Student profile
Sophie Aldous

Sophie Aldous

"For me, Clearing was one of the biggest days of my life and I definitely hadn’t taken enough time to prepare myself. If you’re in a position like I was, find someone you trust to help you through it and do in-depth research. It will be ok!"

In the lead up to A-level results day, I did some research into backup universities, but I hadn’t really prepared myself for the grades I got. I also didn’t think it was possible for me to do a degree in biomedical engineering because I hadn’t studied biology, so I didn’t do any research into this course until the day of Clearing.  

I went through Clearing as I didn’t meet the entry requirements for the universities I applied to and because I’d decided to change my degree choice from computer science to engineering. I was terrified at first; I didn’t think I’d go to university. My teachers weren’t very supportive, so I got onto Google and rang a lot of universities to see what offers I might get. 

Surrey was incredibly helpful throughout the process. They were the nicest university to call, really friendly and welcoming. I emailed several times to get information about different things and they invited me to attend a Clearing open day – I decided not to accept my offer until I’d visited the campus to get a feel for the environment. The minute I stepped onto the piazza, I knew I wanted to accept my offer. My biggest help was the tour guide - I was becoming quite stressed as I called UCAS, so I literally gave him my phone and he helped me accept my offer! 

Even when I started studying at Surrey, I still didn’t feel 100 per cent sure of my course change, but Surrey was really supportive. My personal tutor, who is the Head of Biomedical Engineering, talked me through it and now I can see it as the best decision I’ve made. As someone who struggles with their mental health, Surrey was the right choice for me as there is so much support on offer and everyone is so welcoming.

I love the calm atmosphere of campus and feeling like I fit in. As students, we’re always kept well informed of what’s happening (even now during the Covid-19 outbreak) and the community is amazing. University has exceeded my expectations and now I can’t picture myself anywhere else. 

When it comes to Clearing, prepare yourself. For me, it was one of the biggest days of my life and I definitely hadn’t taken enough time to ready myself. If you’re in a position like I was and don’t think your school will give you much help (physically and emotionally), find someone you trust to help you through it and do in-depth research. But also have faith in the system - I thought Clearing would be the worst thing that could have happened to me but without it, I’d be doing a degree I don’t like, at a university that wouldn’t support me, without the relationships I have made at Surrey. It will all be okay! 

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