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Lauren Knight: Cancer couldn’t prevent me starting university during a pandemic!

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29 November 2021

Starting University in 2020 was tricky for most students thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, but even more so for Bioveterinary Science student Lauren Knight, who had to contend with a cancer diagnosis, major surgery two weeks before Welcome Week and the requirement to spend more time at home than the average Fresher.  

But Lauren’s determination to move on with the degree and the support provided by Harper Adams meant they didn’t have to miss out on or delay student life.  

“I turned up to Welcome Week with surgical tape across my neck. I really didn’t care I just wanted to get stuck in and enjoy myself…but with everything that ended up happening, I think I spent the entirety of a week or maybe two actually on campus last year,” says the 19-year-old, from Crawley, Sussex.   

“The support I was given was fantastic - all of the staff were great, especially Emma White and Hannah Shaw who were really helpful when it came to getting the resources I needed sent out to me, or providing me with anything that I had missed.”  

Before starting on the degree, Lauren had managed to attend an Open Day at the Shropshire campus, cemented Harper Adams as their first-choice university.  

Lauren explains: “I was torn between two universities – Harper Adams and one other institution – in my eyes they were evenly matched, but it was the facilities and resources of Harper which sealed the deal for me.”   

Fast forward to two weeks before they were due to start their second-year, Lauren was given the great news that they are in remission and is now back on campus getting stuck into their degree.  

 “My favourite module so far has got to be Companion Animal Studies – my classmates are really passionate about animal welfare and this has led to some captivating and thought-provoking debates.”   

“If I had to pick one aspect of my degree that I enjoy the most it’s the laboratory work…I’m a practical person so it’s really beneficial for me to get the hands-on experience of something before applying it to the theory.”    

Alongside their studies the keen horse rider is now on searching for their third-year placement.  

“Ideally, I would like to work in the Equine Artificial Insemination industry, it’s so state-of-the-art and innovative…but any AI experience, regardless of the animal, will help me when the time comes to apply for a graduate job.” 

So, what has Lauren made of their time at Harper Adams so far? 

“It’s Harper, its unique, nowhere else could you study as hard and have so much fun in the process.” 

If you’re interested in following in Lauren’s footsteps, a look at our courses here. 

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