"The conversation was the quickest ever: “UCAS ID? Grades? Okay, you’re in!”. That was it, end of story."
Can you talk me through your Clearing experience?
The original plan was for me to go to university in the South West of England and my family to move to Bahrain and live with my Dad, but we made a last-minute decision to stay in the UK and live together. So, I was just thinking of ideas of places we could go that had a university. We had planned to move to Surrey previously, so I said “okay, let’s go to Surrey – they have a university and they have colleges!” I rejected my university offer on results day and was released into clearing, then I went onto the Clearing website, scrolled through and found Surrey and called them. The conversation was the quickest ever: “UCAS ID? Grades? Okay, you’re in!”. That was it, end of story.
What made you consider the University of Surrey?
It was mostly my family situation as I didn’t know much about the university itself. But, it was convenient how it all worked out – I really like my course and the environment here is much better than it would’ve been at the other university I was considering because of my religion. I’m a Muslim so I have to pray five times a day and Surrey has a huge prayer room which is unusual to me. Growing up it was always a struggle to find somewhere to pray. I have halal food and every restaurant on campus offers something halal – that’s really cool. It’s all so easy for me, I’ve never had this ease.
Are you happy with your university experience?
When I first moved here, I did wonder “what if I’d gone to another university?” but then, I started comparing them. What do I have here at Surrey and what can they offer there? I really like my lecturers and they know my name now so we have that family feeling. I feel comfortable with them – you don’t know if you’re going to get good lecturers if you move. I’m used to the town now and I live quite near campus so it’s easy to walk around and everything about Guildford is nice, it’s a really nice town. It’s also the friends you make as I’ve met a lot of nice people and, most importantly, I enjoy my course.
What advice would you give to other students?
Don’t be scared that things didn’t work out the way you planned – for me, it actually worked out better than what I had planned. If I had to think in hindsight, this actually seems like a better situation than if I’d gone to my other choice of university. Don’t be sad that it didn’t work out how you originally intended and really accept the university as your home now. I think that it is your university, even if you go through clearing. No matter where you end up there will be something beautiful about it.