We know that stepping into university is an exciting and equally daunting part of anyone’s life, let alone moving to a new city, so we thought who better to hear from, than a current student living in Newcastle. So here’s some thoughts from Lauren Peart-Roddis, student at Newcastle University studying pharmacology and living in Jesmond.

Here’s what Lauren has to say…

Life as student in Newcastle is never boring, there is always something to do every day and night of the week! Whether you plan on living in the city centre or one of the surrounding areas (Jesmond, Sandyford, Heaton, Gosforth and Spital Tongues being the ones with major student populations) you will most definitely find things to entertain you. Often where you live during your time in Newcastle will change depending what stage of your course you’re at. Many first year students tend to reside in the city centre in one of the ever increasing number of student accommodations. This tends to entail moving into a flat of five or six students, with a shared kitchen/living area and either shared bathrooms or individual ensuites. 

Most of the time, as a first year student, when you move to Newcastle you won’t really know anyone and will be excited about the prospect of meeting new people. Moving into student accommodation is a great way to do this. You will live with other students in the same situation, giving you the opportunity to really get to know each other. They do say ‘you never know someone until you live with them’ so what better way to get to know people and make new friends. 

Eating Out in Newcastle

Life in Newcastle city centre is very exciting and is definitely a change when you are used to living in a little village, like I am. If you’re not much of a cook, you certainly won’t go hungry with a wide choice of eateries around the city. If you’re after a quick, tasty meal then Shijo should be at the top of your list – their katsu curry is delicious and great value too! If you’re after more of a sit down meal then Newcastle isn’t in short supply of those either. You could head to the multitude of restaurants in Eldon Square shopping centre, most of which offer student discounts during the week – every little helps! A top tip I would give you is to always ask if places do student discounts because you’ll be surprised at the amount that actually do. Alternatively, you could make your way down to the Quayside where the options are endless.

Student nightlife in Newcastle

 If you’re thinking more about the nightlife Newcastle has to offer then you won’t be disappointed, both Newcastle University and Northumbria University we recently ranked, 3rd & 4th respectively by the Uni Guide for the best university nightlife. There literally is somewhere to go every night of the week, from Digi Mondays to Feral Fridays and even Persistence at Tup Tup on a Sunday. And if you’re looking for somewhere relatively cheap at the weekend, Banyan do 2 for 1 cocktails from 6pm!

Some advice moving into your 2nd or 3rd year…

Often as students move into second and third year they tend to venture into the surrounding areas such as Jesmond, Sandyford or Gosforth for a change of scenery. My top tip – before I go into more detail, I just want to forewarn you that as it nears Christmas in first year panic will set in with regard to finding a house for second year. It is like a domino effect. No matter what everyone says, there will not be a shortage of houses, there will always be somewhere left and often somewhere nice. Signing for a house is a big commitment and one that shouldn’t be rushed into but often is. In my case, I chose to spend my time in the suburb of Jesmond for my second and third year. I too panicked in first year and signed for a house in December that wasn’t really right for me. The student accommodation I chose for my third year was one I chose a little later than most and it has been the best place I’ve stayed out of my whole three years in Newcastle. 

A bit about my time in Jesmond

In my opinion, Jesmond is one of the nicest student areas, not only in Newcastle, but probably in the whole country! Right on the edge of Newcastle, it’s in a prime location for access to the city centre. Whilst at the same time its suburban feel, enables you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s rows and rows of Victorian and Edwardian terrace houses make it quite the picturesque place. If I’m completely honest, it’s certainly a nicer area than where I live back home – my parents are actually jealous of where I live! 

Now I want to reassure you, Jesmond is no retirement village. There is plenty to keep you occupied. Osborne Road is Jesmond’s main attraction. Lined both sides with numerous bars and restaurants, it’s a hotspot every night – with most bars offering a different deal each night of the week. If you want to venture away from Osborne Road there are plenty of restaurants dotted around Jesmond and West Jesmond to enjoy. A personal favourite, and a Jesmond landmark, is Francesca’s – Jesmond’s little slice of Italy. The authentic Italian restaurant has been situated in Jesmond for well over 30 years – my dad used to go there when he was my age! Unusually this family run business does not take bookings, instead you queue around the bar area with a drink (and often out the door) until a table becomes available. The food is to die for and so is the price, £7 for a pizza really is a steal. It is definitely worth the queue and I always say if somewhere is busy then that speaks volumes.

If you are a dab hand in the kitchen then you can certainly get all your ingredients here too, as Jesmond boasts a Tesco, Sainsbury’s and even a Waitrose (I told you it was a nice area). It also has hairdressers/barbers, beauty salons, gyms, boutiques, copious numbers of coffee and cake shops and a library – you really will have everything you need right on your doorstep. 

Student life in Newcastle really is amazing and will afford you the opportunity to experience different ways of life and allow you to decide what you like best. Get involved with as much as you can, try as many different things and places as you can and really make the most of your time here!