Clearing Success Story – Stephanie, Swansea University
Stephanie, 23 from Bath, was determined to go to the University of Sussex, but through Clearing ended up studying English Literature at Swansea University. Soon enough, she realised Swansea was the perfect place for her. She is now a Content Producer for The Complete University Guide.
What circumstances led you to enter Clearing?
Before Results Day, I was feeling confident about my performance in my exams. In my mocks I had done well, and I felt I was well prepared for the final exams. The majority of my friends felt the opposite – they were really worried they didn’t do enough for their first or insurance choices. On Results Day, when I went into college, I was shocked to find I had got BBBC after being predicted AAAB. I talked to some of my teachers and I did get quite upset.
My friends who were worried about their results all did well, getting into the universities of their choices. They were all lovely, and five of them came home with me with their laptops, and we sat round the kitchen table searching for potential places I could go to study through the Clearing process.
I felt quite panicked – I knew places would be going quickly, and I didn’t want to make a rash decision. I called both Sussex and my Insurance Choice (Kent) to see if they might change their minds, but they wouldn’t.
After what felt like a long time of us all searching for places for me to go, we narrowed it down to Westminster, Portsmouth and Swansea. I called each of these institutions and gained an informal confirmation from each. After doing some more research, I found I was warming towards Swansea. What really encouraged me was that the Head of the English department at the time personally called me, and spoke to me. This made me feel they were genuinely interested. I think it was within the next few days I accepted the place at Swansea, and went to an open day shortly after.
Did you do any preparation or research before results day?
No, and I regret this. I was too confident.
Where did you go for help and support throughout the process?
I spoke to a few of my teachers at college on Results Day, and I had a lot of help from my mum and friends.
How did you find out what courses were available?
Searching through what was available on UCAS Clearing.
What factors made you finally settle on the course you did?
Swansea is near to where my grandparents lived, and I also really wanted to live by the sea. The interest the English department took in me definitely helped my decision, and I did a lot of research on what the student experience was like. One of my close friends at the time was also going to the same place.
Did the university offer a Clearing open day?
They did, and just after I accepted the place, I went. This was a good opportunity and it felt really reassuring to know I had made a suitable choice. The course was good, the teachers seemed great and I really liked the campus.
Did you find a place to live easily?
I had to sort this out quickly. At first, I was disappointed not to secure a room in one of the halls on campus, and I got a room in the student village a mile or so away from the campus. This turned out to be a lot cheaper and also a really enjoyable experience.
How has your time at university been? Has it delivered what you were looking for and are you happy?
My university experience was great. I don’t regret having to go through Clearing – it was stressful at the time but I felt it worked out for me in the best way possible. The course was really enjoyable and there were several really fantastic professors, and I made a good group of friends, a lot who also went through Clearing. I would recommend Swansea to anybody.
How has your course supported or changed your career ambitions?I’m now working in editorial (at The Complete University Guide), and even though I didn’t realise this is what I wanted to do during my degree, studying English has definitely put me in the best position to pursue this career. I feel that my love of reading and writing has deeply improved thanks to my degree at Swansea.
Next page: Kamile, University of East London