Showing posts with label dd131. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dd131. Show all posts

23 November 2012

A Time for Joy

You know sometimes you have a day when everything around you is wrong and going badly?  When you can’t see a way forward and your mood is full of doom and gloom.  Well today isn’t that day.

Today is happiness.

I’ve posted previous about waiting for my first university essay to be marked.  After submitting 2 ½ weeks ago I have been full of trepidation, nerves and at times, sheer panic.  Had I answered the question correctly, would I pass; did I have enough examples; right through to have I made the right choice in doing a degree.

 The Open University scoring system is different to other universities. 

40%                 Pass
40 – 54            3rd
55-69               2.2
70 – 84            2.1
85 – 100          1st

There are the expectations that you have in your head and the ones that you will say aloud, and then the ones that you really want, but can’t say or think.

Aloud I said that I just wanted the pass and any mark thereafter would do, in my logical head I wanted a clear pass, a 2.2 mark.  I didn’t think that I could do any better than that on my first essay.  The little voice inside wanted a 2.1 mark.

Well today, the little voice won the bet.  I got 78% which is right in the middle of a 2.1.

Whilst it is only a very tiny step in the long road I have ahead in my degree, it has answered the question that is the most important to me.

Can I do this?  HELL YES I CAN.

Today is one to remember.


8 November 2012

First Essay - Done!

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!

26 September 2012

First Day Jitters

Last night I started my university degree.  It was a very strange feeling to be honest.

I had all the nerves and jitters of someone walking into a university classroom for the first time, except the classroom was my sofa and a coffee table and I was the only student.

I spent the first hour browsing through all the material I had received and familiarising myself with what would be expected.  A study plan was drawn up and I was as organised as I could be.  But then, you open the learning companion……

I don’t care who you are, if you have been out of education for a long time, opening up any text book is a daunting experience.  My heart was pounding for at least the first half an hour and I was convincing myself that this was all a horrible mistake, that there was no way I could do this.

The good thing about an Open University course though is that everything is planned out for you.  What to study, how many recommended hours, what you should be doing each week, advice, it’s all there.

I re-read through all the introductory information to calm myself down and then when going back to the text, I realised that it wasn’t as complicated as first thought, the questions weren’t unanswerable and it was simply me working myself up into a lather. 

After going through the notes I had taken and then typing them up (my handwriting isn’t the best) I realised that once I had calmed down and looked at the text again, my thoughts and ideas were following much more freely.

I have started my course two weeks early as I wanted to give myself some breathing space and also allow for a contingency in case of illness etc. 

I wanted to do this post for anyone who hasn’t yet had the “first day nerves” and tell you that yes, you will be nervous, yes you may panic a little a first (if you are like me) but keep calm, BREATH, re-read and take your time.

We are starting on an exciting journey, let’s not forget that.  It is a day to be marked and remembered, the day your life began to change.

12 September 2012

A Time to Study

One of the many changes I have been making in my life of late has been a decision to start a degree.

I work full time and don't have the financial ability to quit and become a full time student.  This is one of the main reasons why I haven't thought about doing a degree before.  Someone suggested doing an Open University degree to me which could be done on a part time basis.

To be honest, before I actually looked into it, I knew next to nothing about the OU, other than hearing people's opinions on doing degrees by correspondence and over the net.  These comments have always been either quips of "It's the easy option", or have been an insistance that "it can't be a proper degree".

Always being one to find these things out for myself, I investigated.  One of my better decisions as I am now enrolled in my first year of a BSC Honours Degree in Criminology & Psychology.

The options of how to study suits me down to ground.  I chose to study at the minimum rate, for this year at least, of 25% of the amount of time spent by a full time student.  My first module is a 30 point course in an Introduction to Social Sciences, DD131.  This equates to studying 10 hours per week.

For me, considering I work full time and haven't studied anything in the past 17 years, seemed the most sensible option.

At the end of this road, which will be long and winding with many trials and tribulations I am sure, I will come out with an Honours Degree which is exactly the same as any other degree obtained from any other university. 

I certainly wouldn't count the Open University as an easy option.  Working full time and studying at the same time isn't something you would ever choose unless you are certain it is something you really want to do.  It will be hard, but it will be worth it.

Now I just have to receive my module books and study information through the post then I can start panicking and wondering the hell I have gotten myself into!