Fresh But Not Yet Wise


Welcome to the fresher life! You’ve come to the University feeling fabulously fresh and are looking forward to experiencing all that Southampton has to offer. But freshers are notorious for their naivety, so here’s how to achieve the almost impossible feat of being fresh AND wise!

 People come to uni with different ideas about what it’ll be like. You imagine battling your way through the bun-fight (it’s nothing to do with bread), constantly clubbing and having an all-round unforgettable time. But then freshers week is over; and it’s time to wise up.

Things many students wished they knew from the beginning varied from note-taking methods to disastrous living arrangements, so take a long look at these tips, and remember them.

Fresher Do’s and Don’ts

  • “Don’t arrange to live with your newfound girlfriend or boyfriend in second year.” – Alice Hearing
  • “Don’t burn yourself out in first year.” – Samuel Tyler
  • “Don’t get with a flatmate – rarely ends well.” – Tallulah Lyons
  • “DO record lectures using a laptop or something else is a great way to make sure you don’t miss any vital information!” – Alice Hearing
  • DO aim for more than 40%. While that’s the pass rate, people applying for a work placement, or year in industry will only have those results when they apply, so make sure they’re actually good enough.” –

And with hindsight…

  • “I wish I hadn’t bought any books for my course! In semester two all of my reading was from the library and online resources, and I just kept renewing them.” – Carly-May Kavanagh
  • “I wish I hadn’t over packed for uni and brought so much stuff because then you hardly use any of it. Be more selective, it gives you more room for actual living space.” – Mackenzie Brown
  • “So many people I know wished they’d joined a society in the first few weeks. It’s a great way to meet new people and widen your circle of friends; it makes you more confident as a person!” – Octavia Woodward

One thing on this list comes up a lot – many 2nd and 3rd year students will tell you that they wish they’d got involved with more societies in their first year! The importance of this cannot be overstated. You meet people outside your course and halls and get to try something new. So make sure you follow up on things that you thought sounded interesting at the Bunfight, because before you know where you are it’ll be the end of the term and you’ll be wishing you’d started something earlier! And if you’re not very confident, don’t worry about it, everyone else is in the same boat as you, all looking to try something new and meet some people. So, although it’s easier said than done, put yourself out there, the first step is always the hardest one to take!

Remember, this list isn’t exhaustive; some things you just have to learn for yourself, it’s part of the university learning curve. Everyone’s fresher year experience will be different, but overall it should be a time you can look back at with fond memories, and yes, this even goes for your first night at Jesters! How your first year goes is really all down to you, but do keep these tips in mind, they’ll stand you in good stead for the year! So good luck freshers, try not to make the same mistakes those before you have, or if you do, don’t make all of them.


Law student at the University of Southampton. Features Editor 2016/17. I also write for KettleMag, The Edge and The National Student. Avid reader, badminton player, dog lover and hedgehog rescuer.

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