However, for some of our readers, this journey down to the sunny south coast has yet to be made, and will soon be the start of their own ‘life at Southampton’. Everyone experiences nerves before they move into halls (it’s a natural human response!), but I want to give five tips from my own experiences that will hopefully let excitement be the prevailing emotion you feel!
1. Invest in a Doorstop. There’s a reason why the word ‘doorstop’ is on almost all fresher advice lists; because it’s good advice! If your door is open during the first few days, other students from within your halls who are exploring or on a friend-finding quest are bound to stick their heads round and say hello.
2. Put on music. When I was moving into halls in my first year, the person living a door down from me put on some music while he began to unpack. When I heard music playing I was drawn out of my room and when I realised I liked the band that was playing it made starting a conversation easy! Many students find this to be a good ice-breaker (just make sure it’s at a respectable volume) and clearly it works, because I still live with that same friend three years on!
The view of Glen Eyre Halls from the kitchen of my flat in first year
3. Explore Southampton. When you move into halls for the first time, you receive a Uni-link bus pass - so why not make the most of it and explore what Southampton has to offer? That’s exactly what my flatmates and I did in the days following moving in; we visited West Quay, a giant shopping centre in the middle of the city, and went on a toaster-finding mission!
4. Say ‘Yes’. During your first week, and indeed first year, you’ll be confronted with many new things to try out. The Bunfight is the best way to discover all the weird and wonderful societies the University of Southampton and SUSU have to offer and you’re bound to come across things that you’re not sure about. My advice is to say ‘yes’ to these new activities and try to give everything a go. Many societies will have taster sessions allowing students from all years to try out the activity with no obligation to come back; so why not give it a go?
Action from a Physics badminton competition I took part in last year
5. Get involved with your course. Whether it’s playing sport for your subject, attending socials or running for a position on the committee, getting involved in your subject’s society can be a rewarding process. Also take advantage of everything your subject offers academically from your very first year; attend any seminars held by guest lecturers, apply for internships and utilise all of the learning infrastructure available. At the end of your course you’ll be glad that you made the most out of the opportunities available to you here at Southampton!
Ultimately, the most important part of starting your university life is to enjoy yourself and to do whatever makes you happy. If you explore all that Southampton has to offer, and get involved with whatever you’re interested in, I’m sure you’ll love the city and the university as much as I do!