UCAS and UCAS extra didn’t work out for me as I had originally planned and so I had to go with plan B which was to apply through Clearing. I received my results from college and went home with an idea of the course I wanted to study. I began to look at universities with the chosen course nationwide. I lined up five different telephones and began calling university after university. It was like being in a call centre, calls going out and calls coming in. Leeds Beckett had biomedical sciences in Clearing and after a quick review of the course outline online, I was highly convinced that this sounded like the place to be.
Why I chose Leeds Beckett
I chose Leeds Beckett University as it was very highly spoken of and had a great reputation. The course was brand new and had updated content in comparison to other universities. As well as this, Leeds was in close proximity to my hometown allowing me to stay at home and commute to university. My campus was located in the city centre which looked awesome in terms of getting access to food places and shopping centres.
Over the phone things were sorted out so quickly and within five minutes I became a first-year student at Leeds Beckett University. I couldn’t believe that things could happen as quickly as they did, and it took a while to sink in. Clearing was a rollercoaster ride. It was overwhelming to have so many universities throwing all this information at me from everywhere and I was feeling so many emotions. Leeds Beckett provided an intense amount of support and the Clearing staff were incredibly patient and showed that they understood what I was going through.
I would definitely recommend the Clearing process to anyone who is thinking about it. Unlikely as it sounds, Clearing taught me some pretty useful skills such as being organised and sticking to deadlines because the offers are time sensitive and there is a set time that you have to accept your place before you lose it. Here are some of the things that I found useful and have learnt during my Clearing experience that I hope will help you too.
My top five tips for Clearing:
- Be Ready - Make a plan beforehand just in case your plan A and plan B don’t work out. That way if you need to apply through Clearing you already know what you have to do and you’re ahead of the game. The plan should outline the course you want to do, the universities offering that course, the contact telephone numbers (it’s always handy to call universities before results day and find out if the chosen course will be in Clearing. That way you are not calling universities that are not offering that course in Clearing on the day and wasting vital time). Writing a few short notes on what to say on the day can help as some students forget what to say and struggle when talking to universities.
- Wake up early - Clearing hotlines usually open at around 8am and they are usually extremely busy so waking up early and being one of the first people in line can put you in a great position in terms of getting into your preferred university.
- Ask for help - Going through Clearing by yourself and having so many things going on can be really tough for one person. Having family there to help you out on the day can be really handy. Allocate various members roles – waiting in the queues when calling lots of universities, for example.
- Remember you’re not alone - It’s important to remember that you will not be the only student in the Clearing situation. Thousands of students will be trying to secure a place at university, and many of them will be feeling a similar way to you.
- Stay Calm - As mentioned earlier Clearing is a rollercoaster ride and can be really overwhelming so it is important you keep a calm head when you start the process, keep hydrated and be focused.
I hope this has been helpful and I wish you good luck in your application!