Okay, so you have just found out that you haven’t got the grades you needed to get into your firm or insurance place at university! Don’t panic as there are other options available and it isn’t quite the end of the world (just yet).
Firstly, calm down, take a deep breath and have a cuppa. Now is probably a good time to sign into UCAS and double check your offer statuses. This is because if you have only missed out slightly then your choice of university might have changed their mind. I missed out on both my choices, so trust me, I know how you are feeling right now.
Secondly, if your school/college is open then it might be an idea to drop in and speak to your tutor who will be able to assist you or advise you. Aside from that act fast and make sure that you are quick to get in on the clearing action. You will be able to find a clearing number on UCAS, which you will need to reference later on alongside your recent A-Level/IB/etc grades, GCSE grades and UCAS number.
Also, a key tip is to phone or email your choice of universities yourself! Between IB results day and A-Level results day, I was able to make (pretty much) best friends with admissions tutors at the University of Sussex, UCL and LSE. I phoned and emailed daily, in order to convey my (desperation) want to get into their universities (and well, it worked)! This applies for clearing, make sure that you are constantly talking to various admissions tutors at different universities as the majority of clearing spaces will fill up long before the deadline (21st September 2015).
Another thing to remember is that you don’t have to accept the first offer that is given to you in clearing. Choosing a university and degree course is an important decision that has to be right for you. If possible then try and visit any universities that you are considering before making a final choice. Also don’t forget that throughout selecting your initial ‘top 5’ and ‘firm/insurance’ universities you would have had a few that you disregarded, it is worth revisiting those choices just incase you find an alternative one that you like.
Friends and family are a crucial support network especially when it comes to making big decisions. Ask them for their opinion and discuss your options with them. My Mum, despite having no clue on how the UCAS system works, was fantastic at keeping me calm and overall positive about the whole situation.
Once you have made the choice and applied through clearing, then it is time to relax and more than likely celebrate. After-all, universities don’t want spare spaces in their lecture halls! Although, if you don’t find a university that suits you or in the rare situation that you miss out on clearing, then all is not lost. You don’t have to go to university when you are 18, 19, 20, etc, as it is never too late. Other options include Adjustment, gap years or Deferring your placement.
So to recap:
- DO double check your offer.
- DO be as calm as possible.
- DO attempt to contact the universities personally.
- DO act fast in regards to the clearing process, as spaces will fill up quickly.
- DO utilise support networks nearby.
- DON’T accept any offer unless you are absolutely certain.
- DON’T feel pressured into going to university straight after school.
- DON’T give up.
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Over the next few weeks, I will be posting several university related posts such as “what to pack”, “what to expect from freshers week” and “how to make new friends” – if you would like to keep up to date with my posts then subscribe to my mailing list :)