Trinity Schoolreview by Brown University student. This school's academics are hard, yet really fulfilling. All of Trinity's academics are good, but Trinity excels in its humanities programs: English, history, and classics. Those programs greatly overshadow the math, science, and language departments, but those departments are changing a lot and are improving at a very fast rate. For example, the math department has welcomed three new teachers, the science department is completely revamping its curriculum, and the language department is updating its teaching AP material and adding teachers to expand its Mandarin program. All of the teachers are engaging, interesting people that really do their best to get to know their students both in and out of the classroom, and to challenge the students. And challenge they do! The academic requirements are steep: four years of English, three years of history, three years of Mathematics, three years of languages (or have achieved proficiency up to AP or Level IV) two years of laboratory science (freshman year science does not count), two semesters of arts (visual or performing), and a couple others that I can't remember. The amount of work that they give you far exceeds anything from middle school, and it's up to you to finish it all. I found myself working 4 - 6 hours a night to get as much done as possible, using every minute of free time both at home and school to work. Indeed, that is part of the school's philosophy: labore et virtute, with labor and virtue. However, you are not expected to do it alone. Teachers really emphasize their availability to students for help of any kind. Making appointments with teachers during your free periods is very easy, and highly encouraged. If students are really struggling, an Achievement Center is available, and if students want to do more, teachers are always willing to engage in deeper conversations and more advanced learning outside of the classroom. Some friends I knew were taking online math classes on advanced topics with teachers, and this all happened from performing well on tests and sitting down with a teacher. Whatever you want to do, you can make happen; you just need to put in the time and effort. Classes usually involve a combination of lecture and discussion. In humanities classes, you are given readings, which teachers expect you to talk about in class. Indeed, in-class participation (answering questions, introducing a discussion point, etc.) plays a large part in the grading for every class, be it English or science. It is not difficult to get involved in class, however, due to the small average class size. Classes never exceed eighteen students, creating an environment conducive to participation and discussion. All this is excellent preparation for college! The high-intensity workload makes college work seem like nothing, and the mental training that Trinity puts you through allows you to not just to complete your assignments, but draw some new meaning from them. Trinity is made for the type of person who really likes learning a lot and doesn't mind putting in the hours needed to discover some truly wonderful things about their work and life in general, and this type of person really flourishes in college! So, if you can make it through Trinity and get past the rigor and learn the lessons that it has to offer, you will be more than prepared for college and the life ahead.
Trinity is located in the beautiful, diverse Upper West Side, and you can find just about everything there. However, the school itself is quite ugly. Built in the turbulent '60s, the school was built to keep people out; there are very few windows in the school, and thus very little natural light. This lack of openness is indicative of the school's culture and environment: tense, cramped, and stressed out. Bogged down by work and sleeplessness, the school buzzes with an energy characterized by anxiety and the thought that "I have to get all of this stuff done, or else I won't get into college!" Students are very competitive with themselves, and there are a couple that secretly compete with others. However, once you get past this kind of environment and develop some coping methods, then the school opens itself for you. Friends are happy to help you out with your studies, provided that you can hold your own once they return to their work. That is a very difficult environment to adjust to, so I highly suggest that applicants ask as many questions about life and work at the school before making their desire. The student body is largely white and upper-class, with a small collection of middle-class students and students of color. Students by and large separate into friend groups defined by socioeconomic class, and sometimes tension rises amongst those groups because of that separation. The faculty is very diverse, with teachers of all races, sexual orientations, and ages part of every department.
There's a lot to do here at Trinity. There are ninety different clubs and community service initiatives you can get involved in, ranging from Model UN to the Let's Play with Trash Club to the soup kitchen initiatives. There are a couple of popular mainstays, such as the student publications (Trinity Times, Yearbook, Columbus, the literary magazine) and certain community service initiatives (Santa's Helpers, Thanksgiving Dinner). Sports are very popular in the student body, and two to three theatrical productions occurs during each season. However, the music program is lacking. Most kids spend about two to four hours a week on their extracurriculars, with after-school activities usually taking much more time and energy. Most student do one or two extracurriculars, with many overachievers doing three to five whilst holding leadership roles. The wealth of activities usually inspires students to dive head-first and you are usually expected by the school to have a couple. How to balance extracurriculars, leisure time and academics is also up to the student, but most students use extracurriculars as a means of relaxation and getting away from work. Whether finding that balance has turned me and my fellow classmates into well-rounded people is not something I can decide, but I know that we can at least budget our time well! I did a lot of stuff at school. For all four years of high school I was in the spring musical review, worked for my school's newspaper as photographer, writer, and photo editor. I was on the swim team for three winters, played on the water polo for two, and acted in the fall play for two as well. Working for the monthly newspaper was difficult but rewarding work, and we had a large readership within the school's community. The editorial boards I was a part of really changed the newspaper for the better, and I'm very proud of the time I spent there. The swim team has improved greatly in the past, with the boys' team taking third in the league and the girls bringing the title home this past year! The water polo team, however, has not been much of a winning team, along with many other sports in our community. However, the students who do sports enjoy them a lot for the camaraderie and stress-relieving exercise. The drama community is small, but very tightly-knit, and anyone who takes part will really enjoy themselves. The fine arts community is nearly non-existent, but if you do want to do a lot of work in the studio or photo lab the art teachers are more than happy to help you out.