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Why I Chose to Study in my Hometown

Hollie Scorer Study

Hometown Inpage Image (1)The City of Newcastle upon Tyne: Put on the map by undisputed legends Shearer, Gazza, Sir Bobby and dear Cheryl, origin of the infamous 'Stottie' and 'Brown Ale', founder of the Black and White Army and my beloved Hometown of 22 years.


In a Country with a multitude of universities to choose from and endless cities to explore- why stay in the same place you've always been, you ask? Well, as mundane and limiting as that sounds, there was a definite gravitational pull that prevented me venturing elsewhere.


'Home is where the heart is' they say, and while typically I'd roll my eyes to the back of my head upon hearing someone utter those words, it is in this instance 100% true. I couldn't envision myself studying anywhere else. Upon the stress-riddled months of university research, visitations and applications many of my gutsy peers had chosen to take the plunge and travel further a-field, but I thought I'd hang fire and explore my options. A tiresome few weeks of wandering around various cities and city campus' and I remained unmoved; the effortless charm of the Toon pulled me back once more.


The City is and always has been undeniably bursting with personality, lit up with all the culture, livelihood and bustle of its friendly Geordie hosts. Whether it’s the buskers serenading the streets or the vibrancy and energy of the food markets and street parades it’s fair to say that this multi-cultural city has its very own ambience that attracts crowds far and wide.


If there's anything that urged me to stay put it was the culture that Newcastle offers. Nestled along the quayside you'll find the Baltic Centre, encasing a stunning selection of contemporary art. If that's not enough to wow you, feast your eyes along the way on the internationally iconic Millennium bridge, a divine piece of art in itself illuminated with colour by night-a true stamp of the North East. I can't forget to mention the awe inspiring Northumbrian coastline and national Heritage stamps of Hadrian’s Wall, Durham Cathedral and Hogwarts itself (aka Alnwick castle) all a driving distance away.


Let's not forget how accessible the 20minute-city is. It's a theory of mine that you can navigate the baby-city in a measly 20minutes. Transport connections are vast making travel direct and oh-so time-efficient. The Toon has expanded its metro system into the second largest in the UK, meaning exploring in your free time has never been easier.


Grey St, marked by Lord Earl Grey on top of the regal monument, has been voted ‘Best Street’ in the UK. Displaying phenomenal architecture, luxury shops and restaurants and of course The Theatre Royal the street really is a treasure tucked away in the North East-giving the City a dose of luxe. This year the latest Transformers film was in fact filmed on the distinguished street and I caught a glimpse of a race scene that entailed a bridge crumbling above a stream of cars burning rubber for the cameras! Hollywood in Newcastle? Can't say I'm surprised.


Wandering around (Particularly 9pm onwards) or post home game- you may hear the chant 'Toon-Toon Black and White Army!' echoing In the distance and yes you'd be right in thinking that's the unmistakable tenor of Newcastle United fans.  Newcastle United Football Club undoubtedly gives the city its fame and unlike many of its Premiership competitors remains in its original site in the heart of the city. Ruling the skyline St James' park stands tall and proud, reeling in thousands of fans each game. Take it from one who knows, the insatiable and harmonious roar of loyal fans can be heard for miles, whether you're casually shopping on Northumberland St or queuing for the metro home. Some may say they're out of control, and some may appreciate the passion, either way we can agree on the distinct unity and faith of Newcastle United supporters (Despite the ever-wavering success of the team).


In the sparse and precious hours in the day I have to dedicate to leisure, I'm spoilt for choice in Newcastle City Centre. Offering a plentiful array of restaurants, bars and entertainment, this city is the place to be in the face of an empty schedule. There really is something for everyone, and the collection of places to eat is ever-growing and modernising, from Chinese to American to Thai dining there will be many a food-baby after a night in Newcastle. 'The Gate' is full to capacity of delicious eateries; Ninos and Za Za Bazaar are to name a few. Renowned Eldon Square has undergone exciting renovations and has opened up an entire new food court, including Ask Italian and Handmade Burger Co.


When the inevitable hours spent at the library become too much an escape is most certainly needed. We're all aware of Newcastle's reputable and well-deserved social scene. Whether you're looking for a cosy few pints and a pub lunch or a buzzy night on the town, the city will answer all your social prayers. My favourite hideaways include Toon gem 'The Botanist', freshly shaken-cocktails on a roof-top adding a touch of class to your night out. Acoustic nights also help take the edge off the dissertation stress and take place every single night in this Saturday night sanctuary of mine.


There really is never a dull moment here. From a cinema and a theatre right on the doorstep, to bowling alleys and pool to stand up nights and to a good old Karaoke night in bars that make your feet stick to the floor, it's all at your disposal!


Need I even mention Newcastle's fashion scene? If the shopping wasn’t enough to lure me in time and time again, then the Fashion Week's and catwalk events are sure to. From NE1's fashion week that showcases the most influential designers in the area, to Love Niche Art of Style shows, there's something to satisfy every fashion craving. I've been lucky enough to take part in two highly successful 'Love Niche; fashion shows last year as a model and couldn't be more excited by the prospect of more. The innovative and unique designs and relentless drive of Newcastle designers is something that adds to the energy and sparkle of it all, definitely keep an eye out for local fashion events!


That's Newcastle wrapped up, a buzzy mini-city with stunning architecture, culture and art around every corner that welcomes you with open arms. But what about my choice of Northumbria University?


Adorned with simplistic and clean modern structures, the former Polytechnic University founded in 1992, pulled me in instantaneously.  As an aspiring journalism student I looked for three specific things.


1) Modern facilities, equipment and buildings
2) Engaging tutors that have a wealth of experience
3) A decent source of caffeine, for the day to day struggle of university fatigue.


Northumbria without a doubt offered all three willingly. I was struck on the course more than anything though. With a consuming passion for writing, media and fashion, I'd finally found a course and university tailored to my interests and strengths.


Although I played in safe in remaining in my Home City, the haunting excitement of moving out and living for myself was an offer I wasn’t willing to pass. I anxiously applied to live in Northumbria’s Victoria Halls with three others and couldn't have chosen any better. My three flat mates from first year have remained close friends with me throughout my time at university and the experience of living away from home (even just a short distance away) was some of the best months of my life. Of course with the good, the fun nights out, the shopping and the friendships came the downright ugly. Have you ever seen fungus/ moving creatures begin to grow on kitchen utensils before? Because I shamefully have. If there's any advice I can give its keep on top of your dish duties. Aside from the cleaning faux pas and what will seem an endless list of duties I really can't recommend moving into student accommodation enough. A lot will be learned in a short space of time and you'll have an incredible time.


Of course everyone, namely me, has impending doubts including 'Have I made the right choice?' 'Have I chosen the right university?' 'Should I have moved away?' But in the end you know yourself and where you're happiest and I definitely feel I made the right decision in staying at home to study. After all who could leave behind the glistening lights of Northumberland St for anywhere else in the world?  

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