It’s completely normal to feel apprehensive about your university applications. However, clearing shouldn’t have to be something that causes you significant stress and upset. While we all have our own preferred coping methods, here are some top tips for managing clearing-related stress, which you might find helpful!
Remind yourself that you’re not alone
According to UCAS data, over 70,000 students were placed through clearing last year. You may find it reassuring to remind yourself that many students before you have successfully obtained university spots through clearing. If they can, so can you. You are not alone!
Sometimes stress can root from feeling ill-prepared and not ready for the future event(s). While it is not possible to plan for every outcome, and some aspects of clearing might remain unknown right now, there is still a lot that you can do to prepare. Check out this advice on how to prepare for university and clearing. Making sure that you’ve got your research and resources together ahead of clearing will hopefully help to alleviate the stress.
Talk to someone
Don’t bottle it up! It can be so helpful to speak to someone about how you feel. If you don’t feel comfortable opening up to anyone in your personal life, you could contact organisations such as Shout, The Mix or Samaritans. They will be happy to listen and support you. Alternatively, if you don’t want to share your worries with another person, you could try writing out your thoughts.
It’s important to continue doing things that you enjoy and looking after yourself, especially if you’ve prepared for clearing to the best of your ability already. Find things to do that will take your mind off it! These activities might include: spending time with loved ones, exercising, cooking your favourite meal or getting involved with your favourite creative activity.
Keep results day free
Regardless of your results, carving out time to celebrate your achievements is definitely important. However, if you are planning on contacting universities on results day, it is best to keep your day fairly free in case the clearing process takes longer than expected. While you could get through to a university very quickly, there’s no way to accurately estimate how long the process will take. Postponing any other plans (at least until the evening) will mean that you avoid having to make stress-inducing last-minute changes on the day.
Avoid or limit your social media intake
Reaching out to friends and fellow students at this time can be very helpful but remember not to compare your results or application process with anyone else’s. Social media feeds are often swarmed with university-related news, especially on results day. It might be wise to consider avoiding social media until you feel secure with your own plans.
Practice calming techniques
I know that the advice to ‘stay calm’ is much easier said than done. However, there are many techniques you can try to reduce anxiety, fear and/or panic. The Mind website has a range of examples. Also, apps like Headspace and Calm are packed with tips, techniques and meditations that you might find useful during this time.
Trust that everything will work out
Though things might seem very uncertain now, trust that it will all work out in the end. Experiencing stress surrounding your applications shows that you care about your future, which is a good thing. This means that you want to set yourself up for the best possible opportunities going forward. If you can, try to keep things in perspective, keep reaching out to others, and last but not least- believe in yourself!
Read more student advice about clearing