Seraphina Nicholls followed in her parents’ footsteps to join Trinity College in Melbourne and says the experience has opened up many friendships and opportunities, even during lockdown.
‘My mum just speaks of college so fondly,’ says Narrabundah College alum Seraphina Nicholls as she explains how she came to live at Trinity College at the University of Melbourne. Seraphina’s parents met at Trinity as students, and her mum had often shared tales of how formative the experience of living on campus was.
Seraphina had gotten another taste of college life through her mum’s work at Burgmann College in Canberra and knew that college was something she really wanted to experience.
While Seraphina loves Canberra and credits Narrabundah for setting her up for university so well, she wanted a new adventure, so decided to move to Melbourne after finishing high school. She liked the range of degrees offered by the University of Melbourne, and also wanted to experience the sense of community that comes with on-campus living.
‘I think it's better to be living around people; likeminded people who are doing the same things as you because you get a better understanding of how you orientate yourself amongst the opinions of others,’ says Seraphina.
Seraphina admits her introduction to college life was a little strange however, as she arrived at Trinity in 2020 in the midst of one of Melbourne’s lockdowns.
‘I didn't know anyone, some people had left, and we weren't doing the whole events thing,’ she says. ‘But that being said, I'm really grateful for that experience because everyone just became so close. And whilst it was a difficult time, especially coming from interstate where the [COVID-19] situation was different, it was really nice to develop this comradery with one another as you all had this shared experience. I think it was testament to the community, because people would go out of their way to be friends with you and make you feel included in the community.’
Now that Seraphina has an established network of friends, she’s enjoying getting into the swing of on-campus life, saying ‘It’s just all there for you’, in relation to the many clubs and committees on offer.
Seraphina is taking an arts degree at the University of Melbourne and is planning to major in art history and media and communications, while also taking a diploma in French. She thinks Melbourne is the perfect place to pursue this kind of study, given the vibrant arts and cultural scene (lockdowns aside), and notes that it’s good to see the things she’s learning about in real life.
‘For example, when I'm doing art history, it's like, "Oh cool, I can just go down to the national gallery and then see the paintings that I'm talking about."’
To anyone considering moving to Melbourne from interstate, Seraphina’s advice is to step out of your comfort zone. ‘Don't be oppositional to try new things and just really extend yourself and see what life would be like, say in another state or in another way of living,’ she says. ‘I'd just encourage people to apply and then to involve yourself in a bigger city with a lot going on, because there are so many opportunities out there.’