Claudia Trotter always loved English and literature, and now the former Lauriston student is on the path to becoming a professional writer and editor. She talks about her experience with O Week and internships, and finding her second home at Trinity College.
Claudia Trotter had a strange experience when she hit university, essentially becoming an international student in the country she’d grown up in. Born in the United Kingdom, she moved to Melbourne as a young child with her English parents. In her final year of high school at Lauriston Girls’ School, Claudia’s parents moved back to London for her father’s work, and, though Claudia moved to the Cotswalds in the UK for a gap year after school, she returned to Australia to study literature and media and communications at the University of Melbourne in 2017. ‘It was a bit weird,’ Claudia admits, reflecting on the experience.
With her immediate family no longer in Melbourne, Claudia lived on campus at Trinity College, and it was here that she found her second home. ‘It was definitely nice at Trinity having my room with everything set up, as it was essentially my only home in Australia,’ she says.
Claudia’s fellow Trinity students then became like a second family as she got to know other students through many activities, including musicals, plays and a range of sports, just as she had done at Lauriston. ‘If you make the effort [at Trinity], you can get to know people of all year levels and you find that by doing things like being in the softball team, doing community service, or even just sitting with different people in the dining hall, you can easily build friendships.’
After living on campus for three years, Claudia can see that each year spent at Trinity brought different highlights and opportunities. ‘My first year [at college] was just amazing because everything was so new and exciting. Then in second year you start to find your feet and find your friendship group, then in third year you can just really enjoy it,’ she says. ‘It’s funny thinking back to O Week in first year, where everything was new, and then comparing it to my experience as an O Week leader in third year when I was on the other side of the fence and was in charge of all these freshers (first-year students). It didn't seem like that long ago I was one of them.’
As well as taking on a leadership role in O Week during her third year, Claudia was the captain of Trinity’s athletics team and was a Student Coordinator (SC), overseeing and guiding the students in her residential corridor. She also took on a number of internships to help her work towards her goal of becoming a food and lifestyle writer or editor. This included positions with Ford Street Publishing and the Urban List in what she describes as a ‘dream role’.
Claudia has always had a love of words and took both English and literature – her favourite and strongest subjects – for VCE in Year 12 at Lauriston. ‘I always had quite a narrow vision of what I wanted to do … and I was never any good at maths or science,’ she says. Given Claudia enjoyed her undergraduate studies so much, she has now gone on to study a Master of Writing and Publishing at RMIT. ‘It was a little nervous at first that [the course] wasn't going to be quite right, but I've absolutely loved it.’