Not every route to university is the same, School of English student Chloe Derry managed to squeeze in travelling, working and becoming a mum before her life changed one afternoon through our Clearing process. Here’s her story…

attachment.ashxOn the afternoon of 23 August 2014, I made the decision to apply for a BA Hons English course at Birmingham City University through Clearing. By the end of the day everything was sorted. I had been offered a place and had completed my application to Student Finance England.

That was it, I was going to Uni!

Previously, I had made applications to Universities while at Sixth Form, but retracted them all before going to an interview, as I had been offered a job with a local college. After working, and doing some travelling, I had my daughter Tilly.

Up to my ears in being a full-time mum, I wasn’t actually considering going to university until a few days before I applied through Clearing at Birmingham City University, which was just before Tilly’s first birthday.

It dawned on me that there was no time like the present, and after a gentle nudge and full support from family, we figured it was better for me to get started while Tilly was young, rather than leaving it too late and missing the boat completely. Doing an English course seemed like the perfect solution, something I enjoyed studying previously, but that was applicable to many career paths in the future.

I understood the trials and tribulations that could come with the UCAS process and Student Finance England forms, so was apprehensive about making the first call to clearing.

I cannot stress enough how glad I am that I did!

The Clearing teams at UCAS and Birmingham City University were all so helpful and understanding of my situation. Birmingham City University staff went above and beyond in their efforts to accommodate my queries, they were on hand to advise and give tonnes of information about the course.

They even put me in touch with a second year parent learner who put me at ease with all the concerns I had relating to juggling the work load and general logistics. I can’t sing their praises enough.

I would advise someone in a similar position to really think about what they will get out of University. University gave me a chance to get back into socialising within an adult environment, which had fallen out of habit for me whilst being a mum. Don’t get me wrong, the mummy-bubble is lovely, but there are only so many play groups you can attend before your brain needs other sustenance.

So pick something you’re going to enjoy! I am so lucky that I’m able to study something that really gets me thinking.

For anyone getting in a tizz about university, try to put your worries to one side. There are lots of people all over the country in the same position. The experiences I’ve had in my first year well outweigh the stress of one afternoon’s worth of phone calls!

Not long until results day! There’s still time to prepare yourself for whatever happens. If you’re feeling worried or want to explore other options, see how we can help

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