The top 10 things I’ve realised about the South after living in York

Also known as the top ten things Northerners have bullied me about since I got here

It’s 2019. I’ve just made the three hour drive from Oxford to York. Honestly, the only time I’ve been this far up North was for the open day. Two years on – with York now feeling like a firm home – there are definitely some things I’ve reflected on having left the South. 

1. We don’t have a wide selection of post-club food

I’m lucky if I can even get a portion of chips on a night out down South, let alone a mountain of cheese, gravy and chip spice. From Oki’s to Salt and Pepper (RIP), I have truly been indoctrinated into the glory that is cheesy chips and chip spice.

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2. Northern chains

You can imagine my surprise when I learned that Cooplands wasn’t an independent bakery and Boyes have shops that conveniently stop just above Nottingham. I was equally surprised to find that LEON hasn’t quite made it further north than a Leeds service station. 

3. Clubbing expectations

Heels? On a night out? Coming from an epicentre where people said ‘dutty tunes’ unironically, seeing people wear dresses rather than bucket hats and rave shades on a night out was certainly a culture shock. 

4. We’re all just Londoners apparently

You heard it here first, the South is actually just London. Or more specifically somewhere like Chelsea. Explaining to people where I grew up soon became a geographical description of how close I was to the capital. 

5. Our slang is boring

Perhaps I’m just from an incredibly dull part of the South, but how can we compete with our pitiful ‘leng’ and ‘baccy’ against the mighty ‘doyle’ or ‘gan yem’? 

6. Missing out on things at home

Being only one of a few people who ventured up North for uni, it can be hard to watch life continue at home. Train tickets are expensive and journeys are long; there’s no such thing as just spontaneously popping back for an evening or two (if you want to get the cheapest tickets). Reminders of home are few and far between. 

7. There’s Southerners, and then there’s SOUTHERNERS

To most, the South just happens to be a geographical location. To some, it appears it is their whole personality. Perhaps they didn’t quite experience the Freshers’ Week teasing from their northern peers to put them in their place.

8. Getting invested in the North-South divide

It is a constant battle telling home friends that go to Birmingham that they in fact do not go to uni in the North. 

9. Pub Culture

This one mainly applies to those of us unfortunate enough to live in areas of the South where a pint is £6. The concept of going out on a pub crawl and not putting yourself into debt is one that I have fully taken advantage of being in the North.

10. If you make fun of yourself first, no one else can

Southerners often have a reputation of taking themselves too seriously which is an instant easy target. Sometimes you have to suck up the debates about pronunciations of grass and bath and focus on the mutual enemy – people from the Midlands. 

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