You can only say you spent lockdown in Newcastle if you’ve done these 15 things
Walking to Tesco and back does not count as you ‘getting out the house’
With a light at the end of this lockdown tunnel now in sight, it’s time to look back on our experience of spending lockdown in Newcastle.
Aside from the obvious negatives (if I hear the words “time for breakout rooms” one more time I might cry), spending lockdown in Newcastle has allowed us to find some much needed moments of relief.
From exploring the wild sites of Jesmond for picnics, finding ways to spice up house drinking nights, and dressing up for the weekly Tesco trip, we have tried to make the best out of our situation, finding the fun in the simplest of things.
While all of our lockdown experiences were different, some things were a universal experience to any student who spent lockdown in the Toon.
Had a picnic at Jesmond Dene or Exhibition Park
Who cares if the weather is still below 10 degrees? As soon as the sun comes out all students flock to the nearest patch of green with tote bags filled with sausage rolls, sandwiches, and cake.
With some obnoxiously chill playlist blaring out on a speaker and the sun shining down, it’s very easy to forget about that work you really should have been doing instead. Stuffing your face with way too much picnic food, trying to take photos where your eyes aren’t squinting in the sun, and constantly keeping an eye out on that football you’re convinced will be heading your way makes the perfect wholesome group activity to get you all out of the house.
Rode an electric scooter
Who knew electric scooters could bring so much joy to a student community? It’s a well-known fact that you can’t be sad when on one unless you’ve run to get one only to find it’s been reserved.
Couldn’t be bothered to walk to the Metro station? Fancied a quick sightseeing tour of Jesmond? Wanted to experience Mario Kart in real life? The scooters provide opportunities for all and supplied some well-needed fun and excitement during lockdown.
Pretended your house was a club
Student life without pubs and clubs has been difficult. We’re all missing the sweaty dance floors of Soho, reminiscing about having a boogie in Flares, or thinking about the next time we’ll drink a treb in Market Shaker.
What better way to fuel your dancing and drinking desires by pretending your house or halls is a club? Work was procrastinated to make the rooms feel as authentic as possible: buying signature drinks, making signs – even setting up your own lollipop stand in the bathroom.
It might not have been the same, but it certainly made a change from your daily evenings just sat in front of the telly.
Been to see the shoe tree
It’s just a tree with shoes in it, but with daily walks being the only way to really get out of the house, the classic sights of Newcastle have become a source of excitement.
You probably only stood there for a few minutes, made up theories as to how it was started, and commented on how, before you leave uni, you will have to throw some shoes up there before heading back home.
But the walk is worth it, the scenery of the park never fails to make a good Insta story, and at least it got you out of the house.
Been to see the big spoon
For those with access to a car, the desire to see classic sights was furthered with a drive to see the big spoon.
It’s literally just a big spoon in a field, but you have the smugness of knowing only those with access to cars have the privilege of seeing it.
Ordered too many takeaways
You once thought that lockdown would mean you being able to save up some money, with no spending money on drinks on nights out, or eating at restaurants.
But the ease of ordering a takeaway, and being persuaded by a friend to do so, quickly became a problem.
Lockdown has meant there aren’t many ways to celebrate things such as birthdays, end of exams, and deadlines being met, so takeaways have quickly become the answer.
Alongside nights of drinking and days in isolation, the amount of takeaways consumed is unthinkable. But I mean, anyone for a takeaway tonight?
Been scared of Operation Oak
After seeing countless stories of houses allegedly being knocked on for simply having the TV too loud, whenever your house had a couple of drinks together any movement at the door instantly bought fear.
Windows had to be kept shut in fear of creating too much noise, curtains closed to stop the flashing LEDs lighting up the street outside, and the music was constantly turned down whenever someone thought they heard something outside.
Gone sledging on Town Moor
The miserable weather of winter finally gave us a break when snow covered the Town Moor. Snowmen were made (and quickly destroyed), snowball fights were had, and students flocked to the hills to sledge.
Everything from bin bags, baking trays, to actual snowboards were seen making the most of the snow.
Had a Covid scare
One of your housemates complained of having a cough or made a passing comment on how they couldn’t taste their food, and it resulted in you manically booking tests for the whole household that day.
This ended in either a huge breath of relief at negative results or a panicked investigation into who brought Covid into the household and where they got it from.
You couldn’t possibly work with your symptoms so with PEC forms sent off, your days of illness were spent binge-watching Netflix as a household and constant complaining about how you felt.
Gone to Tynemouth
With such a huge stretch of beach available to us, it only makes sense that every so often a Metro trip was had for a change of scenery and some proper fresh air.
Warm sunny walks along the sand were had, and many flasks of hot chocolate (or something stronger) were drunk at cold evening picnics.
Had weekly themed nights as a house
There are only so many drinking games a house can play before everyone knows everything about each other (probably too much) and nights start to get dull.
So in the spirit of Thursday Sports nights gone by, themed nights (ideas often stolen from TikTok) began.
Popular themes included “anything but clothes” night, “dress as your type”, and “famous duos”. Hilarious costumes and hideous attempts at acting bought some fun back into house evenings.
Been mad when the Robbo shut even though you never went there anyway
You promise you really were going to start trying to go, but lockdown had other plans. Ah well, might as well just wait until next year to try again.
Baked… probably too much
What better way to procrastinate work than by baking?
Your housemates certainly never complained, enjoying the results of your procrastination on the regular.
Everything from a cake, brownies, to something a little fancier like cheesecake was attempted, and despite the limitations on equipment in a student house, Mary Berry would be proud.
Argued that walking to Tesco is you “getting out the house”
I’m sorry – but walking to Tesco, queuing for your meal deal, and walking back home does not count as you getting out of the house.
It’s been hard to get out of the house most days, especially with more and more deadlines approaching, but a five-minute walk to Tesco does not count, no matter how much you try and convince your housemates.
That being said, the queue is one of the few opportunities to see and catch up with friends you haven’t seen in months at a distance, and with a queue that long, months worth of catching up can easily be achieved.
Lived the same day every day for the past 6 months
Wake up, work, eat, watch TV, sleep, repeat.
Despite the many fun activities Newcastle has had to offer this lockdown, life has felt pretty monotonous for all. Staring at the same screen, seeing the same faces, and walking the same route every day (there’s only so many times I can walk around Town Moor), life has gotten pretty boring by now.
But with the route out of lockdown now in place, here’s hoping that things will start to feel a bit more normal once we are back after the Easter break.
Although, you might want to start thinking of your next excuse not to go to the library now lockdown is no longer a valid one.