometimes traditions are ridiculous, sometimes they’re fun and sometimes they’re downright weird. At Trinity, we have a solid mix of all three of those categories.

My personal favourite is the Fountain Dunk. In your first year at midnight at the start of your birthday, it is tradition that your hall mates and Resident Mentor will carry you up Cardiac Hill to Miller fountain and “gently” deposit you into the fountain. They’ll sing you Happy Birthday as you complete your lap of the fountain and properly complete your Trinity initiation. A few tips: bring a towel and take off your shoes before the inevitable splash. Also, maybe hide if your birthday is in December or January… It gets cold. And don’t listen to anyone who says that half-birthdays count.

On a more serious note, a tradition known for scaring first years: stepping on the Trinity seal. More accurately, avoid stepping on the seal at all costs. Placed directly outside of Northrup, an easy spot to accidentally trip on, the shining Seal of Trinity is rumored to jinx the academic life of any student unfortunate enough or brash enough to stomp on it. Luckily, the next tradition is less about avoiding an ancient curse and more about cocoa goodness.

The Chocolate Festival is a nice way to console yourself if you’re single around Valentine’s Day, or just gorge yourself if you don’t care what anyone thinks. The Friday before Cupid’s annual love fest, lots of campus organisations line the esplanade with tables and hand out chocolatey treats to all students. The line gets long, so get there early. Bringing Tupperware to stock up from your room is not frowned upon… It’s almost encouraged.  

Lastly, Christmas on Oakmont is a real highlight of the festive season. The president and vice-presidents open their front doors to us students and provide food and drinks. Students may attend the carol service — Vespers — at the Margarite B. Parker Chapel beforehand, before congregating together and celebrating the end of the fall semester. There will be live music and generally high spirits before  the reality of finals sets in. It’s a lovely tradition and one I’m sure you’ll all enjoy this December.

I hope you all settle in well and enjoy your NSO week. There’ll be challenges ahead, but it’ll be fun nonetheless. See you all at the men’s soccer scrimmage vs. St. Mary’s on Saturday night.

And a final piece of advice for first years… Beware the Calvert Ghosts… Trust me on that.