The last four years have flown by; I remember the first day of entering my Halls of Residence at Liberty Park, Leeds, anxious about the year ahead. Immediately becoming more comfortable after meeting my roommates, with whom Liberty Park couldn’t of put six more perfect people under one roof. I began a year of partying and some studying along the way too. I remember walking into my first class and instantly becoming friends with Emily Hall as she questioned ‘’who on earth would go into that dingy nightclub, Cockpitt??’’ in which I responded, ‘’me!’’. Two years later, she was born again and was dancing the night away in Cockpitt!
I began my first assignment, which was a group presentation with a man known as ‘Rustic Rohan’ who believed ‘best served chilled’ was the Coca Cola’s slogan. Thankfully, the group was also joined by Emma Stevens, who four years later is one of my closest friends. And that began a year of mayhem, lunchtime drinking sessions and accidental racism in McDonalds. ‘’Chocolate??’’ – Impersonation is the best form of flattery. Who could forget the afternoon seminars with MC Sue after a three hour pub session, in which we would stumble drunkenly into her class as she commented ‘’You three are always happy in my class’’, before teaching us that a progress report is ‘’a report about your progress’’. £2000 a year was obviously not wasted with that type of quality education.
Sitting in on a Saturday night (the only night that students stay in) with Chinese, watching Britain’s Got Talent and the OC were the norm; as was filling up condoms with water to test their strength. And after the final exam, I became familiar with what was known as the Otley Run; a two and a half mile route of pubs between Headingley and Leeds, which has become the annual final exam tradition.
My second year took me to the USA where I worked in a hotel in Chicago as part of my University placement. A year of work experience, culture shocks, more alcohol and seeing some of the most breathtaking sites of the United States. Along the way, Emily and I visited each other’s states which led to karaoke, losing bank cards and running out of pubs with other people’s jackets, without paying for drinks! Oops!
Third year began at a new house in Burley Road with Emily, Emma and three other characters, which began an uncomfortable year in a house with a dodgy toilet. At university, we got to meet the greats such as Nigel, Grieg and Gordon! ITO nearly killed us but we strived through as house problems became much more problematic! In the end, a night of eating Chinese food led us to move out and go our separate ways. I blame the spring rolls! But my friendship with Emma and Emily never dissolved and continued into the next year.
And thus became the fourth and final year of dissertations and Consultancy Projects for the industry. My dissertation consisted of the Touristic Legacy of Michael Jackson; writing about my all-time hero just didn’t quite feel like work. Emily left to get married and have babies in America, but the Atlantic isn’t big enough to separate us! Emma and I finished as we begun, with a group presentation together, and of course, The Otley Run.
And here ends four years of madness, friendship and alcohol. Who knows where we will all be in the coming months, but I am highly excited about the prospects ahead. I thank you to everyone who made the last few years the best of my life. Goodbye and Good luck to everyone at Leeds Metropolitan University BA (Hons) International Tourism Management class of 2011! :)