Nobody likes rejection. If you don’t receive an offer from your first choice university, it can feel like nobody wants you, you have nothing left to work towards and your life is, essentially, over.
Too dramatic? Totally.
Of course, being rejected by your first choice institution is likely to sting, but don’t despair! With a calm head on your shoulders, you should be able to identify other options and make a quick, sensible decision about what to do next. Missing your first choice doesn’t mean you’ll miss university. Who knows? You may even find that things turn out for the best!
Try a different track
You can, of course, open yourself up to the possibility of accepting another offer. This means thinking seriously about the other choices on your list. During the period between results day and university entry, you can do a lot to help yourself make an informed decision regarding your second and third choice.
Are you having doubts about your first choice of university and want to change? 😅 There’s always clearing!
More than 100 universities had last-minute places in Clearing last year. Sign up to get alerts on courses available >> https://t.co/gzmgDxn7k8#clearing #ucas #alevels2019 pic.twitter.com/GVoIaeakvf
— The Student Room (@thestudentroom) 5 June 2019
Many universities hold open days during this part of the year. You can attend one of these and get the chance to speak to current students and find out what your chosen course is all about. You can meet the academic staff and pick their brains about the courses, and have a good wander round the campus to get a feel for the place.
stuff like this makes me hate the people at Durham University so much
we may have been state educated but we’re still here at exactly the same institution as you getting the same degree
sounds like your parents wasted their hard earned cash on you x pic.twitter.com/KqPJek3eSn
— Jack Edwards (@jackbenedwards) 2 June 2019
For example, you may find that your second choice university has incredibly positive work prospects. Meeting the lecturers and students in their final year, for example, can tell you a lot about what will happen once you’ve completed your course..
The location of the university itself counts for a lot. You may discover that your second choice university sits in a town with a better social life and cultural ambience. This pleasant surprise could be a good reason to take up another offer!
Didn’t enjoy my science degree & decided to leave a top Uni and go for an arts degree. Told my supervisor, said I would “regret it” & “wouldnt get into my dream grad school” later.
Well guess what?
I’m starting my Masters at the University of Oxford in October. pic.twitter.com/pFOxEu9Mw8
— Elina Sifongali (@elpolicy) 3 June 2019
Don’t forget there are obvious benefits to the other universities on your list, otherwise you wouldn’t have chosen then. Take the time to investigate these places and work out whether or not they are good alternatives. You could well be pleasantly surprised.
The Extra option
There are still many would-be students who are unclear on the benefits of UCAS Extra. Extra allows you to make a choice if your five initial choices are unsuccessful, or you turn down offers from those universities. The catch is that you can only make one choice at a time with Extra – but that comes with some benefits, too.
Because you’re only allowed to make one choice, it automatically becomes an informed choice. You have to take the time to find out about other courses and universities, and any choice you make through Extra can only have been made through your own research and careful consideration. Limiting choices to just one allows you to truly investigate your wider interests and a variety of locations and universities. Extra has proven to be a pleasant surprise for many students, some of whom chose to take a their chosen path in a completely different direction.
waiting to see if my ucas extra choice has given me an offer like pic.twitter.com/Z9OaT1sDRu
— Luce🌈 (@LuceBrewer) 10 June 2019
Any university approached through the Extra process will be able to see your initial five choices, and your personal statement can’t be changed. This is a good reason to get in touch personally with such universities to establish a connection and talk your choices through.
Clarify your options with Clearing
You can also find a course through the Clearing process. This is notoriously busy and quite stressful if you’re not ready for it. So be prepared, and make sure you have a ‘Clearing plan’ before the end of summer. This means identifying some other universities you’d like to attend, possibly even other courses. If it turns out you have to hit the phones during clearing, having a plan already set in place will make the whole process less painful.
There’s less than a month until applications close on UCAS Extra for our new Foundation Year courses. If you are unsure about your grades or are looking for a different way to start your Higher Education journey take a look at the courses we offer –https://t.co/8rCucXm8Ba pic.twitter.com/zOwL0qBeQG
— Royal Holloway (@RoyalHolloway) 8 June 2019
Missing that first choice is by no means the end of the world. In fact, it can even lead to some pleasant surprises. There’s every chance you’ll still attend university, but you must keep an open mind when it comes to institutions and courses. Keep a level head, and the more prepared you are, the better the final outcome.