Decide what to do next

Date: 15/08/2003

I narrowed down my options and stated to concentrate on clearing

It was now the day after results day, and I had to decide what to do next. I worked out I had four options:

Go into clearing
Phone UCL and see if I can get a place there
Take a year out and reapply next year
Take a year out and retake maths to get an A

Phoning UCL didn't really count as an option, but if they did offer me a place, then I would need to choose whether I accepted it or not. Also whether to take maths or not if I took a year out was a secondary decision, as I would need to choose if I took a year out or not. So I really had two main options: clearing or year out, straight away I could see the main benefits and disadvantages of both. If I went into clearing I would miss my chance of going to one of the better universities I had picked, and I wouldn't have much time to decide where I went. But if I took a year out there would still be the problem of deciding what to do that year, and I might not get into any of my choice with the B in maths anyway.

I decided to make a list of options and go through them one by one. First I would phone UCL to see if I could be offered a place, secondly I would look at the places offered in clearing and thirdly I could think about taking a year out. I phoned UCL but the admissions tutor wouldn't be available until the afternoon so I decided to look at clearing places.

I had copies of the independent clearing lists from results day and today, but I found the easiest way was to look on the Guardian's clearing website or the universities websites themselves. After a while I had made a short list of universities offering economics and maths courses and their phone numbers and web addresses ready to enquire about clearing.

My school was also running a results day clinic, so I went into school to see if they could give me any advice. Here I talked over my options with them, and asked about the clearing process and what would be available if I took a year out. I didn't really learn much except there were lots of options available and the school would help out with any references or advice which I needed.

Next I phoned UCL to see if I could get a place on another course, but was told the admissions tutor was on holiday and would not be back for a few days. I now decided to forget about UCL and look at my clearing options. I took my initial clearing list and started applying for courses offered by the universities on it by web and phone.