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Clearing Success Story – Amber, University of Sussex

Amber used Clearing to get onto an Arts and Humanities Foundation course at the University of Sussex.  

Amber, Sussex

I’ve just completed my Arts and Humanities Foundation Year at the University of Sussex and I'm now really looking forward to moving on to study the BA in Philosophy here.  

Although I had already applied to Sussex, my heart was originally set on Manchester, but I had a feeling my results wouldn’t go the way I wanted to. So I spent the 2 weeks in the run up to Clearing researching what it was all about because I wanted to be prepared, I didn’t want to be floundering. I looked up what Clearing calls were and what you had to do, and I even prepared interview questions! I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to freak out, but I still had palpitations that morning because I was so anxious.

When I didn’t get my grades, I knew Sussex was good for philosophy so I sat on the school playground wall in the rain and called them up and they offered me a place on one of their integrated Foundation Year courses.

At first, I was a bit apprehensive about accepting the offer because I’d already done an extra year at sixth form and was worried I’d be a lot older than everyone else on my course. But then I decided I’d rather do this course somewhere I feel like I’ll have a really good time, than go somewhere else, so I just said yeah – let’s do it.

Also, the course had all the aspects of Philosophy that I wanted to look at, including existentialism, plus other interesting things I hadn’t ever thought about before, including Islamic philosophy and feminist philosophy.

Finding accommodation was a bit hectic but when I chased up the University they offered me a place in one of their houses in Brighton city centre, so it all worked out well in the end.

I’ve loved going to my seminars and hearing everyone’s thought processes and opinions and I really feel like my tutors are interested in what we all have to say. They don’t want you to just follow what someone else has said, they really want to hear your take on it. Sussex is a wonderful university, people really go out of their way for you; they really make the effort to make sure you’re ok. It’s just got a really good atmosphere.

My top tips for anyone else thinking about going through Clearing? Always prepare. You obviously want to hope for the best but you never know how it’s going to go so it’s good to have a back-up plan.

So, about a week before Results Day, look at universities you would feel good about going to. Think about whether you have visited the city, or heard good things about the city or the uni, then check the uni’s own pages to see what courses they have on offer. Check what times you have to do things by, and think about how you’re going to find housing. Also find out if the unis you really want to go to offer Foundation courses, because that way you still get to go to the uni you want to go to, even if your grades aren’t quite high enough to start in year one.