Emily's top tips
Drama with English student Emily Kay, who came to Loughborough University through Clearing, shares her top tips about receiving exam results and the Clearing process.
Take some time to think
If you don't get the results you want or have a change of mind it can obviously be quite stressful and upsetting. I think it's important to stop and take some time to think about whether you are happy to go elsewhere and if so, what sort of criteria you will look for in other universities.
There are lots of options through Clearing and many of them will probably not suit your criteria exactly so it's important to know exactly what you're after.
Be open minded
You may not find your first choice of course/uni through Clearing so try and be as open- minded as you can. Think about different combinations of your subject and it's good to have an open attitude to new options.
Personally, I had never considered studying English at university level but when Loughborough offered me the combination, I thought I could give it a go and I'm really glad I did both subjects.
Get some help
You might not be in the position to have much help from teachers, parents or friends but having second opinions and advice really helps. You will probably find yourself in a position where you need to be ringing different universities simultaneously and for me, having my parents dialling and handing the phone over when we got through saved valuable time.
Saying that, don't be tempted to get your parents to speak to the universities for you - I know it's scary but the university want to speak to you as you're the person who is going there after all. All the universities I spoke to were really friendly so it is not as scary as it seems; be brave!
It's also good to talk through your options with other people after getting some offers through Clearing and do some research into the universities before accepting anything.
Be friendly and positive
Some universities will have a brief chat with you about your personal statement/grades and others will ask you more personal questions such as 'Tell me a bit about yourself'. Yes, it might not be the first university you've spoken to that morning but be as positive and friendly as you can.
They are only asking to get to know a bit more about you so just be yourself and be honest; you only have a short time to speak to these people so try and get a bit of 'you' across.
Visit the University
When gaining an offer from Loughborough through Clearing, I lived 5 hours north of it and hadn't ever visited the Midlands, let alone Loughborough itself. I think it was the day after accepting my offer that my parents and I travelled down to Loughborough to have a look around.
If you are able to do this I think it's very important as it helps you have more of an idea of where you are going in September and you can see if it is really for you. Again, be open minded when you visit and don't panic if it doesn't seem like your perfect destination - it looks VERY different during term time to during the summer months!
Don't worry about accommodation
I didn't get a place in university halls as they were full. Initially this was really daunting, however, as I was put into private halls I definitely didn't miss out. The private halls had other freshers who had also gone through Clearing and we were affiliated to one of the University halls so were able to do Freshers’ Week activities through them. I had a really good time and met lots of new people.
Give it a go
Despite the shock and scary prospect of having to go to a completely new and unexpected university, I think it's really healthy to have a 'Give it a go' attitude. I went to Loughborough not knowing whether I would like it but with the attitude that I would try it and if I didn't like it, at least I'd given it a go.
I think it's important to really throw yourself into Freshers’ Week and your course at the beginning and just have a positive attitude and that will make the first few weeks a lot easier for you. Don't worry, have a go and you will absolutely love it, trust me!