Clearing is one thing that many people don't want to consider, but for many, it's a situation we may find ourselves in. As a student waiting for that all important results day, I myself fully understand that feeling of '...but what if?'
Two years ago I remember my sister being in the exact same position. I remember her telling me how she knew she messed up these final exams. It was a hectic year for us and she didn't manage to get much revision done because of it, but I told her that even if she couldn't change that now, we'll find a way to make things work.
As expected, when results day arrived, she missed both her firm and insurance offers. Though, what had really astounded me was her attitude: instead of getting upset about her results, she had a 'let's move on from here' attitude. A key factor for this may have been her mental preparation beforehand and if you are the parent of a child receiving their results, I can't emphasize enough how important it is for you not to criticise your child if they tried their best and instead help them through the process because doing it alone can sometimes be daunting.
When your working with good grades, clearing is a lot easier, but when your applying in the final year of low tuition fees and when your working with pretty low grades, clearing can be difficult so I suggest getting as may people as possible to help you get through those pesky phone lines. The most difficult part was trying to log into track and get through to universities. After hours of 'sorry, the track server is full right now. Try again later,' we finally got through to find what we expected. My sister had opted against calling up her insurance university to see if they'd still accept her as she didn't want to be that far from home.
The next mission began trying to find places that had the right entry requirements whilst also searching for a course she was happy with and was the right distance. One thing to note, do call the university before you put them on your ucas application. We called a few universities only to find that some had made their entry requirements higher (probably due to the tuition fees) whilst others just kept us on hold.
Hearing a human voice reply 'hello' was like the voice of angels. I quickly called my sister over and passed her the phone. She was asked some questions like her grades and told how to apply to them. Once the phone call was done, she was invited to visit and from there everything went smoothly. She is now in her final year and has made a great set of friends who she wouldn't have met otherwise.
The most important thing to remember is that even if your results don't turn out as you were expecting, don't let it keep you down and that if it's meant to happen, it will. Clearing may seem daunting when you don't know what to expect, but despite all the waiting, it's really not that bad! Also, make sure that you don't just 'settle' for the sake of going to a university. By all means, change course if a different course appeals to you, but your investing a lot of time and money so make sure it's something worth it.
So hope for the best, but prepare for the worst and when that dreaded results day comes and you open that all important letter, you won't let it keep you down and will have a 'lets move on from here' attitude.
I wish you all the best and good luck! The future is bright ;)