You’ve done it! You’ve defied the odds and gotten into university despite being a Northerner! Pat yourself on the back and take a moment to enjoy this achievement. Are you done? Good, because if you’re heading to a university that has a student population predominantly from the south then that sense of self worth you currently have will have left you by the end of freshers, where you’ll be crying yourself to sleep over the taunts you’ve received regarding your accent and the fact you’re not rich.
Of course, I’m joking. However, it’s impossible to deny that being a Northerner at a university dominated by Southerners isn’t an experience. I survived it though, and enjoyed it, but there are some things my dear Northerners should be prepared for before arriving at university:
1) Apparently you sound like you’re from ”the ghetto”
Well, I apparently sound like I’m from the ghetto, and this wasn’t just an offhand comment from one person, this was said to me by quite a few people so by the end of it I was thinking ”I get it guys, ok, I get it! I’m Northern ghetto trash! LEAVE ME AND MY ACCENT ALONE!” Me and my Sheffield friends who are also at university tried to figure out why I sounded ”ghetto” and they didn’t and we established it’s because I talk slower than them, which doesn’t help matters because it means I have a dopey voice.
2) Your accent gets mimicked a lot
If you’re fortunate enough not to get called ghetto, don’t think you’ll escape getting your accent mimicked. After the first week or so at university, when people realised I was speaking English and not in Gorilla, the mocking comments came, and they came so thick and fast that I had northern slang beaten out of me by Christmas. The most upsetting thing for me was that it wasn’t just Southerners and Midlanders mocking me, I even had a fellow Northerner laugh at something I said once (I must REALLY sound ghetto). Basically, there’s nothing you can do, except take it! If you’re at a university dominated by southerners, there’s nothing you can do because you’re in the minority. If you’re at a northern dominated university, start a revolution or something.
3) You find out that the ”thick northerner” stereotype is wrong.
Since being at university, I’ve discovered that the geography of the country is debatable. For example, I’ve heard Loughborough described as ”a great Northern university” and that threw me. Surely everybody knows that Loughborough is in the midlands!? Apparently not. I’ve also encountered people who say ”Anything above London is North” which is a very bold if inaccurate statement. Basically, I found out that whilst Northerners have a reputation for being a little dim, we have better geographical knowledge of the UK than quite a few of our Southern counterparts who seem a little fuzzy on the boundaries between North and South.
4) You don’t feel ”cold”
Being from the Yorkshire moors, I’m used to tempestuous weather so when I moved to Loughborough the only thing I noticed was that it rained less. Consequently, my winter wardrobe was my summer clothes with tights, knitwear and a coat, and believe me I heard a lot of ”Aren’t you cold!?” The answer was no because I’m from Yorkshire so this is like the Bahamas for me, also the South particularly London is warmer than the North due to pollution so it’s no wonder the (midland) wilderness that is Leicestershire is a shock to some people.
5) You begin to feel slightly ashamed of the North
When you spend a lot of time with people from the south, you begin to forge this image of Northerners that’s similar to the people you see on Jeremy Kyle. It’s like you’ve been brainwashed and it got to the point when I thought of Sheffield I conjured up images of someone in a Sheffield United top shouting ”UP THE BLADES”, grim. Saying that, the North is a lovely place, but everything is so London orientated these days that you begin to resent living in the North because there aren’t as many opportunities here. Perhaps it’s more apt to say that rather than being ashamed of the North, I’m more indifferent because there’s a big wide world out there and if you want to see it you have to move out of the North.