How to survive Clearing

Charlotte Wood is a 'Clearing' survivor - this is her story on how she survived Clearing.

Clearing was not part of my life-plan. It was definitely not something I had even thought about before that year.  But things never happy the way you plan! It was scary, and upsetting, but it also wasn’t the end of the world. I loved my university experience and wouldn’t have traded it for anything. At the time of course this isn’t useful at all, but here are some pieces of advice that hopefully should be!

Do some research beforehand.

Although I wanted to bury my head in the sand and ignore it, I used the few weeks before to do some online research just in case. The Telegraph has the best Clearing guide I have seen and they now have an app that you can use on the day.

Be prepared.

You will need your UCAS Track details and your results. The best places go quickly, so make sure you have everything on hand to avoid wasting time.

Look for universities that you have visited.

Newcastle was one of my top 5 choices, so when I saw it on clearing I immediately went for that. After I rang up, I gave my UCAS Track details and accepted it online. It’s going to happen really quickly, so if you have seen the university before then it can feel like less of an unknown entity.

Is this the right thing?

I’m a believer in the ‘everything happens for a reason’ school of life. If you’re unsure about going, take this as an opportunity to evaluate. If you don’t get your grades, are you just going to university because its the ‘done’ thing? Would you prefer to try an apprenticeship, or go straight into work? University isn’t the be-all and end-all. Make sure you want to go for the right reasons.

It’s okay if you are upset.

That day for me was a bit of a blur. It’s really hard to wake up and realise what you feared most has come true. It’s also okay not to be okay about it. Honestly - it took me a whole year before I forgave myself for messing up. That evening when everyone was out celebrating, I went home and cried. And all of that is okay. You can be excited about the next chapter and sad it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to.

UniversityWeb editor