Category Archives: Education

Final Assignment

I’m taking a break from assignment work while I write this post.  I need to take regular breaks when I’m studying or my brain just packs up and goes home for the weekend!  I wonder if that is the same for everybody…

This assignment is the final one of the module.  I think I will do ok, I hope I will do ok!  I missed the tutorial on Tuesday as I had other commitments (okay, I admit I was pottery painting but still….it was fun!) so I’m going solo on this one.  Hopefully the tutor will upload some material that will be helpful.  He usually does.

I feel prepared.  I’ve read around the subject and I have an essay plan (of sorts).  I feel proud that I’ve come this far.  I’ve gained a lot of experience – my essay writing has improved tremendously.  I’ve met some nice people at the tutorials.  Will we stay in touch?  I doubt it.  We don’t really talk much outside of tutorials but that’s okay.  People come into your life when you need them most.  They don’t always play a starring role and they won’t always be there for the duration.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to sign up to do another module.  It has been really hard work.  Never let anybody tell you that distance learning, part-time learning is the easy option because it really isn’t.  You find yourself at tutorials at evenings and/or weekends.  You have a vast amount to read, assignments that take out whole weekends at a time.  You’ll love it and hate it in equal measure.  All this on top of your other life commitments – work, friends, family, social life, housework.  Where will it all fit in?!?  You’ll feel bewildering, confused and like you are the only person who ‘doesn’t get it’.  You won’t be the only one feeling that way, trust me!  It is such a great feeling when it all starts to fall into place and you start to understand everything.

I’m looking forward to having the summer off from studying (my brain needs  a rest!) but I’m looking forward to starting the new module in October too!


Assignment Time Again


It’s assignment time again and this time around I’m feeling a little less fraught, a little less frantic that I was last month. I think I have more of a handle on it. I’ve prepared an essay plan, attended the tutorial and bemoaned the assignment with my fellow students.

Deadline is Monday but I think I should have it done and handed in tomorrow afternoon (all being well). I love that feeling the feeling of relief and freedom once you’ve handed in. You are free…until the next one! I suppose the good thing is that my module is assignment based so I don’t have to worry about exams…..I don’t have time for exams!

I wrote about the difficulties of being an adult learner sometime back. I really don’t know where I’d have time to fit exams into my schedule between work, social life and everything else.

That said though, education and learning are addictive. I may have joined the party late but I’ve been firmly bitten by the bug. I may moan and complain come assignment time but truth be told, I love it!


Musings of a Mature Student

Assignment deadline approaching and a desk full of  all the materials I need.....
Assignment deadline approaching and a desk full of all the materials I need…..

Okay gang, this is going to be a bit different from my usual posts.  Today I’m going to talk about the challenges (for me) of being a mature student.

I’m 35 and currently studying with the Open University.  I’ve found that distance learning really works for me because I can do it in my own time and I’m not tied to any tutorials, lectures or timetables.  There are deadlines and there is a set amount of reading and in some cases, audio or visual work, to adhere to. but I can pretty much dance to my own tune. If I want to be studying at 3am, I can be studying at 3am!

That said, I do really miss the tutorials and the interaction for other students.  Interacting via the online forum just isn’t the same.  I’m old school.  I like a bit of face-to-face interaction.  You can’t beat sitting in the coffee shop after the lecture loudly debating the lecture topic that you’ve just had.  That for me is bliss (especially if it is accompanied by a hot chocolate)!  Yes, I probably am an education geek.  I love to learn and I love the academic environment.

I came to Open University after trying to go to ‘conventional’ university part-time in the evening.  3 evenings a week to be precise…..on top of full-time work!  Looking back, that was madness!  Some people manage it and I applaud them, I sincerely do.  I have no idea how they do it though.  I’ve never been so tired as I was those few years that I studied in the evenings and worked full-time too.  Everything suffered and nothing got the best of me, least of all me!

First I tried law.  I successfully passed the first year.  How?  I ask myself.  The amount of reading was immense and even now I find myself thinking of case law and the summing up of judgements and I can’t suppress a groan.  I started the second year but quickly differed for a year.  3 evenings a week, full-time work, trying to get quality time with hubby and unsuccessfully trying to maintain a social life was hell on earth and the love for tutorials and lectures was turning to hate.  Sometimes I think of that time nostalgically.  ‘How nice it would be to have a law degree’ I muse, then I think of what it would have taken and the struggle to get to that degree and I’m glad I didn’t continue down that path.

I switched to psychology and rediscovered a love for the social sciences.  Now I could have completed that degree but not in this way so I withdrew from university and gave the Open University a shot.

Vega keeping me company (and sane!) whilst I study
Vega keeping me company (and sane!) whilst I study

The good thing is that I’ve been able to transfer over some of my credits from my years of conventional university.  However, I miss that learning environment.  My current module, ‘Discovering the Social Sciences’, has a tutorial option on a monthly basis.  I go along as I find it invaluable with regard to the monthly assignments that you have to complete and it is nice to engage with the other students…even if there are only 2 others that attend!

There is no doubt that there are challenges for non-mature students too but I can’t comment on those because I’ve not experience life as a conventional student.  I have, however decided, that should I win the lottery I’m going to divide my time between travelling and being a perpetual student…