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The University of Southampton

Jared Wason MChem Chemistry, third year

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There are so many likeminded people at university who will build you up and want to see you succeed

An important part of choosing where to study was, for me, the location. Southampton provides the perfect ‘in between’ for a town and a city. Whilst everything you could possibly need is at your fingertips it isn’t as crowded as a larger city would be.

In addition, I spent a lot of time looking at league tables – Southampton had a record of high research quality so it seemed like the natural choice.

Making friends at university

One of my biggest fears when coming to university was about making friends – unlike at school, you don’t spend every minute surrounded by your peers and I was worried about how this would affect the friend making process.

Once I’d spent a week or so adjusting, I realised I’d been worrying for no reason – If you just act like yourself you’re bound to end up finding people with similar interests. This is especially true in Chemistry because of the time spent in the laboratories working with your classmates.

Becoming more well-rounded

I’d like to think that my time at university has helped me to become more well-rounded as a person – most of all it’s given me the opportunity to develop my time management skills, as the onus is on you to do the work necessary. I’ve also grown in confidence from various presentations and workshops which have consolidated my knowledge. The biggest change in myself is probably that I’m more self-aware, but less insecure than I was at school. That’s mostly due to the fact that there are so many likeminded people at university who will build you up and want to see you succeed.

The standard of teaching at Southampton is very high

Whilst every lecturer has a different style and some will suit you more than others, the standard of teaching at Southampton is very high – the amount of resources available to you for every part of the course is great, and the fact that almost all lectures are recorded, allowing you to revisit them at a later date, is incredibly useful for revision purposes.

The fact that we do all the 3 main parts of chemistry (organic, inorganic and physical) for the first 2.5 years lets you discover which bit interests you the most. You can then decide where to specialise. I really enjoy the fact that I’ve been able to explore my options before making any commitments.

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