Carlos Lagos - 2021

'I have felt right at home with the people I have met and who live here. Living in a small community is beneficial because one develops stronger relationships'.

Carlos Lagos - 2021
Carlos is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Politics and International Studies and Criminology. Pronouns he/him

Hi, my name is Carlos!

When doing my research on University accommodation, I was immediately drawn to Medley Hall. The college stood out amongst the rest because of its core values of sustainability, diversity, and equity. This makes Medley a very special space to live.

At Medley, there is no emphasis on class, ethnicity or religious background because of the focus on inclusivity. Medley allowed me to have the college experience without feeling excluded on economic or ethnic grounds, which was important considering my life story. I was born in Colombia and came to Australia when I was 6 years old. Learning a new language and adapting to Australian culture while juggling my Colombian identity was always interesting. Medley cultivates an environment that encourages diverse opinions and an appreciation for an individual's cultural and ethnic background. This unique feature of the college has allowed me to maintain that balance in my life.

College can be expensive. However, as mentioned above, Medley hall will try to accommodate the cost of the experience based on your financial needs. This is largely due to the college's support and the support from the Cybec foundation to eliminate economic barriers for students. The help from Medley and the generosity of the Cybec foundation has facilitated my academic goals at the University of Melbourne, which would otherwise not have been possible for me.

I am currently undertaking the Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics International Studies and Criminology. I am passionate about these fields of study because my parents encouraged me to analyse my position in the broader world throughout my life. This perspective sparked a curiosity for understanding how others around the world and Australia live their lives. More specifically, how structural issues, be they economic, social, or cultural, cause ailments in society that inhibit some in the population from living a genuinely free and prosperous life. By being aware of these things, I find myself well-positioned academically, because the subjects I am pursuing are laying the foundations for a strong understanding of these issues.  Once I acquire this knowledge, I will pursue future academic study, equipping me with practical skills to help address some of these issues. In the context of Medley, the academic support I have received has been very useful as I have developed my perspective further.

I find Medley to be a safe and comforting place. Since arriving here at the start of the year from interstate, I can honestly say that I have never felt any anxiety or stress settling into this new environment and community. I have felt right at home with the people I have met and who live here. Living in a small community is beneficial because one develops stronger relationships. Additionally, the Medley community has cultivated a supportive environment conducive to academic and social development.

The meals here are generally good. Given its strong emphasis on sustainability, the meals are environmentally conscious, which means less meat consumption. I like places that genuinely uphold their values. Given how unsustainable the meat industry can be, Medley allows me to explore different diets by exposing the community to vegetarian meals, reducing my impact on the environment. With this gained perspective, I can now make more informed decisions about my diet and positively reduce the impacts of my lifestyle.

I am involved in a few Medley activities. I quite regularly attend Study Hall sessions that are available to students two times a week. These sessions provide the student community with a time to study and qualified tutors with prestigious academic backgrounds to help them navigate the expectations associated with tertiary education.  I find these sessions very useful.

Additionally, Medley's strong ties to the intercollegiate community have allowed me to participate in events and allowed me to organise fundraisers with other colleges. Being at Medley gives me access to these opportunities, which have developed leadership and collaborative skills.

Regarding fitness, students in the community have organised morning runs, volleyball games, tennis & soccer matches. I have participated in some of these, which allows me to take care of my mental and physical health. In terms of mental health, Medley's support staff have been incredibly helpful -- there are resources available whenever you feel like university is too much or unexpected things happen.

A typical day...

I start my day in Medley, ideally, by going to the student runs in the morning followed by breakfast in the dining hall.  After this, I attend my online lectures and some on-campus tutorials. Medley's location, nestled in between Melbourne CBD and the university campus, has been very convenient. Additionally, my friends and I often organise trips to the library to collect resources for pending assignments or to focus solely on studying. I typically return to Medley for lunch, which is always a time to share experiences with other people.

After lunch, I usually return to do my lectures, tutorials, or the library to continue my studies. Once dinner-time comes around people start to wind down from a busy day's worth of work. As a result, it is fun because people are more relaxed, and we generally discuss how our day went and what we learned about. It is always fascinating to hear from other people at the dinner table given the wide array of interests and perspectives present in the college.

Without the financial support from the Cybec foundation, I probably would not have had the opportunity to try and do so many new and different things in a new city. Coming to Medley and having a stable and safe place has allowed me to continue to succeed academically. Additionally, it has facilitated my ability to pursue my interests through campus clubs and societies, for instance, being a member of the Labour Party Club, the Arts Society, and the International Relations society.

I can confidently say Medley has become a home away from home. It has truly facilitated my transition from high school to university. Additionally, it has given me the stability and support to pursue my academic, personal, and cultural interests, which has laid the foundations for becoming an integral young adult in our society.

Medley in 3 words: Discussion, Support and Caring.