Southampton Solent University has got a pretty bad rep amongst people I know of being a rubbish university with courses that aren’t real subjects. There’s a pretty big assumption that everybody who goes to Solent is stupid and only goes there because they couldn’t get in anywhere else. I wasn’t aware of this reputation until I got here, and the rivalry between Solent and University of Southampton became very clear. When I tell people which university I attend, I’ve had a lot of responses telling me that I go to “the rubbish one”. But here’s why they’re wrong.
I cannot express to you enough just how incredible my lecturers are. They don’t do this job for the money, but they do it because they are genuinely passionate about their subject, and it’s very, very clear. I have never seen somebody light up about poetry the way my lecturer Tom Masters does. They are such amazing, caring people who have a pure passion for their subject and their students. The thing is though, they feel sort of like your friends. When I went to other universities for open days, the lecturers seemed cold and disconnected from their students, and they just seemed authoritative and not particularly open. I am so lucky that I can open up to my lecturers. They’re the kind of people that you can go and see for a chat and they’ll offer you a cup of tea or coffee. They get so enthusiastic about their lectures and seminars, and they get excited about everybody else’s thoughts and ideas. The atmosphere in our seminars is completely different to anything else that I have ever experienced in the best way possible. These people love what they do.
Another thing that I love about this university is the other students. Pretty much everyone does a creative course or a sports course, and I have met the most diverse range of people. When I ask people what course they do, I’m never given the boring response of “history” or “maths”. That’s not a dig at anybody who studies those subjects, but let’s be honest, they’re not anything very exciting or out of the ordinary. At Solent, I know people who do animation, special effects, acoustics and audio engineering, game design, marine engineering, personal training, adventure and outdoor management, and so much more. I’m always getting excited about people’s courses. And you know what else is great about that? When you need a favour or some kind of creative job doing, you will always know somebody who can put something together for you. It might be a film, a website, an illustration, or anything else – you will more than likely know somebody who will help you out. Oh, and a bonus, nobody is pretentious and believes that they’re better than you. The people I’ve met here are the greatest people I have ever met, and I’ve made lifelong friends.
When you study at Solent, everything you could possibly need is right at your fingertips. Located right in the heart of the city, you’re a five minute walk from the high street. You don’t have to worry about catching a bus to uni, or wasting money on a taxi to get to the clubs and pubs. Everything is just right there for you without having to faff around. Southampton may be small, but it still has everything that you need. And the most exciting part is that you get to hear the boats honking their giant horns quite a lot. That never gets old.
I could waffle on about tech and all that fab stuff, but honestly I don’t know much about it. All I know is that Solent has got everything you could possibly need, with all the fancy tech that you could possibly dream of, from cameras to computers. Not to mention the library. Our library is open 24 hours when deadlines come around, and I’m pretty sure that it’s saved a lot of grades (and lives probably). There’s nothing I appreciate more than knowing that I can go to the library to use the vending machines when I’m craving chocolate at 3am. Oh, and I can’t forget the printers. This may sound sad, but the quality of the paper in the library is so nice. Obviously the paper isn’t the most exciting thing about the facilities at uni, but I just really appreciate it.
Yes, it’s far from home, and Southampton is a pretty small city where, honestly, not that much goes on (though it is getting a bit better). But I wouldn’t want to study anywhere else – I would pick Southampton Solent University over Oxford any day.