Rambles from my makeup box.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Grades, Uni and clearing advice.

Hi everyone, I know it was results day yesterday and well done to everyone who got what they wanted! But today I thought I would offer my advice and experience on what happens if you didn't.

 It took me 4 years to get to uni which included failing exams, resitting exams and taking a totally new course all together. But after all this things worked out and I'm now really happy at Uni doing what I love.

The first time I didn't get my grades I was distraught and had to idea what to do, in fact it took me about a month to really think things through, and this is my main point I want to make, don't rush into anything! Make sure you have thought about everything and know what you want to do, don't feel pressured by anyone to make a decision. 

After that month of looking through all my options I decided to resit my exams and went back to college as I really wanted to go to uni to study diagnostic radiography. Now by the time I had decided this college had already been going for a few weeks, but luckily that didn't matter as I had already done the courses. Though I would recommend trying to enroll before the course starts.

After the year of resitting I had just missed out on my course by one grade! Of course this was upsetting but I went up to the uni I wanted to go to for advice, of course if you don't have this option you can phone them. This is a really good thing to do as they will have the best ideas for what you can do, and I was told I could take the first half of an A level and it would help give me the points I needed.

So I went back to college again and took business studies, this was a totally different route for me as I had previously taken science courses but I was good at business in secondary school. I thought doing this was beneficial to me as even though I am good at business and was presented the opportunity to take it at uni I knew I much preferred science.  So if you do get the opportunity I think taking different subjects or doing different things like taking a job can help you realize what is best for you and what you love the most.

Now once I had completed business I went through clearing, this can be particularly stressful as you feel rushed to choose something before everything goes, but whilst I was applying I found a lot of courses lasted a while on clearing so try not to worry too much. My tips for clearing are:

  • Know what you want to do - if you have one idea in mind get all the clearing numbers you need, and have a pen and some paper ready to take notes on what they say.
  • Research everything - if you are not sure what you want to do research. When I went through clearing I knew I wanted to work in science/healthcare but I didn't know what. So I looked through all the clearing courses related to that and researched them. I also made a list of pros and cons of each and this ultimately helped me picked my favorite course which ended up to be Biomedical science. 
  • Check the uni - I would say the course is most important when going to uni, but you also have to make sure the uni is good for you too, as you don't want to be stuck somewhere you don't like and are not happy with. For example if there is a course you want to do, but it is really far away make sure you are comfortable with that, otherwise it could make you very homesick and upset and may even cause you to quit.
  • Before you phone anyone make sure you have all your personal details with you - They will ask what your results are and what your clearing number is. So like I suggested before have a pen and paper with all your details on it, and a fresh sheet for writing down new information as this will help make the process quicker.
  • Phone your favourite unis first - This may seem obvious but it's a very good point as you would be upset if you get accepted into a uni you might not have particularly liked and you didn't get the opportunity to apply for your favourite. Now if this does happen you can have offers from several unis at the same time and you just need to make sure you apply for your favourite on UCAS, just make sure you don't accept one before you have all your options as it can be extra stress to remove anything once you have accepted it.

A good thing to remember uni isn't for everyone it is very expensive and can be stressful so if you are really not sure what you want to do take a gap year, maybe get a job for experience or travel the world, because this is a really big life decision and you don't want to be stuck doing something you don't want to do for the rest of your life. And if you do take a gap year don't worry about being the oldest as uni is full of people with different ages so you won't feel out of place.

And my last piece of advice is if you really want something, don't ever give up trying to get it. You'll regret it if you do.

Sorry this was so long, but I really hoped this helped if you're not sure what to do.

I send my best wishes to everyone!


  1. This is good advice :) Luckily I got my first choice, but a couple of my friends had to go through clearing.


  2. Thank you and congratulations! I hope your friends manage to find what they want.