my UCAS journey

It’s Thursday 27th September and I’ve delayed starting to write this post. After a double English lesson that was cancelled I’m currently sat in silent study writing it, not entirely sure how it is going to turn out nor when I’m going to upload it. So where to begin?

Last Monday (17th September), I submitted my UCAS form. I’m applying for a joint honours of History and French and the idea of it is already making me excited for university because they’re two subjects I absolutely adore. The five universities I’m applying to are: Oxford, Bristol, Edinburgh, Durham and Exeter. That’s kind of the order of my preferences and because I’m applying to Oxford our internal deadline was the 25th September so a lot earlier than other universities. Needless to say, Oxford is literally just a dream in the very distant future so as long as Bristol are kind enough to give me an offer I’ll be content. In fact, it was only after the open day at Exeter where I realised I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would that I looked on the Bristol website and realised that they were doing a joint honours in History and French starting in 2019 (!) For the longest time I’ve diminished the notion of going there purely because they don’t do the course I love so I was over the moon when I saw that they did. Side note: If you are a prospective university student reading this post and want me to write one on applying to uni, personal statement tips/sharing my own then do let me know and I’d be more than happy to do so.

Yesterday (26th September) I got my UCAS track which basically means my application has been sent off to all five universities I’ve applied to. I’ll most probably be checking diligently every day to see if it has been updated but I’m not expecting anything for a while, especially as I’ve heard that Durham and Edinburgh give out offers a lot later than other universities.

October 2nd: I’ve just come home from my History extension group to an offer eek! It’s from Bristol for AAA and I’m incredibly happy because that’s the most realistic university that I’ll be going to next year. It also means an excuse to visit in the half term seeing as I’ve never actually been to Bristol before.

October 22nd: It’s the half term and I’ve just come back from charity shopping with one of my friends (who now, whilst editing this, is one of my best friends). When we were in a coffee shop I noticed that I had two emails so I checked if they were UCAS or not and they were. An offer from Exeter for AAA which I’m very pleased about. The immediate joy of getting an offer has kind of subsided now that I already know that at least one university wants me but it is just a relief to know that another university has also responded.

October 30th: I’m actually writing this update on November 3rd because I’ve been so despondent with all things online in the last few days. I wasn’t sure whether to put this in the post but I guess it is part of my UCAS journey and probably one of the reasons as to why I won’t get an interview at Oxford. I messed up my admissions tests… like badly. I had to do two, the MLAT and the HAT because I’m applying for a joint honours. The MLAT was fine, or so I thought until I was doing the HAT and realised just how many errors that I’d made which meant that the whole way through the HAT all I could think about was how badly I’d done. The paper was actually great and I just kept coming up with mistake after mistake that I’d made so nope there is literally no hope in me getting an interview now and it kind of sucks. The rest of the evening was a total write off and I just watched First Dates with my mum because I just needed a break from constantly doing college work; my English coursework can wait. Perhaps my own failings could be a good thing and you know, Oxford was a dream but maybe I’d enjoy Bristol a lot more?

November 19th: After having a half an hour break to watch Four In A Bed on Channel 4 (as you can tell, I use my study breaks wisely) I thought I’d check my emails for reasons unbeknown to myself. Turns out Edinburgh have given me an offer! For ABB which is lower than I thought and I think it will probably be my insurance, despite it being so far away. Plus, if it is my insurance then it will hopefully motivate me to work for the AAA’s I need for Bristol!

November 21st: Well I completely did not expect to be writing this but I got an interview for Oxford today. Like I am shook to the core and cannot wait to just talk about how much I love French and History with people that are equally in love with it as I am. Also my interviews are from the 4th December to the 8th so I basically get a mini holiday in Ox and I cannot wait to take a breather from the hectic nature that is autumn term during A Levels.

4th-8th December: I’m writing this on the 9th a day after coming home from interviews and I can totally do a separate post about my interview experience if you’d like (although I’m not sure if it will help anyone because I’m not getting in lol). Interviews were one of the best things I’ve done this year and while I know what the result will be, I’m so glad that I pushed myself to get to interviews. If you followed my Instagram stories during interviews then I apologise for my downfall during the week; if you were expecting upbeat Eleanor this wasn’t it. In retrospect though, I actually loved interviews and the whole experience was such a bizarre few days.

9th January: Well my predictions were somewhat true this time and I did indeed get rejected from Oxford. I wrote a post on rejection if you fancy reading.

8th March: I’ve just come home from a night out with friends and find I’ve got an offer from Durham! It’s AAA which is the standard for Durham for History and French. Part of me wants to accept it but I know in my heart of heart Bristol is the right choice (despite the fact that a large quantity of people from my college going there).

12th March: I decided to firm Bristol (AAA) and keep Edinburgh as my insurance (ABB). Now the motivation is on.

