Ellena Mason, BA Geography and Planning

A last minute decision to go to university meant that advance registering was crucial in helping Ellena find a place on A Level results day.

Geography student at Sheffield

I didn’t intend on going to university, in fact, it was only when I’d finished my A Levels in July 2018 that I decided I wanted to go! But I’d already missed the UCAS deadline, so I knew my only option was to try through clearing on A Level results day.

As university was such a last minute decision, my main search criteria was that I didn’t want to be too far from home. Sheffield is only about an hour away from me, so had a look at the courses. I was really pleased that they had a Geography department and and Urban Studies and Planning department as this is what I wanted to study. I noted down the entry requirements for the courses I was interested in, keeping my fingers crossed they would go into clearing in a few weeks time.

Finding a place to live was the other thing I’d been worried about. But I didn’t need to panic, because I found out the University of Sheffield offers guaranteed accommodation to anyone coming through Clearing, which was a big help. I had a gut feeling Sheffield was the place I was meant to be - I decided to advance register, thinking it might help the process on the day.

On the morning of A Level results day, I headed up to school to get my results and was so happy to see I’d got A*AB! I went onto the university of sheffield website and checked to see if any of my shortlisted courses were there. My first choice, Geography and Planning, was in! So I set my mind to trying to get a place and quickly headed home to ring the University.

Within twenty minutes of ringing up I’d been given an offer. It was really that easy! I was under the impression that I was going to be on the phone for ages and waiting in queues to be able to speak to someone. But because I’d already advanced registered, I was a priority call and got through more or less straight away.

Geography student at Sheffield

If you’d have told me a year ago that I’d be living in Sheffield and nearly completed the first year of my degree - I wouldn’t have believed you. Coming to university was a last minute decision for me, but it worked out really well and I’m so pleased that I’m here.

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Ellena Mason

BA Geography and Planning

The people on the phone were really friendly, talking me through the process and answering my questions. It wasn’t stressful, and it was simple to get everything sorted. I remember feeling a massive sense of relief. And then excitement at being able to celebrate with my friends!

If you’d have told me a year ago that I’d be living in Sheffield and nearly completed the first year of my degree - I wouldn’t have believed you. Coming to university was a last minute decision for me, but it worked out really well and I’m so pleased that I’m here.

My flat is really nice, my flatmates are social and I’m enjoying my course. The teaching is great and I’ve been able to choose my own modules so my studies have been tailored to what I like. I’ve also joined the recreational swimming society so I’m pretty busy most of the time! I also didn’t expect that the nightlife in Sheffield would be so good. It’s a really exciting city to be in.

The best bit of advice I could give to anyone going through clearing would be to advance register. On the day of clearing things were made so easy for me because they already had my details. I was a priority call and it was reassuring to know that someone was there to help me on the day. So just advance register – it makes sense!