Portsmouth and Southampton Freshers

Guide to your first few weeks at university

Starting university as a student is one of life’s most exciting experiences. For many, it is the first chance to move out from home, either into halls or private accommodation. For some this can be a daunting experience, especially if you are an international student and so to help you settle in we’ve put together a simple freshers guide.

Get to know your neighbours!

Don’t be afraid to knock on doors and get to know your neighbours. Just like you, they will be apprehensive and keen to meet as many people as possible. Inviting other residents round for dinner is a really quick and easy way to become popular. Alternatively, if cooking isn’t a strong point of yours, why not see if your neighbour fancies watching a movie. Be pro-active in your friendship building and before you know it you’ll make loads of new friends. If your university accommodation has a common room, then make use of it! Common rooms provide a great place to chill out, have fun and meet new people. Unilife buildings have common rooms, gyms, on-site laundry and separate study rooms and so using them is a great way to meet new people.

Plug into university and Unilife social events

Make sure you are following your University’s Student Union social media pages and sign up for e-mail updates to keep up-to-date with opportunities and events. You can then handpick those which interest you and your friends. There are also likely to be special offers and promotions, but be warned the top events sell out fast!

Below are links to your University Facebook pages:

Southampton Solent Student Union
University of Portsmouth Student Union
University of Southampton Student Union

Unilife offers an extensive social events calendar too, including welcome events, Christmas parties and many others. These social events are very popular and an excellent opportunity to get to know other residents.

Join a university club or society

To get the most out of university you need to throw yourself into the action. Joining a club or society is a fantastic way to meet like minded people, whilst doing something you love. Alternately it’s a great opportunity to try something completely new! With literally hundreds of options to choose from, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone. Below are some quick links to help you:

University of Southampton:
A­-Z of Sports clubs
A­-Z of Societies

Southampton Solent University:
A­-Z of Sports clubs
A­-Z of Societies

University of Portsmouth:
A­-Z of Sports clubs
A­-Z of Societies

Create a financial budget

As tempting as it may be, don’t spend all your student loan in the first few  weeks – it does happen! Budgeting is an important part of enjoying your university life. You don’t want to run out of money early on and have to struggle through the rest of the year – that just creates stress and you could miss out on the big end of year / term events. Make sure you sign up for ​NUS extra​ or Unidays (Free) which offer great student discounts on a whole range of products and  services. It’s things like this which will help your money go further. One of the things that really helps our Unilife students is our simple all-inclusive pricing. All of our students have the peace of mind knowing that electricity, heating and water rates, contents insurance, TV licence and even laundry credit  for 25 washes and dries are included. This means no hidden extras, and no worries about dividing up bills with house mates.

Personalise your room

At some point everyone misses their family and friends back home, even if they don’t want to  admit it. Personalising your room can be a great way to smooth the transition to life in a new city. Put a stamp on your room! This is going to be your home for the next year or so and you want  it to feel that way. Photos and comforting items from home are a great place to start. If you need further inspiration, why not take a trip to IKEA. The closest one is Southampton.

Explore Southampton and Portsmouth

Your new town or city may seem daunting and scary at first, but the best way to get to know  your surroundings is to get out and explore Portsmouth and Southampton. Below are some links to your local tourist information websites where you can find out about your city and further afield. You will find information about events and inspiration for things to do when you are not studying or relaxing at home.

Southampton tourist information
Portsmouth tourist information
Hampshire tourist information
Tourism South East

Location is something we pride ourselves with. All Unilife buildings are right in the heart of the city putting you close to transport links, shopping complexes, restaurants, pubs, and clubs. Being in the city centre not only saves you time and money on travel, it also means that you can explore your new surroundings hassle free.

Enjoy yourself!    

The main thing to remember though, is to enjoy yourself! University life should be fun and rewarding. Try as many new opportunities as possible and make the most of your time as a student in Portsmouth or Southampton.

Don’t forget – our friendly team at Unilife are always here and committed to enhancing your university experience.

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