8th May – 17th June: ohhh A Levels. Genuinely the weirdest experience because I don’t really feel like I’ve just sat exams that will determine whether I move to Bristol or move all the way up to Scotland. Low down on exams? History was good but not outstanding, English was mixed – the first paper was pretty horrendous and the second was okay until I saw on the board that the exam finished at 11:05 and I had only five minutes left. Turns out I was looking at a board for another exam going on in the same room and our one actually finished at 11:35 (WHICH I KNEW) so I crossed out what I had written and affectively started again. So it could’ve been great but I think it fell short of such greatness. French was a mixed bag, the speaking was okay, reading/writing/listening was not so great but I was really pleased with the essays. The exam for the French essays was my last exam so it was nice to end on a high. Now for summer and to celebrate the end of A Levels.

14th August: day before results day. I am not going to lie I am pretty worried given that the OCR English Lit grade boundaries were leaked and are intimidatingly high. But then I think that grades really aren’t the be all and end all. This summer has been everything and more and I haven’t, to my surprise, spent much time thinking about results until today. Such is life that it brings a series of changes and I read this post again today, which highlights that it is not just a linear process of applying to uni, getting in and getting stellar results. The date that struck out to me was the one about thinking I wasn’t going to get an Oxford interview because of admissions tests. WHY was I so dramatic about it? You could say it was all for nothing given that I didn’t get in after going through the majority of the application but it wasn’t. I learnt a lot from applying and came out of it with some great friends as well. I also think that if I was so intent on not being defined by a university then why should I be thinking I’ll be defined by my results tomorrow? Because I won’t be. The initial shock/surprise/sadness will subside, within a few days people will stop talking about them and start thinking about university of gap years. Whatever I get, I will am going to be celebrating getting into a university.

August 15th: this one doesn’t really need explaining 😉

To to conclude this post, of which you’ve probably just skipped to the end to find out where I’m going to university in September – the journey ends and another one begins. If you’re reading this and you’re getting results today, I hope they were what you wanted! If they aren’t then there are different paths, clearing, gap years etc. It doesn’t end with 3/4 letters on a page. I love you all lots,

eleanor xx


  1. Katie Hunter 15th August 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Congrats eleanor!!! amazing!!! (think i might have said this 3 times now, all on different social medias lmao)
    I loooove how this post is written, how its done in the moment so it captures how you were actually feeling!! The bit about your study breaks made me laugh, its been quite a journey and you’ve learned sooo much! Onto the next adventure, can’t wait to see where you end up <333

  2. Isabel 16th August 2019 at 12:38 am

    Did not skip to the end to find out where you’ll be going but instead read your post entirely and very much enjoyed it.

    I hope you have a great time at uni and enjoy your course!
    Well done x

  3. Ellie 18th August 2019 at 10:22 am

    Loved this post Eleanor and it will be so nice to have to look back on in years to come!! So upset I missed you at the oxford interviews! Proud of you nonetheless and can’t wait to hear about all of your successes at Bristol!


  4. Izzy McLeod 18th August 2019 at 5:30 pm

    Congratulations! I remember being so upset when I got rejected from Bristol to do Physics, and then even more upset that I didn’t get the grades to go to Sheffield, but ending up at Nottingham Trent really was the best thing for me! This post brings me back so many memories and I hope you end up having the best tie in Bristol <3

    The Quirky Queer

  5. Asher 18th August 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Well done! My ucas journey was awful but I managed to get into my dream uni! Keep writing x

  6. Sarah 18th August 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Congratulations Eleanor! You’ll loooove Bristol I’m sure. I bet you’re super excited. This was such a lovely post to read and takes me back to when I was applying for universities. I actually think getting rejected from my top choice was a blessing in disguise as I loved my time at the uni I ended up at :-)!
    Sarah x

  7. Eva 18th August 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Huge huge huge congrats to you darling! I’ve been reading so many results day posts recently and they’re making me want to do uni all over again, despite the fact I graduated literally a month ago! The UCAS journey is such a uniquely stressful one, but it’s rewarding at the end. I’m sure you are going to love Bristol, and your course sounds amazing too! Good luck and well done again! ❤️

  8. Faye 19th August 2019 at 11:08 am

    Congratulations! I’ve just recently graduated from university so I’m loving reading everyones university acceptance posts. My application process was definitely a stressful one but I ended up doing the perfect degree for me x

  9. Sue Berk Koch 20th August 2019 at 7:06 pm

    I hate to sound redundant but great job and congrats!!

  10. tash 21st August 2019 at 11:03 pm

    You should be so proud – this is incredible! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your UCAS journey- it is something v personal but I am sure that so many future A-Level students will read this and find it so incredibly inspiring. 🙂


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