Finding Time for the Quiet: ORU Volleyball’s Trinity Freeman Talks about Being an Introvert at ORU
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
ORU Volleyball | Area of Study: Marketing
On any college campus, you’ll find plenty of noise … cheering crowds, big events, exciting celebrations. But there’s plenty of room for the quiet too … the moments of reflection, the solitude of a silent space, one’s focus on the inward instead of the outward. As a professed “introvert,” ORU Volleyball’s Trinity Freeman doesn’t always need the noise. Sometimes, she prefers the calmness of a quiet room.
“I’m a homebody,” Trinity said. “I like to be by myself. But when I came to ORU, my family was encouraging me to get out and find a church. That scared me a little because I'm definitely an introvert when it comes to people.”
Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, college is a place for growth, and it’s been no different for Trinity. As an introvert, Trinity says she’s come out of her shell some since arriving at ORU. This doesn’t change the fact that she still finds peace in the quiet, but as a person, Trinity says she’s grown with help from those around her.
“My teammate Breanna [Rivas] has helped me a lot,” Trinity said. “I started attending church with her in downtown Tulsa. I didn’t want to go to a church by myself. I was going to attend online, but then I made this connection, and I’m so grateful for it. It worked out well because now, we’re both really involved at our church.”
"There’s this idea of the cookie-cutter Christian, that we all dress a certain way, and our taste in music is identical. Truth is, we’re not the same, even though we have the same goal in terms of our faith."
Searching for a Diverse Campus
One might think that for an introvert, the people on a college campus wouldn’t necessarily be important. But that wasn’t the case for Trinity. As a volleyball recruit, Trinity, who was raised in Arizona, says that in choosing a university, diversity was high on her list. As Oklahoma’s most diverse university (Niche 2023), ORU checked this box.
“Diversity of culture was important to me in choosing ORU,” Trinity said. “When I came here, everyone was so welcoming, but seeing different people—people who look like me—made it even more inviting. And on the volleyball team, all the different cultures have impacted me because I’ve learned to see things from other perspectives. We all come from various backgrounds, and as a team, it’s something we respect in each other.”
As an ORU athlete, Trinity is part of a volleyball team that she calls her family. But unlike other universities, Trinity’s teammates aren’t just family; they’re also sharing in her spiritual growth. She says that at ORU, athletics is more than just about winning; it’s also about God.
“As a team,” Trinity said, “we emphasize family, but we emphasize our faith too. On the court, we’re doing more than just playing volleyball. We’re playing to honor God through the talents He gave us. That’s our common goal … our ultimate goal … and it’s an opportunity we get at ORU that we might not get at another university.”
Growing as an Introvert
For the introvert, college offers the opportunity to make a little noise, to grow beyond the quiet in a productive way. In her classes, Trinity’s been challenged to speak out, and as an athlete, she’s stepped into the spotlight of public interviews and athletic announcements. In terms of her faith, Trinity’s grown too, and it’s taught her something about the people around her.
“There’s this idea of the cookie-cutter Christian,” Trinity said, “that we all dress a certain way, and our taste in music is identical. Truth is, we’re not the same, even though we have the same goal in terms of our faith. There’s always spiritual growth that needs to happen, but I’ve learned that my needs shouldn’t be compared to anyone else’s. For me, growth isn’t an overnight thing. Mine’s gradual so that every day at ORU, I’m getting a 1%-better me.”
ABOUT ORAL ROBERTS UNIVERSITY
ORU is a Christian, Spirit-empowered, interdenominational university in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with over a decade of consecutive enrollment growth. Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, ORU offers over 150 majors, minors, concentrations, and pre-professional programs at the bachelor’s level, ranging from business and engineering to nursing, ministry, and more. Under the leadership of President Dr. William Wilson, ORU is preparing students from all 50 states and 145 nations (from 2019 to 2023) to be whole leaders for the whole world.
The Wall Street Journal ranked ORU as the #4 university in the nation for student engagement. This ranking is based upon faculty interactions, collaborative learning, critical thinking, real-world applications of student learning, the extent to which classes challenge students, and whether students would recommend a university to others. Niche recognizes ORU as one of the most diverse colleges in America.
ORU has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as:
- #1 in Undergraduate Teaching
- #2 in Most International Students
- #3 in Best Value
- #6 in Best College for Veterans
- #7 in Best Regional Colleges in the West
For more information, visit www.oru.edu.