Birmingham: My University Life!

My university life has changed quite drastically since I embarked on my Hallmark Aviation placement, I landed back into Heathrow Airport with a bucket full of dreams to go back to Birmingham with! I wasn't completely prepared for the looming barrage of deadlines, student loan living and exams compared to my pre-conceived plan! Hi, University College Birmingham! 

February brought the beginning of my second semester of my third year at University College Birmingham. It was time to continue my studies on my BA Hons Hospitality and Tourism Management degree, the very reason that took me to Newark, NJ for one year. Completing my Industrial Placement professional file became my first task, the assignment deadlines loomed two weeks after our first lecture! This semester would bring changes that I completely welcomed into my life, as much as I did not want to be back here I couldn't help feeling like I had never gone away. I didn't need to wait for the mountain of assignments to be delivered and the drone of three hour lectures! Virgin Atlantic Airways, just take me back! This semester began with a bang! Back to studies and normality, I needed to dedicate myself to my studies as I failed my Financial module from the second year. Oh my life! Things got very real!

Walking to university reminds me that I'm one step closer to graduating and making my first steps in the world of work, well for more than a year so I can pursue a career. This semester has been interesting and I wouldn't have changed it one bit, well not even my 'French' option but I shall mention that later on. University College Birmingham has been a good choice for me, I can say that my degree is currently on track and I have every confidence that the effort that I had put into my work this semester has been worthwhile. From working from week to week for my pay-check I had a shock to my system when the deadlines started coming in, I didn't want to comply but now I realise that shouldn't have been so keen to return from Newark, NJ! With this new blog I didn't know where to look at first, I just want to blog about everything and anything but I know that I'll be refining the operation soon enough. Birmingham is my current state of mind, let's just say I'm getting on with it! Yes B!

Like every other student across the country and beyond, we don't really like having mountains of work to complete in a short time. This semester I have had three modules to complete and hopefully pass! Starting with International Travel Operations which has not been too tedious, the photo on the right is what my work desk looked like whilst I worked my way through the 2,500 word essay that wasn't actually that bad to write. One thing I must admit that getting back to grips of writing in the third person has taken some to get used to, I'm getting the hang of it again! Rounding up the troops we've enjoyed a few boozy afternoons at Wetherspoons, so that's been good. It's been a learning curb this semester because I have had to teach myself certain aspects of the academic side of things due to forgetting bits over the placement year. Practice makes perfect, I have another year to get my teeth into! B, let's get on with it! 

Managing Human Resources has been my core module, I'm not too fond of this module for many reasons! It's a bore because I do not see myself using any of the techniques and practices in my future, to add insult to injury I have to sit a two hour exam based on Performance Management someone please help me! I'm off to France the week before the exam so I'm going to need all the luck! From seminars and assignments I have got my option module, whilst out on placement me and my class chose our option module for the semester that we are currently finishing now. I chose Nature Tourism as it appeared to one of the only tourism modules up for grabs, for my second choice I chose Lower Intermediate French on the pretence I enjoyed French at secondary school. To my dismay my first choice fell through like many of my fellow students who had picked other modules that were on offer. I won't lie it's been very stressful at times but I achieved a B+ on my speaking test, not bad! Vite, vite, B! 

Being back in Birmingham has been an experience in itself, I can't deny its been great to be back! Living at the Maltings again has been challenging because my flat has had issues with the cleanliness of the kitchen, people weren't ready for the return of the 'Britney Bitch! I have made a new friend since living in Vulcan House, Lydnsey has become a good friend who I want to stay in contact with after the semester ends. Let's just see how things pan out because BB's getting crazy! Life has been a crazy ride as of recent, getting back into the swing of studying and even revision has been challenging. Having the Mailbox standing on my doorstep is great, it's no Ironbound, but it's how things have to be! This semester has shown me that I've got to chill out. I'm embracing a very different 'new normal', the realness of the kitchen certainly makes the Newark Downtown look like Disneyland! It's business, no mistakes, B! 

This time around I opted to blog about Birmingham, noticing things about this city that I never noticed from first and second years of my time at University College Birmingham. I have been acquainted with Birmingham's Westside and Southside, finding both areas to hold a new meaning because I know understand more about the areas that just existed before I embarked on placement. I'm looking to create a blog about Birmingham's Eastside and Digbeth as both districts have been brought to my attention this semester. For June I have booked tickets to see the ballet Coppelia at the Hippodrome Theatre. Birmingham is proving me wrong, I'm now seeing a developing and cosmopolitan city. Getting with the program, I'm no longer a fresher, the book needs rewriting! I'm ready to take my nights into a direction, I know where I want to party at and won't be seen dead in those 'predictable' parties. I'm grown, I am not going compromise any night out! I dictate my own schedule! Times a changed! 

To ease the headache of assignments and seminars I have tried my best to travel whilst being back at university. I made my way to Birmingham Airport on March 25th for my Ryanair flight to Dublin, Ireland. I went to Ireland during my semester break to do a bit of exploring, also getting to squeeze in a day trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland. This semester has seen me take the National Express for the first time from Birmingham to Huddersfield, then later on to Northampton. I shall be back at Birmingham Airport in 12 days for my Monarch flight to Bordeaux, France. I shall be visiting family for one week to return to my lovely Managing Human Resources exam! I'm going to enjoy summer and get back to university to plan for my future. Do I teach English in China or do I interview for an airline? Having the income to travel freely in America was great, now that I have to rely on my student loan! I'm trying harder! 

This semester is coming to an end, I just have one seminar and a presentation to accomplish! Oh, I must not forget my final French exam and the dreaded Managing Human Resources final examination! I have every confidence that I shall pass this semester with flying colours! I can't think about resits because I have to get to final year so I can tackle my dissertation and finally graduate in September '14! It's been one heck of a journey since I returned back to university after my American year, I wouldn't have had it any other way! Birmingham is my current state of mind, I'm getting to know my student city on a more personal level and branching out to further places with my Newark State of Mind. The grind of the airport seems like a million miles away, assignments have taken my life up and I've created this blog that I want to carry on. I'm missing my Newark girls but I know I'm in no hurry to return, when I do its going to be major! University will get better I know Birmingham has got me!

UCB... I'm Back!

Joseph Harrison


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