August brings along results day but this year…it’s all different.
Exams were cancelled due to the pandemic and now grades have been calculated differently, it’s created a lot more of uncertainty and anxiety about getting into your dream universities.
You might feel a little hard done by that you haven’t had the chance to stake your claim for a place at the university you wanted and that you’ve lost control over your future a little.
But don’t worry, that’s not the case.
Experts at a number of universities have all agreed that students have “never had more power to talk their way into a top university, even if they didn’t get the grades” But how?
The pandemic has created issues for a lot of industries. The higher education isn’t exempt from this. It’s predicted that the sector is facing a loss of £3bn to £19bn depending on the amount of students that enrol. Wow. That’s a lot right? To put it in perspective £19bn could buy you 6,333,333,333 coffees or 190 Christiano Ronaldos.
But this is a consequence of an abnormal time that we’re going through. Nobody could have predicted the scale as to which the world has been knocked off balance this year and everyone is trying their best to adapt and continue.
In usual years there’s a few things you can do on results days about your place at a university if you didn’t get the grades you needed. There’s the option of clearing or taking a year out to improve your skills and grades and reapplying afterwards.
However, the experts suggest that this year it is also worth phoning up your university of choice to fight for your place, even more so than in previous years. It's said that if you can phone up and make a case for being let in for your grades being calculated incorrectly, then you should do so.
Remember though, you need to back yourself up when you do so. You aren’t just phoning up and crying down the phone ‘PLEASE LET ME IN!!’. That won’t work, or look that cool…
No, you need to phone up and sell yourself to the university. Ok the grades you were given weren’t what they wanted but tell them why you would have gotten the grades if you had been able to sit your exams this year.
Universities are looking for what kind of skills you could bring to them. Think about the pieces of your employability. Your skills, your attitude to learning. What is it the makes you a brilliant student? (and you are). Think of your life experiences, and that doesn’t just have to be at school. What do you do in your spare time? How has playing football, netball or hockey helped you work better as a team? At communication? At problem solving.
Your passion is a big part of university life. Why do you want to do that course? What is it you love about it? Sell that to them on the phone. The reason you applied, the reason it sparks your curiosity. Don’t be afraid to use real world examples, even spruce them up a little! Think what makes you a unique individual for that university and what is unique about your love for that subject. They don’t just want students who have chosen a degree course for the sake of it. They want students who are able to discover new things about the subject.
One aspect of your employability that you can sell is what we call B-A-P. Behaviour, attitude, personality. This is something you can get across on the phone to your potential university. They don’t want someone turning up and doing the bare minimum so get across what your attitude to learning is. Show them your personality too, they aren’t wanting robots. Tell them your other interests, what you enjoy doing in your spare time out of your studies. Make sure you come across as an interesting person that will enrich the city you’re studying in.
So if you don’t get the results you wanted. Sure it might hurt a little, but use it to come back stronger. There’s always something you can do and as the experts have said, this year, even more so than usual. So don’t beat yourself up, we’re all trying our best and it’s not the end of the road for you
Have a look at our YouTube video here from our Lead presenter Moj bout selling yourself to Employers and Universities.
If you want more advice and tips have a look at our Instagram, subscribe to our youtube channel advice videos, and sign up to our monthly newsletter.
ARON TENNANT is the Talks and Editorial manager and designated GDPR Data Controller for Push. He is originally from South Yorkshire and has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Sheffield. He also has a MA degree in Creative Play and Screenwriting from City, University of London and came runner up in Nickelodeon's international screenwriting competition in 2018 and his short film ''Donkey Tooth' was screened at the London Raindance Film Festival in 2018. He is IMDB credited and alongside Push he does screenplay work for independent production companies and is working on his own independent film and theatre projects and writes articles for JumpcutOnline.com.
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