Another term almost up and I'm astonished as to how quickly this academic year is going. I have 10 weeks left of my first year with the Open University, and I'm so proud of myself that I'm finally settled at an education establishment that's taught me a lot these past six months.
My independence, confidence, and knowledge have grown tremendously but I can't deny that it's been quite an experience this past term. I was ready to go after the Christmas period and conquer this next term, however I do admit these past few weeks have dragged. My brain has been screaming at me "keep going you're almost there" and there's the other part of me that's like "hey slow down, relax it'll all be over with soon." I can most definitely be a lazy person, and when it comes to being close to reaching a goal I can often collapse and sort of wallow for a while before I get a kick up the butt to carry on, and that's what has thankfully happened recently.
With the Open University you're given a study plan that you can follow where it has your chapters to read, videos to check out and when your assignments are due. For my last three assignments I decided to just stick to the chapters referring to the assignment rather than going through the one's that were just there for my own pleasure. I decided to do this because in later January I became quite ill with tonsillitis and other health matters that left me anxious and unfocused on my studies. Therefore to catch up I decided to concentrate on the specific chapters in order to complete each of the assignments. In my last term once I have completed my assignments I might flick through them past chapters for my own amusement as both modules have been incredibly interesting and have broadened my knowledge on subjects I never imagined I would be interested in.
With my Arts & Humanities (AA100)module I've learnt a variety of subjects such as philosophy, history, English literature, religious and classical studies. All of these have been quite challenging but I've managed to keep my scores relatively high 50% and above, and I'm proud that I've done so well with subjects I haven't studied in five years- I just hope my overall score allows me to pass at level one which from my calculations I should so yay!
My other module Environment studies (U116) I have been familiar with the study materials having previously focused on Geography from school up to A-level, and this has definitely given me the advantage of gaining scores of 70% and above. The challenging points have been where maths has been incorporated into my assignments, I suck at maths tremendously. I got my C at GCSE and I couldn't believe it, and so returning to maths has been a bit of a struggle but some aspects I managed to remember. I finish this module last out of the two on the 31st May and I know I'm going to at least pass the module which has been my aim from day one.
What I love about the Open University is the support I have been given from other students who are of all ages and capabilities, I've surprised myself by connecting with others from the forums and making lots of new friends.Sadly, it's now time for me to choose my modules for October where I begin level two and a great number of these friends I won't be studying with anymore. Thanks to Facebook though I can keep in touch and see how we all progress on our own unique OU endeavors.
I know a lot of you must think "but do you socialise outside of social networks? It must be lonely." You're quite right it does get lonely at times but I can concentrate and if anything work better on my own, more so I'm lucky to have friends who I meet up with who go to brick universities. We go shopping, cinema, lunch dates, etc and it's lovely- so I'm not a total recluse! You just need to maintain the effort with those friends and vice versa, so yes I do socialise outside of social networks haha.
The finishing line is in sight now and I'm far too excited to have a break from learning (a nice four month break!) to focus on this blog and my reading- my TBR stack is climbing high!
If you're thinking about joining the OU I strongly suggest you do, it's a brilliant community and learning experience and I'm amazed and saddened to some degree that my first year is nearly over. I remember the day I signed up, the moment I begun my studies and to this present day. I wouldn't change this first year for the world as I've become a much more proud, happy and independent woman who's finally achieving something I've always wanted to do. So take a leap and begin your journey too, I can't recommend them enough.
Oh and if you have any questions regarding the OU and my experience that I may be able to help you with then please don't hesitate to ask.
Until next time where I'll be half way through a bottle of vodka celebrating the end of my first year, have a great few months and keep working towards your own personal goals- you can do it!