Why Southampton is the best university in the world
League tables can’t put a number on character
I sat in front of my computer as a bright-eyed and hopeful year thirteen student. With my UCAS application almost ready, I went to fill in my university choices. There was only one place I wanted to go, one place which offered everything I wanted. Sadly I went and ballsed up my A-Levels, and somehow found myself at Southampton.
As I’ve come to discover, coming to Southampton is actually pretty great. I’ve almost completely forgotten about being brutally rejected by Durham, honest (ABB is PERFECT and they are fools for rejecting me).
The atmosphere at Southampton is fantastic. Unlike Oxbridge or Durham we have an acceptable number of private school kids, meaning you won’t feel out of place if your wardrobe is devoid of Jack Wills or if your dad doesn’t own a yacht. The vast majority of people are very chilled, and we attract students from all over the world so the uni has a very diverse feel.
The campus itself is a delightful blend of artistic new-build lecture theatres and some the most hideous concrete monstrosities you will ever see, with the gorgeous Hartley Library standing proud at its centre. We have a huge number of halls rooms available, from the vast Wessex Lane complex to the brand new Gateway Halls. Southampton is truly a place where the old and the new exist in perfect harmony (until we get permission to bulldoze the ugly bits).
As a uni, Southampton is on the up. This year has seen a record intake of freshers, and we have risen in various league tables. More students means more money for the uni to plough back into facilities and staff, so expect to see development continuing over the next few years.
Sure, we’re no Cambridge when it comes to academics, but what we lack in league table places we more than make up for in nightlife (and let’s be honest does anyone REALLY care about boat races). Every night of the week offers a student option at pretty reasonable prices. From the infamous Jesters to the slightly more high-brow Switch or Bedford Place, there’s something to suit all tastes.
The music scene in Southampton is growing. The emergence of Switch has helped bring some big house DJs in and created the Soundclash festival, while Bestival founder Rob Da Bank flexed his musical muscle to create Common People, a Bestival satellite festival which was a hit at the start of Summer. If dance music isn’t your thing there’s always the chart music in Sobar or the Oceana cheese room to retreat to (I’ll be the guy cutting shapes to Don’t Stop Movin’).
Finally, our location is another bonus. We’re far enough away from London so that house prices and living costs aren’t astronomical, but close enough that most of the country is easily accessible via road, sea or even from Southampton Airport. Plus we’re not in the North, so that’s something.
Southampton isn’t the pinnacle of academia, or the most picturesque city. But despite this, it’s a place every student comes to love. It is everything you could want from a university; a place where you are guaranteed to have a good time with some great people, and you come out with a degree at the end of it all.