How to become a walking, talking Newcastle Uni cliché

A handy checklist to ensure you’ve ‘made it’

Clichés are rife in student life. It seems that the tuition fees come with a few included. They always seem so callow from the outside.

You watch as Harry and Laura try and make it work for the 6th time this term. “This time it will be different” they promise the world. “How naive” you think, “that will never be me”. Such a played-out narrative. You and your mates saw this shitshow coming from a mile off. It’s different for you and Emily though. You two really have something special, right?

Sleep with your flatmate

I heard from that guy in the year above who’s “banged a few worldies” since making the uni lacrosse team. Such a rookie error I thought to myself. Of all the girls in the world just three are off limits.

Two weeks later I was banging my flatmate. We both knew it was stupid and wouldn’t last. It didn’t stop us though. It was probably the first cliché I fell into at uni, and it’s a story repeated by a hundred hopeful and deluded souls every year.

Newcastle is full of drugs, and you’ll take a lot

I heard that one a lot before I arrived in this city and well, they were right. I really hadn’t conceived the magnitude of power the human septum, combined with the apparent meta-physicality of the student loan and of course the fact your local drug dealer is probably a bloke you’ll be seeing in lectures next week.

It’s more than likely that before you graduate uni you’ll be sat at an afterparty, in a stranger’s flat confessing your love for them, the DJ, his set, uni, the city, that girl’s cute shoes, your new mate who gave you a bump, your dealer and telling people your lecturer is legend for that one half-decent joke he cracked in freshers. Only to stumble away around 5am clammy and slightly stoned to never see your “single-serving friends” again. You’ll do it all again within the year though.

Just say no

Find ‘friends for life’

Ah yes, you’re sat there listening as your dad reminisces about pints with the “lads”. It seems like a time more akin to the shire than the 21st century. A few months later however, you find yourself on a night out that has felt more eventful than Homer’s Oddesey. As you stumble through town, you look to your left to see one of your friends expelling bodily fluids at an alarming rate. Knowing full well the night is young, as the trebs draw you in like a sirens call. Hours later, you arrive home, somehow, feeling an intense sense of belonging with these people who have chosen to poison their bodies beyond function with you.

A few months later you realise your conversation is no more than a series of inside jokes. These people know your darkest stories, its probably best you stay friends.

Trapped in a cage of emotions

Don’t go to lectures

Well its just maths isn’t it. Look around next time you crawl to a 9am. Enjoy the brief moment of satisfaction before the inescapable dissonance sets in. Anyway, who really needs to go in when there’s ReCap?

Only wear vintage sportswear

Is there anything cooler? Has it got three stripes on it? Is it too big for you? Did you get it from ASOS Marketplace? Is it something a homeless man would have worn in the 90s? Does it look awful? Did you pick it up at a vintage fair, for more than its original value? If the answer was yes to any of the above then congratulations, you are edgy. If you haven’t already affiliated yourself with a major sports brand, what have you been wearing? You may as well have been dressed by a monkey.

Take up smoking. It may not be good for you, but it’s good for your rep

Ah yes that unhealthy, addictive waste of money. It started in the smoking area during freshers. You look over and see a group of people you recognise from your course. They all look so edgy; they’re having a great time. What’s the point in actually ever being in the club you think to yourself? This is the life. You go and ask one of them for a cig; embarrassingly they’ll have to roll it for you (because you don’t smoke).

A few months later, there’s nothing wrong with a few social cigs here and there on a night out. You may as well have a few bifta’s at the pub while you’re there. Obviously, you deserve a smoke after a long lecture. Got an assignment due, may as well have a cig to consulate. You’re mates asked you for a fag, may as well have one yourself.  You’ve started buying 50g pouches because you hate being that guy who bums cigs all the time. So you’re up to maybe 7/8 a day no biggie. You can stop whenever you want, obviously not now though, you’re gasping for a dart.

Smoking thrills

Clichés exist for a reason. It’s impossible to get through life without meeting and learning something from them. Like a classic Simpsons episode they hold great value no matter how many times they are replayed around us.