Towards the end of September, Southampton will welcome thousands of budding young students into their halls. If you just received the results you were hoping for today, this could be you. They’ll be fresh with wonder, excitement and stories of the clubs sprawled across Portswood high street. However, all the Jesters-ridden shoes in the world cannot quell the fear of moving away from home, usually for the first time, into halls. With my own nervous memories in mind, I thought a brief guide to the types of flatmate a fresher can expect might help stop these fears. Of course like most ‘comprehensive’ lists some types will be missed, whilst other types might clash and blend together. Without further ado, let’s begin.
While most people will find themselves going on endless nights out during Freshers’ week, they will usually stop soon after. However, there will remain a few who seemingly never stop and continue to go out most nights til the bitter end. Rarely seen before the afternoon and up till the late hours, you will begin to wonder whether or not they actually go to university.
The rich kid
Like most places in the British Isles, you will inevitably cross someone with an abundance of cash and Southampton is no different. Usually characterised by their endless amount of takeaways and continual shopping trips, rich kids are generous and friendly. With such disposable cash at their fingers, you might find they are similar to the partier in their continual exploits on nights out.
The international student
Southampton has a variety of international students across campus either through Erasmus or a full degree. You will undoubtedly cross students from a variety of countries, making for an exciting multicultural university. Students from Britain should make sure to help them feel welcomed and reap the rewards of understanding different cultures. Although they might be shy, for completely understandable reasons being far from home, they are kind and really quite funny. From my experience, international students make better use of extra-curricular activities, tag along in groups and enjoy these pursuits together.
The activities person
There will be days when you find yourself lounging around doing nothing but skipping through Netflix hour after hour, usually feeling fairly good about yourself. That is until an activities person comes back to the flat. A brief conversation can leave you feeling really quite worthless after you discover they have finished their assignment, attended Jazzmanix, gone rock climbing and finished their slot on Surge radio. Make sure you sign up for at least one society!
Southampton has quite an extensive and fruitful Medicine department and their students work extremely hard. Whether it is a first year medic or a postgraduate, you will meet someone doing something to do with medicine. While it is easy to sit back and laugh as they work 9 til 5 every day whilst you sit in your kitchen for hours on end, it seems like they have a greater purpose and are entering a solid career. With all the work they do, medic nights out have an infamous reputation. Once in a blue moon they will party, go wild and let loose. Be wary.
The sports person
Similar to the activities person, it will seem like these people spend all their free time playing sport, training for sport and eating for sport. Usually exceedingly fit, your puny fifteen minutes in the gym will well and truly seem redundant. However, all hope is not lost. They usually love to encourage people to exercise and are always up for a gym partner. Tag along and be prepared to ache.
Continually smiling, red-eyed and sweet smelling, there will usually be someone with their head in the clouds in your flat. They are usually open-minded, relaxed and watching documentaries in their humble abode. Although you might not always see them, similarly to the recluse, be sure to talk to them regularly.
If you are coming fresh from sixth form or college to university, don’t be too surprised to meet people a year or two older than you who have rambled across to other countries for months on end. They are usually accepting of most people and have some crazy stories.
While most people tend to go out during Freshers’ week, some might drop off the radar soon after and who can blame them? They will find sanctuary in their rooms and save their livers the hassle of going out drinking to extremes every night. This could come across as rude, but they are usually really nice if not a little bit shy. If this does happen, knock on their door, have a chat and make sure they feel welcome to everything.
The humanities student
Characterised by the short hours spent in lectures per week. Much like the partier, you will not usually find them up before 12. Often spotted wondering aimlessly around their halls, wishing for something to do other than procrastinate their week’s reading list. The hard workers of engineering and medicine will usually complain bitterly about the lack of work these students undertake. However, engineers and medics should keep in mind most of their work is done outside of lectures and they will often be furiously finishing readings and assignments into the early hours of the morning.
The rugby lad
Finally, the famous rugby lads reported around social media and rumoured throughout town after a night out. They can be found training hard during the day and out partying in packs at night time. Despite their bad reviews at times, rugby lads are actually quite nice and their team spirit is to be admired. Look out for them in shirts and ties on socials and try to embrace their hilarious drinking pursuits in nightclubs.
Obviously, there will be countless more types of flatmate. The important thing is not to be excessively nervous about moving into halls and to enjoy everything that comes with it.