Sarah Kopecky '21

I loved my Play Analysis class this semester at The University of Tampa because every student was female. It felt like being back at Trinity - my voice as a woman was uplifted and valued as much as any other student’s. I was happy to return to an all-girls learning environment because I cherished the things I learned at Trinity, but I was shocked when I saw the reading list for the class. We were going to read six plays: two of them were about women and only one was written by a woman. One of my favorite memories from Trinity was reading literature written by and about women, something my teachers made clear from freshman year was a deliberate choice. Of course, there are plenty of plays that should be required reading that were written by men, but in a classroom dominated by women, women should dominate the curriculum, too. The spirit of Captain Blazer possessed me, and I wrote, in a graded assignment, about how it didn’t make sense for a room full of thoughtful and educated young women to sit together and discuss only men’s contributions to our field. While these events were too recent for me to know what came of them, I do know that I got an A on that assignment. Thank you, Captain Blazer.
This was not the only time that graduating from an all-girls school has empowered me. When I was almost finished with high school, I committed to the University of Tampa. I wasn’t quite sure of my choice, so I decided to take a gap year and travel. I went to France, Spain, Italy, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. In Spain, I had an internship where I was able to teach English to third grade Catholic school students. They were so interested in my life in the United States. In Italy, I took Italian language classes and lived with a host family that I still keep in touch with. In Costa Rica, I completed multiple environmental service projects and planted over 300 mangrove trees with my friends. In each of these places, I developed life skills, thought about what I wanted to do next, and made friends. Finally, in the United Kingdom, I said goodbye to my awesome new friends and prepared to officially enter adulthood. Of course, my travels didn’t come without their challenges, and thanks to my education of Trinity, I was ready to face them. I found myself building bridges across language barriers, finding alternative transportation at the drop of a hat, and spontaneously planning my next adventures.
With four years at Trinity and one year all over the world under my belt, I was finally ready to take on college, which is where I currently am. I’m a theatre major;  my classes require confidence. I need to be able to stand in front of my peers and make a total fool of myself if the script calls for it. All of my classmates are amazingly talented and self-assured, but I’m always the first to raise my hand and volunteer for any activity. In high school, I learned that my classmates were there to support me, not to make fun of me, and that if I was the first to try something, it didn’t make me embarrassed, it made me courageous. While sometimes people in the university drama department like to stir up drama (get it?), I hold onto the knowledge that no one is going to laugh at me if I make a mistake, but everyone is going to admire me if I continue to show up and do my best. I’m so thankful Trinity gave me the ability to raise my hand to go first because that is a truly valuable skill, not just in the theatre, but in life.
I know that Trinity is a school first and foremost, and I could write a few sentences about how I’m on the Dean’s List and scheduled to graduate early thanks to all the IB classes I took, but high school isn’t all about academics. It’s a time for making friends, finding new hobbies and skills, and exploring ideas you’ve never heard of before. Trinity prepared me to thrive academically at college, and I am, but it also prepared me to take risks like going on a gap year around the world and to embrace opportunities like being the first to deliver my monologue in class. At Trinity, we did everything in threes, so I will conclude by listing three things I’m thankful for: everything I learned at Trinity, everyone I met at Trinity, and all of the doors Trinity has opened for me and all of its other students. Go Blazers!