How to Write the Trinity College Essays 2019-2020

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Trinity College is a private liberal arts college in Hartford, Connecticut. With only 2,300 undergraduates total, Trinity offers a focused, student-oriented approach along with a breadth of curriculum. Students can select from more traditional majors to unique interdisciplinary ones such as Human Rights Studies and Urban China Students. The college is also one of the few liberal arts schools to offer an engineering degree.

 

Trinity had a 33% acceptance rate for the 2018-2019 admissions cycle, and prospective students had an average SAT score of 29. This year, Trinity offers an optional supplemental essay with two options. If you’re hoping to snag a spot in next year’s freshman class, a strong essay will certainly help you stand out. Read on to learn how to answer the essay prompt for this year!

 

Prompt 1

 

Optional: You may select one of the following two prompts and write an essay.

 

Option A: We live in an urban-global age with more than half of the planet’s people living in cities. Trinity College is an urban liberal arts college deeply engaged with the local community and committed to making an impact across the world. How do you aspire to use your education to impact local and global communities? (250-650 words)

This prompt asks you to reflect on your own aspirations and determine how they align with the university’s goal of impacting the communities around you. Consider how your education (i.e. your intended major, extracurricular interests, and professional coals) could be used to enact change on a local or even a global level.

 

 Keep in mind the urban element of this prompt, and if possible, focus on how you can help people in industrialized urban areas such as the one Trinity College is in. For example, if you’re an engineering major, you could discuss how you can use your education to create a sustainable and filtered water fountain that will help counter water pollution and promote public health. Or, if you’re a math major, discuss how you plan to give back to the community by tutoring students in STEM. Then, connect it to the global movement to make STEM accessible to students who are traditionally marginalized, such as students of color. 

 

Use your current experiences to inform your potential future impact. For example, are you passionate about sketching objects that don’t exist yet? Do you have experience tutoring younger students or your siblings? Thread your current interests and extracurriculars into your future ideals to make your response more genuine and specific to you.

 

Keep in mind that it is important to “show” and not “tell.” This phrase is thrown around frequently, but is easier said than done. A few things to keep in mind when showing rather than telling are vividness and authenticity, which can be created by invoking imagery and specific details. For example, rather than saying “I like tennis and the game has always fascinated me,” try conjuring an image in the reader’s mind such as “At the start of my first official match, I gripped my trusted red racquet tightly, swaying ever so slightly from foot to foot in the ‘ready’ stance that I had practiced for years.” While the first response may be true, it is generic and can apply to any tennis aficionado. The latter response better authenticates your experiences than the former, and demonstrates your sincerity to readers. 

 

One way to show rather than tell is to invoke imagery into your sentences – engage the five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, and sound. Talk about these in the context of the moment you are describing. By opening with statements containing imagery, you can set a scene and draw readers into your story, framing yourself as an active figure, rather than simply telling what happened to you.

 

Another way to show is by being specific. Rather than saying you tutored a handful of elementary school students in math, focus in on your relationship with one in particular. For example – if your student, Keena, struggled with addition, talk through the specific ways you helped her remember how to count. Did you help her visualize numbers with pictures of her favorite cartoon characters, or make her a children’s abacus in her favorite colors? You can still mention that you had other students in passing, but this specificity and those little details will really come together to form a powerful narrative.

 

Option B: Our mission states: “Engage. Connect. Transform. As the preeminent liberal arts college in an urban setting, Trinity College prepares students to be bold, independent thinkers who lead transformative lives.” Keeping the three pillars of the mission in mind, how do you see yourself contributing to the Trinity community? (250-650 words)

This prompt asks you to dig deep into yourself and visualize how you will contribute to your college community based on your current and prospective skill set. Consider how you see yourself joining Trinity’s campus and integrating yourself into the existing dynamic. 

 

With strong action words like “engage,” “connect,” and “transform,” think about things you can do that will make a difference in lives other than your own. Think about community service, clubs, research, classes, or personal projects that could spur change within the student body. 

 

One valid research method is to peruse Trinity’s website and find classes and programs that stand out to you. Remember, however, that college isn’t only about academics, but also what you do outside of the classroom. You should also look into extracurriculars or clubs specific to Trinity that you would like to join, and tie them into your current interests. This is especially true for a prompt that specifically mentions the community. In fact, you could focus entirely on extracurriculars in this prompt because of its focus on the community.

 

Here’s an example:

 

As someone who is very environmentally conscious, I started a month-long educational initiative at my high school, during which we hosted workshops on how to live more sustainably. Some of my favorite topics were slow travel and how to reduce waste while eating out. At Trinity, I look forward to organizing and participating in sustainability initiatives like The Coop (the campus thrift store) and Dump and Run (a project aimed to reduce waste during move-in and move-out). After having taken a community center course on foraging, I also hope to begin a club dedicated to just that, both in urban and natural settings. The group would host walks, free to students and the public, where we would explore the city/surrounding nature and its wild edible plants. 

 

This is obviously not a full example, but it gives you an idea of how you can combine your existing interests with what Trinity offers. The student also suggests a new initiative they’d like to begin, which is within their scope based on their background/experience.

 

To make this example fuller, the student might share more details about the projects they led in high school and how they were meaningful to them. Some questions might be: What was the format of the workshops? What was the student’s role? What was the result of the events? They could also reflect on how the Trinity initiatives (both existing and proposed) would impact the community. Think back to the words “engage,” “connect,” and “transform.” How would your participation in the community do these three things? Maybe these specific initiatives would connect Trinity students and the outside community. Maybe they would engage students to live more eco-consciously. Or, maybe it would transform the campus into becoming more sustainable by reducing waste.

 

Whatever you choose to mention, be sure to root your interests in your previous experiences, and to share how your contributions would make a positive difference at Trinity.

 

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