Getting into University through Clearing: Making Your Choice

When I was 17 years old, I knew exactly where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. But, when I was 18, on my A-Level results day, I didn’t get what I expected.

You know, there are several parts of me that doesn’t feel connected to the 17 year old version of myself. 24 year old Tory can be so indecisive and I never seem to settle on what I want to do or where I want to go. How was I so sure about where I wanted to go to uni?

Looking back, what advice can I give? What’s the most important thing to think about on your A-Level results day?

I’m going to tell you what actually happens when you go through Clearing, and I’m going to talk to you about the place that ended up being the best choice for me (FYI – I’m just a little bit bias).

I wouldn’t be Growing Up Ungracefully if I hadn’t hit a few bumps along the way. I got to the other side, and you will too.

Tory - Dissertation hand-in and Graduation

Getting into University through Clearing

“Missed the grades. Lost my place at my first choice. Lost my insurance choice. Start ringing other university’s Clearing hotlines.”

“I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to go so far away from home. I’m not sure that that city is the right place for me.”

No matter where you ring, the process will be the same. No scary questions; make sure you remember your own name, date of birth, and what you want to study. You’ll then get transferred through to an Admissions Tutor for your course, who will be able to guide you through making a decision on what you’d like to study.

I actually did change my mind a little bit on the day. I was originally going to be doing a joint degree in History and Ancient History/Classical Civilisation. It was on that day, in that phone call, I swapped to History alone.

My biggest piece of advice is to not freak out. I freaked out, and it freaked everyone else out. You’re hardly going to make the best and most informed decision if you’re freaking out, are you?

Making Your Choice

Wherever you decide to go, if you’ve never been before, make sure you go. In late August 2011, I visited Hull for a post-Clearing Applicant Day. I was able to see the accommodation, I got a feel for the campus and the people there. I really liked it.

Clearing might be daunting, but even if you get a place at a university, then go and don’t like it, you can reapply; it’s open until well into September. So if you want to change your mind, you can. Make sure it feels right, and, my advice, go with your gut instinct.

There’s a lot to think about when choosing to go to university, including money and location. Here are my top tips for making an informed choice:

Money on my mind

Let’s not sugarcoat it, university costs. Like, a lot. Just like everything else right now. Housing, living, even a pint at the local spoons. Let me clue you in. Tuition fees are pretty much the same across the board now. There’s no cheap option for that.

But there are cheap options for places to live. Let’s compare my town, Hull, against London. Average price of:

  • Monthly Rent (One-bed city centre flat – which is more expensive than student accommodation anyways!)
    Hull £416.67
    London £1677.82
  • Monthly Gym Membership
    Hull £35 (I pay less than £20 a month where I go!)
    London £45.72
  • Pint of Lager down the pub
    Hull £3
    London £4.50

I mean, I know I’m old, but seriously, I used to go out on a night out with a tenner and have the best time ever. Evidence below:

End of Year Ball 2012

I’m literally clutching onto a bottle of wine. Who did 18 year old Tory think she was?! (my friends are going to love me for this one…)

Location, Location, Location

It’s very obvious that I love Hull. It’s all over my blog for you to see. We’re the City of Culture 2017, home to some wonderful restaurants and hidden gems.

Hull’s campus is simply the loveliest place to be. I’m not going to go on, I’ll just show you:



Thinking about going to university through Clearing?

Give Hull a call on 01482 466100. It might just be the place for you. It certainly was for me, and I wouldn’t be me without it.

This post was sponsored by the University of Hull but all opinions and pictures are my own. I really am that bias. 

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