I'm currently a First Year Philosophy student at Kings College London, and have been asked to share my story
I originally applied for Politics, Philosophy and Law at KCL, and had the University of Kent as my insurance. KCL wanted A*AA, unfortunately, results day came around and I got A*AC, and they weren't lenient - I was rejected.
I was dead set on studying in London at this point, but my school encouraged me to just go to my insurance. In the end, I genuinely just flipped a coin. It landed on heads and I entered clearing for Kings. Since philosophy was going to be a 1/3rd of my degree anyways it seemed like a good choice (spoiler alert, it wasn't)
The process of clearing wasn't as stressful as I thought. I spent a long time in phone queues with both Kent to be released from my offer and Kings to get my clearing one sorted, so be prepared for that. The waiting was probably the most stressful bit about it all but eventually, you just resign yourself to what will be will be
Fast forward a year, I've completed my first year of Philosophy and will be transferring onto a Law degree at UCL next year. The philosophy course didn't work out but I wouldn't have been offered a place at UCL without it (i need to get a 2:1 this year to get onto it) so that, combined with the memories I've made and the fun I've had, I don't think it was the wrong decision.
My main advice to everyone who may well be entering clearing this year:
Get a good nights sleep before results day. You're going to have to make some very hard decisions very quickly, it pays to be well rested
Don't lose heart if you don't get onto the course you wanted. There's still ways to get to where you want to be, even if they are a bit unorthodox
Do a bit of research beforehand, its good to be prepared. But don't spend hours pouring over it, you'll waste your time and stress yourself too much
Do what you think is best for you. If I had listened to what my school had told me I'd be in a very different position today, and I'm not sure it would have been as good.
And finally, relax and enjoy your summer. Sort clearing out a week before, there's no point worrying about it now! The clearing list may be up but it'll completely change come results day.
Feel free to @ me or PM me if you have any questions!