July 7, 2020

Erin O'Keefe drawing on a tablet

Going through clearing seems scary at first. You may worry that you won’t get into any university, or find one that fits your interests – but don’t panic!

When I found out I was just under the grades I needed to go to my original choice, I was terrified. The thought of going into Clearing didn’t sound appealing. However, if you stay calm, and have your grades at and an online portfolio at hand, you should be fine.

I called a lot of different universities on results day. Some were full and not looking for any more people on their courses, but I was able to go to the UCAS website and find lists of universities with openings.

I wanted to study animation, so I looked up that course, and found a range of different universities that could have some potential in my field. I was on the phone for hours, because I wanted to make sure I made the right decision.

Cardiff Met was one of the universities I spoke to. I had a short interview over the phone and sent some of my animation videos over on an email, and that was enough for them to give me an offer. In the end I was offered a place at seven different universities and had to choose the right one for me.

I came to my decision through research. I discussed it with my parents and looked at what all the pros and cons were. Once I’d made my choice, I got in touch with some more details and said that I wanted to accept the offer.

It was a lot further than I originally planned on going for university. I moved to Cardiff, far away from my family who lived in Yorkshire. Moving to Wales was definitely scary for me, and I was worried that joining through clearing would make me seem as though I wasn’t as qualified as the other students – but this wasn’t the case at all. And while it is a long way from home, so far it’s been one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

Some more of my first year work

University is a chance for you to start fresh, make new friends, do what you love to do, and build your independence through experience. I’ve loved every single moment of my university life so far.

If you find yourself going through the Clearing process, I promise to you, it will be worth it.