First-Years navigate Trinity College’s first Nests

Hamlin Hall looked like a dazzling banquet scene out of Harry Potter. Glasses glittered, gourmet food was artistically arranged and soft lighting illuminated the six students who showed up for the second Nest Dinner. This contrasted greatly from the first Nest Dinner where there were so many students that we overflowed onto two tables. What happened? Well, the same email was sent out for both events, but the one detail that was missing from the second email was the word “required.” That one word made the difference between six students and over sixty students showing up.
Although there were many students who had extenuating circumstances such as sports practices and classes that Thursday night, it was a shame that they had to miss out on an event that was meant to help students break out of their everyday routines and meet people whom they normally would not have the chance to meet. The word “required” was removed because the Nest leaders wanted to have a family-like dinner that would not have the possibility of being tainted by resentful undertones. Since the first dinner went smoothly, they had no reason to think the second wouldn’t have a similar attendance number. However, the word “required” makes all the difference to students.
The nests really are a great source of integration for Trinity students, but they are as effective as you want to make them. Being the social butterfly that I am, coming from Virginia, not knowing anyone, and wanting to meet a myriad variety of people, the nests opened up more avenues for me to do just that. During orientation, I was originally not a big fan about going to the “required” Nest Games. However, I ended up leaving with two things that day: a bruise from getting nailed by a dodgeball and a great group of friends.
Since this is the kick-off year for the nests, there are still things that have to be ironed out. However, the amount of enthusiasm and dedication the nest leaders have in creating a good time to kick back, relax and meet other students is undeniable. Every day, I receive emails from my nest leader that contain invitations to join fun events on campus such as Pizza and Cupcake Thursdays and Apple Picking.
Although the Nests can’t force students to go to events and say “Alright, start interacting in 3…2…1,” students can make the decision to attend an event that takes them out of their comfort zones and cross social group barriers to meet new people that just might become their friends.

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