Erin Karn (BA Art and Film) in conversation with a student (anon)

After receiving your results, what was your next step and how did that guide you to Reading?

“After receiving my results, I went home and through Clearing, phoned nearly half a dozen universities—ones that offered the course I wanted to take. One of these universities was Reading! I knew someone at the University who seemed to be enjoying their time here. Reading itself was in a good location for me. With great transport links that meant I could get home in under an hour if necessary.”

How did you sort out your accommodation? Any useful tips?

“Short answer: I didn’t, really. I applied for halls but I didn’t get a place at first. So, I looked at private accommodation but what I wanted was either full or too expensive for me. Fortunately, the University subsidises hotel rooms every year for people in the same position as me. 

I stayed in the Hillingdon Prince Hotel whilst trying to find student houses to rent in case I didn’t get a place in halls. Fortunately, a place was made available and I spent the rest of the year in a Stenton Townhouse on campus. If you’re having issues with sorting out your accommodation, don’t panic. There are university staff that can give you advice, so look for help and support if you need it!”

How did you get involved with activities and meet people during Fresher’s fortnight? Was there anything you would advise other students?

“I am not someone who goes clubbing. I am, however, someone who enjoys meeting new people, so I jumped at the chance to take part in as many society events as possible. This was a very wise decision, as it turns out, because I didn’t have much in common with the other residents in my townhouse. Most of my friendships this year were formed through societies. I would strongly suggest to students in the same situation that they should attend the Fresher’s Fayre and sign up for any society that looks interesting. There’s no commitment really! If you sign up and you don’t like it, you don’t have to go back; but if you join a society and fall in love with it, like I did, you’ve gained a new family.”

Did you have to change your application for student finance? Was swapping over to Reading an easy process?

“My memories of this are slightly fuzzy. I think I did, but I don’t remember it being difficult. I just did it through the Student Finance England website, which I think laid out what I needed to do quite clearly.”

Read the section on Student Finance on Getting into Reading Uni through Clearing? Here’s a quick guide to help you for further information!

How did you find adapting to university life? Especially as it wasn’t the university you thought you’d be going to.

“I can honestly say that my life now is better than it has ever been. I’ve made friends who I’m determined to stay lifelong friends with. I’ve also been given opportunities I would never have had if I’d gone to any of the universities I’d applied to!”

Is there any other advice you would give to future students coming to Reading through Clearing?

“Don’t dwell on the other universities you could have gone to. Make the most of coming to one of the most beautiful campus in the UK, populated with some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet. Be unafraid to take initiative when meeting new people—even if you’re an introvert, it pays to be a little bit extroverted, at least in the first few weeks of term.”

Find out more about Clearing and Adjustment and how to apply to Reading on our website.