Welcome to the North: The Best Place on Earth

york-cityFor many students, getting your A-Level results is like the transfer deadline day. It’s filled with emotions, impulsive purchases, and Joey Barton offering insights and words of wisdom. University is just on the horizon, and for a number of you this is your first stirring up north. You’ll soon find out that it isn’t, in fact, ‘grim up north’ as the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu would have you think. It’s actually pretty pleasant.

York has 365 pubs, one for every day of the year. The best thing is, you don’t have to take out three pay-day loans and a mortgage to pay for a pint of watered down piss in a jam jar, either. On average, the north is around 40 percent cheaper than London. And with job opportunities cropping up in places like Manchester with Media City, being at one of the top universities like York could see you much better off than living in a cupboard for £737 a month in London.

Ian Brown remarked that “Manchester has got everything but a beach” and he was right. But now you’re in York, Scarbados is just around the corner. Boasting beautiful beaches, sunny weather (sometimes) and fish and chips, you couldn’t get a more quintessential British holiday. Trips to Scarborough are cheap and recommended. It’s surprisingly not full of pensioners waiting to die. It’s recently undergone a huge transformation and now prides itself on some great opportunities for us ‘young ‘uns.” That’s right, you might not hear the Countdown theme song after all (unfortunately?). It’s even got a bloody Sealife centre.

If getting on a bus to visit dolphins and other thalassic creatures doesn’t float your boat, York has a number of great things to do. The Walls are obviously famous, but did you also know there was a slightly weird Cold War bunker that was kept in case there was a nuclear attack? It’s really cheap and will freak you out that this stuff was actually built – unless you’re a history student and are aware that there may have been a threat or something. Or, alternatively, why not pop down to the quilt museum, which isn’t as weird as it sounds. It’s a fascinating day with incredibly interesting people.

Some, however, want to keep it cheap and that is certainly viable here. Why not just wander around this beautiful city. The best thing is the buildings here don’t looks like weapons and won’t melt bits of your car should you decide to try and park outside one of them. You don’t have to break the bank on Betty’s either. Yes, admittedly it’s famous and you should probably try it once, but you don’t have to pay £8.50 for some lukewarm tea and a scone. Around the corner is Crumbs, which is just as tasty and you get the experience of a Yorkshire tea.

York might surprise you. You will discover countless new spots you didn’t even realise existed over your years here. And the best thing is, it’s affordable. Especially when you consider the average cost of a pint in London is around 60p more than up here. I know, 60p might not seem a lot of money, but when you’ve also paid a tenner to get into the club you’re in, that 60p might begin to grate on you. More so when the average cost of a pint in Newcastle is £1.85 in comparison to London’s £3.65. The Angel of the North truly does look out for us.

Yes, wealth management firms and Barclays are important for internships and work experience, but the day to day living, the rent costs, the food costs and social life are also important. York, and the north, has much to offer in the way of experience, too. But what York truly has is the opportunity to have a collective identity. You won’t fall into a black hole of the lonely crowd, or be sucked into the Bilbao effect. Instead you’ll find people like yourself, interested in things you’re interested in, and settle in just fine.

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