Words on clearing and a secret revealed by Angela Lawrence, our Associate Dean for Marketing and Recruitment
One of the first WhatsApp messages I received on A Level results day this year was from a friend to tell me that her colleague’s son had not met his grades and he was devastated. It’s so hard to hear these words – devastated, destroyed, heartbroken. My “go-to” response is to quote from Winston Churchill, who said
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”
Whichever way you look at it, this years university applicants have had a rough ride. They never experienced GCSE exams, but then had to take A Level examinations. They without doubt had a less than perfect learning experience during lockdown despite all the very best efforts of their teachers – it was just not the same as sitting in a classroom alongside friends each day. So to not get the results they hoped for probably feels like yet one more kick in the teeth following a uniquely unorthodox two or three years of study.
I’ll let you into a secret. I went through clearing, way back in the 80’s. It was actually my own fault – I didn’t work as hard as I should have done for my 4 A’ Levels and if I’m honest, I wasn’t completely surprised to find out that I hadn’t got the grades I needed to get in to my chosen uni. Nonetheless I felt that fear and devastation that so many applicants tell us they feel. Fortunately, my parents hit the clearing lines and it wasn’t too long before I had a couple of offers to choose from…roll forward several decades and I’m now close to completing a Doctorate. I am NOT a failure
Things have changed so much since then. Clearing is so much more accessible and such an easy process. Clearing is not seen as failure, but as opportunity. We’re told that there are far more applicants in clearing this year and I can speak from experience and say that our lines were incredibly busy on A Level results day. We’re also speaking to lots of mature students, many of whom are realising that their dreams too can be fulfilled.
It’s hugely satisfying to know that we are turning devastation into delight and heartbreak to happiness through clearing. So if you didn’t get the results that you hoped for, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, don’t see this as failure but as a new opportunity, and in Churchill’s words, have the courage to continue!
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