The hardships of being a Londoner in Durham

Durham needs a Primark asap

When applying to university, I carefully selected campuses far outside the London bubble. I was promised friendlier people, cheaper pints, and generally a happier outlook on life. Yet, everyone failed to prepare me for the struggles of being a Londoner far away from the comfort of my home.

Here are the main painstaking challenges that Londoners living up North have to face:

The tea/dinner conundrum

Tea is a drink, not a meal.

When my Northern friends and me are huddled together on our shitty student mattresses, and one of them exclaims “Tea?” I am hoping for a hot mug of Earl Grey.

What I don’t want is dinner! Who thinks it makes sense to call dinner tea? What is the link between dinner and tea?!? How does the wondrous, lovely evening meal resemble a plain mug of tea?! Tea is already a much-loved British drink, why make it into food as well?

The term ‘dinner’ is so simple, so easy, so clear in its meaning. This madness needs to end right now.

Having to smile all the time

Smiling isn’t always easy

Yes, it’s great to smile at those who sit next to you on the bus, and it’s heartwarming to hear an old lady’s tales of the glorious days of her past. But sometimes you just want to allow your face to look miserable.

When summatives are being handed in late, and you’ve had to run up and down Cardiac Hill five times, you don’t want to smile at anyone whatsoever. I don’t want to respond to the barista’s smalltalk while he takes 500 years to make me my hot chocolate.

Sometimes, you just want to walk in, order, and leave within five minutes, avoiding any unecessary human interaction. No one ever informed me that the right to be moody doesn’t exist up here near the Wall.

The weather

Gloomy old Durham

My Instagram boasts pretty pictures of the Cathedral, carefully angled so the ugly scaffolding is out of view, but neither Valencia or Hudson or any array of Instagram filters can make the sky look any less gloomy.It ‘s like the Dementors live here; each day the sky gets greyer and my soul gets weaker.

Like the rest of Durham, my wardrobe boasts cute gapyah crop tops and funky printed shorts, yet here I am stuck with wellies and leggings because it is cold, depressing and dreary. Like the rest of my life.

Closing times

Why is there no place to buy a bra after 5pm?

Having had the luxury of living next to a 24 hour Asda all my life (fancy, right?), the fact that the Tesco closes at 10pm is absurd. What if I fancy a midnight snack? I have to wait till the morning like the rest of the world, or worse, walk to the Tesco on North Road in the middle of the night.

It’s so ridiculous, I might as well just walk back to Kings Cross. Furthermore, birthday presents have to be planned in advance, as the silly excuse of a shopping centre closes at 5:30pm.

To top it all off, there is no Primark, so socks and underwear have to be bought at the ludicrous prices of £5 at a reasonable time in the afternoon. Just not ok.

But hey, at least we have funky formal dinners, and the Matriculation photos are kind of cool.