Coincidentally about three weeks ago I was asked by the Guardian Newspaper to have a telephone interview about my experience of going through the adjustment process – to me this eludes to the fact it’s a hot topic at the moment. This is no bad thing.
For those that haven’t heard about it before (and I must admit before I chose to go through it myself, I wasn’t entirely sure what it was), adjustment in the simplest terms is the opposite of clearing. It’s designed for people that get a higher set of results than they are predicted, enabling them to get into a university which requires a higher set of grades.
Like many of you I spent countless hours trawling through university prospectuses and websites adding up UCAS points (which at the time felt like the DaVinci code) in order to work out which uni’s I could feasibly apply too based upon my predicted grades. I had my heart set on attending a London uni, which made my decision making slightly easier as I had a smaller selection to choose from. Queen Mary had always been at the back of my mind for a number of reasons – the location, the course and the fact I was well aware that for drama it was the top of it’s game. However back then, during my A-Levels I was stuck in the mentality “rather be safe than sorry”, at the time the grade requirements for my course were 320-340 (AAB/ABB), I chose not to apply because I didn’t want to be disappointed, furthermore my predicted grades were BBB so it was unlikely I would even receive a conditional offer. With all this in mind I considered a place at Queen Mary to be just a pipe dream.
As results day drew nearer and nearer I began to consider my options carefully – planning for the best and the worst scenarios. I saved various clearing number’s in my phone. By this time I had confirmed Roehampton as my firm choice and I was happy with it however QM was always sitting there in the back of my mind. I vowed to myself that it (by some miracle) I met the requirements for Queen Mary I would ring up and try to apply through adjustment.
For me the strange thing was I hadn’t actually been informed about the adjustment process at school. We’d had assemblies on clearing and taking a year out, it wasn’t until I did a bit of digging on the internet that I even realised there was such as thing!
I got my results and I was happily surprised, I had exceeded expectations. I immediately got on the phone to the Queen Mary admin team, they were incredibly helpful, they talked me through the adjustment process. Explaining that I would be put through to the School of English and Drama admin team, then a module director (in this case Nick Ridout) would interview me over the phone.
Eventually, to my delight, I was offered a place at my dream university. Nick Ridout gave me his telephone number and told me I didn’t have to decide straight away. This was such a lovely and important piece of news. I needed to take my time to decide as there was now a lot too consider. I decided to take a day off work and visit the university.
I fell in love with the campus and it’s little quirks – the canal, the grave yard, the sculptures, therefore chose to accept my place. Quickly my UCAS offer was changed over, all I had to do was log on and accept it. The same with student finance, I just had to swap the institution.
My only issue was having no set accommodation. I was quickly entered onto a waiting list, however I was told it was VERY unlikely that I would receive campus accommodation. This news was extremely daunting, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to do a flat share, in East London, with strangers. Eventually I got a phone call from Nick Ridout, informing me that I had been put on a list of people to be put forward for campus accommodation. Albert Stern House was the halls that was set aside for people that had got in through clearing and adjustment. Later that week I got my accommodation offer through and I knew I was off to QM for sure. I was over the moon!!
Overall my experience of adjustment was a good one. I can genuinely say that taking the risk and going through the process was the best decision of my life. But my main message is that people shouldn’t feel locked in or trapped by applications they made on UCAS.
It really is true that universities want you as much as you want them!