Student Blog: Sophomores Take Southampton

By Jonathan Wang ’20, Galen Ng ’20, Mary McGuinness ’20, and Max Pierce ’20

Five months, four Webbies, a foreign country, and a mission to meet Ed Sheeran, eat the best fish and chips in England, get hired at Lloyd’s Register, marry into the Royal Family, make it to class on time.

Southampton University, with a Webb factor of roughly 240, is proving to be a bit of a college culture shock for the four of us. Here, we are slowly learning how to be real people and behave in social situations that are not comprised of only Webbies. And even though we would do questionable things to have Chef Wiener fly here to cook for us, we are very excited to be across the pond broadening our perspective and learning Ship Science just steps away from Lloyd’s Register.


Mary, Max, and Galen attending a Premier League football game that Southampton played in.


It has only been three weeks in England so far, and while we have not met the Queen yet, we have learned a few things while here:

  1. Southampton has neat ships: We discovered this at the Southampton Boat Show. We also gained a taste for luxury, seven-figure yachts. After stepping aboard the biggest and most luxurious yachts on display, we are now hoping to spend Sea Term sailing on a megayacht.
  2. Boldrewood Innovation Campus is pretty awesome: As Shippies here at Southampton, some of our classes are located at a new campus called Boldrewood. The modern looking campus is brand new and has buildings for the university and Lloyd’s Register. It does not disappoint inside either as it is home to a 138-meter towing tank, UAV labs, and a large computer lab which we’ve used to learn FEA and CFD.
  3. Walking is hard: Traveling to classes has been one of the biggest changes for us. When a class finishes, we must gather our belongings and walk across the campus to the next lecture hall. We also often have classes at other campuses, which means walking an additional 0.8 miles each way. Gone are the days of rolling out of bed at 8:59 AM and hightailing it into the classroom or napping between classes. We now have to factor in half an hour in the morning to get from our dorm to classes
  4. We are in more societies than just SNAME: From Cake Decorating Society to Actuarial Science, there’s a society for just about anything. Between the four of us, we’ve joined societies including Break Dancing, Water Polo, Athletics and Cross Country, and Pottery.
  5.  The Bubonic Plague a.k.a. Fresher’s Flu was never actually eradicated: Turns out when you squeeze hundreds of freshers together in dorms and lecture halls, the flu spreads like wildfire. We’ve all been sick to some degree, and the frequency of coughs in lectures is at about 3 seconds right now. Hooray for the Cough Choir!
  6. Stonehenge rock: Although it is smaller than it appears to be on the cover of National Geographic, it is still impressive when you consider the builders somehow managed to stack some massive rocks on top of each other. While visiting Bath before Stonehenge, we admired the architecture, toured some beautiful churches, and most importantly, had English tea. Mary particularly enjoyed the jam, Jonathan feasted on the clotted cream (to Galen’s disgust), and Galen devoured a peanut butter fudge brownie. On the trip, we also saw the beautiful English countryside and many sheep.
  7. Chef Weiner is a blessing: We took the lazy route and chose a part-catered meal plan instead of cooking all our meals. Frankly, the food served in our dorm leaves much to be desired. It is just not the same as Chef Weiner’s meals. Just thinking about all day bagels, cereal parties, fruit, and the salad bar brings tears to our eyes. We miss it all.

Of course, we are here at Southampton to study. To make sure everyone back at Webb knows we are not slacking off, we have evidence of our studiousness.



“Look! A wild heat pump!”


Galen and Mary taking some time to study in front of the historic Stonehenge Rock.