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Clearing: “I went from having nowhere to go to holding two really good offers in the space of a few hours.”

Medhini Pathirana came to Queen Mary through Clearing to study Politics and International Relations. Despite the change in plans, Medhini shares why entering Clearing was “the best choice” for her and her words of wisdom for students getting their results this year.

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In 2022, a record number of students secured a university place through Clearing according to UCAS figures - a total of 33,280.

Medhini reflects on entering Clearing, her time at university, and what she would tell prospective university students.

Tell us about your experience of Clearing

I got my results during the pandemic in 2020 and as you can expect it was quite a chaotic time. After finding out there were no spaces left at my initial university, I did my research and got on the phone soon after to Queen Mary and a few other universities. While it was stressful, it was a smooth process overall. I went from having nowhere to go to holding two really good offers in the space of a few hours.

The people on the helpline at Queen Mary were clear about everything and super helpful. They walked me through the whole thing, and it was far less complicated than I had imagined it would be. I had not imagined I would go to Queen Mary, however I was excited to accept their offer of a place and start my studies here.

What would your advice be for students going into Clearing this year

Have an open mind. You may be dead set on doing a certain course, but you may get a slightly different version of what it is you initially apply for and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I ended up doing a Politics and International Relations degree rather than Politics and Economics, but everything worked out for me.

It’s also a cliché you hear all the time, but everything happens for a reason and you’ll probably end up somewhere you soon think of as home. I wouldn’t trade the friends I’ve made here and the opportunities I’ve had for anything. Queen Mary was the best choice for me and I’m so happy I came here.

What have you enjoyed most about studying at university?

I was looking forward to going to university my whole life. My parents always talked about what a fun time it would be and I’m glad to say they were 100% right! Besides the obvious answer of the people I’ve met, I’ve enjoyed getting to decide what I want to do. It’s been the best of both worlds getting to learn everything about my degree areas but then also choosing to specialise in what I want to go into.

The teaching at Queen Mary has been superb, and I count myself lucky to be someplace where diversity is celebrated. I’ve been lucky enough to have been given amazing opportunities and I’ve loved all my modules, especially in my final year where I can specialise as I like while thinking about what I want to research in the future.

What are the next steps for you?

I’m doing a Master’s degree and eventually would love to work in climate change law.

More information

To find out more about Clearing at Queen Mary, please visit our Clearing page

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