In the latest edition of The Truronian 2022/23, we are delighted to share even more stories about just a few of our Old Truronians who have kindly shared their journeys after leaving Truro School with the Development and Alumni Relations team.
Here we share Dan’s story of their time at the School from 2013-2020 and achievements since.
Did you enjoy your time at Truro School?
I didn’t have the easiest path throughout my secondary school years, but I would say I enjoyed my time at Truro School as much as I possibly could given my circumstances. I definitely thrived much more than I would have at any other school and felt so lucky to be able to have all of the opportunities presented to me. I really started to grow into myself in Sixth Form, filling those two years with some very fond memories.
Do you have any special or specific memories of your time at Truro school?
More than anything I have especially fond memories of the Geography office, with it essentially being my safe place for the entirety of Sixth Form. Any time someone wanted me, I was most likely sitting on the sofa in there. I loved the quiet comfort that I was so lucky to have access to through Geography, and the way I could tell from Mrs Wormald’s (Head of Geography) tone of voice when she needed me to make her an emergency cup of tea – I’m sure the years below must have thought I was some kind of magical tea-bearing Geography goblin. The room was slowly yellow-ified to my liking and I’ve lost track of how many naps I took on the sofa or trances I went into listening to the rain hitting the window. I have many more special memories at Truro School but my associations with the Geography office will always be the most positive, from my hardest moments to my happiest.
Did you have any siblings or other relations at Truro School? If so what are their names:
My brother Adam Hill is in Sixth Form at the moment.
Did you have any specific career dreams or aspirations? Or when did you first decide upon a particular path?
No. Although I seem like someone who would want to have it all planned out, I generally act on impulse and instinct when it comes to my career dreams and aspirations. I choose what I enjoy (Geography) and when something comes up that seems interesting, I look into it. I would say that I aspire to have a career in Geography, but that would be a moot point, because as I’m sure everyone who has been taught by Mrs Wormald will know, everything is Geography (and Geography is everything).
What did you do immediately after leaving Truro School?
Cry, cry some more, then isolate for nearly two years alongside starting a Geography degree at the University of Bristol. I also did a few virtual internships, one before university (when I would’ve been doing my A-levels) and two in my first year at Bristol.
Where do you live now?
If you have now moved away from Cornwall, do you manage to visit the county and have you ever come back to Truro School for a visit?
I visit less often than I should to see my dogs, and when I go home my family also happen to live there so I get to see them too which is a nice bonus. It’s nice that my dogs let my family live with them. I’ve come back to TS loads of times; they practically can’t keep me out. I secretly still have my band, even though I know it won’t work. I can dream.
Where do you work now and where is your employment based?
I’m still at university but over the summer I’m a Barista at Starbucks in Gordano Services (extravagant, I know). I also work for the university as a student representative.
What does your current role entail?
Coffee and cleaning and talking to tired motorway drivers. Alternatively, raving about Geography to endless streams of prospective students and their overly keen or majorly disinterested parents.
Is there anything that you are especially proud of relating to your life or career?
Honestly, I am proud of every single thing I have ever achieved. It sounds like a generic answer, but if I don’t look back and be proud of myself, I think I wouldn’t be appreciating the daily effort I put in, and still do, in order to be who I am today and surpass any expectations I had of myself. I’m proud of myself for my unashamed queerness throughout school, which was by no means an easy path – I stood up for myself and never hid who I am from anyone. I’m proud of the grades I achieved both at GCSE and at A-level, whilst balancing my studies with my disabilities and advocating for my needs in and out of the classroom. I’m proud of myself for getting over my immense fear of public speaking, mostly through presenting the charity committee talks in chapel, so that now I can spontaneously stand up in front of a full lecture theatre and feel like I’m on top of the world. I’m proud of myself for deciding after the pandemic that it was time to be ‘confident Dan’, applying to two internships, getting them both, and doing them in my first year while a pandemic threatened my life on the daily. Sometimes I do have to remind myself of everything I’m proud of myself for, even the things most people would consider unexceptional, that I achieved ‘despite’.
Is there any advice you could offer anyone considering a similar life or career path?
If you’re considering a similar life to me, you’re going to love it. Follow your gut and heart – if you love something, chances are you’ll enjoy putting the work in to do well. Say yes to the opportunities that really call to you, even if in the application process you tell yourself ‘It’s fine, I’ll just use this as interview practice’. Say no when you need to, even if you feel like you should do something but don’t feel able to. Be enthusiastic, try things you wouldn’t normally, embrace every little thing about you that would make someone remember you as ‘the stranger who…’. Love yourself excessively, like way too much, but in a fun confident way not a narcissistic ‘better than everyone’ way. Do the boring work so doors open to the fun work. That’s what I did, and it seems to be going okay, even when everything crumbles around me and I’m celebrating the fact that I washed enough spoons to be able to eat cereal this morning.
Please tell us a little about your family life
My mum, Amanda, works insanely hard for me and my brother. I am so unbelievably grateful for everything she does, even if it is for a company I wholeheartedly and passionately detest on a moral basis (as everyone around me knows). My dad, Philip, is an absolute idiot and I love him even more because of it – he’d drop everything for me if I needed him to. Adam’s a weird one because he’s so very normal and I am so very not, but he’s lovely, empathetic, sensitive – I’m so proud of him. Very sappy. We are a strange bunch but I suppose it works.
What are your hobbies or how is your leisure time spent?
A couple of months ago I decided that I’d actually try and get hobbies, so now I’m one of those people who does a little bit of everything – rounders, art, gaming (the normal video kind, the board kind, and the nerdy kind), swing dancing (wildcard, I know), writing, music, clubbing (with more than necessary levels of intoxication), cooking, fossil hunting… the list goes on.
Are you still in touch with anyone from your time at Truro School?
Yes! I see Lottie Millar CO20 – one of my closest friends from school – all the time, because clubs in Exeter are shockingly awful, so she comes to Bristol to actually have a life. I did go to Exeter once, which was certainly an interesting and enjoyable night. I see Cat Boote CO20 when she’s not busy doing all of her incredible actress things, and it’s always like we never spent a day apart. And of course, I’m still in touch with the loveliest of lovely Jo Wormald, because how could I not be at this point?!
Do you feel your time at School, or anything about your time here, helped you to progress in later life?
Absolutely. Without the support I got from a huge number of teachers and other staff at Truro School, I don’t think I would have had the ability to become who I am today (subjectively, brilliant, but I’m biased), or it would have at least taken a much longer time. Obviously, the grades are helpful, but I value so much more the support I gained elsewhere in terms of my personal, emotional, and social development.
What are your immediate / long term plans for the future?
I just impulsively applied for a job with the Soil Association to go round to schools educating them about the importance of food sustainability. But assuming I don’t get that job, I was planning to do a panic ‘I don’t want to enter the real world yet’ masters, in Geography at Bristol of course. Update: Dan is currently studying for a masters in Geography at Bristol!
Are you an Old Truronian? Can we share your story in The Truronian? Simply complete the interview questionnaire online or contact the Development and Alumni Relations team at [email protected]. We want to hear from absolutely everyone – every single Old Truronian story is interesting and important.