An Essex girl up north: Lydia Pendrigh on Moving to University

Moving to University is always a daunting experience – especially if you’re moving all the way up the country.

It’s been one hell of a journey for this southern gal

I caught up with Lydia Pendrigh, a second-year student at Newcastle University, to talk all things student, moving away from home and the North-South divide (when we say ‘tea’ we mean dinner, not that Earl Grey thing you keep piping up about).

Fact File

Name: Lydia Pendrigh

Age: 19

Studying: Journalism, Media and Culture at Newcastle University

Originally From: Barkingside, Ilford

Currently Lives: Colchester

We asked Lydia about how hard it was for her to move away from her group of friends back in Colchester, Essex.

Lydia chats about moving to University

Lydia added “I’ve moved the furthest away out of all my friends – I can’t just nip home because it takes me a lot of planning”. Lydia has lived in Newcastle for almost a year and a half now, and has only visited home over Christmas and Easter.

When asked about gender differences surrounding the move to university, Lydia maintained “I don’t feel that being a girl makes any difference. It’s just as hard moving far away from home regardless of your gender”.

Before Lydia moved up to Newcastle, she’d only seen the city represented through the popular reality television show Geordie Shore. “I’ve got an auntie from Middlesbrough as well!” Lydia laughed (not having realised the difference between Geordies and Smoggies before her move to the North-East). The 19-year-old went on to say, “I thought life in Newcastle would be exactly like a night out on Geordie Shore. I thought it would feel a bit trashier”.

She went on to say that watching the “exaggerated” television show created “fake stereotypes” and was shocked to find that life in Newcastle wasn’t just going out, eating kebabs and diving head first into drama.

LOVE Newcastle? Or just the cheaper booze…

Being from Essex, Lydia is used to living in an area where a popular reality show engulfs representations of that place. Lydia describes TOWIE (The Only Way is Essex) as a “superficial show” but one which “gets its representation of some people right”. It seems the only way was move away for Lydia.

On the whole she feels like it has been a great experience, where she’s made lasting friendships and learnt a lot about life as a northerner. “People still take the piss out of my accent though”.

Not surprised, Lydia.

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