I grew up in a moderately sized house in Elstree, a relatively peaceful suburb of London. My parents, Neil and Alison Gold, supplied me with anything that I needed without spoiling me. Even though they would later divorce, the atmosphere within the home was relaxed and cheerful. The other inhabitants included my brother Michael, 3 years younger than me, and of course the family dog who was held extremely highly in our collective esteem!
Childhood|School, classes, college|Moving
1998 - 2007
Although I began school several years earlier, 1998 marks the year in which our family moved to Watford. It is only 10 minutes from our previous home in Elstree but a very different experience due to the divorce of my parents. I am grateful that, to this day, they have remained in contact and have an amicable relationship.
However, this meant that my brother and I would live with our mother while spending time with our father on weekends, as well as the occasional visit on Wednesday evenings. The biggest tragedy to behold our family in this time period was the death of our family dog, Lilly. Otherwise I have nothing but a decade's worth of fond memories.
I attended Merchant Taylor's School where they put an enormous amount of pressure on pupils. Consequently, they have no choice but to succeed. Fortunately, I eventually fitted this disciplinarian approach, and was conditionally invited to study English Literature at The University of Leeds, dependant on A-Level results. At the time, the School of English was rated as one of the top 5 of its subject in the country, so I considered the invitation an honour and set about working. Ultimately my results sufficed, as I managed As in English and Maths and a C in French. I also participated in the Advanced Extension Award English examination, earning a Distinction for my efforts. This placed me in the highest percentile of Englsh students in the country, and is something of which I am extremely proud.
And so began my University Experience...
Meanwhile : Northern Ireland Peace process ...more
September 2007 - May 27, 2011
The University Years
My life at Leeds was very exciting since it was the first time that I had lived away from home. There had been trips such as a month in South Africa with my primary school, and another month spent in Israel, but never anything so independent. I was on my own - manually scrubbing plates and washing clothes!
I made many friends in my first year, several of which I am sure will be life-long friendships, although the literature did nothing to inspire me. Well, it wasn't exactly the fault of the literature, but more the concept of socialising rather than studying in what is called 'Fresher's Year'. Hence I was a Fresher and did not like the sound of Virginia Woolf and William Shakespeare. My second year I was slightly more involved as the work became important to my degree.
The subsequent year I took part in a study abroad Erasmus year in Montpellier, France. It was here that I learned fluent French and met my current girlfriend Sara, who helps me a lot with my language skils. This year opened my mind to the sense of liberty that accompanies a new language as it allows access to an entire new culture. I spent the entire Summer there, and only returned to England in time for my final year of studies at Leeds.
It finally began to click and I was empassioned by my studies.