A friendly disclaimer: QMUL’s School of Geography wasn’t my first choice. You see, I didn’t apply to Queen Mary in the traditional way – I was a late applicant that came via clearing. So, on results day in 2015, the majority of students in my year group logged onto UCAS to find the message ‘congratulations, you have been accepted into…(their university of choice)’. However, when I logged in, the message I received was ‘you are now in clearing’. Cue stress, worry and panic.
My results day in 2015 wasn’t the first results day I had experienced. I gained my A-level results in 2014 and decided to take a year out of education to work full time. I’m glad I took a year out, working full-time taught me how to communicate with a wide audience, how to effectively work and manage a diverse team and it gave me the confidence and ability to work independently. However, I knew that the job I was doing wasn’t what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. So, I started considering my options and decided upon studying Geography at university. I wrote my personal statement in the last week of July and my UCAS application went straight into clearing.
The idea of being in clearing made me feel stressed. The thought of having to call up universities and ask if they would consider my application made me feel sick – I hate having to order a pizza over the phone let alone having to apply for university that way! However, my experience in clearing was a positive one. I spoke to three people over the course of two days and my application was swiftly approved.
Once I was in, I realised I was starting university in a location I hadn’t ever visited, in a school that I had had zero prior contact with! That was scary. I thought I might be missing key pieces of information or that I would be the only applicant who had not met anyone else who was starting in September. You might be feeling like that now if Queen Mary wasn’t your first choice of university. Maybe it was your insurance choice or like me, you arrived here via adjustment or clearing. Equally, perhaps you chose to work full-time instead of going straight to university too. From someone who has been in your shoes, believe me when I say that you aren’t alone in this. You might have missed an Open Day or Queen Mary’s Festival of Geography, but that’s not important now and others definitely have too. Everyone is in the same boat on day one despite what route they took to get there.
I have just one final thought as I look back on my results day – just because the QM School of Geography may not have been your first choice, it doesn’t mean that starting here won’t be one of the best decisions you have made. I love studying here and I hope the next three years brings as much, if not more, success and happiness as it has brought me.
Photo source: Results are in