It’s pretty disappointing when you don’t get the grades and uni place you want.
But going through Clearing can be the nudge you might need to reflect on your future. Although you may no longer be following your planned path, you can choose a new one that could turn out even better.
Here are four reasons why Clearing could turn out to be your ideal opportunity.
1. Difficulty can turn to opportunity
Landing up in Clearing is an unsettling experience. Suddenly all your plans have changed and the future seems a lot more uncertain.
But Clearing is the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your choices and consider whether the course is really what you want to pursue.
You can of course look for spaces on the same course at different unis. But spend some time researching the courses available and you could find a new direction that suits you even better.
For example, you could end up on a prestigious course like law, which is available through Clearing, and could open up doors to dozens of different careers.
2. All your options are open again
Top tip: if you are in Clearing then panicking and accepting the first thing you get offered is not a good plan.
Start by imagining where you will be in five or even 10 years’ time. What other routes are their into your chosen career path?
Most of the time there's going to be more than one uni or one course that can get you where you want to be. Take some time to revisit all the options that are available to you.
3. Unis now need to sell themselves to you
When you're calling unis in Clearing, don't forget this isn't just a time for the uni to scope you out as a potential student. It's also your chance to work out what they've got to offer you.
"Employability is the one conversation clearing candidates always return to," says Rebecca Joyce, recruitment manager at Aston University.
"In Clearing you might be considering a university for the first time. Asking, 'How will you help me get a job, what do you offer that the other unis don’t?' is a smart move.
"We’re able to say that the large majority of our students take a placement year, so you will graduate with experience of graduate-level work, having earned a graduate-level salary.
"Before you commit to a university ask what they bring that will set you apart from other graduates."
Think carefully about what you hope to get from university and your chosen subject – and make sure the unis you speak to can offer what you need.
4. Clearing could open other doors
Obviously there's no guarantee you will get a suitable offer in Clearing, so you might go through the whole process and still not have somewhere to go.
That might sound like a nightmare - after all, watching your mates go to uni while you’re left at home probably isn't top of your 'fun things to do' list.
But where it leaves you is with the chance to take a year out. You might choose to work for a year, boosting your uni fund in the process, or maybe you might go travelling and recharge your batteries.
You could explore apprenticeship opportunities or maybe choose to resit exams and improve your results.
That extra year may be exactly what you need to get you back on track with your dream degree or it might lead to completely different opportunities that don't even involve university.
More on TSR