By Sarah Makki

This blog first appeared on UCFB’s UniBuddy platform, a noticeboard where current students can pass on advice about life at UCFB. Click here to read more.

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As soon as your last A Level exam is done or your last assignment has been submitted, the countdown to results day officially starts. It’s a process we’ve all been through and at this stage all I can say is do everything and anything to keep your mind occupied and do not get stressed. Of course that’s easier said than done, but it’s worth a shot, right?

If you have an unconditional offer, I’d like to congratulate you and say well done. I hope to see you in September! However, if you’ve got a conditional offer and you’re waiting for results day – good luck and hopefully we see you in September as well.

I remember when I was in the position you are in now, it was a relatively long summer and I was just dreading getting my results and started researching all sorts of alternative courses to apply to via Clearing. I mean, I wanted to study sports journalism and decided my back-up choice was going to be travel and adventure studies instead (and I’m pretty sure that degree doesn’t even exist anymore). I would suggest if you’re that worried about your results you should look at alternatives through Clearing, but I’m sure you’ll be fine. The whole process of applying to university and picking your options on UCAS is a very nerve wracking situation and it gets scarier and scarier throughout the whole of year 13 and right up until A Level results day.

My situation was an odd one and I’ll explain to you why.

So… I’m a pretty organised person and decided on what university I thought I wanted to attend and what I wanted to study quite early on. That was in November 2015 and at this point I had heard of UCFB Burnley and UCFB Wembley but not UCFB Etihad Campus because it hadn’t opened yet. I always thought the concept of UCFB was great but neither of the campuses at that time offered a sports journalism course. I would’ve had to choose BA (Hons) Football Business & Media if I wanted to attend Wembley or Burnley, but to be honest I didn’t want to attend either campus because one was too far and the other was practically in the middle of nowhere in my eyes. So basically, UCFB wasn’t one of my five choices. My choices were Leeds Trinity, Huddersfield, Salford, UCLAN and they were all to study sports journalism, and business management with sport at Salford too.

Normally there is a two-week timeframe where you can change any of your options without any trouble, but I thought I was set on wanting to attend Leeds Trinity as it was my first choice once upon a time. Typically, right after my two-week timeframe was over I received an email about how UCFB were opening up a new campus in Manchester and there would be a BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism course being taught there. I immediately booked onto an open day and went to visit the place I now call my campus.

Believe me, it wasn’t an easy process. There was nothing I could do about my existing offers unless one of my choices withdrew my application. I wanted to attend UCFB Etihad Campus so badly that I purposely did awful in a group assessment at another university ‘interview day’ just so they would withdraw my application and then I could choose UCFB. Instead, the university gave me an offer and I was left with no choice but to apply to UCFB through clearing as soon as I got my results. I was waiting to find out if I would get accepted to a university that I hadn’t even applied for so that was a long nine months’ worth of waiting.

The admissions team at UCFB were extremely helpful and I explained the situation I was in on the first open day I visited. They told me to send a copy of my UCAS application to them to see whether or not I could’ve been accepted based on my target grades. Later on in the academic year, they invited me to an applicant day. Yes, a day for applicants (which technically I wasn’t) but it was extremely helpful and I gained so much out of it and it made me realise how badly I actually wanted to attend UCFB. All I had to do was wait about five months until results day!

When the big day arrived, I remember logging on to my college’s intranet and finding out my results at 6am because I was too impatient to wait until 10am to visit the college instead. My initial reaction was to cry because not only did I get enough UCAS points, I did better than I thought and I could apply to UCFB as soon as the clearing hotline opened. As soon as the line opened I rang up and within minutes my student status at UCFB became official and all I had to do was wait until September!

My whole experience of applying and waiting for results day was incredibly stressful at times and I wouldn’t wish that for any of you. I hope you achieve the grades you want and attend the university you want to go to. Who knows, I might be seeing some of you here come September. So, until then, good luck and goodbye!

All the best, Sarah xoxo