June 2022

Blog | Considering clearing? Here's my story...

By Samantha Bowen-Smith

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Samantha joined us through clearing and knows exactly what it's like on results day. In this throwback blog first published just before she started her second year, she shared some insight into what it was like...


With only a few weeks to go before returning to University College Birmingham to commence the next step in my education, I wanted to talk about ‘clearing’.

For some students, applications were in on time and they've received an unconditional offer by now. That’s great, but for other students, I know that this time of year might be slightly unnerving.

You may have a conditional offer but haven’t received the grades that you expected, or you may have achieved your grades but haven’t received an offer just yet. Well, this is the time for clearing, although my case was slightly different.

I remember what it was like for me about this time last year, deciding which direction to take my career, having lots of reservations about returning to further education as a mature student after taking a career break.

In my mind, I had plucked up so much courage in making the decision to apply for my course and when the only option was clearing, I felt a bit anxious and disappointed in myself. I remember thinking, "what if I don’t get in? I’ll have to wait and apply again next year, but that will just delay me for another year".

I started to think about my situation in a more positive light and decided that I’d got nothing to lose and began telling myself that there is always another option or in my case, an alternative route.

Shortly after my self-confidence returned, I contacted the University College Birmingham Admissions team to talk through my seemingly helpless situation, and was pleasantly surprised to be told that I could still apply through clearing, which meant that it wasn’t too late after all.

The team were extremely helpful and the person that I spoke to was very pleasant. She guided me through the process of applying and from there on, it was quite straightforward.

So, I submitted my application through clearing and hoped for the best and then it came. I had secured a place at University College Birmingham and I was over the moon!

When I turned up for enrolment, I went to the wrong building (that’s so like me, hehee) but the staff at the entrance of the building pointed me in the right direction and I went on my way. I received a warm welcome once I arrived in the right place and I felt at ease again.

So, if you’re considering clearing, go for it while it’s still an option!

And the rest is my story (NOT his-story, get it?!)

Ciao for now.

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