We know every expectation you had of Durham, before reality crushed them all
You think you know…
Picture the scene. Four months ago. You’ve got your offer, your car is all packed up for the long drive north, and all you can picture is wandering along our quaint cobbled streets, mingling with the intellectual elite and maybe even joining the ranks of our distinguished alumni.
Of course, there may have been a few rumours that you heard about us. Now you’re well into your second term, you should have a pretty good idea about what is, in Durham, officially fake news.
Just in case you’re still struggling to distinguish between your actual and alternative facts, here is our handy guide to Durham expectations versus reality.
Expectation: You will live in a castle
Reality: Yes, we do have a castle. And there are a few lucky students who get to call it home. But actually, even the majority of Castle members don’t live within these hallowed halls but instead in rather more average lodgings.
In all honesty you will more likely be living in a grey sixties block with questionable heating standards and maybe even a view of a building site if you’re really lucky. But hey, it’s not all bad. The super thick castle walls would probably wreak havoc with your Wi-Fi connection.
Expectation: Everybody is from the Home Counties
Reality: Admittedly this one does have a kernel of truth in it. Sometimes it seems as if the whole of Surrey has upped sticks and decided to swap their Pret panini for a classic Greggs sausage roll.
But for all you hardcore Northerners rest assured, there will always be the faithful few ready to mock their long vowels and inform the rest of Durham that actually it’s not cold outside. In fact, this is just summer in the North.
Expectation: Doxbridge is a thing
Reality: We may have colleges, formals, and possibly even think we’re just a cut above the average university experience. But trying to push the whole ‘it’s practically Oxbridge’ philosophy will get you nowhere and will only remind everyone how much you’re still hurting over your rejection letter. I mean we all feel you, we’ve just gotten better at numbing the pain and consoling ourselves at an SNK (Sunday night Klute). Speaking of which…
Expectation: Klute is the worst nightclub in Europe
Reality: Technically Klute was only bestowed with this honourable title by default after the original worst nightclub in Europe burnt down (or so goes the rumour). And they certainly like to laud it over the rest of us.
However, aside from the sticky floors and the unapologetic cheese of their playlists there isn’t a lot of bad stuff to be said about them that isn’t also applicable to practically every other nightclub in Durham. In fact, they’ve even had a bit of a makeover recently. So go on, grab your Woodgate and turn up “Cotton Eye Joe”…
Expectation: 70% of people meet their future life partner at Durham
Reality: I’ve heard various different figures relating to this phrase banded about over the years and while it may excite visions of finding ‘The One’ during Fresher’s Week, the average Durham student can in reality more often be found swiping left on Tinder or roaming the dancefloor hungrily at 1:46am on a Lloyds Wednesday.
For those of you who are hopeless romantics, Durham is actually listed as one of the universities with the most success rate regarding relationships, although the real number is nearer 25% mark.
So while there is a chance of finding true love across your lecture hall, those flirty exchanges with your library 'friend' will most likely amount to nothing. Sigh.
Expectation: Durham is the Hollywood of the North East
Reality: Some scenes of “Harry Potter” were filmed at the cathedral, and the Avengers briefly came to town and got a few pictures with a handful of people.
That’s pretty much it on the excitement front. So unless Chris Hemsworth is jacking in VIP for the Viaduct, your chances of an A-List encounter are about as likely as a calorie free Urban Oven. Sorry about that.