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Monday 6 March 2017

See what applicants have to say about starting university

In the second of our two taster day reviews, we examine what it is really like to be a new student starting university for the first time. Here, potential student recruits, paying a recent visit to Solent, discuss some of the challenges and opportunities facing the average fresher.

Here’s what they discovered...


Five reasons to be cheerful about starting University

Social aspects, starting is a great opportunity to meet people. Certain residencies such as Lucia Foster can hold up to 800 people so you are always close to students in the same position as you.

  1. Turn to sights such as Student Hub to interact virtually with others and get your questions answered.

  2. University is a time in your life where you can follow your subject which you’re passionate about. Studying something your passionate about will make learning easier.

  3. Fresher’s fortnight! Make sure you get your wristband to have club access for two weeks.

  4. So many sports opportunities to get involved in ranging from Football, American Football and Rock climbing.

By Daniel Shadwell & Denzel Owusu


University – The Good vs The Bad

University. It can be a frightening experience for anyone, but it doesn’t have to be. University is a chance to see what you are capable of and a chance to get a taste of independent life.

We asked members of the student ambassador team what they have felt cheerful about university, as well as challenges that are common amongst new students coming to study at Solent University.

Student Loans

The Bad -

Money can be a worry, but fear not – student loans are there to help. The government is there to help the ordinary student fund their studies.

The Good -

The government is there to help the ordinary student fund their studies. Also available are scholarships and bursaries if you have financial trouble. Don’t let a figure of money put you off the prospect of going to university – there are also maintenance loans available to help you fund accommodation and everyday expenses. Don’t forget that money management is important throughout your studies.


The Bad –

Independence can be a shock, especially if you have been reliant on your family for sustenance and shelter, and coming into university you do not have family for help and you need to act on your own – which can make people homesick and miss their family. 

The Good –

Fret not – university is a time for you to make new friends. There are resources to help you feel at home whilst at university. Being independent helps students to create a balance of social and work life.


The Bad –

It is very important that you make the most of university as it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make your passions come true. What most people don’t do is take advantage of what university life has to offer – from academic and work opportunities to sport and society opportunities – you will get left behind if you do not take it up on yourself

The Good –

Don’t worry. It’s common for you to feel overwhelmed with all that university life has to offer, but taking it slowly and grasping these opportunities will help you in the professional as well as social life.

Exams and Assignments

The Bad –

Exams. The very thought of the word is enough to induce panic into most students. Whilst you do have to attend the lectures and do the work in class time, revision is just as important.

The Good –

The exam process is just one part of the university experience. Don’t over complicate the revision sessions. There are enough help resources to help you make this easy for you. The University is there to advise you in tough times to help you manage time and manage the workload effectively

These are only a few examples and don’t just take our word for it, ask around on forum sites and talk to family members who may have already experienced this exciting adventure.

Most importantly, don’t worry! There are thousands of others going through the same as you. So go on – complete that application and come to university!

By Avnish Hirani


An Insider’s guide to University

My visit to Southampton Solent University answered many of the questions I had before starting. Upon walking through the door I faced some sort of spaceship design, but in actual fact it was not quite as alien as I anticipated! Everyone I spoke to was very friendly, this became just one of the many reasons to choose Southampton Solent university to study at.

As well as the great student life and shopping all the lecturers are very approachable. Speaking to the Business and Communications team really illustrated this, they were more than happy to answer many questions we threw at them. Students confirmed this to be true in their everyday lives, with many actively seeking their teachers out when they needed help.

So what are the top five secrets to a successful university career?

1. Show up to your lectures! Sounds obvious but both students and teachers agree that this is easier said than done. Many students don’t value the information they are supplied with.

2. Take every opportunity that you are given. The university has many links within the city, teachers hold their own personal contacts that they are more than happy to share. Make full use of everything you are handed.

3. Be on time! Managing your time is key to success, if you make every milestone the results you receive will reflect this. Teachers vouch that grades will suffer over incomplete assignments.

4. It’s a big jump from college to university, student advice to take on board, be independent. Motivate yourself and work hard but give yourself time to rest.

 5. Have fun!

 By Lauren Stanton and Rebecca Taylor


The University Experience

“Daunting frightening and nerve-wracking”

These are a few of the words that some people would use to describe University. However, there is always a different way of seeing it…

A sense of freedom

One big and repeating theme that we encountered when conducting research about previous student’s views was the fact that people felt a new sense of freedom and a new way to approach things. This is something people really feel good about because there is no pressure or influence from other people, the university life is what you make it, it’s all about you, which leads into my next point…


This is similar to the previous point, you are made to do things for yourself, which in a sense can appear as a bad thing because you might be thinking, “I don’t know how to cook or clean or even get out of my bed before 9 o’clock on my own.” Yet on the other hand, having the opportunity to do what you want is a huge positive.


Now, yes it sounds cheesy saying that you will find all the opportunities you ever wished for but it is true. You will discover opportunities because people see that you are and employers or even experienced interested.

