‘Pints make everything better’: Meet the Newcastle and Northumbria alumni full of humble wisdom

How can you not adore the memories made in the Toon?


Moving to Newcastle for university, either for three, four or more years comes with another level of excitement.

Without boasting (cue us boasting so hard), Newcastle is the infamous number one student city. Be that the cheap booze, the great universities, living it up in suburbia Jesmond or being a stones throw away from some beautiful beaches.

Crazy as it is, it's the timeless story of the Newcastle student. Moving inevitably from the home counties or Northern Ireland (so many Irish people) the story has been told for many before us.

We spoke to a handful of recent graduates to get their nostalgic thoughts on the Toon, some time after settling down in pastures anew.

Katie Sawyer

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Degree: English Literature BA (Hons) – Newcastle University – 2016-2019

Lived in: Manor Bank and West Jesmond

Fav Newcastle Club: Swingers

Current occupation: Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) finalist at the University of East Anglia (UEA)

Current location: Norwich, Norfolk

What do you miss about Newcastle? I miss the city itself. It's such a great place to be and there's always something going on. Everything is in walking distance, there were always different events going on and everybody is just super friendly! I'm now living at home and I'm really missing the independence that I had when living in Newcastle and the ease of being able to hop on a Metro and go to the beach. It's such a fab city and I lived in West Jesmond which was super convenient.

Any advice for current students? Always try and balance your uni work alongside actually doing things. Just try and be strict with yourself and keep on top of things because it is then so much nicer to go out guilt free. Make the most of the city, find new pubs to visit, go to places outside of the city centre and where you live. If you're anything like me you'll miss Newcastle so much when you're gone so definitely make the most of it whilst you're there!

Alex Ball

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Degree: Psychology BSc (Hons) – Newcastle University – 2015-2018

Lived in: Castle Leazes (yeehaw) and West Jesmond

Fav Newcastle club: Rusty's

Current occupation: Events Executive at Advanced Ltd

Current location: Birmingham, West Midlands

What do you miss about Newcastle? The societies, my friends, the lack of responsibility, student deals, the campus, Bar Loco

Any advice for current students? Don't underestimate the power of a night in, get to the library before 9am during exam season if you want to get a seat, the Marj is an underrated gem.

Max Fosh

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Degree: English Literature and Business Combined Honours – Newcastle University

Lived in: Jesmond

Favourite Newcastle club: MSA

Current occupation: I work as a freelance content creator for YouTube

Current location: White City, London

What do you miss about Newcastle? I miss the proximity of your best mates.

Any advice for current students? My advice would be to join as many societies as possible. Uni is the time to figure out what you want to do with your life. An experience with a society can spark a passion that will take you into working life.

Chris Frazer

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Degree: Agriculture BSc – Newcastle University – 2013-2016

Where did you live in Newcastle? Sandyford

Favourite Newcastle club: Flares

Current occupation: Agronomist/Agricultural sales

Current location: Newry, Northern Ireland

What do you miss about Newcastle? Uni life and having your pals nearby

Any advice for current students? Make the most of uni: "Live, laugh, love" – Julia Roberts.

Izzy Hall

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Degree: Journalism, Media and Culture BA (Hons) – Newcastle University – 2015-2019

Where did you live in Newcastle? West Jesmond

Favourite Newcastle club? Swingers – always Swingers. I also had a love/hate relationship with Flares.

Current occupation: Charity Communications volunteer

Current location: York

What do you miss about Newcastle? Everything. The Geordies, cheap trebs, Blanc, living with your mates, £2 Tuesdays, wearing pyjamas all day

Any advice for current students? Find yourself a good library playlist and buy a keep cup. Pints make everything better, especially when you’re crying over your diss.

Will Hamilton-Davies

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Degree: Journalism, Media and Culture – Newcastle University – 2016-2019

Where did you live in Newcastle? I lived amongst the grime of Castle Leazes for first year before being sold the dream of living in Jesmond for second and final year. Sure, Jesmond offered all of the hype we were sold on, it's just a shame that we were conned into the belief that Kimberly Gardens was in the Jesmond bracket (those pesky agents).

Favourite Newcastle club? The funkiness of World HQ always held a special place in my heart.

Current location: I'm unashamedly living back in Bristol with my parents. I stumbled into the world of children's literature after university; naturally, a part-time job as a Waiter and a full-time residency at my Dad's house came with it.

Current occupation: There was nothing formulaic about my journey into writing. I enjoyed networking and building the narrative around a brand. It wasn't until an email conversation with a retired primary school teacher, Shiela – in which I was told my writing was, "crying out for illustration" – that I even considered becoming an author.

As it happens, self-publishing demands all the same skills as a founder, salesman and marketer combined – I absolutely love it! Now, after months of relentlessly planning and stargazing, I've launched my first picture book – "The Shrew with the Flu" – via Kickstarter. You can check it out here.

Dubheasa McGrinder

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Degree: Media Production BA (Hons) – Northumbria University

Where did you live in Newcastle? Heaton and South Gosforth

Favourite Newcastle club? Blu Bambu or Liquid

Current Location: County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Current occupation: Dementia Trainer, Alzheimer's Society

What do you miss about Newcastle? All the lovely Geordies and nights out on the Toon

Any advice for current students? Get to know the city, the locals, and enjoy time there during the summer months to see what Newcastle is really like.

Tom Robinson

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Degree: Economics BSc (Hons) – Newcastle University

Where did you live in Newcastle? Henderson Hall, Heaton and Jesmond

Favourite Newcastle club? Riverside

Current Location: Gateshead

Current occupation: Manager at Apple

Any advice for current students? Visit some other cities while you're studying and you'll appreciate just how good Newcastle is!

The consensus is clear from the North East alumni that Newcastle really is the best place for university!