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Friday 26 June 2020

It is fair to say, that approximately three years ago after my final A-level exam in chemistry, I was not expecting to go through clearing. I felt I hadn’t done my best in the A-Level exams and it was not a true reflection of my two years of intensive studying; however, I was confident that I would at least make my insurance choice and secure a place at university.

However, results day came, and I was overwhelmed by dread, panic, and disappointment at the sight of my grades. Not only did I not make my first choice, but my insurance choice was thrown out of the window too. I had made no back up plans, nor done any research prior into other universities and their courses.

My future seemed doomed, but I composed myself and began phoning up universities. I had originally planned to study microbiology, however after phoning several different universities, I knew I had to accept the fact that I didn’t have the required amount of UCAS points to enrol. I was swamped by a tsunami of emotions, it felt as though all my hard work to become a model student had been washed down the drain. I had done volunteering, extracurricular activities and I was on the student council for over three years; I did anything to make my CV stand out. Now it seemed as though it did not matter anymore.

I became fixated into actually getting into university and was no longer thinking clearly about which course I wanted to do. I had always seen my brother studying psychology and it seemed interesting, therefore I made the decision to phone up Solent university and ask for a place in the Bsc (Hons) Criminology and Psychology course, initially taking a foundation year first. Once I was offered a place, I felt so relieved by the fact that the next four years of my life was sorted out. However, after studying it for a year, I realised this was not the course for me and I ended up transferring to BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science and I could not be any happier.


So, from my experience here are my three top tips for clearing…


Tip 1: Remain calm

Don’t let your emotions override you on the day of clearing. It is easier said than done, but trust me, the day of clearing can feel like a roller coaster. Try not to be too fixated into actually getting into university over the course you pick.  Often this fixation of getting into university is being driven forward by all lots of emotions, therefore, remaining calm will help you think logically. University is an opportunity to pick a specific subject area which interests you and ultimately shape your future career path. Pick a course you want to do and can dedicate a good three years of your life studying for your future career.


Tip 2: Make a plan

Planning before results day is ideal, however this often gets overlooked. After finishing your exams, the last thing you want to do is think about making a plan in case you didn’t get into your chosen universities. On results day, I was panicking and didn’t spend enough time researching the universities and courses. Think about which universities you’d like to call, information about the course and their entry requirements. This will help you to avoid rushing and making rash decisions.


Tip 3: Please do not feel as though it is the end of the world if you go through clearing

I was too worried about what my parents, friends and schoolteachers thought about me going through clearing.  However, three years later, here I am studying a degree that I am deeply passionate about. Remember, detours in life may lead to discovering subject areas we never knew we liked. So please do not feel as though it is the end of the world - it is only the beginning of our journey.