- Subject area
My name is Scarlett Goffin and I am from Sevenoaks, Kent. I attended Walthamstow Hall School for 7 years where I sat both my IGCSEs and A-levels. For A-Levels I did Geography, French, Spanish and Theatre Studies. At Loughborough, I currently study BSc Geography and Management.
Everyone’s clearing journey is different but hopefully mine can help in informing you on what to expect and to assure you there is nothing to be worried about.
I had a hectic and busy summer after my A-levels so had put the exams and prospect of results to the back of my head. Results day finally came around and it was an unexpected turn of events for me to say the least.
I woke up and immediately checked UCAS to see an unsuccessful offer. Unfortunately, I naively put my insurance as a university requiring the same grades as my firm and so I knew immediately I would be entering clearing. It took me a couple of hours to accept this and compose myself before arriving at my school to find out what my A-level grades actually were.
I was extremely disheartened and disappointed, even though in hindsight they really were not that bad I just put a lot of pressure on myself and was expecting higher. As I was really keen to start university that September I felt panicked and rushed to immediately start looking for options through clearing.
I was led to believe it was a “first come, first served” basis with regards to clearing offers and of course did not want to miss out. However I am not entirely sure as to how true this is, seeing as there are thousands of clearing options available across the country, it is highly likely you will find one that fits you perfectly and so there is no need to worry.
The IT room at my school was already set up with the clearing website to search through to find courses still available. As I did not expect to be in this position, I was unsure as to what I was meant to be doing exactly but proceeded to spend the following several hours on phone calls to university administration hotlines.
Both my parents and I called many, many universities. The process was pretty simple. You would be asked for your A-Level results, Maths and English GCSE results, UCAS ID number and which course you were hoping for. Different courses and universities varied in what happened next; some would direct you to a different person to talk to from the university where you would be asked more questions but others simply offered you a place there and then!
When giving you an offer they give you the UCAS ID code for that course and you usually have until the next day or a few days later before you have to submit the code of your preferred course/ university to UCAS. After receiving 10+ offers, I returned home to research further into the courses and universities to come to a decision. I managed to easily discount some of them quickly but I struggled when it came down to the final two.
It was in that final moment that I received a phone call from Loughborough, following up from a previous call, where they informed me more about the course, the trips available, what it is like to study at Loughborough and provided an opportunity for me to ask any questions. That final phone call sold it to me, and I submitted the code to UCAS that day. I was fortunate to have both my parents supporting me on the day, calling up universities with me and researching about them too which was important as it was a stressful day enough as it was so I could not have done it all alone.
I look back and wonder why I never chose and firmed Loughborough in the first place. Going through the clearing process was stressful just because I wanted to make sure I was going to university in September and because I was so unprepared for the day in advance.
Also, I obviously did not want to be in that position and knowing some of my friends were off celebrating made the day really hard for me. However, I am glad it happened and that I have ended up at Loughborough because I could not imagine myself anywhere else. What is great about Loughborough is that the range of students is so diverse. Loughborough has the stereotype of the “sport university” and rightly so being one of the best in the world for sport related courses and being BUCS champion for 40 years, however it is much more than that.
Of course, not everyone plays sport, and at Loughborough there is much more to do than just sport. To name a few you can take part in RAG events, be part of a committee or even volunteer. Everyone I meet has had a different Loughborough experience, making the most of all the opportunities available to us. An unfortunate stereotype Loughborough has of it being “one of the worst for nightlife” is not strictly true. Our Student’s Union is the hub for most nights out with 3 different rooms providing different music tastes for all people. Loughborough town also has a variety of pubs and clubs and its proximity to campus makes it equally as popular of a night out choice for students. And of course, Nottingham and Leicester are only short train journeys away!
With regards to my course, I really enjoy how multi-disciplinary it is. I will go from having an accounting lecture to learning about convective storms. It combines two of my passions into one degree. I really enjoyed the field trip we had early in the first term of first year, it made us socialise and interact with one another early on, forming friendships whilst also being a fun trip away from university for a couple of days. Equally, the management modules are all new content for me having never studied a business-related subject before and it has been interesting and fun to do something completely new.
Top tips for Clearing Day:
- Have your UCAS ID number, A- Level results and Maths and English GCSE results to hand when calling the universities.
- Try and look a few days before for which courses and universities are in clearing so that you have a rough idea for the day.
- Don’t rush into any decisions, this is the next 3/ 4 years of your life so make sure you are happy with your final decision.
- Keep calm, there will be a place for you on a course you like somewhere.
Obviously, no one would want to be in clearing, but it is nothing to be worried about or ashamed of. If anything, look at it as a second chance to really question if the original course you applied for is what you want to do or if maybe you’ll choose something slightly different now. Look into these different universities that had probably never even crossed your mind but that may fit you perfectly.
Remember, everything happens for a reason and it may all work out even better for you, like it did with me!