Students across the country are about to take a big step. Whether they’re planning to move away or stay at home, the prospect of going to university is both exciting and scary.
Add uncertainty about whether they’ll get the grades they need and the possibility of a last-minute change of plan in Clearing, and it’s easy to see why this can be a stressful time.
You want to help them secure their dream course at their dream university. Nevertheless, parental input – however well-meaning – can sometimes be counter-productive!
We looked into this a couple of years back, and found that many parents were only adding to their child’s stress around results day and Clearing.
But we’re here to help you do things differently!
If things don’t go exactly to plan on results day and your child needs to find a course through clearing, here’s how you can be a source of strength, rather than add to the stress:
Learn how Clearing works
This video gives a great overview of the UCAS Clearing process.
If you want to dig a little further, there’s loads of information out there. Start by checking out our top tips for results day and Clearing.
Help them prepare
Talk about the career they want to pursue after graduation and go from there. They’re going to be studying their course for (at least) three years so it also needs to be something they’ll enjoy and are good at.
In the end it’s their decision, but make sure you’re there as a sounding board, if needed, to help them be confident in their choices.
Here’s a couple of practical things they can do:
- Draw up a shortlist of alternative courses and universities
- Make a note of all the university Clearing numbers you may need (ours is 0800 073 1225, by the way…)
Do this before results day, so if things don’t go to plan you have a well thought out Plan B!
Help them relax
Make sure exams results isn’t the only topic of conversation! Get out and do something fun the evening before results day to take their mind off it. The hard work and preparation is done by this point so a nice break will be very welcome.
Also make sure they get a good night’s rest – whatever their results, they have a busy day in prospect on results day.
Be around on results day
A-Level results day is on Thursday 17 August. If possible be on-hand throughout the day to offer support.
You could go with them to pick up their results – if they want you to that is!
If they don’t get the results they expected stay calm and positive, and help them focus on their next step. Don’t be tempted to try and take over – it needs to be them making the all-important calls to Clearing helplines. Make sure they have their UCAS personal ID to hand before making any calls though.
Most universities will be open for visitors on results day and for a few days afterwards. If your son or daughter needs to choose an alternative university in Clearing it’s a good idea to go and get a feel for campus if possible – being able to take them would be really handy.
Remember it’s not the end of the world!
There are many extremely successful people out there who went through Clearing (here’s one example from Bradford who’s done pretty well for himself), and many different paths to success.
Best of luck!