As soon as you find out that you haven't got a place at university, you need to start the clearing process immediately. Universities do not want empty places; they do not wish to have empty seats in lecture theatres, or empty spaces on courses. They want them full, so they're going to be filling up their places as quickly as they can. They are not going to wait a week for you to decide that you want a place there and hold that place for you. They are going to be filling up quickly which is why you need to have a plan in place before results day. Now, one of the things you need to think about is whether the course you have applied for maybe has slightly too high requirements and maybe think about a somewhat different course or is there a slightly different course that has loads of space on it because it's a little bit weird?

For example, I did biochemistry with a year in industry, but maybe straight biochemistry would have had lower requirements, one of my friends did biochemistry with a year abroad, they all had different entry requirements.

Electrical engineering is quite hard to get onto but one of my friends did electrical engineering with psychology, not so very common course but there are loads and loads of places left on it because people didn't think to combing the two courses. This is something you really should consider when looking for clearing places because you might be able to still go to your dream university. And do a course that is 90% the course that you wanted to if you just have to add psychology or French or a year in industry onto the end of it.

Consider different locations and universities. You may or may not have time to visit them not because like I said, things happen very quickly.

Fortunately, YouTube is a fantastic thing for visiting places that you don't actually have time to go to but if you can find time to visit them, it is really important that you at least try because you're going to be spending a lot of your life there and it's important that you are happy there. Once you have had a look through the website, call up the university and talk to them. They're going to need your UCAS ID so that they can log onto the system and see your results and everything about you.

Get informal offers. Now, make sure the universities are very clear that these are just informal offers and you can get as many of these as you like but don't take too long about it because these places are not going to be availabe for too long.

Once you have made your decision, and are confident that you're happy with your choice, you can add it to the UCAS website. The university will take over there, and they will confirm it.

If they don't confirm it after a certain length of time, then you can add another one on, but you can only add one on at a time. 

Helena’s Story What I wish I knew when I was applying

Some things aren't known until time goes on. One may make mistakes unknowingly and keep on regretting the past mistakes. While celebrating another year of my life, I have come to understand some lessons that I never knew before. 

Below are some lesson I wish I knew when I was young;

1. Stop worrying how other people think of you.

Whenever I made any decision or did anything during my young age, I was so worried about how other people would perceive or react to my actions. It’s clear to me that if you keep on seeking people’s validation, approval or respect then you will never accomplish your goals. Even though every person has his/her own opinions, people’s opinions are based on their perceptions more than anything you do. It’s always good to rely on your assessment rather than seeking other people’s feedback.

2. Today is what is important

Always learn to appreciate and enjoy every moment, because there is no guarantee for tomorrow. Do what you have done today and don’t excuse yourself by saying you’ll do it tomorrow. Always know our tomorrow is determined by what we do today and today’s actions and decisions are the foundations of our future.

3. Believing in yourself

Always know that, whenever you have confidence in your abilities, value, and contribution to the society, then everyone will trust you. Still, have some faith in your intrinsic worth. Sometimes we have something to offer, but the problem is that at sometimes we may never know what it is. Sometimes we feel like we can’t succeed just because we can’t tackle a particular task with knowing that, we don’t have to be able to see the end zone. This does not mean it will not happen; it’s just a matter of time.

4. Money isn’t the most important thing in life

Like any other young person, I grew up knowing that money is an essential thing in our lives. Once you don’t have money, you feel unwanted, and you think that you belong to the low class. Even though we use the money to settle our bills, money isn’t the end goal. Getting a good job that will always keep you happy is a more motivating goal. Always learn that money can't buy happiness and does not insulate your pains and suffering. Money is just a currency that allows us to have something to eat, something to wear and somewhere to live.

5. Life is not a race

Life is not about competing with your friends. Every person has his/her own unique goals to accomplish, and there is no need to hurry to get to your destination. Some people might think that you are lost just because you don’t walk their way without knowing that we all have different paths to reach our destinations.

6. Always see good in everything

Learn to stay positive. Celebrate with your friends at all the beautiful moments. Instead of criticizing others, give them encouragement.