In 2014, I had finished college and was eager to apply for universities through UCAS. Unfortunately, my application was rejected because I did not have enough UCAS points for the subject I intended to pursue, which was a nursing degree. However, I did not give up and continued to complete a top-up course to get enough points for my future application.

After that, I researched the various courses available as I’d changed my mind and didn’t want to reapply for nursing again. I’d developed a strong interest in the fashion sector over the years and wanted to learn more about business in fashion.

I chose to apply through Clearing and was able to get a place on a business with fashion degree course at Teesside University. I was happy I took this route, or I would have had to wait another year to reapply.

I feel like a different person from who I was three years ago when I accepted my invitation to study at Teesside. The University has taught me so much and I will forever be grateful. One of the first things I observed after a month at university was that the teaching approach is considerably more attentive than in college.

I enjoyed becoming friends with my lecturers and classmates in workshops and seminars. The lecturers got to know each one of us personally and we had active conversations as a group and were able to offer each other honest criticism on creative pieces and ideas.

My advice to students thinking of using the Clearing pathway is don’t feel you have less privilege than the other students, make use of any opportunities and meet regularly with your personal tutor, they will ensure you benefit from everything the university has to offer.

If things become difficult or if you’re worried about a deadline or an exam, don’t be hesitant to seek assistance. Though it may not be easy to ask for help, it is worth it.  There were times when I felt a piece of coursework was completely impossible, but once I asked for assistance and discussed it with my module tutor, everything became so much clearer, and it made such a difference to my grades, wellbeing, and understanding of the subject.

So, what does that future hold for me? Following my graduation, I have been looking for employment related to my chosen career goal, whilst producing content for my social media sites. The plan is to work for a year to acquire business experience before returning to Teesside University for a postgraduate degree in digital marketing.

By Bernice Boateng