These celebs went through clearing or didn’t get into uni the first time they tried

Love Island’s Dr Alex didn’t get into medical school on his first attempt

Yesterday was A-Level results day. Thousands of young people around the country received their grades and found out if they got into their first choice university.

It’s a nerve-wracking experience every student dreads the night before, but ultimately everything usually works out okay in the end.

Even if you just missed out on the grades you needed, don’t worry, as many successful celebs didn’t get their first choice either.

We all know about how Lord Alan Sugar left school at 16 and is now worth over a billion pounds. Not forgetting Jeremy Clarkson getting a C and two Us at A level, but he’s “ended up happy, with loads of friends and a Bentley”, as he likes to tweet every year.

But what about those celebs who didn’t get the grades they wanted but still pursued their academics dreams and managed to get into university? There are many paths you can take and there is no shame in going through clearing or taking a year or two out to try again.

Dr Alex didn’t get into medical school first time


Love Island’s Dr Alex posted about how students shouldn’t feel disheartened if they don’t manage to get into university this time round.

Back in 2009, he didn’t get the grades he needed for medical school, but in 2010 he reapplied and succeeded.

Today, Alex is the UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador and is an A&E doctor. His story proves that if you didn’t get into your dream university the first time round, taking a year out to try again can allow you to reach your goals through hard work and dedication.

Instagram @dralexgeorge

Dr Alex also said in an Instagram post: “I just want you to know that if today doesn’t go the way it was meant to, there are many roads in life. You will get to where you want to be, never give up. You got this.”

Clare Balding took two years out before going to Cambridge


Wimbledon host Clare Balding originally didn’t get the grades she needed to go to Oxbridge. Her aspirations weren’t dampened, however, as she strived to go to her dream university.

After two years of hard work, she retook her exams, and ended up getting into Cambridge to study English. Another example of how taking time out can allow you to get to the place you want to be.

Jon Snow went back to college to get his qualifications

Known for his success in TV journalism, Jon Snow wasn’t at the top of his class at A-Levels, not getting higher than a C in his exams. He then went to college to get the qualifications he needed for university and ended up going to the University of Liverpool.

Jon Snow only got one A level when he did the exams the first time.

Gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold had to go through clearing


Even gold medalists have struggled to get into university. Lizzy Yarnold has won multiple gold medals in the Winter Olympics, and is the most successful Olympic skeleton athlete, yet she didn’t get the grades to go to her first choice university.

By going through clearing, the now OBE got a place at the University of Gloucestershire to study Geography and Sport Exercise Science.

Musician Bella Hardy went through clearing

Ringing up universities and finding a place on the course you want though clearing is a decision many students, and celebs, have taken.

Bella Hardy is just one example of a celebrity who didn’t get the grades she needed but went through clearing and got a place at York St John. Bella won Folk Singer of the Year at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, evidence that missing out on the grades at school can still mean a bright and successful future.

Steven Spielberg was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Cinema Arts… twice


That’s right, Steven Spielberg, potentially the most celebrated director of all time, was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Cinema Arts twice and instead went to Cal State Long Beach. In the end he dropped out of university before graduating due to a movie deal.

Even if you didn’t manage to get into your first choice of university, even the greatest in their field didn’t go to their preferred university.

Tina Fey didn’t get into her dream uni either

Tina Fey applied to Princeton University, but wasn’t accepted and instead went to the University of Virginia. She studied drama and then went on to become a globally recognised actress. If Ivy league schools are the American equivalent of British Russell Group universities, then even Tina Fey wouldn’t have gotten into Oxbridge.

But maybe if she went to Princeton we wouldn’t have had the iconic Ms Norbury, and that would be a travesty.

M.I.T. didn’t want Tom Hanks

Another American actor who didn’t go to an elite school was Tom Hanks. He applied to M.I.T. and Villanova but ended up going to a community college in Hawyard, California. So even the likes of golden celebrities didn’t end up going to their first choice of university, and look at them now.

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