Today’s blog post is going to be a little bit different. As you may or may not know, I am a student with the Open University, and they have recently called for bloggers to post a reflective piece about studying with them. The ‘prize’ is basically publicity, as they will share the winning post(s) to their Facebook page, which is great, but it’s not the only reason I’m doing this. In our studies, we often get assignments to look back on our work and reflect on it, but I’ve never really done it with the entire OU in mind before, so I thought this would be a great opportunity, not only for the blog, potentially, but also for myself, to see how far I’ve come. So, sticking to the theme of this blog, here’s 500 words about my experience at the Open University (so far)!
I enrolled in my first module in February 2016, with the hopes of doing an English Literature and Creative Writing degree. I had a hard time at school, left when I was sixteen, and had no hopes of going to college or university. I had always enjoyed writing, both at school and in my own time, and had thought of doing night classes or creative writing classes, perhaps an A level in English Literature, but I didn’t have the money. I had looked at the OU before, but never really put much thought into it, because I didn’t know how it worked, but distance learning seemed like a good idea to me in my situation.
So, after a lot of thought and internal debate, I talked to my mum and ended up enrolling. I was nervous, as I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was proud of myself, too as I never thought I’d be a university student! I had spoken to a few people who had been in the OU, and I knew that it was going to be hard work, but writing was what I wanted to do with my life, and I was willing to study. I enrolled part time, so my degree will take six years to complete, something that seemed very daunting at the start, but now it seems like the time will fly by. I’m in my second module already, and it feels like I only enrolled last week. A lot of the materials are interesting, the assignments are stimulating and though a lot of what we’re doing in our level one studies isn’t relevant to my degree as a whole, it’s still fun. I was worried I wasn’t good enough, or that I would be wasting my money, but I was wrong.
To anyone thinking of joining the Open University, I say go for it. You’re not completely on your own; you have a tutor and a tutor group, you have tutorials and day schools where you get to meet other students, and there is also a great student base online, such as Facebook (I’m part of a Facebook group for my second module, and I’d be lost without them!). It’s hard work, I won’t lie, but if you dedicate yourself to your studies, even an hour a day, you’ll still be able to get great grades, and the satisfaction that learning always brings.
I never thought I would be able to go to university; I never went to college and my GCSE grades are terrible due to reasons I won’t go into, but the OU don’t care about any previous qualifications, they just see someone who wants to learn, and accept them and support them. Even with my disabilities, I have received amazing support.
So, go for it. Make your dream come true. I’m working towards mine right now, and there is nothing like being proud of yourself and working towards a goal that could make you a better person.