Why did you apply through Clearing?
During my fifth and sixth year of high school, I did an HNC course alongside my Highers which should have really boosted my university applications. Unfortunately, some administrative problems meant, even though I passed, I didn’t get my award on time.
That led to my university applications being rejected because, by results day, I didn’t have any proof of my qualification. I called the summer school I had attended and they gave me a list of universities to contact for Clearing.
How did you find the experience?
It was a bit hectic to start with! I was panicking and calling different universities to try and find a place.
For most of it, I just felt like I was being shuffled along through a queue. I was just being spoken to by people who had a script to read and talk me through the process.
When I called Edinburgh Napier University, though, I actually got the chance to talk to the head of the department I was applying to. That just immediately brought the level up. It was a much more personalised experience and made me feel so much better about what I was doing.
Do you think applying through Clearing made a difference?
I’m actually really glad I went through Clearing because it changed my plans completely.
Originally, I had applied to study Computer Science. I love computers and was sure that was what I wanted to do, even though I was less interested in the coding aspect of the course.
That person I spoke to on the day was able to recommend Business Information Technology instead, which is much less coding-focused and has suited me so much better.
What advice would you give yourself now, looking back?
I think the first morning it kind of hit me: “I’ve been declined, this is it, it’s the end of everything!”
And it’s not. If I could give any bit of advice before starting the whole process, it would be to just calm down a little. Clearing is there to give you another shot at getting onto a course.
If you’ve had an application declined, or if you’ve had circumstances set that you’re not sure you can achieve, phone up and have a talk. You are still in the race.