At this point in your life, it’s likely that there are few days that fill you with as much excitement, dread and anxiety as Results Day. It can really feel like the apex of your adolescent years.
However, few prospective students take a moment to step back and consider how they can ensure Results Day, and specifically applying through Clearing, is as calm and straight-forward of a process as possible. Below, we’ve listed just a few ways you can stay calm during Clearing.
Remember you’re not alone
Thousands and thousands of students apply through Clearing successfully each year. In 2018 alone, more than 45,000 students applied through Clearing having missed out on the grades needed to get a spot at their first choice university.
You should trust that though Results Day may have its hiccups for some, you’re not alone. Disappointing results can feel like the end of the world, but in many ways they’re no measure of your ability and certainly not a determiner of how your future will shape up.
So take a deep breath, and remember you are following in the footsteps of countless students who have been in your shoes and are now successful, happy graduates who had the time of their lives throughout university.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
As with anything, doing a bit of planning can really help ease nerves. But how can you prepare for something that has so many moving parts? Well, firstly consider a few different possibilities and make plans for each.
List the different variations of grades you might receive on the day, and assign courses and universities whose entry requirements match up to each possible outcome.
Most universities will publish their Clearing vacancies in early July, which gives you over a month to research universities and courses to reach out to during Clearing.
Once you have a list of universities you’d like as a backup, you can then make a note of all their Clearing contact details, so you don't have the hassle of frantically Googling for numbers and emails on the day, and everything is ready for you.
Stay off social media
We’re all nosy - even those who profess otherwise - and it can be hard to stay off social media and not read about all of our friends’ and peers’ results. But before the big day, take a moment to think how that may affect you.
For example, there’s a possibility you may not get the results you want. If this is the case, seeing others publicly celebrate can be a real knock to your confidence, and it’s perhaps worth postponing scrolling until the next day, or once you have a clearer path mapped out.
Why not temporarily delete your social media apps? You can always discuss your results with friends and family over text, and the absence of social media on the day can give you a little breathing room to process the many emotions of Results Day, and prioritise your personal journey.
Make sure your health is your priority
Any stressful situation is amplified when we’re tired, hungry, thirsty and feeling a sense of urgency or pressure. Whatever happens on the day, you will be okay. There is a place for you at a university out there, where you will be fulfilled and happy.
However, that place is no more or less secure than if you stay up all night and skip breakfast.
So, remember to get an early night, stay hydrated and energised with a healthy breakfast and lunch. Though it may feel like the be all and end all, securing a place at university should not come at a detriment to your well-being.
Ask for support from those around you
A lot of planning goes into a university application, as you’re bound to be aware of by now. When that process gets condensed into a day, it can be a lot for one person to navigate alone.
Would your parents mind preparing your lunch or breakfast while you look up options? Are there any friends who can help you research accommodation while you make enquiry calls? Don’t be afraid to lean on your support system during this time, because they can make all the difference.