14 Aug Kate’s story: Entering university through adjustment
Choosing where to go to University is a big decision. Location, standard of living and league tables all play apart but sometimes you have to weigh up where you really want to study with where you’ll realistically gain a place.
I always knew that I wanted to study French at university but I was worried about my results. One of my A Levels was Further Mathematics and I was predicted a C which shortened my prospects.
When I was visiting universities, I loved the University of Sheffield’s language department – it just felt like home even though I wasn’t a student yet! However my predicted C meant that I was unlikely to be accepted a place so I put the University of Leeds as my first choice. I decided to go with a university that gave me a secure lower grade offer so I had that security of place come September, even though I had a niggling doubt at the back of my head.
All summer I waited for my results with the expectation of going to Leeds – but when results day came, I had a massive shock. I was surprised to find that I had actually done much better than expected – I got a B in Further Maths!
This was a huge curve ball and I began to question whether I had even liked Leeds or whether I had just chosen it because it was the safe bet. All day long, I thought about my prospects I couldn’t help but think about Sheffield and the department where I’d felt so welcome. Finally, I told myself, “I’m going to Sheffield” and I picked up the phone.
I had no idea of what adjustment was but I soon found out that it was something which offers a lifeline to people like me who want to upgrading to a better university or course. I rang the University of Sheffield and after a quick chat with a friendly person on the other end of the line, I told them my new grades and they were able to confirm there and then that I had a place. It was simple to cancel my old place and within a few hours, I was accepted on a better course at a university I knew was right for me.
Knowing my place was secure and that I had definite accommodation (Sheffield guarantees all clearing and adjustment students university accommodation in the first year) gave me confidence that I had made the right decision.
I wonder how different my life would be now if I had decided to stick with my place at Leeds? As well as a prestigious degree on a great course, Sheffield has given me a beautiful home with plentiful shopping places and great nightlife. The beautiful Peak District is right on my doorstep, as well as the splendid Botanical Gardens and all the parks and outdoor spaces a person could want! It is after all the greenest city in the world. Sheffield means so much to me and I’ve decided to make this my permanent home.
I would advise anyone to stop and think as to whether they have made the right choice about where they have decided to go to university. The pressures of today can easily sway your choice into picking a university or a course that you don’t really want. Having confidence in knowing that your decision is the right one gives you the greatest feeling in the world and I would advise adjustment and clearing for everyone.
If you get better than predicted grades, don’t panic, keep calm and think about how you can improve your future with one phone call. Take the time to look at what other universities can offer you. Upgrading universities was the best decision I ever made and don’t regret a thing.
Written by University of Sheffield student Kate Dugeon.