Results day. 9 a.m. UCAS website. No offer.
My heart sank as I realised my conditional offer had fallen through. Was there any point in going to my sixth form to collect my results? What went wrong? Yes, I put in the study hours. Yes, I went through the past papers. Yes, I attended the after-school revision class. What happened?
With all these thoughts running through my mind, I headed towards my Sixth Form for my results and wondered what to do next. It was apparent that the next step to take was to go through Clearing to find a university. After scanning through some universities online and reading about their Biomedical Science degree programmes, I called a few of them and got some offers. I decided to go for the University of Essex because of the structure of the course and the accreditation it has from the Institute of Biomedical Science.
After deciding to accept the offer from Essex, I received all the details I needed to prepare for life at Essex. One of my concerns was finding accommodation as someone who hadn’t originally applied to the university but I shouldn’t have worried because accommodation was guaranteed for first year students.
Before coming to Essex, I joined Facebook groups and did my research on what to expect. Upon arrival, there were volunteers helping incoming students to find their way around. After my family had left, it dawned on me that I was in a completely new environment and I didn’t know anyone. I bumped into a few people and started talking. It was comforting to know that all the new students are in a similar boat so it was a bit easier to interact.
Within the first week of starting there was a fair where numerous societies were advertising what they do. I signed up to a few and met people with similar interests some of which I am still in touch with. There are many societies ranging from religious, political, quidditch and everything in between. If per chance you don’t find any society you are interested in, you can even create your own!
My time at Essex was truly fulfilling. The Biomedical Science course had a good balance of theoretical and practical learning. Although it was a bit challenging at times, the lecturers were very approachable and helpful. With the help of some of my lecturers, I was able to secure a placement year in the Histocompatibilty and Immunogenetics (H&I) laboratory at one of the hospitals the university is affiliated with where I gained invaluable experience. Throughout my time at Essex, I made use of the Employability and Careers centre to find volunteering opportunities, gain advice of my job applications and even practice for interviews.
Having an Essex Biomedical Science degree with a placement year, enabled me to register with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Biomedical Scientist. I also secured a job as a Laboratory Scientist in the H&I laboratory of Anthony Nolan which is a charity that seeks to save and improve the lives of everyone who needs a stem cell transplant.
Looking back, coming to the University of Essex via Clearing has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in the last 5 years. When I was going through the process, I was unsure of what my university experience would entail however with the knowledge and skills I’ve obtained, I can’t imagine what my career would be now had I not accepted the offer from Essex. One thing I learnt through Clearing is that it is the end result that matters and the key is to make the most out of your experience because time really does fly by. For me, the University of Essex has helped to open many doors for me and I hope that embarking on this amazing journey will bring many opportunities to you too.
Check out the Essex clearing guide for information, frequently asked questions and much more!