A university professor is urging A Level students who do not get the grades they wanted not to see clearing as "the end of the world."
Professor Jonathan Glazzard of Leeds Becket University went through clearing as a student and said it can have a positive outcome.
Prof Glazzard had wanted to study history, but went through clearing and ended up doing a teacher training degree instead - leading to a successful career in education.
Clearing is the process by which students apply to universities if their A Level grades fail to earn them a place on their first choice course.
Professor Glazzard, who runs a UK-first child mental health centre of excellence at Leeds Beckett, said: "Students must not see clearing as a second class option.
"It is really important that we get the message out that clearing is not a terrible thing.
"You could go into clearing and end up studying a course you really enjoy, which could lead to fantastic life opportunities for you."
Professor Glazzard said 20 years ago he wanted to study history at Liverpool University but didn't get the expected grades.
He said: "I was really upset but I then picked up another degree course in primary education at Sheffield University. It altered my life plans in a positive way."
Prof Glazzard said: "If students don't get their grades they shouldn't panic. They could even go to another university and pick up the same course.
"Or they could pick up a different course through clearing. Don't see not getting grades as the end of the world."
Prof Glazzard said universities may be open to discussing options with students who don't get expected grades and may be flexible.
And he said parents need to educate themselves on the clearing process so they can advise and support their children.
Yesterday, Childline revealed a growing number of young people are turning to them deeply worried about their exam results.
In 2018/19, the NSPCC-service delivered 1,414 counselling sessions to children and teenagers apprehensive about their grades – rising by more than a half over the past four years.
Reasons for young people seeking help from Childline included worries about whether they will get the grades they need to get into university, and not wanting to let their teachers and parents down.