A-Level Results Day 2014

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Going Through Clearing

Sometimes things don't go quite as expected. Up until the day before results, I was all set to have a gap year and wasn't really worried about my grades at all as I knew I had no university place lined up. Then I read an article on my school website's newsroom and just like that I changed my mind. Now I've never been a decisive person but I continued to spend the day reading about the clearing process and decided it didn't sound too painful an experience. Boy was I wrong.

So Thursday morning, 8 am, I grabbed my envelope and was straight in the car ringing the clearing hotline, knowing I had the necessary grades. I was early ringing, so didn't have to wait in a phone queue and quickly got told I had done enough and would be put through to the relevant department. It was then as I was again recalling my grades I heard in the background they were now having to ask for higher requirements due to demand and I was told sorry we can't have you. Yes I cried, yes I broke down rather spectacularly. I glumly returned into the school hall snivelling and already dreading seemingly inevitable retakes.

3 hours later, both my head of sixth from and head teacher himself had tried to get past the general admissions hotline and into the department to explain my theatre studies grade shouldn't be an influence when I wanted to do maths but neither succeeded. They suggested I try different universities, but for me, it was never about the course and it was the place I had fallen in love with. By 11:30, I headed home, still snivelling and very much resigned that I was going to have to go ahead with my gap year after all although with resits which was far from the original plan.

In a kind of desperate attempt, when I got home, I emailed the department directly, trying to explain my situation or at least searching for advice for application the following year since now my grades wouldn't be enough. We left for a celebratory (ish) lunch and during this I received a reply asking for my number so he could call me personally. It definitely proved rather difficult trying to eat whilst nervously expecting a call. 

I had no idea what he was going to say, so when he apologised for my earlier ordeal and asked if I still wanted a place, all I could reply with was 'really?!?'. Not necessarily the most professional response but at least he got an idea of my enthusiasm. Now I am all set to start at the University of Surrey on a 4 year Financial Mathematics course and I absolutely can't wait! Even the prospect of buying my own bowls is exciting me at the moment so expect homeware hauls galore on here leading up to September.

Whilst at the time it was an emotionally exhausting day, it just shows that trying to stay calm and use a bit of initiative really does go a long way and it's definitely going to be a tale that I come back to read! 

Did any of you just get results? Or do you have any results day experiences to share?
Lara xo

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