Ah, Jesmond. One of the few areas of the Toon where one can pronounce ‘Newcastle’ with a long /ɑ:/ sound freely, without being corrected or, in my experience, branded a “dirty southerner”.
Complete with a Waitrose and a prep school of blazer-wearing, cello-playing bairns, Jesmond is undoubtedly one of the poshest spots in Newcastle, especially through the eyes of second-year students who have entered into their university experience considering Eat4Less to be fine dining. Thanks to its three Metro stations and countless bars along Osborne Road, Jesmond is the crème de la crème of student areas (ironic, given its vast population of militant vegans). Sandyford and Heaton are sour milk in comparison; and it’s sour grapes for their residents because they don’t live in Jesmond.
Jesmond is the crème de la crème of student areas
As well as mazes of seemingly identical terraced houses, the streets of Jesmond are lined with a strange breed of student, often from the Home Counties and dressed head-to-toe in charity shop bargains: “I used to LOVE Depop but I can’t pay postage anymore because I’m a student, yah?”.
For first-years at Newcastle Uni, attending lectures looking dishevelled is generally an accident. Appearing bright-eyed and bushy-tailed is never easy after an all-nighter at Digi or Greys Club, but it is something to aspire to nonetheless. But for second-year Jesmondites, the dress code is ‘look as shamelessly and deliberately ropey as possible’. While throwing a puffer jacket over pyjamas is intended to say “I’m an intellectual who needs a soya flat white”, it roughly translates to “I can’t wear my real clothes because everyone will realise my parents are investment bankers”.
“Jesmond tenants are met with freezing cold, filthy dirty houses, and an Invisible Man for a landlord”
As soon as a Newcastle student leaves halls at the end of their first year, gone are the days of weekly cleaners, and Accommodation Services on hand to fix a leaky shower or berate students for wedging the fire doors open. Instead, Jesmond tenants are met with freezing cold, filthy dirty houses, and an Invisible Man for a landlord. Though my complaints of damp and slug infestations have fallen on deaf ears, the overflowing kitchen bin has not fallen on anosmic noses. Second-year students will rarely take the bins out, presumably because Jesmond’s back alleys are much less picturesque than Larkspur Terrace or Brentwood Avenue. Paying utility bills in addition to weeknight pub crawls and Spotify Premium defines a Jesmondite’s natural state as very cold and very stinky; according to one of my flatmates, “I’ll still have BO tomorrow so I’ll just shower then”. We have also discovered that the smoking area of SPY is warmer than our single-glazed Victorian house. For this reason, I will be pushing the Happy Hour button more often than the timer button on our heating.
For those of us who were not fated for a Jesmond student experience from birth, the twenty-five-minute schlep (or two-minute Metro ride) to university is something of a safari, and not just because of the abundance of animal-print attire (sustainable and vegan-friendly, of course!) being sported. Regardless of this, Jesmond is rightfully one of the most popular student areas in the country, facilitating the transition from halls to houses for Newcastle and Northumbria students alike.
Last modified: 19th October 2019