So, Clearing – is it really just for people who don’t get good grades or can’t apply in time? For me, I needed a change, I needed my life to go in the direction I wanted it to. I saw the ad in the local newspaper for Clearing courses at Staffs Uni, and called, that simple job done. Then I started to panic, will people know? Do you wear a big “clearing student” sign on your head?
I am not straight out of college, so I didn’t visit UCAS fairs. I didn’t attend seminars on how or what to do. Yes I had my qualification from years ago but could I really cope? The hardest thing about Clearing is making that initial contact, stepping into the unknown, bye bye regular income and hello uncertainty….
When I called Staffs’ Clearing hotline, I spoke to Ed Tolhurst, the course leader for Health and Social Care. I explained my home life, my work life, well I think I told him my whole life….kids, dogs, just got a new house….the lot! But ultimately I explained why I wanted to be on the course – and that was it, hard bit over.
I got an email accepting me onto the course, and then had to go through the UCAS process. Given when I left school it was all paper UCAS applications all this was new to me! My course tutors (I could say this now 🙂 ) talked me through it. But once you’ve got that “Ok – see you in September” statement from the Clearing hotline all this is a walk in the park.
No one asks what route you came onto the course, no one asks what grades you have, and, being honest no one cares! Everyone is there with the same goal – to better themselves, to get there they want to go in life, and – let’s be honest – does it really matter how people got onto the course?
Everyone is treated equal, no matter what route you used, or your age (although I am referred to as the mum of the cohort, apparently I have a Mary Poppins bag full of everything!) or what you did before you started the course. Everyone is given the same assignments, the same completion time, the same open door policy when you need to talk to a lecturer.
Over time I learnt some others on my course had gone through Clearing, and working as a university ambassador I learnt others had too. But if you never want anyone to know, you don’t have to.
For me – in July, when you’re sitting in your garden, at work, stuck in A500 traffic wondering what it’s like to do what you want with your life – Clearing maybe the opportunity you need! Its worth the call, speak to the tutor, tell them how you feel and where you want your life to go….just remember you are never too old to do what you want.
As a final thought, cliche I know, there are people at Staffs who know how you feel and know what process you are going through – never be scared to ask – that one question may transform your life forever.