Top Tips for New Students:
There are millions of websites, videos, and blogs that offer advice to new students. So, in an attempt to be more original, I have divided my top tips up into general and Southampton-specific. I hope this will help freshers, or even returning students.
Quite possibly one of my favourite things about being a student is the discounts. Whether it’s for food, drinks, books, clothes, or streaming services; we are offered a reduced price on almost anything you can imagine. I encourage you to take full advantage of this. Some of the best places to look are: UNIDAYS, Student Beans, and Totum.
‘First year doesn’t count’- Fact or fiction?
The phrase, ‘First year doesn’t count’, has been uttered by almost every student at some point, normally to relieve the guilt of another night out. However, while these grades don’t impact your overall classification, you do have to pass the first year itself. My advice would be to strike a balance. First year is for having fun and settling into uni-life, though it also offers an opportunity to get into good work patterns.
There are many apps that are useful for student life, whether it be for managing money or offering ways to study in an eco-friendly way. I would recommend “Wally” or “Squirrel” to those working on a budget. The app “Forest” offers an effective study system while helping the environment by turning the virtual trees you plant into real ones.
Don’t buy all the tickets!
Freshers’ week can be a sensory overload of events which can make you feel pressure to buy lots of tickets and try to attend everything. My advice is to only buy a few before the week starts. Most club events are very similar, and despite how they advertise the event, they will sell tickets at the door. It’s also good to have some spontaneous nights with new people instead of planning your whole time.
Some venues like Jesters have a minimum card spend, so carrying cash on a night out is always a good idea! Your student ID can also get you discounts at pubs like the Mitre, so bring that out too!
Southampton University has 280 student societies. This offers the opportunity to meet like-minded people or try something new! I would suggest going to bunfight (freshers fair) or joining taster sessions to experience what’s on offer.
Best study spots:
There are many great places to study on the Highfield campus, all with different benefits depending on your habits. Hartley Library is a classic, as it has large spaces for silent study or group work. However, if this becomes too crowded in exam season, the Centenary building (Building 100) is a good spot for quiet or silent study. If you work better with more background noise, the campus coffee shop The Bridge is a good place to get some work done.
Most students want part-time work to earn extra money or build up their CVs. I’ve had a few jobs at uni, but the ones I have most enjoyed have been working for the university itself. Becoming a student ambassador is a fun way to get seasonal work and build up your communications skills. You can also work for the student Union itself at venues on campus, these have zero-hours contracts that are flexible around your studies. The university offers a great careers service that provides advice and helps find students jobs or summer internships.