My time at college

My name’s Ellie and I’m a third year at Ormond College at the University of Melbourne. In first year, I was too preoccupied with drinking lattes and riding around on my fixie to have much time for college, but now I’m the Chair of the Students’ Club. The moral of the story: college will always get the better of you, and here’s why.


The trifecta, the trio, the terrible triad: I can’t think of a much better combination. No matter which college you choose, there’s no doubt that these three things will be in abundance.

I moved from Canberra to Melbourne for college, so in addition to being overwhelmed by the big city lights, I was well and truly friend-less. However, after the 573rd icebreaker activity on the first day of O-Week, I had friends a-plenty. Right from the get-go it was clear that I was entering an extraordinarily welcoming community, where everyone I met was interested in getting to know me. Long gone were the days of clique-y high school friendship groups, this was a community of students who were all out to make friends and have a rockin’ good time.

After surviving O-Week together, the votes were in: we were siblings. Since then, college has proved an incredibly formative experience for everyone in my cohort (read: family). It’s been a chance to define who I am, what I care about and what my place in the world will be. As I’ve manoeuvred my way through the intricacies of this existential crisis, so too have my friends. In essence: we’ve all grown up together. This shared experience has turned my O-Week pals into life-long friends, and I’ll always have college to thank for that.

As for bevs and BBQs, you’ll have plenty of those too. They’re pretty fun but will undoubtedly be of lower quality and cheaper content than your pals.


I came to college thinking that I’d tried most things. After all, I’d been on the debating, soccer, football, futsal, tournament of the minds and leadership teams at school: what more was out there?

Plenty, as it turns out.

The breadth and depth of cool stuff available at college never fails to amaze me. College has had everything, from the chance to visit the local primary school to help kids with their homework, to the opportunity to manage a students' club of upwards of 300 members, to any number of other amazing opportunities. College – in my experience – is really what you make of it, and the chance to make it an incredible learning and self-development opportunity is something I’ve truly relished.


Aside from the supportive and lovin’ community of students you’ll find at college, you’ll also find a wide variety of resources available to you. You’ll find resources for the good times and the bad times. There will be students trained to ensure that you don’t sweat the small stuff and staff trained to ensure that life’s bigger challenges don’t get in your way.

The academic, financial and pastoral care support I’ve found at college has been an absolute godsend in times of trouble. Whether it’s not being sure where to hand an assignment in to not knowing how to comfort a friend who is struggling with their mental health, there’s always someone on call to help you navigate the curve balls thrown your way.

All in all, college is a bloody ripper time. It’s a chance to make new friends, try new things and define your place in the world. Should you be lucky enough to have the resources available to you, give it a go.