Five things only northerners at uni in Newcastle will understand

Never in my life did I think I’d be outnumbered by southerners at a northern uni


Being at a uni where there’s a 1:8 ratio of northerners to southerners is an incredibly niche experience. You don’t realise how big the north-south divide is until you come to university. Some northerners are actually posh and disguised as southerners in a past life, others are just like me and adore chopping off the “g” from the end of words like “running”, “talking” and “drinking” (emphasis on the drinking for us students).

1. Everyone mimicking your accent 

It’s insulting to hear my friends impressions of me sounding like a 45-year-old dad that enjoys nothing more than his morning paper and a cup of tea. Albeit, I come from Yorkshire so my manly monotone voice is extremely fitting. However, listening to my southern friends repeat me saying “ey up” and “iya” sounds as corrupt as Margaret Thatcher.

2. Why does everyone think we’re all from Manchester?

I genuinely think half of the northern cities across England are forgotten about. Unless you’re a Geordie, we all sound the same apparently. God forbid if you’re from a little village, most of the time people think you’re making it up and pity you for the lack of clubbing experience where about five people max take up the dancefloor.

3. Not being phased by crap weather

Generally, the weather up north is poor. We see grey skies more than blue and there’s the never-ending stench of damp grass that fills the atmosphere. Being used to the weather certainly gave me a backbone when moving to Newcastle. I will say however, the level of strong winds here is offensive, I feel like I’m fighting for my life like Bear Grylls walking to campus some days.

Even the snow didn’t bother me – give me a medal of bravery. Although I remember when it was snowing in December last year, I thought it was only fitting to wear a top thinner than my kitchen cloth that didn’t even cover my arms. My confidence was shattered however, as me and my friend fell flat on our arses in Leazes Park – some would say slipped, I would say Dancing On Ice.

4. The cocky classism

Newcastle is also a northern city and I’ve heard people who come from very well-off backgrounds describe it as dingy and “povo”. However, there tend to be more southerners choosing to study here, maybe as a social experiment.

The cheeky digs about living in poverty or a council house are not cool. I’m aware these comments are meant with little intent, but ignore how normalised this perspective is.  The Olympia Anleys of the world seem to have the all grace of a reversing dump truck, without any tires on. What a sad little life Jane x

5. Northerners have 69 different colloquialisms

Two pieces of bread in a circular shape to me is a breadcake. Does it rise in the oven? No. Does it taste like Victoria Sponge? Also no. But that’s what it is to me. People in Manchester would be very offended and say it’s a bread roll and Geordies would simply look at me and say, “Howay man”. This is the one thing northerners will simply never agree on, other than ridiculing cities like Bradford – my heart goes out to you surviving citizens during this difficult time.

Despite the ups and downs, being northern in Newcastle is top tier. We can pick on our posh little friends and remind them that we are a force to be reckoned with, and if there ever was a battle between the two sides – we’d easily win. Or batter them, as we like to say.

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