Starting university is always a huge step for anyone to take - starting during a pandemic and then catching it yourself makes it more memorable than most.
The former head boy and head girl of Springwood High School both started their higher education journey last month, and so far it’s been an experience neither of them will forget.
Will Coase is studying at the internationally renowned Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts - established by Sir Paul McCartney - which has a reputation for kick-starting careers for actors and musicians.
Of his first 33 days in the city, Will has been self-isolating for 14 as he tested positive for Covid-19 and lost his sense of taste and smell, which he has subsequently recovered.
“The university has been really good, it’s basically 80 per cent online at the moment," he said. "At one point the uni had a quarter of the students in isolation so it’s been a bit difficult.
“I joked that I would get better from Covid and they would shut the pubs - and now they have so that’s not so great."
Will said the staff at Springwood High School, part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust, had played a vital role in helping him take the first steps towards his dream career in the music industry.
“School was very supportive with my decisions, they were always happy for me to go off to auditions and took an interest in how things were going,” he said.
“Previously I’d been at a much smaller school but I found the staff here were always approachable and had time for you.”
Despite looking at other institutions around the country, Will said choosing Liverpool was a “no brainer.”
“Once I came to Liverpool, that was it,” he said. “It has great facilities, the industry connections are amazing, and it gives you a world class education.”
From what he says, it is not dissimilar to his feelings about Springwood.
“A lot of the success that happens at Springwood is down to the appreciation that staff and pupils have for one another,” he said. “The facilities are great too, so together they really give you a desire to work hard.”
Sammy Leet also left Springwood to head for university and she went to Warwick to study psychology. She too has been hit by the Coronavirus.
“Although University during a pandemic wasn’t the experience I had in mind when I applied, it has been such a positive experience for me. I get to study the subject I love and live independently,” she said.
It was the passion of her teachers at Springwood that helped her fall in love with the subject and to continue her studies.
“What really stood out for me was my teachers’ passion for the subjects they teach, particularly for social sciences. It made me fall in love with the subject and as a result I was really successful,” she said.
“I’ve already made what I think will be lifelong friendships with my flat mates and as a result, my mental and physical health has never been better.
"The impact of Coronavirus has, for obvious reasons, been detrimental to the typical university experience. But I think there’s a lot of positives that need acknowledgment too. I personally really get on with having my lectures online.
“Warwick has really impressed me with the safety measures in place. I’m actually in isolation currently as I’m recovering from a positive Covid-19 test.
"As soon as I showed symptoms the university moved me to an en suite hotel room with a hot food delivery to my room three times a day to help me recover. They also immediately put my flat into isolation from the rest of the university.”
Barking Dog Media
We provide a range of media services to help you promote, market and represent you or your organisation, club or business in public.