Why did you decide to contact Lancaster University through Adjustment and Clearing?
Following a number of rejections, I knew that the best offer I had received through UCAS was a lot lower than my expected grades at A-Level. For a number of different reasons I also started having second thoughts about my first choice university. I was very fortunate to have had some brilliant teachers in my Sixth Form who pushed me to reconsider my choices and I eventually ended up looking into Lancaster through Adjustment. After my summer exams, I got on a train equipped with a campus map of Lancaster and just happened to bump into a Schools' Visit Day with Admissions Tutors being there to patiently answer my questions. They were incredibly helpful and stayed in touch with me over summer. It all seemed too much coincidence to be true, but I am glad I took the initiative because I ended up loving the place.
How would you advise applicants entering Adjustment and Clearing this year?
Adjustment is a little more reassuring for applicants as you can keep your initial university place until securing another one. Applicants need to however be aware of how stressful the process is: whilst most of my friends had sorted their place as soon as they got their A-Level results, I spent several days phoning and e-mailing with my school, UCAS, Lancaster and my initial first choice university. If you are considering Adjustment, make sure you know how the process works before A-Level Results Day.
Do you have any advice for parents or teachers?
In my case, both my parents and teachers had been very understanding and I am really grateful for that. That is probably the most obvious piece of advice: be patient and just be there to help where you can.
What do you feel is the best aspect of studying at Lancaster University?
I can obviously just speak for my course but if I l look back at the previous year, most of my learning took place in small-group seminars. In Lancaster, there is a sense that you can knock on a tutor's door for any questions and problems you come along during your study. It really is a small community where everyone can thrive in.
What's best about the social life and activities at Lancaster?
No doubt – the colleges! I don't think I had entirely realised how much of an asset they are until I arrived. They make it so much easier to mingle in the first few weeks and they are something a lot of people seem to genuinely care about. I have had the chance to get involved with my college's JCR – an elected group of students that run social activities and Welfare campaigns for the college. Whether it is sports, societies or colleges: the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.
How does Lancaster University provide you with support, advice and guidance?
Throughout the Adjustment process, there was plenty of support available and I felt that instructions were made very clear. Prior to arrival we received checklists, booklets and useful contacts. The university makes a real effort to stress to students where you can get necessary advice from.
What advice would you give to college students considering contacting Lancaster University via Adjustment and Clearing in 2014?
It may all seem daunting, but whatever the circumstances are – go for it, there is nothing to lose and if you do come, you will certainly not regret it!
And finally, what do you aspire to be?
In the last year, I have found the essay-writing aspect of my course most rewarding. It made me think about doing Postgraduate study. It means I can potentially get an insight and contribute to some cutting-edge research going on in my subjects. I am not entirely sure where that might take me, but I know it is something that I feel passionate about.