Alex McCarthy

"If you are thinking about going through Clearing, remember that people go through Clearing for a variety of reasons, it is not all contingent on grades."

Alex McCarthy, BA (Hons) in Psychology

Alex McCarthy

When Alex McCarthy began struggling with anxiety a few days after starting a course at university, she realised that being closer to home would help her manage her symptoms.

Alex, 23, was able to use Clearing to change her university and course, and in no time she joined the University of Bedfordshire to study Psychology.

“I chose Bedfordshire as it was the closest university to my home and gave me the opportunity to study the degree I really wanted to study, whilst being close to home to get the mental health support I needed,” said Alex.

Although Alex had struggled with her mental health since she was a teenager, it wasn’t until she was 19 that she was finally given a definitive diagnosis of generalised anxiety disorder and specific phobia.

“It was a really good thing when I got my diagnosis because it finally gave a name to what I was feeling,” said Alex.

Even before starting her course, the University’s Student Support Team made contact with Alex to make sure the right support was in place for day one.

“I stated that I had a mental health condition on my UCAS form. This was picked up by the mental health advisor at Bedfordshire. She rang me before I even started the course to get some help in place, organise meeting with me and suggested I apply for disabled students allowance, which I was able to access throughout my degree,” said Alex.

Having completed her degree, Alex now plans to study a PGCE course that will enable her to train to become a secondary science teacher, specialising in Biology.

Alex has some words of wisdom for anyone facing Clearing: “If you are thinking about going through Clearing, remember that people go through Clearing for a variety of reasons, it is not all contingent on grades.

“Most importantly, you may end up somewhere you feel more comfortable, and that gives you the scope to achieve more than you ever imagined you would.”

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