I’ve kept music as a hobby and purposely not studied it at GCSE or A–level. I’ve been playing the piano for nine years and in my last exam gained a distinction at grade 5. I’ve had classical guitar lessons for fun. I’ve been a part of the school celidh band and jazz band for a number of years. The jazz band recently played at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, which was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed performing at a professional venue with an audience of thousands. With friends from school I helped organise and perform in a fund raising concert for a school in Romania.
Now at university I am a member of the Ceilidh band, playing the guitar. It's been great fun, playing our first ceilidh on campus after only 6 weeks together, which was a great success.
Edit May 2006: The Ceilidh band has now played 2 ceildhs on campus, both of which were a great success. I have been made treasurer of the ceilidh society, which has so far gone well, despite the previous treasurer telling me almost nothing about the job! We now have a very good society and hope to grow and improve it in the future.
I’ve been a member of the Scout movement from of 8 to 16. I enjoyed the camping and activities, my favourite being the Cheshire hike, covering a distance of about 18km carrying all our gear and camping overnight with a friend. I reached the position of senior patrol leader and was one of the last scouts in the country to be awarded the chief scouts award.
It is not only with scouts that I’ve been camping. I’ve been to the greenbelt music festival for 4 days last summer with six friends, having to look after and feed ourselves.
As an extra curricular activity at college I took part in a first aid at work course run by the red cross and passed.
I have acquired a range of gadgets from shop bought equipment to bought kits to items I have designed and built myself. I enjoy computing, particularly tinkering with the machines, and some friends and I have occasional ‘LAN parties’, networking our individual machines and playing games, but a lot of technical knowledge is required to actually make it work. The knowledge aquired from these activities helped me a lot in my first job, being able to use computers and teach others too was a very useful skill. I also made a lot of friends in the first few days at university by connecting peoples PC's and laptops to the intranet.
Before moving to Warwick University I was involved for many years in a local christian youth group. We had week long summer camps at a boarding school in Herefordshire, for fun, adventure, and to learn to live and work together. We were split into groups of about 10 people and had various challenges to do over the week. The challenges were designed to allow us to develope technical skills, team work, talking to large groups of people, and a sense of responsibility to our group. Last year I turned 18 and became a leader of a group. It was a very interesting experience, being involved in the planning and running of a large scale operation (there were about 60 kids last year).