Welcome to Southampton and congratulations on giving up on life so early. I’m kidding— that’s the welcome speech for Solent freshers, and it’s a great introduction to the first and most important thing you need to know about UoS: we’re not Solent. On that note, anyone who asks, ‘Which Soton uni do you go to?’ and gets offended when I say, ‘The actual one,’ has just proven my point. But, now that we’ve got the most important lesson out of the way, allow me to introduce you to your definitive and totally reliable guide to your time at Southampton. That’s right—beneath the shiny brochures and Open Day pomp lurks the abyss that will be your uni experience, and we’re delving into the deep.
- Only freshers wear heels to Sobar
…and it’s a mistake they will only make once. Falling down the stairs at Sobar is a Soton rite of passage and you’ll do it at least once in your uni career. It just hurts so much more in heels. So, heed my advice and get ahead of the game. Knowledge is power, people.
Take a good sniff when you first step into Jesters, kids, because Soton’s most popular student nightclub — ironically known as ‘the palace of dreams’ — has somehow managed to capture the scent of drunken texts to your ex, your most cringe-worthy moments, and the feeling you get when that Blackboard submission window closes. It’s a scent you’ll keep with you for your entire degree, and the first thing your friends will notice about you when you go home. However, there’s a reason people still go there… and it’s totally for the Jesticle.
- Stags Karaoke
If you haven’t sung at Stags on a Thursday night with your mates, you don’t go here.
- The Bridge isn’t a real bar
…but it has a special place in my heart. The cocktails are 2 for £7.95, they’re delicious and it’s probably the only bar where you can unironically bring your laptop. So, if you’re ever looking for a sweet spot to revise with a martini… you’re welcome. Sincerely, someone who did all of her coursework at The Bridge.
- The walk up Church Lane to campus definitely counts as a workout
Pro tip: on days when you only have the motivation to drag yourself to a lecture, you can also brag about making time to exercise, because walking up Church Lane so counts! However, if you’re hungover, just know that even the threat of failing your whole degree is not necessarily sufficient motivation to brave this hill. And on that topic…
- Highfield Campus
Great when you need it, but beyond that, you’ll forget it exists. Mostly because any time you look at it, you’re reminded that this aesthetic is the price of not getting into Oxbridge. It hasn’t been updated since, well, forever, but on the bright side, there are lots of pretty flowers and semi-aesthetic statues that you’ll choose as a backdrop for your requisite graduation selfies.
- Your 20s will primarily be spent getting drunk and going to the grocery store
Not so much a Southampton fact than simply a sad uni life/adulthood fact, but it’s still applicable. Also, there’s nothing to do around here, so wandering the aisles at Sainsbury’s is a sweet bet.
So, given that all of this is 100% true and definitely not snarky in any form… what are you waiting for? All of these elements of the Soton experience—and so many more—will now be yours for the next three years! Go forth and become one of us, so that you too may one day be found crying and revising in a pub.