How to get through Clearing and arrange your accommodation

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Before you know it, A Level results day will be here. It’s never too early to think about your future. I know… you’ve probably heard that a lot lately! Don’t worry, I’m not here to scare you. I’m not your teacher, and I’m not your parents. What happens on results day can absolutely change your life – just remember, if things don’t go to plan, there are lots of opportunities and paths you can take.

Yes, you’ve built up to that day since before you can remember. Before Snapchat, before Netflix, and before brows were a big deal (girls – and some guys – you know what I’m talking about!). However, just because you’ve built up to something, there’s no reason to say that the course of your life can’t change if things go unexpectedly. In fact, they may even change for the better!

You are more than a piece of paper

If you did great, cheer, scream, yell and own it. Don’t gloat, but you deserve to acknowledge your achievements. Conversely, if you’re a bit confused or mad at yourself, channel it differently. Be proud of yourself for trying. Be proud of yourself for knowing that you care enough about your results and what they could mean for you. But don’t beat yourself up if you do worse than you thought you would.

Albert Einstein was literally a genius, and yet even he said: “If you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” These exams don’t prove anything, really, except that you have a ticket to get into the university you always wanted.

Saying that, it’s heart-breaking when you don’t get your first choice. I’m still gutted when a restaurant sells out of the food I wanted, so I can understand that when your dreams are on the line, that feels absolutely gut-wrenching. Don’t worry though… you’ve got options. And it might not seem it now, but this might be the best thing that ever happens to you.

You could get a job, either permanently, or whilst you figure your life out. You could resit your exams, try a new course entirely, or take a gap year, travel and see the world! You’re probably 18 (or thereabouts), and so you literally have your whole life ahead of you. Please don’t listen to anyone who tries to tell you that you’ll ‘regret’ taking time to make decisions that are right for you.

Maybe not doing so well is a sign your subjects weren’t your fave, or maybe you just had a bad day. In fact, maybe you’re basically a genius yourself, but exams just aren’t your thing. All of these are valid reasons why you might not have done as well as you’d hoped to.

Is Clearing for you?

Hello, Clearing. That’s where this concept comes in. Lots of students every year use this system. Yes, many will be teary and lost. But many will have new confidence, inspired by fresh opportunities that they’d otherwise, might have never come your way.

When students miss out on their preferred place, there are still lots of spots at awesome universities which need filling. Everyone is different, so something that wasn’t right for someone, may be perfect for you, and vice-versa.

On the day, stay calm. Check out the list on UCAS and look for a suitable degree, if you’ve still got your heart set on one.

What should you think about?

Think about what you want. Not what your teachers thought you’d be good at, or what your family wanted you to do. Think about something you think you’ll enjoy, something you might be good at, and something which might get you a good job at the end.

Of course, this all goes beyond academia. Some people hate cities, whilst some of us hate things being too quiet. Do you want a campus university, or something at the heart of the action? The choice is yours!

Make sure that you think about your accommodation options, too. Liberty Living has residences in 19 cities across the UK, so there are plenty of places we know and love to choose from. There’s no need to panic about missing out on the ‘good spots’ at a university, and hopefully we can help you find the right type of accommodation you’re looking for. Remember – students who were due to stay with us might have had to change their plans as well so we might have some cancellations.

Picture somewhere you’ll be happy for the next few years, and what you want from your life. And if you don’t know yet? That’s fine. One step at a time. Good luck!