Nobody plans to enter university via the Clearing route, but things don’t always go to plan. That’s why Clearing is there: to give you a safety net.
You’ve hopefully been optimistic in the run-up to your exam results, in which case Clearing might not have occupied your thoughts too much. Nonetheless, you should be prepared for any eventuality. Life is full of surprises, many of them much bigger and more unpleasant than disappointing exam results.
So, first things first...
It’s Not Such a Disaster - Honestly
Not getting the grades you need to clinch your first choice, or changing your mind on your chosen subject last-minute, can be incredibly stressful and anxiety-inducing, but it is by no means the end of the world. It may seem like it at the time, but trust us: you’ll be fine.
Thousands of students end up having to go through Clearing each year. You’re not the first and you certainly won’t be the last. The important thing to focus on (or remain focused on) is that you’re going to enjoy your degree - whatever it turns out to be - and then you’re going to enjoy a successful career afterwards.
If you’re not a believer in fate, at least try to adopt a positive mindset about it all. You don’t have a time machine (do you?!), so you can’t go back and change things.
There’s No Immediate Rush
If things haven’t gone to plan for you, the first instinct is to scramble for whatever you can get - to accept a place on the first course that will take you.
But try to chill.
You have until Wednesday 23rd October to apply for any course that still has places, so you don’t need to dive head-first into the first decent-looking option. Obviously, you shouldn’t wait too long, but take a day or two to think your options through, and contact several different unis.
Maybe use it as an opportunity to reassess whether your chosen subject area is what you actually want to do. Many students choose certain courses because they seem like safe choices or smart moves, but that can sometimes lead to dissatisfaction later down the line. Unless you have a specific vocation or career path already planned out, you might want to listen to your heart as well as your head.
Also, you might want to contest your results if you missed out by just a few marks. If that is the case, and your revised results come back higher, you may be able to get into your first choice after all. So don’t make any hasty decisions.
Important Info for Clearing 2019
When does Clearing open?
It already is open - has been since July.
When does it close?
As already mentioned, Clearing 2019 is open until Wednesday 23rd October.
How do I go about finding a course through Clearing?
Log into your UCAS account and search for courses as usual, using the search tool. Any course listed there is available through Clearing.
How do I apply for a Clearing course?
You add Clearing courses just the same way as the courses you’ve already chosen - but you have to contact the uni in question first.
For full advice and guidance on how to navigate through Clearing, consult the Clearing FAQs on the UCAS website, or give the UCAS team a call. They’re your best bets.
What About Uni Accommodation?
If you do end up going through Clearing, you should still be able to secure some high-quality accommodation. If you’re picturing Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs at #4 Privet Drive, don’t worry: you’ll have plenty of great room options to choose from.
The best accommodation providers are prepared for Clearing and will be able to help you.
Sort your course out first, and then worry about accommodation.
Good Luck for Results Day
We wish you the very best of luck for results day and beyond, and remember: everything will work out fine in the end.
For more advice and reassurance to help you prepare for student life, take a look at our blog and soak up the wisdom!