I've now completed my first six weeks in my Open University degree and have submitted my first essay.
I think that one of the biggest struggles I have had is getting to terms with studying again, not because I haven't enjoyed it, but finding the most productive time to do it. Typically I am a night person and so I thought that this would be the ideal time to do my work. Turns out, not.
After a long day at work, the thought of opening my books and doing some study for a couple of hours was a complete turn off. Although I wanted to get the work done, the motivation wasn't there. I therefore tried different times to work and utilised the alternative formats available for the study materials, downloading audio to my phone and printing pages out from PDF.
For me, working in smaller segments seems to be the key. I get 30 minutes reading/listening to audio done on the bus each day, I use another 30 minutes during my lunch hour at work and during all these segments of time I feel motivated and get a lot done.
When at home, again I tend to work in short bursts now, but over the course of the week I am still able to fit all my studying in, work at my full time time, and still have a social life. I am massively glad that I chose to work at the 25% rate, 50% (or 25 hours per week) would have been far too much. I need a balance in my life and all work and no play makes Vicky a sad girl!
Last night, after many tweaks, re-writes and worries, I submitted first essay to be marked. For this first one to be honest I am just grateful to have completed it and as long as I pass, I don't care what the mark is.
Well, when I say that, of course I care, but what I mean is that I don't have any expectations. I do admit though, there is a fair amount of crossing my fingers going on!