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Clearing. This time last year I sat my Mum down and explained the controversial topic of ‘what if’ I didn’t get into my chosen course at my chosen university? I just didn’t think Clearing was an option. Flash forward one year and I have finished my first year on a different course at a university four hours away from the one I initially planned on going to. Why is this? Clearing.

Step one: Remove perceptions of clearing

At the time of finishing A-levels, I thought that if I wasn’t going to get in to my firm choice I clearly wasn’t academic enough to go to university. This is a completely false statement. Clearing is nothing to be ashamed about and people change for a number of reasons: results, career path, location etc.

Step two: Think about the pros and cons of your previous choice

My Clearing decision was extremely rushed and therefore I’m massively lucky I haven’t regretted the decision. Prior to results day I would encourage anyone to make a list of positives and negatives regarding your firm choice. For me my firm choice was five hours away and the course wasn’t for me anymore – this allowed me to put right the decision I made back in October.

Step three: Research, research and more research

Using the list, the UCAS course finder and the location selector, have a look on the week prior to results day. On doing this I’d recommend making a shortlist of potential alternatives with their contact details to ensure your results day is as smooth and seamless as possible.

Step four: the call

On the day, Clearing can be overwhelming; you’ve been met with a curveball and have limited time to sort something. The phone call can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re like me and loathe the idea of phone conversations. To my surprise I was met with a happy member of Bournemouth University who was calming, reassuring and happy to help me. As long as you have your UCAS number and grades to hand you’ll be absolutely fine, trust me!

In all honesty, Clearing was the best thing that happened to me and taking the leap into a decision I hadn’t prepared for has made me grow as an individual. Even if you’re like the old me and are against Clearing, take the jump and you won’t regret it. Good luck on your results day and future endeavours!

By Amy-Grace White

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