Why I'm glad I went through Clearing

I didn't really know much about Clearing before - it had never been part of my plan. I'm sharing my Clearing story to show that sometimes a change of plan can work out for the better.

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Meet Sasha

Results day felt like the end of the world, but now I wouldn't have it any other way. Studying at UCLan has given me so many amazing opportunities and helped me pursue my dream career.
Headshot of Sasha Wiltshire smiling at the camera.
Sasha Wiltshire
BA (Hons) Journalism

Results day

Results day didn’t go the way that I expected. I had missed out on my first-choice university by a grade and already knew that I didn’t want to go to my second-choice. It felt like the end of the world.

Once I had calmed down, I went into action. I knew that I wanted to study journalism, so me and my mum started researching the best journalism courses. That’s how I came across the University of Central Lancashire.

I had a look at the journalism course and saw that it was in Clearing. I read the modules to make sure that it covered all the areas I was interested in. I want to be a presenter, so it was really important to find a course that would develop my presenting skills. UCLan have a fully equipped TV studio, so I knew I could get experience in front of the camera.

The course leader called me back the same day

Once I had decided that I wanted to study here, I phoned the Clearing hotline. The person who answered was really kind and helpful. I think it’s important to remember that even though it’s your first time going through Clearing, the advisors have done it all before. That means they can answer your questions and tell you everything you need to know. Just write down a list of questions before you call, so you know what to ask.

The advisor told me that the Journalism course leader would call me back for a chat. This was to make sure that the course was right for me. He called me back within about 30 minutes, so there was no nervous waiting around.

He started out by asking me why I wanted to study journalism and what my goals were. Once he knew that I wanted to become a presenter, he told me about the course and all the extra opportunities that come with it. For example, he told me about cJam. This is an annual event where journalism students get to pitch either a story or themselves to industry professionals. This can lead to mentorships or even job opportunities. This made up my mind that it was the right course for me.

It was easy to apply, I just sent over proof of grades and got my confirmation email. There was so much support throughout the whole process. My course leader said to call him if I ran into any problems. I saw it as a good sign that there was so much support, because it showed the university cared about me before I was even officially a student.

I hadn't been to campus

Even though I knew that it was the right course, I was still a bit nervous. I had never been to UCLan before, so I had no idea what the campus or city were like. Luckily, I did have a friend who had been to an Open Day. She reassured me that the campus was great and all really close together.

Clearing 2024 students will get a chance to attend a special Clearing Open Day in August. And if you can’t attend in person, you can take a virtual tour online. I didn’t know about this before I came, but it would’ve really helped!

I still had a great university experience

I decided to live in private accommodation in my first-year, because this suited my needs. I was worried that this would mean that I missed out on all the Freshers partying where everyone makes friends.

However, I really didn’t have anything to worry about. One of my friends was also coming to UCLan and lived in university halls, so I made friends with her flatmates. I also found it easy to make friends on my course. Journalism involves a lot of groupwork, so we all got to know each other really quickly. Plus, there were lots of other Freshers events around campus where you could try new things and meet new people.

If you do want to live in university accommodation, UCLan guarantee a place in halls for all first-years. That means you don't have to worry about not being able to find accommodation, even if you have applied through Clearing.

I still made friends living in private accommodation.
I still made friends living in private accommodation.

I wouldn't change anything now

I’ve had so many amazing opportunities through UCLan, I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. My lecturers are constantly sending out internships and work experience opportunities. This is how I got my role as a student ambassador and content creator for the university. This has given me valuable experience in front of the camera, which will help me to pursue a career as a presenter.

My advice to anyone going through Clearing is don’t panic. I know it’s not nice to change your plans, but just do your research and be open to universities you hadn’t considered before. It could turn out even better than you expected; it did for me.