Trinity Short met the lifelong friends she hoped to make in college before orientation. It was a perfect way for the first-time undergraduate to ease into the college environment that involved twice-weekly night classes rather than the 6 a.m.-2 p.m. block schedule that she was used to in high school.
"It's definitely an adjustment that I had to wrap my head around, but before orientation, a couple of us found each other on social media," she says. "So we came in and we were automatically together, and all the teachers thought that we knew each other before."
While she fits in perfectly at The University of Baltimore, Trinity wasn't a typical college first-time undergraduate; she was able to start with roughly 30 credits. While she was still attending Delaney High School in Baltimore County, she went to school in the morning, worked at a law firm in the afternoon and took community college classes in the evening to earn credits she could transfer to UBalt.
That busy daily routine helped Trinity transition quickly to the increased academic demands of college.
"College is a lot about accountability. ... Now you're a college student. You don't have someone holding your hand anymore. Now it's like the real world," she says, adding, "It's just another step that you're taking toward your future and you have to do that on your own. I think that's the best part, you're branching off and you're doing new things."
Trinity learned about UBalt from lawyers at the firm where she worked; many of her co-workers are UBalt alumni. She hopes to attend law school and become a lawyer herself.
For Trinity, the law job was initially just that, a job. Her mom's friend worked there and helped her find the opportunity.
"At that point, I didn't know what I wanted to be. I didn't know what I wanted to major in anything like that. So she said, you should come check out the office and intern a little bit. And so I did."
She was 16 when she started there and over two years, she has been able to join attorneys for depositions, trials and more experiences that go beyond what most internships might offer.
"It's been a really good opportunity for me, and I was really lucky to get the internship because it's kind of put me on the path that I am now," she says. "I want to go to law school and I think that UBalt is just the place to go for that."
Not only did UBalt have a law school, but also it has an accelerated path to get there, Trinity says. She plans to major in Philosophy, Law and Ethics, one of the undergraduate programs part of UBalt's Law School Early Entry Program. Once accepted, Trinity can start her law classes in her last year of undergraduate studies.
"When I found out that I got in, I was excited. I kind of have everything planned out and it's helping me reach my goal. And I knew that was the first step. I was excited to get that [acceptance] letter," she says.
In her first year, Trinity came to love that UBalt is made up of a small, diverse community where her professors know her by name and her classmates bring a wealth of various experiences to the classroom.
"My professors know who I am. And there's a lot more of a personal connection with your classmates as well," she says. "We're all over the board, all different races, ethnicities, backgrounds, and I think it makes you a little more open and accepting of other people."