Not going to lie, but this is probably the hardest post I have ever written. It wasn’t because I didn’t know what to say, but I felt angry at myself for letting myself down on results day last year. I went through clearing, and that is something I never wanted to do. I wanted to go to my first choice university I wanted to move away from home, but I didn’t.

This isn’t a negative post about clearing. Clearing can be great. You can change your course. Go to a university you never considered before and actually like where you go.

I know what this week feels like, leading up to them A-Level results and finding out if you got into the university of your first choice or not.

What happened then?
To keep things simple, I didn’t get the grades to read Economics at the University of Kent or University of Reading and I was derversated. Actually, I sat on my bed crying when I received the emails at 7am in the morning. I hated myself. I didn’t know what I was going to do and started looking on the UCAS clearing page from that moment and I still didn’t know my grades. Let’s just say it was a shit day. 
The dreaded ‘Clearing’!

Clearing isn’t that bad. Yes you heard my correct, clearing really isn’t that bad. 
For me, clearing put my in a position to change what degree I wanted to do. Yes this wasn’t at the university where I had my heart set, but maybe that didn’t matter. 
Clearing almost put me in charge of my own life. Yes with shitty grades, which where then re marked and I went up a grade. Thanks for that OCR marking me 10 marks down. Love you for that one, NOT! As for my English Literature grade, I blame that on the school for not sending of my paper to be remarked because it would cost them too much. With English literature, even my teachers were like ‘you got A’s on all your mocks, so how the hell did this happen’. Fucking exam boards, and yes I am still fuming to this day. 
The day started out crap, but by the end of the day I had offers from every university I phoned up. I had about 10 or 12 offers. Some of these universities I didn’t want to go, but I still phoned up. In the end I got into the University of Essex studying International Relations with a year abroad. That wasn’t something I had planned. I didn’t want to go to Essex. Not because I thought it was a rubbish university, because it isn’t, but because it was only 20 minutes up the road. I want to go further, but I didn’t and that is really my own fault. 
That day really wasn’t that bad. My teachers helped me out a lot and I actually became more confident in myself. I had to phone universities up. It was my choice. I wanted to go to university, so I had to get out of my comfort zone and phone as many universities as possible.

It’s okay!

Don’t think that because you are going through clearing, or got a place at university through clearing makes you a failure. At the end of the day, its three or four letters on a piece of paper, that once you have got your degree and the relevant experience count for nothing. 
I got a high 2:1 in my first year of university, and I am bloody proud of that. I know I could have got a first, but I hated one of the modules and that let me down. 
Personal, I don’t think I would have enjoyed Economics. I love my course. It was a course i never even thought about till after my exams. So it is kinda a good thing that I had to go through that process. 
I sometimes wish I wasn’t a Essex University though. Not because of the course, but because of the location. It is very close to home, so close that I am actually commuting next year. However, I never imagined Essex University to be quite what it is like in terms of sometimes feeling in the minority. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but I wish I had gone further up North, but this has nothing to do with clearing. 
What I am trying to say is that, even if you have picked a university with your heart set on, the open days, prospectus, university website and social media pages don’t always display an accurate representation of the university. That might be the same when you think of a said university during clearing and its not what you expect. 
My course on the other hand goes above my expectations, although I didn’t think foreign PHD students would be marking my essays and given me feedback with spelling and grammar errors. 
What to do?

If you have to go through clearing don’t worry. 
As soon as you get your results, go on UCAS and start calling up every university that you like the look of and the look of the course. If you don’t like the look of the university or the course, then don’t phone up. 
Try to stay calm and try as many universities as possible. 
You will get a place. 
Love, Alicia x

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