12 May 2014

UCB: The Final Deadline!

It blows my mind to think that exactly four years ago I finished college in Wolverhampton, leaving me with little time to prepare for my university experience that would of commenced in September of 2010. This journey isn't completely over yet, nor will it ever really be because I will have my degree and the memories that were made in the city of Birmingham!

Let's start at the beginning, some would say that its a very good place to start? September 2010 brought the day I moved to the Maltings, the halls of residence for the students of University College Birmingham. I've mentioned bits and bobs about this place but in this instance this will probably be for the final time. I made a group of friends quite quickly and the rest is history. Freshers at the Maltings was amazing, it was a time that I look back on and cherish because before my time in Birmingham I never went out on the town! University and the first semester definitely changed me but really I never needed to be changed for their was nothing wrong with me! From pre-drinks to our nights whilst living at the Maltings the first year was the best of all.

The drama reared its ugly head but without that profound dynamic it would of been only a matter of time before the second year would put us all on our separate tracks. I did enjoy student life quite a lot but time is time! The group changed along with the different flats I lived throughout my first three semesters, some of us would stay in touch but we all had different paths. I would like to say that I'm a good judge of character but I have found over recent years that the more I know about someone its either a make or break situation, if your a friend of mine then you have been saved from the chop! From 142 Davenport House to 813 Thomas House its been emotional. I have made peace with the Maltings so I'm ready to move on forwards! B1 1SB it was an pleasure! It's time to pack up now!

Assignments and presentations whizzed past in the first year, securing me with the grades to move forward to year two. The fresher front had changed quite considerably, we all saw our next step and life gets in the way because the party has to finish at some point. I had only gone and got myself a job at Walt Disney World in Orlando, USA for the summer of 2011. I jetted off to the land of Mickey Mouse to work at Futureworld North, Epcot in the Merchandise department. I interviewed at university during the November period of 2010 and found out before the New Year that I would become a Cast Member! I'm glad I had gained some life experience beforehand in Birmingham during my first year at university because I got on just fine. My magical internship lasted three months but it wasn't all pixie dust and smiles all the time. Oh Mickey, how I miss you! I wouldn't mind going back to work a few shifts! Let's make a wish!

Being at university hadn't really sunk in for there had been something going on from the word go! I loved my time in Orlando even though life provides us with a few hiccups here and there I'm definitely stronger than yesterday! I went to Miami! Little did I know I would be returning to the United States five months after my Delta flight touched down at Manchester Airport. Uni hadn't been so difficult because all the modules I had to do didn't contribute to my final year so it was a free for all as long as we passed the assignment and the year we had got to second year! Away from Disney I knew that things would be hotting up with my studies so it was time to work! Juggling work in Birmingham for the first time with freshers in the first year proved to be a challenge, I look back and just can't comprehend how I could work at Primark with a terrible hangover after another top Friday night at Propaganda! It's a fresher thing! Disney picked me! Joe from Bilo' made it across the pond!

One year in New Jersey?! My degree contained a 48 week placement so I interviewed for a few locations in America but I had a good feeling about Newark Airport. I spent one year working as a Passenger Service Agent for Virgin Atlantic Airways. I found it especially challenging to report for the early shift at 4am most days. I loved my job when I put the tiredness behind me I met some great people, I keep in contact with my specials. Being on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean wasn't always a bunch of roses, I missed the birth of my two cousins but when all said and done I wouldn't trade my Virgin Atlantic days for my down days. I welcome you to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse! I loved that place and the famous faces that I welcomed to Newark's plushest residence, my VS sisters made each of my morning shifts unforgettable! Check-in was crazy, I won't forget checking-in a rather eccentric 80's music icon! Oh, Brit was fierce!

It wasn't all work and no play! I jetted off to several places during my Industrial Placement. Living in Newark was a experience, it was a time that I'll never want to forget! I'm in no hurry to return, I know I will in my own time. Being away from Birmingham gave me the chance to reevaluate the time I had spent getting mortal most of the time so I wanted to get out more and challenge myself to see more parts of Birmingham because the clock would begin to tick as soon as my VS2 flight would touch down in London. Seeing New York City every week or so was such a thrill, I took the subway all over the city and went to neighbourhoods that even my American co-workers hadn't even been to! I loved being an international fish! From Puerto Rico to my two Canadian trips I really didn't know what to expect for my final three semesters back at university. From freshers to checking passports, I have to pinch myself that these amazing opportunities shaped my UCB life.

Back to Birmingham for I had to return for the concluding part of my degree. I went back to university with a new outlook for my future and I had missed Brum from the point of just getting out away from the city centre to seek something new. The modules got more complex but nothing good can be achieved easily, its great to work for something. I struggled to get my head back in the game for the jump from Newark to assignments was a challenge. Friendships are made but I would realise its only natural to phase one or two out. ITO was good! 2013 brought a great summer, I would need the break for final year would feel like a marathon! Never listen to the woes of others about their dissertations! Please don't make me learn French again!

Final year wasn't so bad, its had its moments but above all I have really enjoyed it. I joined the LGBT Society at UCB from October 2013 and through being a member I have made new friends to enjoy some great nights out down the Village. My dissertation took me to Manchester for one night in January 2014 so I could understand my subject. It's not been a bunch of roses completely but what's life without a bit of struggle? With the assignments almost done, the final seminar due on the 19th of May 2014, there's really not much else to do. Birmingham as a city has shown me so much, its taught me that if I can live here and experience Newark as well I can pretty much live anywhere! The final deadlines have all been completed and submitted! I really want a 2:1 degree!

UCB ... The Cakes Army!

Joseph Harrison 

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