Around this time last year, I wrote a thing about results day. A year later, I’m firmly on the other side of opening that dreaded brown envelope that holds the information on which your university place might depend on. So I’m going to give you my top tips about results day, but most importantly, you need to keep a cool head on the day should that little piece of paper not say exactly what you want it to – mine definitely didn’t.

Be considerate. If you’re one of the people who’s lucky enough to get the grades you want or need straight off, congratulations! But bear in mind that there are going to be people who aren’t in the same boat as you, who are probably panicking, and might need a little help cooling off and calming down.

If your results for whatever reason are not what you expected, try not to immediately panic or be disappointed with yourself. You can resit them – it’s not ideal, but you might find it gives you the time you need to understand the subject matter fully enough to do amazingly well.

If your results don’t quite match the conditions your university has given you, don’t panic and immediately jump to the conclusion that you haven’t got your place – get to a computer and go and check your UCAS Track profile first and take it from there. I didn’t meet the conditions my university set for me, but I still got a place – I’ve seen it happen to other people too. I’m not saying that this will happen to everyone, but occasionally an institution will like a candidate enough to offer a place in spite of slightly wonky grades. Oh, remember to take your UCAS login details with you so you can actually log in.

Get on the phone. Should the worst happen and you don’t get either of your two chosen places, give the university a phone call. I’ve seen people get places last minute by fighting their corner and persuading the university that they’re a worthwhile, good choice to have at their school. Your tutors might back you up as well. You have to be quick and rational about it though. Keep a level head, don’t worry if it doesn’t work out, there are still other options.

Get a look at Clearing places as soon as you can. Those places go fast, where people have been unsuccessful with their first and second choices. If you definitely want a place through clearing, get hold of those lists and get looking through them. A lot of people find amazing courses and places through clearing, so don’t immediately dismiss this as an option. It might not be your first choice, but it might still be a bloody good one. Check when the Clearing lists are available and get going

This is not your only shot. You can always reapply next year. Don’t worry about not getting to uni, the world won’t end if your results mean you miss out on your places and if you don’t get a place through Clearing. It just gives you more time to prepare for leaving. You can take an unplanned gap year and find work, do some travelling, get some experience under your belt before studying takes away all your time. That time you spend away gathering knowledge might make you even more of an appealing candidate than A Level students who haven’t really done anything.

This time last year, after the initial horror of thinking I’d missed my uni place, I checked UCAS track to find it had become Unconditional. I was on my phone straight away texting all of my friends, telling them I was going to be leaving for Glasgow less than a month later. Results day can be massively stressful, and I wish you all the best of luck if you’re getting results. All the best fromĀ TSR, and let us know how you do! As always, comments, questions and suggestions are more than welcome – see you next time!

(Featured image courtesy of thebarrowboy on Flickr)