Trinity College grounds

Richie Paganin on moving to college from interstate

Richie Paganin moved from Perth to Melbourne to study and says living at Trinity has helped him make friends and get the best out of the city.

Jack Chomley and Richie Panagin
Richie Panagin (right) with Jack Chomley


Richie Paganin

Where did you grow up? 

Perth, Western Australia

What high school did you go to? 

Christ Church Grammar School, Claremont

What year did you join Trinity College? 


What made you choose Trinity?  

Trinity was recommended to me through word of mouth. Having limited knowledge of the residential college system, Trinity came up multiple times due to its vibrant community and as being a fun and lively place to live. These recommendations came from people who went to other colleges, which confirmed Trinity as my first preference. 

Beyond this, Trinity’s facilities and size seemed like the right fit for me – large enough to meet a diverse range of people but not too big to get lost in the crowd. In truth though, I was not able to come across to Melbourne for a tour, so I chose Trinity not knowing much and hoping for the best. 

What are you studying at university? 

Bachelor of Commerce (Finance and Accounting)

What made you choose this field of study? 

I really enjoyed the economics and accounting subjects I did in high school and was drawn to the broadness and applicable skills that came with the degree. I liked the mix of quantitative and qualitative aspects of commerce and saw it a solid base to start with. 

I also liked that you did not need to pick your major until second year, which gave me time to try the different fields of commerce before deciding. Furthermore, I was able to gain advice and experience from older students at Trinity, which helped my decision. 

In high school, did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to study at university? 

Commerce and politics were the two areas that interested me at school and there were programs in Perth that stuck out as giving me the ability to do both whilst at university. I don’t think it was until around term four that I became set on doing a commerce degree.

Universities (including the University of Melbourne) are increasingly offering breadth/broadening subjects outside the field of your degree and this meant I could still study areas that are not related to commerce. This was a selling point that helped me make my decision. 

At high school, did you know you wanted to go to college while at uni?

I was interested in doing a gap year after school but there was nothing that interested me enough to commit a year to. I found going to college and moving interstate to be a great medium. I was still able to travel and experience something new whilst beginning my university degree.  

How would you describe the residential community at Trinity?

I would describe the residential community as incredibly lively and diverse. There is always something happening, whether that be sport tryouts, musical auditions or impressive social events. This vibrancy extends to the fact that there are always people around campus to fill my spare time with. Being surrounded by likeminded and similar aged people is definitely a drawcard of Trinity.

In your opinion, what is the best thing about college life? 

My favourite part about college life is the people I have met. Trinity attracts a broad subset of people from places across Australia and the world. Having the ability to meet these people and forge friendships with them is the greatest dividend I have received from being at Trinity. 

Are involved in any sports teams, committees or societies?

Throughout my time at Trinity, I have been involved in the Wine Cellar and Outreach committee as well as playing in the seconds cricket team. All of these led me to meet new people and enrich my college experience. 

Do you think living on campus has enriched your university experience?

Absolutely. Moving from interstate, I believe living on campus has been the best way to meet people and experience the most from living in a new city. Being surrounded by such a diverse cohort, you are bound to find people that you get along with.

I have made some incredibly strong friendships at college and this has allowed me to experience a multitude of things that I would not have done if I did not live on campus. Being able to collaborate on work as well as the tutorial program have also been beneficial. 

Beyond this, the convenience of living near the university is great. Only having to leave 5-10 minutes before anything is always helpful.

What is your favourite high school memory? 

As bizarre as it sounds, my favourite memory at school would have to be lunchtime. Having the opportunity to catch up with your mates for an hour every day is something that I did not appreciate until I left school. The chats we had and the antics we would get up to were great, and as we have left school such a regularity of catch up inevitably became harder. 

Is there anything you learnt at high school that has set you up well for uni life?

I think managing my time was something I developed at school, which set me up well for uni life. Being able to plan out what I need to do has allowed me to achieve more.

University lacks the structure of school and can feel like you are being thrown into the deep end. This freedom can be daunting but time management allows you to be productive and keep on top of various demands.

What has your experience at university been like so far? 

It has been very varied. Switching from in person to online multiple times has taught me to be flexible. However, I have really enjoyed the content of my course and the traditional structure of lectures and tutorials each week. It gives you more options, compared to a five-day school week, to focus on areas that need more time and the opportunity to pursue interests outside of your degree.

It has also been great this semester to see so many more people on campus. The university is so much busier and there seems to be far more going on. The only problem is that it is much harder to get a prime position in the library. 

What advice would you give to students in their final year of high school when it comes to deciding what to do next year?

A piece of advice I would give is to take your time and do your research. Do not rush into a decision if you are not sure that you definitely want to do it. Try to gather as much information as possible – whether that be through the internet, asking questions to people who have done it before or consulting with someone else. 

I remember being unsure as to my future after school and it seemed like one day it just hit me and I knew very clearly what I wanted to do. The time it takes to decide varies for everyone so do not stress if it does not happen instantly. 

Want to live at Trinity College next year? Applications are now open.


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