Six painful things you’ll only relate to if you lived in Leazes as a fresher

*sobs in southerner*

Castle Leazes is an interesting place. So interesting in fact, that both myself and Princess Eugenie chose this very accommodation during our first year at Newcastle. Perhaps it was the name that sold her on it, or maybe the fact that it’s the only halls with both a cleaner and an option to be catered. Either way, I’m sure she looks back fondly on her time spent here in ’09.

For me personally, I’d rather not sugarcoat my experience. Even as a proud southerner, some of the stereotypes just hit too close to home and quite frankly, still haunt me two years on. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the six painful things you’ll only relate to if you lived in Leazes as a fresher.

1. Constantly having to avoid cow shit on your morning commute 

It really is a daily occurrence on Leazes turf and if it’s not the pile of cow poo you’ll find obstructing your walk to lectures, then it’s most definitely the cow itself. I just wish they would get stuck in a lift again so I could have my main character moment.

2. The never-ending path which screams ‘walk of shame’

Going hand in hand with the above, are the world’s longest paths leading you to Castle Leazes. Still not sure what’s scarier- the herd of cows following your every move, or the herd of white linens who clearly don’t understand the concept of single-file.

What could be worse than this? The fact that no matter what time of day it is, you’ll always feel like you’re doing the walk of shame. No I didn’t just come from a sleepover at Park View, I had a 9am seminar and felt like wearing a hoodie from the men’s Urban section. Let me live.

3. The Cosy Dove (aka the cool kids club)

I have mixed feelings about The Cosy Dove as it’s where my flatmates and I had our first meal together (wholesome, I know). Despite this, it never became part of my daily routine the same way it did for many Leazes residents. Again, not sure if this was because I was trying to save money or just scared shitless of the smokers sat outside. Anyway, if private school was a pub, it would be The Cosy Dove.

4. The unpredictable fire alarms

There’s no denying that dodgy fire alarms are a universal experience in halls. However, I found these to be particularly infuriating in Leazes. As if security didn’t hate us enough, you just had to go and burn your pain au chocolat at two in the morning. I guess in some ways it was a good introduction to the other floors in our building. Not sure Wansbeck agreed.

5. The catered/self-catered divide

If you thought the North/South divide was the only issue amongst Newcastle students, you would be very wrong. Turns out that even us southerners have differences.

Maybe I’m just bitter that my self-catered kitchen was smaller than those who only had to cook at the weekends, but even still. Here’s to hoping this year’s freshers don’t have severe claustrophobia.

6. Having to reassure outsiders you’re not a rah

Last but certainly not least, the most painful thing about being in Leazes.

I truly don’t think you’ve experienced the Leazes lifestyle until you come across the harsh critics outside the castle walls. Whether it’s course mates or just general haters of crochet, I always felt the need to defend my home away from home. Surely I wasn’t the only one having to pull the classic “but I’m not a Tory” card. The next best defence, you ask? “Yeah but it’s the most social halls”. LIES. We were all lied to. I genuinely never had so much LED envy until I saw Park View.

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