I still vividly remember meeting Jacob on what must have been one of our very first days at university during Fresher's Week. We were both attending the Geography Society social in which everyone is able to meet their course mates for the first time. In what would turn out to be the best thing to happen to me at university, I chose to sit down next to Jacob and we immediately got on like good friends. I remember his inimitable wit and openness, which quickly had me and all others around the table laughing and chatting despite all being strangers. As the drinks flowed, Jacob and I were already shaping up to be partners in crime and I knew I wanted this man as my friend.
Fast-forward a few weeks and we had become regulars at the students' union pub quiz. Jacob was absolutely essential to have on your team, as his encyclopaedic knowledge of music and sport would go on to secure us several wins despite a bar full to the brim with other teams. After a long day of lectures, planning would begin for the night ahead. We would meet at a friend's flat in university halls and Jacob would share with us his eclectic music taste. He would bemoan my then uncultured taste in music, and I was promptly educated in a new genre that would go on to always remind me of our two years living together. Much like at the quiz, Jacob was an essential presence on any night out. Every tribute you see from university friends will no doubt mention how much fun, energy and enthusiasm he brought to a group. He had a quick wit which never missed an opportunity and he had an unassuming way with people to make them feel at ease, so no joke was every badly received. As the night progressed, Jacob and I would never fail to see a night through to the bitter end.
In second and third year, I had the pleasure of living with Jacob, first in 259 Duke Street and then later 13 Belgrave Square. It feels cliché to say that there was never a dull moment, but it was absolutely true. Whether we were enjoying film nights, writing assignments into the early hours, enjoying a few drinks or nursing hangovers, he was always an uplifting presence. We enjoyed a tongue-in-cheek rivalry that kept each of us on our toes and always on guard against the next witty line that could and would drop at any and moment. The jokes never got old, and the ones that did never got unfunny.
I remember how early 9am lectures used to feel and walking up Sheffield's steep hills during the winter months required mutual words of encouragement. We didn't quite make it to all of our lectures, but I'd like to think we always came up with a decent excuse as to why not. We also endured many long hours in the university library, helped along by energy drinks and mountains of snacks. I remember thinking that we worked well together, and I was always glad to have him there when we were getting our heads around particularly difficult essay topics and assignments. By the end of third year, we were true veterans of Sheffield. Nobody could ever have accused us of not making the most of every social, every night in and every night out. We left no stone unturned, and no pint unfinished.
It's so heart breaking to have lost Jacob. Over our three years at uni we navigated our way into adulthood together and I had the pleasure of knowing him during one of the best times in his life. I treasure every memory, just as I know so many others around him do too. I take solace in the fact that had I had my time at uni again, I wouldn't have changed a thing and that is due in a very large part, to Jacob.
Thank you for everything,