From promoters to Pret: Just 16 things Newcastle students are deadly afraid of

Apparently, the price of hummus is scarier than the clown from IT

We all have our fears. Whether it’s snakes, heights or Ed Sheeran – there’s always something that keeps us up at night. For me personally, it’s Northumberland Street. It quite literally haunts my dreams and you could not drag me there by the ankles. But what about you? What’s your deepest darkest fear? Let’s have a look, shall we:

1. The uni gym

I’m glad we’ve come to the conclusion that this is the scariest place on campus. So scary in fact, that you’ll never catch me in here. There’s just something about it (from what I’ve heard). The people, the equipment, the thought of letting one rip and not being able to acknowledge the fact because you’ve got your headphones on full volume…I’ve got the shivers just picturing it.

2. Stage One promoters

A bit niche, but an irrational fear nonetheless.

There is simply no escaping Stage One promoters and it’s an uneasy reality to face. You’ll likely find them on your For You Page, every Facebook group chat possible, and worst of all – parading around Bigg Market with a 2-4-1 on Jagerbombs. I would rather walk down every unlit alleyway in Newcastle than succumb to another flipping flyer.

3. ‘Not getting my PEC approved’

Very relatable fear right here (if not, then I’m genuinely impressed).

I don’t know what’s more terrifying – the thought of the deadline creeping up or having to brainstorm the most random yet specific reason as to why you need an extension; “Uh yeah, so basically my flatmate’s dog is driving up that weekend so I won’t be able to submit on time”. Sounds about right.

4. Tesco prices

Clubcard members, this one doesn’t apply to you. As for everyone else who’s either too lazy to sign up, or who did and just forgot, you’ll understand why this is so blood-curdling.

I get that inflation is the root of the issue here, but there is absolutely no need to charge £5 for a block of butter. Even Mr V’s is cheaper than that. Adding to the trauma of these criminal prices, we have the reduced section. To put it lightly, there are things in this fridge that no student should ever have to see.

5. Eye contact

Do I even need to elaborate? It scares me, it scares you – let’s avoid at all costs.

This is perhaps the most alarming in seminars. I’d rather talk about the assessment blindfolded than have to stare anyone in the face for more than a minute straight. It’s not just unnerving, but also super uncomfortable. I guess the same goes for one-on-one meetings with the peer mentor. I wouldn’t know, Alistair’s never asked me out for coffee.

6. Greys in general

Courtesy of our friends at Stage One, Swingers and Oops is a popular choice made by those brave enough to go. This venue is essentially the Newcastle house of horrors and its layout is just as bizarre.

It’s like a maze – and one you desperately want to get out of. From the abandoned toilets which look like they’ll fall down when flushed, to that creepy upstairs room which is straight out of Cecil Hotel, Greys is an unsettling place altogether. Come to think of it, I actually do remember seeing caution tape the last time I went.

7. The queue for Pret

Again, not sure what’s scarier – the people queueing for Pret or the queue itself. Which side is waiting to order and which side has already ordered?? I’m both confused and terrified.

Along with the students who seem to flock here every five minutes for their free smoothie of the day are the fearsome baristas manning the ship. I feel it’s an unwritten rule that service in any coffee shop comes with a scowl, not a smile. On the topic of queues, Shaker obviously needs a mention (as does any club toilet). I know it’s British tradition to get into orderly form, but it’s not even civilised at this point. You’re monsters, all of you.

8. The Soho staircase

It doesn’t matter whether you’re drunk or not, these stairs are the ultimate deathtrap for any student. From head-first experience, I can confirm that you are setting yourself up for failure if you risk taking these (trust me, it’s not worth the concussion or the embarrassment).

Arguably just as daunting? Your end destination.

Floor three is a jump scare in itself and the sweat alone should be enough to scar you for life. On the ceiling, down the pole, dripping from the bouncer’s forehead as he’s angrily telling you to get down from the block that apparently only he is allowed to stand on. It’s overwhelming to say the least.

Even for those fortunate enough to make it out alive, you may as well do a U-turn. The smoking area is equally as horrifying and there is no doubt that you’ll be eaten alive for not having a “spare ciggy” at hand.

9. Silent study (specifically in the Robbo)

Much like the gym which scares the living daylight out of most, the library seems to have the same desired effect.

Now, I would talk in more detail about this topic, but I’m too afraid to be seen on the premises. Assuming those who answered “silent study” are the talking-type or the loud-eating type. Either way, I’m picturing that scene from Monsters Inc. University (you know the one).

Maybe just go back to the comfort of the collab room? At least you know you’ll be safe there.

10. Football fans at the weekend

Drunk. Rowdy. Untoward. Football fans stumbling out of St James’ on a Saturday are enough to make anyone turn in their grave. I just never knew a bobble hat could be so sinister.

11. Rugby boys

An obvious and very frequent fear.

Similarly to the animals you’ll find above, you only have to see a personalised puffer to know you should probably run in the opposite direction. In fact, I would rather be chased through Jesmond Dene by Michael Meyers than ever have to see a rugby boy in broad daylight.

12. Throwing up in the Uber

Quote unquote: “because it’s expensive”. Truthfully, it isn’t ideal having to pay additional fees for transport when you could’ve just metro’d for cheaper in the first place. The bolt’s already breaking the bank account as it is, and now you might be charged extra for sick-covered seats?! Understandable yet still a very scary prospect. Would rather keep my five stars and my five quid, thank you.

13. Confrontation

Agreed. However, we all need to work up the courage to uncover the toilet roll thief. Don’t hide behind your bitmoji in the group chat, guys – get vocal! Seriously though, how do you get through so much ply in one week? Not sure if I should be afraid or deeply concerned.

14. The bouncer at Maccies

Completely get you. Not only are their uniforms intimidating, but somehow they’re scarier than the actual club bouncers. The one along Grainger street will undoubtedly make you question your existence.

At the same time, it is very amusing to watch someone get kicked out the queue for starting a fight (I too believe the milkshake machine being “broken” is a valid reason to get physical).

Genuine question – why do these security guards wear earpieces? Are they listening to a crime podcast? Is someone stealing mozzarella sticks on shift? I’m very intrigued by this.

15. The Metro gates being closed/open

Now, this is the definition of fear-inducing.

The fear of the gates being closed and consequently getting fined, the fear of the gates being open and having wasted your money on a ticket – it’s a living nightmare (I suppose the £100 charge is slightly worse than a £2.60 splurge on a single though…better safe than sorry).

16. Graduating

Probably every student’s greatest fear. I often ask myself why I stuck with uni, but then I realise I’m too far gone to drop out now. Moreover, if we’ve dealt with this much stress already, it only makes sense to push through and scrape a pass. Employment isn’t even in the question, so let’s just enjoy the moment (if we don’t laugh, we’ll cry).

Right, off to watch the new Scream movie! Don’t think it will quite compare to this list but we’ll see…

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