2020 student reflection – Residential College

By Kevin Chen

Residential College student Kevin Chen reflects on the challenges and opportunities presented in 2020.

Trinity College looked much quieter than usual in 2020

This month marks the end of the rollercoaster year that is 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, university studies had to move online, the college had to go into lockdown, and social activities were temporarily paused. For some, the days began to blend together as studying and exercising became a repetitive daily routine; for others, it was a perfect time to explore new skills and hobbies.

If this year shows us anything, it’s that Trinitarians have an incredible ability to adapt. Many people had to leave college when Australian and international boarders closed, which made it harder to keep in touch with friends. But in face of lockdown and with the enforcement of mask rules, we quickly moved events online and came up with new COVID-safe activities — Kahoot quizzes, dinner dates, Super Smash Bros competitions and chess matches, to name a few. The diligent work from admin as well as the TCAC made the year no less exciting and enjoyable for those who remained on campus and those who had to go home.

While it was challenging at first to adjust to the new norm of wearing a mask everywhere in college, this soon proved to be of little difficulty to overcome. DIY mask-making sessions gave everyone the opportunity to make themselves fashionable masks, while freely expressing their artistic souls. The masks made on our first attempts were way oversized, but that just gave everyone a good laugh.

Students with masks

This year we also discovered that sports are an integral part of the Trinity culture. With the university oval and sporting centres closed, the Bulpadock took on a crucial role and became the centre of sports, for the likes of footy, soccer, volleyball, spike ball … and even golf. The Bul gave us the luxury to enjoy some fun and non-competitive sports during lockdown, providing a good balance between studying and physical wellbeing. While intercollegiate sports competitions were cancelled, Trinity formed a social bubble with St Hilda’s and organised a sporting and cultural tournament called the COVID Cup, which gave us an opportunity to make friends on court as well as keep our morale high. It has also no doubt helped prepare us for the real battles next year.

Trinity students on tennis court
Sport remained a favourite activity for Trinity students who stayed on campus

Mental health is, more than ever, the college’s top priority. With the first Melbourne lockdown limiting our abilities to exercise or go to the pub, our social lives took a great hit. Mental wellbeing programs were put in place to help Trinitarians and the great community. Fundraisers via Mullets for Mental Health, Movember and Beyond Blue all had an amazing response and participation. Other charity events continued via Zoom and Facebook, including ‘Do it in a dress’ and ‘Live below the line’. COVID did not stop Trinitarians from doing good and helping contribute to a better society.

Looking into next year, I hope that university and college life somewhat reverts back to normal. Whether it be the return of musicals and plays, the stunning evensong from our choir, or the sports trophies carried home by our strong teams, there is so much to expect and look forward to. It will also be a year of reunion – a fresh start for friends to catch up after what has felt like a very long, strange year.

By Kevin Chen


08 Dec 2020