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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Jess Boxall BSc Biomedical Science – 2020

Jess Boxall's Photo

I chose Southampton as it was one of the top universities for my degree so it was immediately one of my options.  It was the first university I visited and straight away I loved the atmosphere, I could really see myself studying here.  I remember my Mum saying that we had more to visit and to keep an open mind but I knew this is where I wanted to study from the get-go.

Before getting here, one thing I was anxious about was being so far away from home and my family, I am definitely more of a homebird. I worried about how difficult the course would be too, and whether you’d receive help like you do during school and sixth form.

I was really lucky in that I lived in a big flat of 12 with a real diversity of people.  I quickly made friends with my flatmates and people nearby that did the same course as me.  I kept myself very busy so I didn’t have enough time to miss home!  I started dancing again and threw myself into every opportunity.  My tutor was also super helpful and I never once felt like I couldn’t ask for help, however stupid my question was, from him or any of my lecturers.  They often had manic emails at awful hours.

I’m enjoying the variability and choice of my modules. I love that I have such flexibility when I pick what I want to study and I have the chance to learn about things I hadn’t considered before. I’m currently undertaking an interdisciplinary module called Engineering Replacement Body Parts which I am loving.

What is it like studying here?

I find my course really fascinating.  The lecturers are really enthusiastic about what they are teaching and there’s lots of variability in terms of learning methods such as practicals and tutorials.  I feel safe whenever I’m in Southampton; there is a real community feeling around campus and in halls.

What are you enjoying most about your course?

I’m enjoying the variability and choice of my modules.  I love that I have such flexibility when I pick what I want to study and I have the chance to learn about things I hadn’t considered before. I’m currently undertaking an interdisciplinary module called Engineering Replacement Body Parts which I am loving.

How has your time at Southampton helped you to grow as a person?

I feel a lot more confident in my academic ability than I anticipated and in my interpersonal skills.  University throws you into the deep end of an adult, independent life and the actual transition is hard but gives you a lot of confidence and a lot of real life skills in the process from cooking dinner to sewing up a dance costume to budgeting and making sure you don’t starve before the end of the semester, while doing all of your work, having a social life and getting involved in societies!  University has definitely improved my time management that’s for sure.

What was your reason/motivation for undertaking your course?

My little brother was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at a very young age and I spent a lot of time in the hospitals with him and other children, constantly curious about what was going on.  It really sparked an interest in science for me and why these things happen, and why we do what we do to treat them.

What have been your Southampton ‘highlights’ so far?

I have loved representing the university competing with USD in the Advanced Tap Squad.  I’m also Treasurer of the Tap Society and a member of a lot of the other dance societies too!  I have really enjoyed the different hospital visits I’ve done to the Clinical Trials Unit, the IDS and the BMIU.

What is the city of Southampton like to live in?

The city is like a mini London.  The night-life is diverse and there is always something to do from ice skating to the markets to a new quirky restaurant. I always feel safe in the city centre.

What are your future career plans?

I hope to go on to anti-cancer research or to clinical trials management to see the next step in the research process.  I’m still also considering post-grad med or even a transition training course in London to become a clinical scientist to work in diagnostics.

What one word sums up how you feel about your experiences so far at Southampton?

Incredible

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