Connor Recck ’23
Everyone always tells you that college will be the best four years of your life. I’m almost through with my four years at Trinity, and it has been interesting to say the least. Arriving here for the Fall 2019 semester, I knew that college was an opportunity to reinvent myself. I was eager to meet the peers I would spend the next four years with; however, in the back of my head, I could not shake the feeling that I would have a difficult time fitting in here.
The summer before my senior year of high school, I had official “come out” as a gay man to my classmate. For some time, I had been slowly revealing the news to close friends. This was the first moment where I truly felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. My final year of high school gave me an opportunity to feel comfortable in my own skin, it was the first time I truly felt connected to my identity.
Arriving at Trinity during my freshmen year, I once again lost the comfort and stability of living in an environment where people knew the true me. I quickly recognized that I had my work cut out for me. I was no longer surrounded by people I grew up with; rather, I was surrounded by strangers. I was now on the hunt to find my niche on this campus.
Over the course of my four years on this campus, I had the privilege of meeting so many different people. I came to Trinity as a member of the men’s swimming and diving team. I quickly became close with many members of both the men’s and women’s teams over the course of my Trinity experience. Because of the pandemic, I made the difficult decision to leave the swim team before my junior season. Many decisions I have made during my time here have been difficult ones, but I have been so lucky to have developed an invaluable network of friends that have stuck by my side.
It was not always easy being a gay man on an athletic team. My freshmen year consisted of many ups and downs, but to the teammates that stuck by me through thick and thin, I thank you. Some of the kindest people I have meet at this institution have been in situations where I am at my lowest; to that network of support I have built here at Trinity: I thank you.
My time in the classroom has allowed me to expand my identity even further. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I declared my major in public policy and law. Shortly thereafter, I declared a second major in economics. I came to Trinity thinking that maybe I would be an English major—and don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed plenty of English courses in my academic career, but I quickly realized that English was not the choice for me. In the wake of being sent home and returning for the Fall 2020 semester, I decided to change course. I am now excited to say I am well on my way to completing both majors by the spring!
In light of all the situations I have found myself in on this campus, the journey I have taken with my identity has been a difficult one. I won’t sugarcoat it; Trinity is an extremely heteronormative institution. Any LGBTQ person can point this out to you, but I have learned to wear these differences as badges of honor. When you stop making comparisons, you may come to find peace with yourself. I came to Trinity constantly comparing myself to the stereotypes that exist across this campus; I leave Trinity this spring hopefully defying as many of these stereotypes as possible—and doing so with a smile on my face.