There are some challenges and we are not going to hide them:

Student Loans 

You realise that you will be paying a lot of money over the course of three or four years (and will be paying it off after your University degree has finished) but the fact that you have a degree will mean employers will want you! In fact, a statistic suggests that people with a degree, when compared to people without a degree, will earn an average of 20k more than most people which is a big way of paying the loan back.


This is something that I am personally aware of being a problem, when my brother first moved he was very flustered and originally wanted to come back because he didn’t know what to do and he just wanted to come home, but every single student will be thinking this.

It is a big step in your life and so adjusting yourself will always be difficult but after the first few days/weeks you will realise that everyone is having the same issues and once you start making friends and talking to people, that homesick worry or feeling that you once had will just disappear.

In the end, there will always be challenges facing you as well as positive thinks to think about, and it’s all about how you pass through the challenges them and embrace the positive, and most students will be in the same boat and be thinking very similar thoughts, so the best thing to do is to talk about it, and soon you will feel comfortable and inspired to gain a degree. 

By Robbie Searle


Five Reasons to be Cheerful about Starting University

The initial thought of university can be quite scary, new people new teachers and maybe even a new area. Also the thought of having to manage your own budget and finances, try not to go crazy and splurge on nights out or shopping trips with your student loan!

Here are four reasons why you should be cheerful about starting University!

Firstly, the amazing range of new opportunities that you get handed to you on a plate. The next few years will massively impact on your life, not only the work that you will be doing but the connections that you will make along the way.

Secondly, if you are moving away from home then you get to explore a new city, meet new people from all different backgrounds and cultures. Also, if you are a shopaholic like me then new shopping centres and shops – very exciting. Getting to know your own town or city will really pay off upon arrival. As a student you’ll probably want to know where your favourite fast food outlet is too.

Number three, freshers’ week. This is designed to help you settle in and a great way to meet new people and make new friends, from this you may discover new interests that you never knew that you had. While student nights and pub crawls are a feature of the week remember to pace yourself! There will be a lot of information to retain about your course and the university itself and you don’t want to burn yourself out at the start.

Number four, student discount. When you decide to come to university you may think that the financial side of being a student is going to be a struggle and very expensive. However, many businesses have adapted to give students discount wherever they can. You will be surprised, from clothes and shoes in Topshop to discount off a loaf of bread in Co-op, your NUS discount card will be your saviour!

By Amy New


Five Reasons to Look Forward to Starting University

University is often seen as a new chapter in your life and despite experiencing the unknown it should be an exciting time: new social groups, new pathways of education and new living arrangements. When going to uni it’s important you learn about yourself and experiment with things and it’s common to make mistakes. Therefore, it’s important you relish these opportunities and look forward to the potential that Southampton Solent University offers.

Fresh Start

University as mentioned is a time for new things, it gives the potential for you to move from your home town in which you may have lived in all of your life. Next university can make you feel cheerful and excited by studying something you have a passion for or believe in. I can sit here and reason for why you should come to Southampton Solent University but if you are reading this you have already accepted the idea of university and the possibility of you coming therefore you must decide if you want to change your life for the better and if university is the right choice for you.

Facilities & Equipment

Southampton Solent University offers the latest equipment with informative information allowing you to test and trial with the equipment in which the majority of businesses will be using the same industry standard technology. As well as this, software is another important facility that Southampton Solent offers in order to increase your knowledge and opportunities that are available.

Social Aspect

When coming to any university it offers a huge social aspect in terms of meeting new friends and social groups. However, Southampton offers a more cohesive environment in which people are more socially mixed which could be down to the exciting student halls, common rooms or the environment in which lecturers decide to run their lessons.


Throughout the courses that are run at Southampton Solent, the majority of lecturers have had experience in the industry.

By Zach Whitford


What to Look Forward to at Solent

Starting university can be a very daunting prospect and the fear of meeting new people from different backgrounds and cultures can take a lot of courage. However, once you get through this barrier there is a huge range of opportunities that are available which you may not have known about such as joining the rugby team or creating a social science community…

Here are some reasons to be cheerful about facing University, with the advice of current students here:


Max Herbert described the joys of facing university as “Fun, intriguing, life changing, helpful and most importantly awesome”. Max being a student ambassador highlights the progress that can be made from being a shy undergraduate to a confident and extremely enthusiastic student at the university. 


“Adventure with no destination” Matthew Gibson


Anmoud is a perfect example of why to be cheerful about starting a new career. Anmoud is currently starting his second degree at Southampton having travelled from India to England to further his studies. Despite missing the food and family at home in India, he found his first year at Solent “Fun and exciting, whilst also enjoying the freedom in a new Country and City.”


“Nightlife - because it is a key part to my university life, especially in the first year. It gave me the chances to engage with a greater number of people.” Jessica was also keen to stress the importance of her studies and the enjoyment of learning a brand new subject.

Overall, it’s clear to see the diverse community at Solent and how exciting it can be for an undergraduate to start a new adventure.

By Kristian Oake & Ben Miller