Note: This was originally published in the Trinity University Parents' Newsletter when our son finished his freshman year. As the parent of a Trinity Baseball Player who has now graduated with a Trinity degree last year and is about to earn a second Trinity degree this month, I hope that this article provides helpful insights for parents and student-athletes considering attending Trinity or who are already at Trinity.
Our son attended a high school with more students than Trinity, so we wondered if he would want to attend a small college. When he narrowed his decision to Trinity and the colleges that my wife and I attended, the main two factors that helped him choose Trinity were Trinity’s stellar academic reputation and the high-quality Trinity baseball program.
The first time that we understood why Trinity was the right choice for our son was when we pulled up to unload his bags and boxes at the start of school. There were so many smiling volunteers that we were amazed as everything was moved from the car to his dorm room. The orientation process was designed for students to learn what it means to be a Trinity student and helped us, as parents, begin the process of having our child make more of his own decisions.
Being on campus confirmed what we had heard from Trinity alumni about what a special place Trinity is for students. There are few questions where 100% of the responses are positive, but I have yet to find any Trinity alums who are not pleased with their decisions to attend Trinity. Seeing the campus and the caring environment in person provided us with a glimpse of what students and faculty experience throughout the school year.
While I wish that I could say the first year was a breeze and that he liked every minute of it, there were challenges he had to overcome. First, he learned how to study better and participate in class, as professors would not let him just be a nameless student since there are fewer students in class than typical freshman classes in larger schools. When he came home for winter break, we were amazed at how much he had learned in one semester and we even had several thought-provoking discussions about important world issues. Second, He learned to make new friends with students from all over the country and world. He only knew two or three Trinity students when he arrived, so he had to get outside his comfort zone to develop friendships. Fortunately, being on the baseball team helped as he interacted daily with his teammates. Finally, he expanded his food choices; and it was nice to hear him compliment home-cooked meals after experiencing school food.
Tips for Parents
One tip for parents is to get a subscription to “The Trinitonian.” The student newspaper helps parents keep up with the activities and issues that are being discussed and experienced on campus. Getting the Trinity students’ perspectives on local, national, and international issues helped us understand what he was learning and experiencing.
Another tip is to join the Trinity Parent Council. The information received and the connections among other parents and the Trinity staff provide a better understanding of the Trinity “college experience.”
We are pleased that our Trinity student-athlete is looking forward to being at Trinity for his sophomore year. He is living with fellow Trinity Baseball players that he did not know a year ago. Even better, he seems to be on the same trajectory that Trinity alumni end up reaching as they enthusiastically and fondly recall their time on campus.
Written by John Meredith