I Survived! - My First Year As An OU Student

I made it! I finished my first year/full module of university!

At 36 years old and a serial quitter in the past, I never thought I'd be saying this and I still keep having little Yay me! moments. It hasn't been easy, but so, so worthwhile.

I've surprised myself in so many ways over the last eight months. I appear to have a talent for Art History...which, if you remember my post way back when I started, was the part of this compulsory broad based arts course (AA100) I was dreading (reminder HERE) I somehow managed to score 95% on an assignment on Benin Art, which also surprised me...clearly I'm not as useless as I'd have myself believe.

So, that degree isn't looking so much like a dream I'm never going to achieve and I finally believe my chances haven't passed me by now. It's been a massive confidence boost and I'd recommend anyone, of any age, who have considered Open University but lack confidence in themselves, to give it a go. I'm going to blog about my experiences, hints and tips for combining OU with work, childcare and life as a single parent etc but for now, here's the 5 top things I've loved about my first year as an adult uni student and studying AA100- The Arts past And Present*

1. The best thing about this course has to be the fantastic people I've met. One concern I had about OU was feeling isolated. Thanks to social media and facebook though, I've been part of an amazing, ecletic and supportive group of people and made lifelong friends.

2. I hated the idea of this course. I wanted to study literature, but this broad based arts course was compulsory and I felt forced into studying Art History, History, Philosophy, Music, Religion and Classical studies. What a surprise though...I loved it all (well most of it...I admit to a serious wobble around the time we studied tradition in Christianity). I feel truly enriched with the knowledge I've accumulated in such a short space of time, in areas I had no previous interest and have a new found love of Art History and the Classical world.

3. Flexibility. Juggling work and childcare hasn't been easy, but the flexibility of OU allows you to study in your own time...sometimes (mostly) at ungodly hours. The materials supplied by the OU are fantastic too and for the main part interesting and accessible.

4. Seamus Heaney...loved, loved, LOVED studying his version of Antigone, The Burial at Thebes. And LOVED studying his poetry...even if the one we did was about cows. Closely followed by being introduced to Ancient Greek drama and the classical world.

5. Self-confidence boost. Apart from one (yes, Christianity assignment, I'm looking at you) I've grown more confident and determined that I can do this. For someone without a GCSE to their name and who hasn't studied for two decades, it's been a real journey and I'm so glad now I didn't give up when it got tough.

So now I await my final result...expected around mid July. One thing I will warn you about...OU is addictive. I'm already onto my second course instead of taking a summer break. I want to keep the momentum going and finish this degree before my 40th Birthday in 2017.  It's not looking so absolutely impossible now.

*AA100 is a broad based arts course and a compulsory module for the majority of Arts and Humanities degrees with the OU.


5 comments:

  1. Well done! I started a Zoology degree in 2010 aged 37 and loved it, but after my first year had to give it up due to personal reasons. I was gutted.

    I've looked at OU courses and it is tempting, but it's soooo expensive. Seems to be around £1,500-2,000 per module! Not sure I can stretch to this. I began my uni course before the increase in fees and it cost this much for an entire year. Much more manageable.

    I'm so pleased for you. Doing well is such a confidence boost, especially when it's been so darn long! I wish you the best of luck with your degree :) x

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  2. Woo hoo! Well done, you! Really pleased for you. And look at you taking on a summer course. Swot! ;-p

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  3. I'm so glad that you've finished and enjoyed it so much :)

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