So You Didn't Get the Grades You Wanted... Time to Change Plans

If you've missed out on the grades you need, you may find yourself re-thinking your choice of course. Perhaps you did badly in your chosen subject, and better than expected in a different subject. If this is the case, Clearing could be for you. Have a look at the courses which have places available - the perfect course could be waiting for you.

Or perhaps you just no longer have a clue what you want to do with your life. If this is the case, a gap year could be the perfect opportunity to think things through.

Rich Knight (Ex-Editor of Gapyear.com) Writes...

"It didn't take long for me to learn the need for flexibility. I'd planned to be an architect from a very early age - perhaps eight or nine. My view of the profession was, of course, rather romantic. Art was one my best subjects at school, so it seemed natural for me to work towards realising that ambition.

Results day went well and I set off for my first-choice university, Cardiff, to study architecture without taking a gap year (the course lasts seven years, so a gap year seemed out of the question). After one and a half terms, however, I was forced to face the fact that my romantic image of architecture had been firmly blasted by reality; it wasn't the profession for me.

Journalism seemed more my line and, luckily, my university happened to boast a fairly well-respected journalism and film degree. So I switched. Since I'd missed nearly half a year, however, I was asked to start from scratch the following year. That left me months to fill - an unexpected half gap year.

For some reason I travelled around in Eastern Europe for most of it and settled in Prague to teach English for several very happy months. Looking back, that time away did me an immense amount of good. I came back ready to study. If I'd taken a gap straight after school, I'm sure I wouldn't have made that false start in architecture.

The moral? Well, there are two. First, you can't tell what forces might make you change direction, so be flexible. Second, it's worth taking time to make the right decision."