University life and the road ahead

University is stressful and picking one can be even more so. Picking a course, picking a University. Is it the best university for me? Will I like the course? Should I stay at home or move away? These are just some of the questions we put in front of ourselves when we go to University.

When I picked my University choices it was nerve wrecking, because you really don’t know if you’ve made the right decision. Especially for me, moving so far away from my family. It’s not easy, just make the decision that is best for you.

I chose to study BA (Hons) Journalism at the University of Sunderland, purely down to my love of writing and news. So it was perfect for me.

One things I very quickly learnt was that you need to really get involved in your course and get experience. Luckily for me The Hub at the top of my University building has five multimedia platforms; SR News, Spark, Fashion North, SportsByte and Northern Lights. I joined the news team in my first week, initially only wanting to write for SR News.

After leaving the hub and thinking of all of the platforms, I decided that I was going to come out of my comfort zone and join the Spark news team. Which at the time was called SR News Tonight, but we’ve had a reshuffle and called ourselves Spark Reports to fit into the Spark brand.

I must admit, I was scared. Radio, with my accent – ha! Never in a million years would I have thought I would see the day. But, surprisingly – I loved it.

I do news shifts now every week, creating news packages and voicing them. I love it, I mean I’ve had to train my voice quite a lot and it is far from perfect but I have come on so much from my first package! I’m proud of that.


I’ve now presented two of the shows at 5.50pm and I can’t describe to you how I felt. I was ridiculously scared, my mouth went dry. I literally felt like a bucket of sand had been poured down my neck, so I necked a glass of water mid show. Had to be done, I could go on no longer.

But it was a great experience for me, it just gives you that buzz (and no I’m not saying ‘bus’ in my accent – joke referring to one of my earlier posts.)

Here is my presenting from last week (please click ‘Thursday 4th May 2017″ to hear mine): http://www.sparksunderland.com/sparkreports/ 

Considering that I never dreamt of doing radio, here I am! I produce a show on Spark Tuesday 11-1pm for my friend Katie and it’s great – I love it!


Follow your dreams and do what you thinks best – but don’t tie yourself down to just one thing because you never know where the road might take you!

Yes I still have lots to learn, but I am prepared to put the hours in and work hard.

Here’s to the road ahead!

Charlotte x


How to understand Black Country

It’s crazy when you think about how many different accents make up the UK! And they are all completely different. So it’s no wonder when you move out of your area that not many people understand certain things you say!

Being from the Black Country (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, and outlying parts of the city of Wolverhampton in the English county of West Midlands) can be difficult, especially when you live in the North East. This is purely down to the Mackem dialect being completely different from the Black Country dialect.

I do often get mistaken for a “brummie.” Birmingham and the Black Country are geographically very close but our dialect is miles apart. Don’t get us mixed up – we don’t like it! It’s like calling a Mackem a Geordie, vice versa – they don’t like it either!

Incase you don’t know how people from the Black Country sound, you can listen here: Black Country Alphabet Song – OFFICIAL VIDEO! T Shirts ON SALE (Credit to Black Country T-shirts.)

I know what you’re thinking – Do people really speak like that? Yep. Yes we do. It’s an accent that’s hard to shake, my accent isn’t as broad since I have moved away but boy do you know it’s there!

There are words that I say no matter how hard I try to stop them coming out of my mouth, they just come out of my mouth naturally. Words such as:

  • Babby – Baby
  • It ay – It isn’t
  • Ay – Haven’t
  • Ar – Yes
  • All round the Wrekin – Scenic route (This is one of the words that I never knew since moving away – I always thought all round the Wrekin was the only word, obviously not.)
  • Cor – Can’t
  • Coot – Coat
  • Dae – Didn’t
  • Duwer – Door
  • Med – Made
  • Mek – Make
  • Tae – Tea (This is for both food as in dinner or tea, the drink)
  • Wench – Girl
  • Mush – Mate
  • Yow – You

It’s not only just an accent, it’s our very own dialect and vocabulary. I’m not sure if we have a dictionary, like the Mackem Dictionary, but if we haven’t we definitely need our own one!


Not going to lie to you all, ever since I were little this has always been a ‘buzz’ as in the noise a bee makes. I literally have to stop the noise coming out of my mouth when I say ‘bus.’

There are many words and phrases that I say day to day and people must look at me and think…

Image result for what memes

I feel a bit like Del Boy sometimes when I talk, “si danke schon, bonjour,” everyone laughs and doesn’t know what I’m saying. Although, strangely enough I do get a lot of ‘oh I love your accent’ I’m not sure if they’re being sarcastic or being serious.

As I live in the North East let’s take a look at some of the words and phrases used in Sunderland.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHb3RT-bvUg (Credit to Sunderland Student’s Union.)


At 0:49 in the previous video you hear the word Stottie. Now there is a heated debate about this, so many people have different words for a ‘bread roll’. I personally call it a ‘cob,’ which I think is normal until I moved to Sunderland. Apparently, that’s not what it’s called. Some people call it a ‘roll’ or a ‘bap.’ Please let me know what you call this roll of bread! Leave a comment or tweet me @Charlotte___P23.

charlotte bread rolls