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Student Living Quality Meets Perspective

Kristopher Cook Student Life

Many students will understand the inner turmoil of finding a place to live in a city like Newcastle. Whether you are someone who is looking for somewhere on their own, or in a group, there is a decision to be made — and sometimes with little time to spare.

I am someone currently studying a postgraduate course at Northumbria University. My undergraduate was studied at the same university, and I have stayed in a wide variety of different accommodations/houses, across a spread of locations in and around Newcastle. This gives me experience, experience that I can relay back to those who are maybe looking for a perspective on student living, or are simply looking to transition into their next home and want to get an idea on where to look.

University students are known to be relatively nifty when it comes to picking out certain locations to live in. This is not something that is gained overnight. If anything, it takes the full three years of an undergraduate degree before you have mastered the art of property. My first year was spent in private student halls. Located on the Quayside, Garth Heads was my chosen halls: the room was small, as was the kitchen, but the benefits of halls are not the facilities but the company you un-intentionally keep. Friends you make in halls are generally the friends you will want to move in with again. For me I opted to find somewhere for myself.

Riding solo is not an easy, or cost effective, option for those who like the security of having set flatmates. I however felt like I ticked off the halls-living square on my university bingo card, and that there was more to experience for myself. This is when I moved into a house share on Osborne Avenue  in Jesmond. The area did not look like Newcastle at all; a complete juxtaposition from what I had seen on the Quayside, 5 minutes away from campus. In Jesmond I was a 20 minute walk from Northumbria — a much more scenic route that even manages to take you well into your overdraft thanks to the rising property prices of the area. Jesmond is calm, cool and collected, maybe even to its detriment if you enjoy Newcastle’s nightlife.

I remained in Jesmond throughout the entirety of my second and third year. The choice was made due to the friends I made in this location, as well as the en-suite/fridge facilities that I had in my room. Jesmond is home to some quaint little bars that fill up on specific days of the week depending on the time and which football match happens to be on that night. Jesmond is among the upper echelons of student living (which is why so many Newcastle students choose to hang their hat there). It is an expensive area, but arguably worth it due to all of the extras, most importantly being the slower tempo of the area compared to the rowdy concrete jungle of the inner city of Newy-cee.

This brings me to where I’m at presently. Currently I live in a 10 bedroom ‘professional’ house share in Heaton. Postgraduate students on average, earn less money than certain undergraduates, this is why areas like Heaton and Fenham to an extent, work well in providing affordable living for those who have chosen to pursue academia even further. The house is again, within walking distance of the university, and works almost like a Guess Who board in regards to the different people that live within the house. 

As a rule of thumb, students who look at places to stay in January and the summer, are more than likely going to have a wider list of options to choose from. I was lucky in my choices in that as a solo tenant, I was able to easily find room in places that would otherwise be full. This is incredibly useful if you happen to be an international student and are worrying that you might not find somewhere to live so easily, which couldn't be any further from the truth. The subtitle of this article is quality meets perspective, and that is essentially what you’ll face when picking up your belongings and trailing to your next temporary home. The quality of these locations should not be the only catalyst in your decision process. Perspective is key in analysing what you want and where you want to do it. This is true in not only student living, but the entire student experience overall. Trust me.  

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