Issue date: 08 August 2001

Suzanne Doyle has just completed the final year of a Psychology and Health Science degree at the University of the West of England. Her experience could provide a timely warning to clearing students who panic and grab at the first course offered in the Clearing scramble for a university place.

Suzanne got three respectable A level grades and had opted to study languages. “I didn’t do well enough to be accepted on to my first choice and ended up applying to university during clearing,” she said, “I was offered three places but opted for UWE on the basis that it seemed to be in the most exciting city. Lots of my friends knew Bristol and said it would be a good place to live so that clinched it for me.”

“In retrospect I made the right decision about the university and the city but a very reckless decision about my initial choice of subject. I found the course that I had chosen didn’t suit me. But I was fortunately able to transfer to a course which has turned out to be brilliant. I would strongly advise students coming through Clearing to talk to lecturers about the course content before making a commitment. I was so pleased to be offered a place after missing my first choices that I accepted the offer without considering how I would cope.”

Suzanne has made the most of her time at university. She spent two years working for the Student Union as Student Support Officer. “I believe that it is important to act rather to moan if something is wrong. It is this which led me to apply for a role a sabbatical officer. It has been a very valuable experience and given me confidence and skills which I know I will use in the future. I hope to work in training or advice and the sabbatical post has given me plenty of opportunities to learn new skills in both of these areas. “

“I would advise anyone who is rethinking their options after getting disappointing grades to consider going through Clearing. However, although it is important to act fast, don’t act until you have sat down to consider your options carefully. There are still places at university a week after the A level results have been announced and it makes sense to try to be open-minded. Not everyone knows what they want to do when filling out UCAS forms and Clearing can offer a welcome chance to rethink.

Suzanne also believes that the place you end up at is almost as important as the course. “You are going to be living in the same city for three years, so check out living costs and make sure the city has the right blend of entertainment to suit you.”

Suzanne Doyle’s advice to clearing applicants:

“Make sure you find out about the course
“Take time to take stock of your options and don’t panic
“Be open minded and find out about alternative subjects which might suit you
“Think hard about the town/city you are moving to – will you be happy there?

“University is one of the best things you can do – it’s good for personal development and you are unlikely to get the chance to meet such a mixed variety of people at any other time in your life.”

Editors Notes
A Jpeg image of Suzanne Doyle available from the Press Office.

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