Bit About Me Series – Birth Through Middle School

Welcome To The World
I was born December 30th, 1985 in Carlton, at the northern edge of the Melbourne CBD in Australia. I was the first born child and first grandchild for both sets of my grandparents, so I’ve always been the oldest of my generation in the family. When I was born we were living close to where we live now, but we moved into our current house when I was one year old, so I’ve only known one home my entire life really.

As a young kid I had blonde straight hair, now I have brown curly hair. From a very young age I loved sports. My dad would take me to training sessions and games of the local football team from before I could even walk. When I was three or four years old a new neighbour moved in and we soon became best friends and remained so until I was about 11 years old and he and his family set off on a round the world boat trip. He was a little younger than me, so he was in the year below me at school, but we were pretty much inseparable outside of school. Together we enjoyed an obsession for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and hundreds of backyard cricket battles.

Early Schooling
I went to Kindergarten just around the corner; I don’t really remember much of that, other than some high quality crayon artwork that decorated the walls of our house for a few years. Primary school began at age five, from years Prep to 5 I went to my local public primary school. For the early years I really enjoyed it and had lots of great friends, but in the latter years things kind of fell apart for me, I fell out with friends, became a little unhappy, but at the same time grew to enjoy my own company than that of others.

Throughout this time I lived and breathe sports, football in the winter and cricket in the summer. At the time I supported my Dad’s team, the Saints and we would go to all the home games. I played for my local team, and was an alright player, I was one of the first of my age group to reach 50 games because I started when I was really young. Unfortunately, as I fell out with my friends at school, playing footy with them also became an unhappy experience, so I gave it up. I only played one season of cricket; I probably took it up too young and struggled to get into it. Informally though, I played heaps of cricket.

At the age of 9 I switched football teams to my current team, the Brisbane Lions. There were a number of reasons for the change, but in the end I am glad that I made it. I never really had the choice of whom to support when I young, I was kind of just thrust into it. For those international readers, Australian Football rouses the equivalent passions that Ice Hockey does for Canadians, Soccer does for the Europeans and American Football does for the Americans, so it is quite a big deal just to change teams, particularly to one that is based and the other end of the country.

The Next Phase of Schooling
I moved St. Leonard’s at the start of grade six and immediately became much happier. In some ways it was weird to join a school in the last year of primary, but in many ways it was good that I could form friends before an influx came the year for high school. That year I met a few people that I remain good friends with now. The next year I made lots of new years as well. Year 7 was a lot of fun with an influx on new faces and the beginning of high school learning. I travelled through many friendship circles throughout school, but there were a few people who I remained really good friends with throughout. I didn’t really enjoy languages that much and to me that was just a waste of time, just as a lot of other things taught in high school were.

At the end of year six I took up basketball, in a team with a few guys from school. I had never played basketball before, but it came pretty naturally to me in the end. I played in a team with Gordon and Mike P for a good number of years, two guys that I still play Indoor cricket and soccer with. I kept at basketball, playing for about 12 seasons (6 years). In that time I won two premierships and one most valuable player award. I never really played anything about B grade though, and mostly it was D grade.

In early high school I was pretty obsessed with professional wrestling, I’d watch it constantly, I’d read/chat about it online and I even got into running my own wrestling related web site that had over 300 members. I suffered a broken nose when a friend put a move on me and sent me face first into the ground and I killed three of my front teeth doing a flip move on the trampoline. As I landed the flip my teeth slammed down into my knee. Luckily at the time had, and still have a wire on my teeth, otherwise they would have fallen out. I think I probably grew out my wrestling phase and in a way it was later replaced by poker.

Ever since I was a little kid I was quite entrepreneurial. From setting up stores in the street, to running my own composting business, I wasn’t exactly normal in that way. When I reached the age of about 12 the internet was just beginning to come into vogue and I soon found that creating my own web sites provided an outlet for my ideas. It wasn’t until I was about 16 though that I had one that actually made me some money.

I got my first job when I was 15, working at the local video stores, I didn’t really stay there long enough to do anything other than sort and shelve videos. Mundane work combined with poor business practices saw me out of there pretty quick. Thankfully, I was never really a big spender of money so a part-time job really wasn’t that necessary during my high school years. Well, I think that gives a fair bit of insight into my life up until the upper school level of high school, stay tuned for my next blog in the series!

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

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