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My Clearing experience: An interview with Solomon Cairns

Solomon Cairns studied the LLB Law with International Business at our Bloomsbury campus in London. He joined us through Clearing in 2019. We caught up with him to see how he found the Clearing experience and to get his advice for other students who might be going through the same process.

By Cara Fielder. Published 7 August 2020. Last updated 24 May 2023.

I originally chose to study at the University of Law because I heard about its focus on employability and helping you with building your career path. There are lots of pro bono opportunities and extracurricular activities, and there are options to support you through your master's too. I also saw a lot of information on how University of Law students are more likely to come out with a job at the end of their course. This was promising because there’s so much fear about coming out of university without a job.

I knew about The University of Law and put it down as my first choice. After that, I noticed information on Facebook about the Clearing process, so I was aware that I could do that if I didn’t get the grades I hoped for.

Since starting at the University I have joined the boxing and football societies. They didn’t exist when I started, so some friends and I teamed up and put them together. We start football next week, but I’ve already made friends by organising the societies and through the WhatsApp chat. Just being in London alone has exposed me to lots of new cultures, but the University itself is very diverse so it’s hard not to be involved with lots of new people with different and interesting cultures.

I decided to go through Clearing as I hadn’t reached the required grade for one of my subjects. I came under the boundary by quite a bit, but I was aware of that. However, I still wanted to go to the University of Law, I wanted to come to London, and it looked like a good university for employability, so I thought it was worth a try.

I knew quite a bit about Clearing in advance because the college I came from educated everyone about it quite well. They made sure, in the event we did need it, we wouldn’t be bewildered by all this new stuff happening and we’d have an idea what to do. The University of Law gave me lots of information during Clearing too, like the number to call, being talked through the process and I spoke to a couple of tutors who helped me too.

I was nervous on A-level results day. I was worried about what might happen if I didn’t get into the university I wanted and that my plans might have to change if I didn’t get offered a place. There’s a lot to consider, but you just have to manage it. You get your results at seven in the morning and see whether you have or haven’t met the conditions of your offer. After that, I had a nervous wait until Clearing opened, but you just have to keep calm. My sister was with me when I got my results, she’s already been through university and had knowledge of Clearing herself. She advised me and helped me out a lot with what to do – to start calling universities straight away and manage what my options were. I was still nervous as to how using Clearing was going to impact my plans for later that year.

The University of Law Clearing process was good. I initially spoke to them on the phone and after that, they told me I would hear from an academic. The academic called me and ran me through an interview. I was asked questions like, ‘Why do you want to study law?’ Aside from waiting to hear a confirmed answer on whether I’d been accepted, I thought the process was relatively simple. Clearing worked out well for me as I still managed to get my first choice and I don’t feel I’m treated any differently for coming through that route.

My three tips for other students going through Clearing are: wake up early, try to talk to universities as early as possible before clearing opens, and don’t cancel out any options. When you get to university, be open to meeting new people and interacting. During the first few days, you get given all these books and new logins but don’t get worried - it will all work out fine. Enjoy the feeling – because making it to university feels great.

 

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