Why there’s no need to panic should you miss your results
Bisi Eni-Olotu was quite clear about a few things when choosing her university. She wanted somewhere within a two-hour radius of her home in Southampton and she wanted a university which offered a good music course. What Bisi didn’t bank on was narrowly missing out on the A-level results she needed for her top two choices.
“When I first opened my results and saw I hadn’t got what I needed I didn’t panic. I called my top two universities but their clearing places had been filled. That was when the panic set-in. I was very upset and blamed everyone who had ever taught me,” laughs Bisi.
She started calling around other universities looking for somewhere to study music and was eventually offered a place at a small performing arts school in the middle of nowhere. “When I went home that day my parents laughed at me. They thought it was ridiculous that I had settled for a college that wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.
“My mum’s friend suggested trying Coventry University,” says Bisi. “Although it was outside of my two-hour radius, I’d heard good things about the courses so we decided to pay a visit.”
Making an impression
Bisi and her family travelled to Coventry, where she had an audition for the music performance course. “I can’t even remember what I sang, but I made an impression and was offered a place. I was over the moon.”
Bisi also managed to find herself some great accommodation with the help of university residential lettings agency, Futurelets. She visited a few houses in the area and made a friend during the process so it made sense for them to share.
Following an exciting first year, Bisi got a job as a student ambassador, working with the university’s recruitment and admissions office. “I loved taking prospective new students on campus tours and telling them all about student life. I found it very easy to talk enthusiastically about Coventry because I was having a great experience myself.”
Bisi recently graduated from the music performance course and is now studying a postgraduate course to become a music teacher.
“If I could give one piece of advice to students facing Clearing this year it would be: do your research!” says Bisi. “I could have ended up in a small college in the countryside studying a course that wasn’t right for me, but with a little more research I found the right university and the right course, in a city that I love.”
Clearing advice checklist
- Buy The Daily Telegraph. The official UCAS Clearing vacancies will be published in its pages as well as on the official UCAS website.
- Do your homework – if there are particular courses at particular universities that you have considered as an option if you enter Clearing, learn those courses’ exact titles and codes as most Clearing listings will be ordered that way (e.g. Psychology/C800)
- Have the contact details of all recruitment offices at UK universities to hand on the day.
- Be ready to talk about yourself – have your personal statement to hand to remind yourself just how good you are and why the university and admissions tutor will want to make you the offer you want
- If you do not get an offer, or if you are asked to ring back later for a decision, be positive. The right course for you may still be out there, and perseverance pays off.