At the start of a new week in the year 2011, it is a week that marks an anniversary, brings back memories and it is a week where the rest of my life started!
So what's the anniversary? Monday 23rd March 2010 was the date of 'Sport Dissertation Hand In' at The University of Wolverhampton! The date every third year student looks at at the beginning of the year and thinks 'September, October, November, December, January, February, March' ... 7 months! It's only really at the beginning of the second semester of term where it dawns on you that you have three months of pure hell ahead of you, where your first and last thoughts of the day are about your dissertation! A word that get's used in nearly every conversation you have with friends or family! A word that much is becomes 'the D word' or the word that shall not be spoken!'
Now to me, the Dissertation didn't really mean what it should of! Yes I put my heart and sole into it, moved into the library, carried my laptop and printed out journals around twenty four seven but for what? Three little letters at the end of my name? It's not like I am now addressed as Andrew Leese Bachelor of Science (BSc) is it? Considering I did a Sports Coaching Degree and did my Dissertation on the life of Sport Celebrity in the Media you can tell what my degree really meant to me by the end and what direction I wanted to head once I got that cap and gown! What was really the issue for me about my dissertation was how much it really affected my degree! The dissertation module was only worth 30 credits! So therefore, nothing more than what a 1,500 word essay in First Year meant - a year that means absolutely nothing to anybody completing a degree. The amount of credits given to the Dissertation module has now been addressed, it is now worth 40 credits and every other module is worth 20 - for the simple people of the world your dissertation to a Sports Student now means double than every other module. That is the way it should of been!
Your dissertation should be your pride, your heart and soul of your degree but to me... it meant 'the end'. The end of three years of university, where the first 18 months I destroyed my bank account on alcohol, resulting in knowing everyone worth knowing on Campus in about 6 months, became an owner of a hockey stick and a regular visitor to Selfridges & Co. in the Bullring and where I was converted from 'Pro Evo' (Pro Evolution Soccer) to then FIFA 2010, now FIFA 2011. The second 18 months was where I found my 'calling', a bit of direction in life. One journal on the life of sport celebrity in the media changed everything. But instead of moving universities, or changing my degree after two years I decided to stick it out with Sports Coaching, something I am glad I did because it made me realise how much I actually cared about Sports Coaching (very little) and how much you can really get from life once you know what you want to do with it!
So now on to the memories! It all started with a little gig at the LG Arena - where some guy named Tiesto played with the support of Avicii. My personal opinion on Tiesto then was he just one of those DJ's you have to see in your life! He's been around forever! This little gig that attracted maybe ten thousand people plus to, just happened to be on March 20th - three days before dissertation hand in!!!! To most people completing a dissertation the weekend before hand in is meant to be one of panic, where you read and read and read your work to check mistakes etc etc but to me that weekend set the tone of the hangover that was to come the following Tuesday! This gig with Tiesto was 'Step 1' into the future! Now, you wouldn't find me anywhere near a Tiesto gig, boycotted at Creamfields due to the fact Swedish House Mafia we're going to steal the show and because Tiesto like I said earlier is one of those things you just have to do in life! And that was show was epic! Good enough for me never to go and see Tiesto again due to the fact it could take of the shine, the gloss of what was an immense night - a night that saw the rebirth of a pretty damn good friendship with Jamie Palmer! I won't go into further details due to the fact he will probably read this and we don't need his ego getting any bigger do we! After all, he has a police car to fit in to catch the criminals of Burton-on-Trent! All I will say is if you're ever in Walsall - go to Pizza Hut & get the fantastic deal of "Buy one large pizza and get the other full price".
Other memories from March on wards are the time spent with Charlotte Gibbs and Annabel Hey! With university coming to a close you start to think about who are the people I will keep in touch with and who are the people I really don't care about seeing again. At the time, these two girls were right at the top of the list for who I would keep in touch with! The closing months of my university journey were spent at the house of 25 Redhouse St. enjoying the weather, 'Harvester Dates' along with James Belsey - purchasing gammon with pineapple, dressing up in suits and many many salad bowls. Then there was the dressing up as pirates and Disney characters, wearing Military Boots (Okay, that was just me), lots of pre-drinking, green and purple skittles, the power of a bag of Milky Way Magic Stars (LOL!!!), re-discovering the love for "those orange triangle things" (Colypso Ice Lollies) and celebrating three birthdays in the space of 12 days (with specially made birthday cards :D).
One further point to those who played huge parts in those times - Jessica Henderson, Alice Walters, Abigale Bedford and Roisin Kay Ladden aka Roisinasaurus - thank you very much! :D
"If you're dating a dancer raise your hand, if not... raise your standards!" :-)
Now away from being all emotional and onto more good stuff! My 21st laid the groundwork of things to come, a new Ford Fiesta Zetec (FIONA :D) was purchased (not by me, but from Daddy Leese) and said hello to the future and bye bye to the old - LJO the Corsa may you rest in peace! By August I had left Lindley Catering at The Britannia Stadium and said hello to Alton Towers Conference Centre! Full time hours, away from anything to with the words 'Sports Coaching' and a stepping stone into the world of work! This gave me the opportunity to enjoy life and wages in a week that I would be living off for three months whilst at university - where such places as the Harvester or Pizza Hut buffet's are what heaven in a bowl or on a plate for students too lazy too cook!
August flew by, Creamfields saw the birth of the "CREAMTEAM" and Ibiza Closing parties were booked - Space and DC10 closing and Bora Bora beach!! Do I really need to say anything else???? Dublin soon arrived, miles and miles were walked, The Wright Venue was found and Jamie Palmer found a love for Guinness in a City that you cannot describe in a blog post or do anything you want to possibly do in four days!
Life after university seems scary, but what you find is the life spent at university is purely just a stepping stone to bigger things! The people you might not see again are the memories, the nights out are the highlights - even if you can't remember them and the life of feeling like you are in episodes of Hollyoaks prove many lessons that if learned from will provide the answers to the questions you have not even been asked yet! So far it has been a year, and by next year I will still be Andrew Leese Bachelors of Science but what I won't be is looking back at the last year and thinking where did it go? What I will be doing is writing the same blog post about the new memories and remembering university as the place I found the direction I needed to know what I wanted from the world we live in.
"Don't tell me the sky is the limit, when there are footprints on the moon"