Thursday, 26 May 2016

Southerners Guide To Surviving University In The North..

How to survive university in the north!

*Photo credit: Pinterest

The COLD:
If you're like me, you'll be used to weather which averages about 3-4 degrees higher than you'll experience up here.
It snows a lot more, and I've found that the wind is a lot harsher.
Generally you'll have to deal with feeling like you're the only one who's always cold, especially if you house share with people from up this way.

I moved from near London, to Newcastle.

How did I deal with the cold?

Well, invest in hot water bottles. Little heaters eat electricity quicker than having the heating on, so if you want to keep costs low, invest in things that will keep you warm.
Big thick jumpers and blankets to keep downstairs are a good shout too.
I also occasionally wear my Napapiriji Ski jacket out in winter.  
We would stick the heating on for an hour in the morning between 7-8 and at night 8-9 so we are toasty when we wake up and go to sleep.

Rugby Union Fan meets Football Region.. 
Having grown up as a die hard rugby fan, I never really understood football or the emotions that were attached to the game by its fans.
Rugby players fight their battles on the pitch and walk away post-match as if nothing happened whereas I've always felt that football fights are usually kept off the pitch and in the streets by the fans..
When I joined university in Newcastle, I was warned to stay out of the way or derby day.. it wasn't until one fateful day when I had COMPLETELY forgotten when it was, that I first experienced the horror that was derby day.
Police lined the streets on foot and horseback and all words under the sun were being shouted.
By all means, if you're a football fan, go along and have a laugh, it's certainly an experience..

What did I do?

Stayed away! - To put it bluntly.
 Every year, I make sure I'm no where near the centre of Newcastle during derby day. 
Some of my friends have a great time, but generally, I don't understand the sport nor do I feel like fighting over a football team I don't support..
There is so much to do in and around Newcastle that if you do want to avoid an event, it isn't hard to find other things to do.

Understanding Accents..
If like me, you are rubbish with accents, Newcastle is a tricky one.
Newcastle also has a close connection with Ireland and N.Ireland due to the airport having direct flights straight to the destinations.
Generally, being close to Scotland, we attract Scottish students down too. (I'm okay with Scottish accents, I am part Scottish which I think helps!)
This can make it difficult on a night out when alcohol is coursing through peoples veins and accents become thicker and speech becomes faster or slurred.
Geordie and Irish/N.Irish to a drunk southerner like me, tend to mesh into one.
I am not a rude person so I am always happy to listen to anyone who wants to have a chat on a night out but sometimes it is increasingly difficult to figure out what anyone is saying over booming music! 

How to deal with a fast accent or slurred speech? 

Nod and Agree, Say yep a few times and then ask your friend once the person has gone if they understood any of that.. it works for me. Try it and see.
It avoids the constant repeated "sorry, what was that", and seeming like a rude stuck up southerner.

Traditions are very different.. South vs North
1. There is no such thing as a pint down the pub:
in the North, if you start drinking, you don't stop until you drop.
2. You don't ride on the left hand side up and escalator: you ride on the right and walk up the left.
3. Taxis will not cost you £30 for 2 miles: starting fair in the north is about £1-£3
4. Drinks will not cost you your months wage: Alcohol is exceptionally cheap here
5. You will not be ID'd in every club: It is uncommon to be ID'd, not the other way around. 
6. Do not be afraid to ask for directions: Northerners are incredibly friendly.
7. London looks the same in Made in Chelsea as it does in reality, Newcastle does not look the same as it does in Geordie Shore, and no, Geordie Shore does not represent Northerners well at all.
8. Don't be ignorant, always say thank you when you step off a bus!
9. There is no city shuffle like in London, every thing is very free and easy. 
10. Don't talk about Sunderland in Newcastle City Centre!!
11. EVERYONE KNOWS EVERYONE.
12. Last one.. Learn what a parmo and a London pizza is. 
(I have never understood why its called a 'London' Pizza, we don't have chips on pizzas in london..)

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