Excitement and nervousness for students as they return to Wolverhampton campus

Students have spoken of their excitement to be back, despite concerns about the effect of coronavirus on their studies.

Lucy Harper and Melissa Dale are both due to start their first years at Wolverhampton University – in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis
Lucy Harper and Melissa Dale are both due to start their first years at Wolverhampton University – in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis

Halls of residence across the region are starting to fill up, with tens of thousands moving in to the region ahead of the start of term.

Wolverhampton University’s virtual fresher week starts today, with new and returning students also starting lectures.

Students returning to campus, or starting their first year at university, admit to having mixed feelings about the uncertainty the Covid crisis has brought, but praised the university for its communication during the pandemic.

Outside campus, new students said they were looking forward to starting their courses – but are still in the dark about how their lectures would run.

Melissa Dale, 18, from Willenhall, who will be starting her first year at the university studying forensic science, said: “I am really excited to be starting university, but obviously I am anxious about it too.

"The university has been re-assuring us constantly and there is lots of social distancing measures in place.

“I was worried to start with that the whole year would be virtual and I didn’t want to waste my first year on computers, I still wanted to live that university life.

"We have not heard much about lectures yet but we have been told there will be social distancing if we have lectures in person.”

Lucy Harper, 18, who will be studying history with secondary education, said: “I am really excited to get back into a form of routine – but I am bit gutted it’s all Covid as I wanted to have a proper experience for my first year of university.

“Because of Covid, I decided to stay at home in Willenhall and go to university locally. I was originally going to Worcester University to move out into halls but I decided to stay local with all of this.

“I just want to know where we are we haven’t had any timetables yet and we are due to start on Monday.”

Nicholas Alexander, 33, who is in his second year at the university studying business management, said: “Everything just slowed down last year but the university has been really great, keeping us up to date – they had really good communication with us.

Nicholas Alexander, who was raised in Miami, but now lives in Whitmore Reans, is returning to his second year studies at the university

“They have given us lots of detail and ideas of what it will be like going to the university next week.”

Nicholas was born in the UK but raised in Miami in America, and he now lives in Whitmore Reans. He added: “We will have to book online to visit the library in slots, ring a buzzer to get into the university buildings – it sounds safe as far as I can see.

“Lectures will be a combination of virtual and in person, they have not stopped children going to school – so why stop students going to university?

“I just hope there’s not a major second wave of the virus.”

Bethany Williams, 20, is in her second year at Wolverhampton University studying animal behaviour and wildlife conservation. She is from Telford and is living in student flats at Liberty Heights.

Bethany Williams, 20, is in her second year at Wolverhampton University studying animal behaviour and wildlife conservation

She said: “We have not had any timetables yet, so I am not sure how it will work out.

“I think it is going to be a bit more online rather than being on campus more this year.

“They are holding virtual freshers events, and there is a fresher’s fair taking place virtually.

“It is a shame for the students that are starting this year as they won’t get the same experience we have had before.

“I have not had any problems moving into the accommodation.

“There’s signs everywhere for social distancing, we have to wear masks in common areas – we have had lots of emails keeping us up to date, it has been really well thought out.”

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