Thinking about living at a residential college next year but not sure if it’s worth it? Read on to discover the many benefits of living on campus.
Starting university is a big life step that can feel a little daunting. You might be thinking, how will I make friends? How will I keep my studies on track? Who can I ask for help if I need it? Can I continue the activities I enjoyed at school, like acting, sport or music?
The fact is, you don’t need to worry about any of this if you live in a residential college. That’s because colleges are designed to provide all the support and extras you need to successfully transition from high school to university, while also giving you the freedom to be an adult (well, an adult who doesn’t have to cook – colleges feed you too!).
College tends to suit students who care about their results, enjoy meeting new people, and love getting involved in lots of activities, so if that sounds like you, it’s definitely worth applying. (And P.S. – if you’re planning to study at the University of Melbourne next year, Trinity College is opening a swish new residential wing with 100 additional student rooms, so your chances of getting in are better than ever.)
Let’s drill down some more benefits of living on campus.
Ask any student what’s great about living at college and the first thing they always mention is the close-knit community. From day one of O-Week you’ll start to make friends, and some you’ll keep for life. If you choose a college that focuses on undergraduates, everyone is in the same boat, given all students are a similar age and are usually living away from home for the first time. This means you have plenty in common from the get-go.
“If you live at college it’s easier to make lasting friendships.” Elisha, first year student
A special sense of community is fostered through regular events, group dinners and other social and cultural activities. There’s a great family-like atmosphere and there’s always someone around to do things with.
“I have friends from my old school doing the same course as me who don’t live on campus and they aren’t getting the chance to enjoy uni life in the same way I am.” Thorry, second year college student
Let’s face it, sleep matters a lot when you’re at uni. Imagine it’s 2020 and your alarm goes off – you’ve got a full day of lectures ahead. But instead of commuting 30 minutes or more to get to university, you simply push open the back gate and you’re there. That’s why colleges are often described as living ‘on campus’, as they’re normally located at the university itself.
Different colleges offer different programs, but at places like Trinity this means:
“There are so many opportunities to pursue your passions, such as sport, music and the arts, and there are great resources to allow you to excel at them.” Tom, third year college student
It’s true that colleges seem to cost more than living at home or finding a share house, but if you look at the big picture and consider the overall value, it can definitely be worth it. With the cost of rent, utilities, wifi, food, tutors, clubs and societies, and much of your social life covered, the sums add up.
Then there are all the added benefits that aren’t so tangible. Take for instance the alumni networks. After graduating, many college students go on to become leaders in their field in locations all over the world. If a college has a good alumni program, the staff can help connect you with the people you need to help kick-start your career. As they say, sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know, so don’t underestimate the power of these referrals!
“I’m an Indigenous student from Darwin and am studying criminology. Next semester I’m starting an internship with the Victorian Ombudsman, arranged through a past student of Trinity. I would never have gotten that chance if I didn’t live at college.” Jacob, third year college student
If college still feels out of reach, it’s worth investigating the many scholarships that might be available to you. Most colleges offer financial assistance to those who need it, so if you’re struggling to find the dollars to live on campus but can show that you’re keen to get involved in college life and have the academic smarts, you’ll have a good chance of securing a scholarship.
To stick with Trinity as an example again, around 30% of its students receive some form of financial assistance, ranging from a few thousand dollars to 100% fee remission. So it’s perfectly normal to get a leg-up to help you on your college journey.
Many college applications are open now so start doing some research and get the ball rolling.
To learn more about Trinity College, including its expansion and campus tours, visit trinity.unimelb.edu.au