Jumpstart Week

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Jumpstart week made a good impression on most students when they discovered that it didn’t begin until 11:30am on Monday, allowing for healthy amounts of fun over the weekend. First impressions were improved when we found out that food had been provided in liberal amounts for us, free of charge.

During the introduction, we were told that Jumpstart was designed as a means for introducing us to ECS, to the city of Southampton, and most importantly, to each other. The tasks for Monday included taking photos of various areas of Southampton, including many ‘bonus’ photo opportunities that would earn us extra brownie points when the time for judging came.

The task for Tuesday was a scavenger hunt set across the Campus, collecting items, photos, and information about the campus. Tasks ranged from collecting fliers from Freshers’ events, to photos of local wildlife, to the (elusive) free slice of pizza. Around the scavenger hunt, we received talks from Professor Nigel Shadbolt, head of the British Computing Society, and were also introduced to the helpdesk facilities.
Tuesday evening was a welcome event for new ECS Freshers, organised by the Electronics and Computer Science Society. This started off in the marquee on the Highfield Campus, and moved on to the Mitre and the Hobbit. Free drinks were provided in the marquee, with cans of beer, fruit juices, and some decidedly dodgy wine. Nevertheless, many people indulged, and with no ECS events organised for Wednesday due to the Bunfight, people could relax and consume (un)healthy amounts of alcohol.

Thursday required groups to create a poster including all of the photos taken on the Monday. This seemingly simple task was taken to with enthusiasm by most people, and with most unwilling to return at 10am on Friday to finish it, the race was on.  Intelligent 18 and 19 year olds spent an afternoon cutting and sticking, drawing and colouring in, and everyone had a great time! That must speak volumes for this generation.

Friday was a slightly more serious day, with an introduction from Professor Harvey Rutt, the head of school, and talks from the Chaplaincy, Zeppler reception, and numerous other people. There were also specific introductions by the leaders of the various courses. After this, students had to meet their personal tutors, and then return to the marquee for the prize giving ceremony for the week’s work.

Although I won nothing for my efforts, Jumpstart was an extremely effective introduction to ECS. By spending a whole week concentrating on getting to know my fellow students, as well as important figures from ECS, I felt extremely welcome and settled in quickly. Compared to my flatmates, who in comparison spent only 1-2 days in induction events, I felt I had much fewer questions and worries. It was a very useful experience, and helped prepare me for my first week proper at Southampton.

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