University of Derby sports and exercise graduate, Daryl Verner, recounts his experience of the Clearing process.
Originally, I was doing a plumbing course at college. I didn’t like it though, I thought it was awful and I kept thinking to myself ‘I really need to do something with my life’. It was that feeling that motivated me to do something different.
I had always liked sport and I’d always wanted to be a PE teacher, so I decided to do my A-levels and then apply for a Higher National Diploma Course (HND). The funny thing is, I hadn’t even thought about applying to university.
I ended up visiting the HND course and decided that it wasn't for me. I really wanted to do something that interested me and stimulated me. Because of this, I decided that I should try and gain a place at university through Clearing – and, to be honest, I’ve never looked back.
I found a few universities that interested me and had vacancies and I phoned them up directly. I remember calling Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Derby.
While I was still deciding which university to go for, I got a call back from Derby, from their head of sport. She spoke to me about the course, what it involved, the career possibilities, and then she talked about the city itself. She really sold it to me and completely won me over – I really appreciated the extra effort that they put in, it was an easy choice.
Looking back on it, I have no regrets. My experience through Clearing has been really successful and I’ve loved being at Derby. They’ve been really helpful and there was always someone I could talk to if I needed to.
Would I go back and change anything? I wouldn’t do anything differently because it all worked out so perfectly for me. What I would say though, after having done a course in plumbing that I really didn’t enjoy, is that at university you should be doing something that really gets you going.
You’re there for three years and you’re going to do a lot of work, so if you do something you don’t enjoy it's going to be a long process, and there’s going to be a greater chance of you giving up halfway through the course.
My final advice for anyone thinking of applying through Clearing is this; see what’s out there, what the course involves, what career choices are there for you and what the people say about it – I didn’t do this at the time but I wish I had done, as it’s really important to make sure you’re making the right choice.
Going to open days is probably the only thing I would do differently if I could go back, as it's really important to make sure you’re not making an error.
Now, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve managed to get a scholarship to do a masters at Derby is psychology and, with my degree in sports, I’m hoping to come out of it and go into sports psychology.