Applying for university can be overwhelming, and with all the deadlines there isn’t much time to think about how you’re going to spend the next 3 or 4 years. In my experience, clearing gave me more time to think about what I really wanted to do.
I originally applied for a nursing degree, but after giving this some serious thought I had a change of mind. I’d always been interested in the hospitality, tourism and events industry, and with the deadline fast approaching, I found that the University of South Wales provided an events management course, so I applied.
However, after doing a bit more research, I found out that Cardiff Met offered a joint honours Hospitality and Events degree. Being able to do a combination of the two appealed to me straight away.
I got the results that I needed to get into the USW course, but after seeing what Cardiff Met was offering, I knew that was the better university for me. As well as offering great facilities and a more suitable course, Cardiff Met was a better fit for all the practical stuff – for example it was easier for me to commute to from home.
After visiting both universities I was even more adamant that Cardiff Met was the one for me. The Clearing Open Day consisted of seeing the campus and meeting Lisa Wright, my potential year tutor, who provided me with lots of information about what the course entailed.
She also reassured me about coming to uni via clearing. I know that many people think it’s only for people who didn’t get the required grades for their first choice universities, but I completely disagree. After my experience I would definitely recommend it to someone who is feeling indecisive (very much like I was) or who has made an impulsive decision when applying through UCAS. It’s easy to do this – it can be really overwhelming if you don’t know exactly what you want to do.
I can see how Clearing might be scary for some people, especially if they haven’t done their research or made a Plan B. Personally though, I was quite comfortable with the process because I’d prepared for it. I had already researched the courses that would be available before results day, including the grade requirements, costs and contents.
After receiving my results, I simply rang the Cardiff Met Clearing helpline where I spoke to Lisa again, and she helped me through every step of the process. It was mostly just a simple chat about my grades and what I was looking for.
I’m really happy with my choice. I’ve met so many new friends and the course has provided me with lots of opportunities and new experiences. I’ve had the opportunity to work at major festivals like Latitude and the Reading Festival, and I’ve made some amazing lifelong memories.
My favourite thing about the course is the combination of practical and theory elements; there are so many opportunities to enhance your skills in both areas, from trying out different roles in the uni’s hospitality suite to planning fundraising events for local charities.
The lecturers here have a huge number of industry contacts, and are a big help when it comes to finding a part-time job, work experience or volunteering opportunities – I actually work part-time in a hotel where I had a placement in first year.
If someone finds themselves going through Clearing, the first thing I’d say is don’t worry! It’s not just for those who didn’t get the grades they wanted, it’s an option for everyone. Do your research, and don’t forget there is help out there – I found all the information I needed about available courses through the Cardiff Met website.
I’d also advise going to a Clearing Open Day if you can. That way you get first-hand knowledge of the university, and that could help make the decision for you. It certainly did for me.
Looking for more stories like Charlotte’s? Check out more of our clearing blogs.