Oscar Hegge can’t quite say how he chose Melbourne as the city that would form the backdrop of the post-school chapter of his life, but his move to Victoria and to Trinity College turned out to be the right decision.
Born and bred in Perth, Oscar Hegge attended John XXIII College, where he performed well academically and was part of a close-knit friendship group. He liked his life and friendship circle on the west coast, and originally planned to study at the University of Western Australia, as many students from WA do. But he also wanted to test himself, and thought an interstate move would help broaden his horizons.
So he moved to Melbourne, and specifically, Trinity College, an on-campus residential college at the University of Melbourne, as his parents were particularly keen for him to have a college experience.
‘I came to college very deliberately with the intention that I wanted to make a lot of friends, and I wanted to really expand how I was socially,’ he explains. ‘So, I really leaned into it … and I’m definitely a lot more confident and definitely feel a lot more socially connected now.’
How Oscar landed on Melbourne and Trinity College is hard to say. The world was his oyster when he was finishing school, and he tossed up between Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. A love of cooler weather and historic buildings tipped him towards Melbourne, and a website showing rooms with old fireplaces and common spaces with Chesterfield couches tipped him towards Trinity. ‘I thought, "Hey, that looks like a nice campus; that looks pretty," so I picked Trinity.’
And Oscar is glad that he did.
‘It was the right choice, definitely. At no point have I been looking at one of the other colleges [at the University of Melbourne] and felt like, damn, I wish I was there.’
Though Oscar was set on moving interstate to try something new, he admits he was nervous coming to Trinity. He needn’t have worried, however.
‘I got out of the car and people were there and people were friendly. I took my bags to my room and I had a chat and felt so comfortable,’ he says, thinking back to his first day. ‘I didn't know anyone. I didn't know how it was going to go, but I've had nothing but good times here.’
Oscar is keeping up with his academic study (he’s doing an arts degree, majoring in politics and international studies) and has joined Trinity’s academic committee, but says there’s also plenty of fun to be had. ‘When you put nearly 400 18–21-year-olds in a place, it’s pretty fun.’
For this reason, his advice to anyone leaving school this year and contemplating a move to college is ‘if you can do it, I’d say, just do it’.
‘Everyone has a different experience, and I've been really lucky that I've had a really, really great experience so far. But I feel pretty comfortable saying that if someone comes [to Trinity] and they're open to it – I mean, it's not all smooth sailing and you’ve got to put a bit of work in and commit – it's really fun.’