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to be feeling quite negative?

(18 Posts)
FrenchRuby Sun 23-Sep-12 20:01:37

Finally in a place in my life where I can apply for uni. I posted last year about the open day I went to. My DH is fully behind me, my ds is in full time school and my dd will be in full time nursery next year anyway.
I've sorted out my application ready to be sent in, I spent days writing my personal statement and I have a good reference from my OU tutor. When I first started the application I was so excited but then I started thinking about it more and more.
I didn't do well at school and I left college when I was 17 with no qualifications, I was in a really bad place in my life and I couldn't really handle college.
I don't think I'm going to get past the application stage. I have 5 GCSEs, no a levels and even though I have spent the last 3 years studying with OU (after my current course I will have a certificate of higher education) I'm worried this won't be enough.
My DH keeps telling me not to be so negative but I don't want to get my hopes up and then get rejected. I don't even think that I'm going to get an interview.

Tweasels Sun 23-Sep-12 20:08:43

Ring the admissions tutor of the course you're interested in and sound it out.

Entry requirements for mature students are different and they look at a wide range of factors not just academic achievement.

You have an HEFC which is the approved route. Studying through OU is no mean feat and will be respected.

Just a case of cold feet. Have confidence in yourself.

BeeBawBabbity Sun 23-Sep-12 20:14:08

I don't know much about these things, but you sound dedicated. Just wanted to say good luck, I hope it works out.

(I did uni after school, but often think I would have got loads more from it if I was doing it now, post-kids.)

FrenchRuby Sun 23-Sep-12 20:14:08

Thanks smile The thing is I know if I get an interview I'd be much more confident, I am really passionate about my subject and I think that would come across better in person, it's really hard to convey in however many words the personal statement is.
I really wish I could kick the 16 year old me's ass, I am so pissed off at myself for messing up so badly.

GoldShip Sun 23-Sep-12 20:16:42

What are you applying for if you don't mind me asking?

Don't feel disheartened. Confidence is key!

Also to plump out your personal statement, try and get some volunteer work in your chosen field. Do-it volunteer website is a good one.

FrenchRuby Sun 23-Sep-12 20:20:34

I'm applying for commercial photography. I have been doing tons and tons of free work to get more experience over the years, I have quite a big portfolio now that I'm really proud of smile I found it really hard to stay in the word count for the personal statement haha.
I'm just worried they'll get as far as my qualifications on my application and then just say no on that basis.
I did say to my DH that if I didn't get in this year then I'd do another OU course and apply the year after.

GoldShip Sun 23-Sep-12 20:22:50

Is it an access course you've done? I'm doing one at the moment for midwifery

Seriously don't worry about it. Everyone has a wobble before they apply , you'll be great! Sounds like you're dedicated, just do your best to put that across. Is there a website for photography students? I've found the student midwife forum a massive help!

FrenchRuby Sun 23-Sep-12 20:26:09

I have been doing the open certificate for higher education with OU, I don't think that's an access course but on the site it says it shows you can study at a university level. If OU did a photography degree I'd stay with them, I love OU but they only do one little photography course, which I've done.
I have a few friends who have done the degree I want to do at the same university and they said it is amazing so I really hope that I do get in!

GoldShip Sun 23-Sep-12 20:30:24

Best of luck to you! Make sure you come back and tell us smile

FrenchRuby Sun 23-Sep-12 20:31:01

Thank you! I will smile

TheCalmingManatee Sun 23-Sep-12 20:31:36

I should imagine you will be fine, as a mature student the university will be looking for evidence that you can handle that level of study rahter than formal qualifications. I did mine via an access course, but can sort of see why this may not be the best route for you, so i think what you have done already will be enough. Definately talk to them though - get on the phone and talk to the admissions guy or someone from the course as you will then have the chance to talk to them and let them know how passionate you are. You could even ask them if they would have an informal interview.

Good luck xx

FrenchRuby Sun 23-Sep-12 20:34:43

That's a good idea, I will definitely do that, should I do that before I send my application?

ParsleyTheLioness Sun 23-Sep-12 21:20:18

I went to uni after finishing school with 0 levels. I had done proffessional qualifications, and then a foundation year with OU. I was fine. So will you!

Flatbread Sun 23-Sep-12 21:25:27

French, I would try to reach out and have a chat before applying. That way they know you and you already have a headstart.

Identify a couple of faculty that interest you and frame it as a conversation to discuss what they teach and how that might fit with what you want to do...

cozietoesie Sun 23-Sep-12 21:28:25


Universities are much more relaxed when dealing with genuinely committed mature students. They, quite frankly, get a tad fed up with that proportion of their students who 'fall into' university from school, are overcome by wine, women and song and end up flunking out after a year or two. (I realize this is not all by any means but you just have to look at the comparative drop out rates for mature students and students straight from school.)

They'll truly appreciate your efforts in getting this far.

Go for it - and believe in yourself!


AbigailAdams Sun 23-Sep-12 21:36:06

FrenchRuby, the only certainty is that if you want to do the course then you have to apply for it. Yes, you may get rejected but that position is no worse than the one you are currently in I.e. not on the course (other than a bit of bruised ego but even then you will probably be able get feed back and apply again the following year).

You sound to me like you would be in the ball park for acceptance. So go for it. Get that application in. And best of luck.

whethergirl Sun 23-Sep-12 21:46:26

I'm not sure if this will help OP, but just to say I felt exactly the same as you a year ago. Found a degree course I fell in love with, but I didn't do great at school, flunked out of college, so I was still unsure of myself.

I decided to do an access course and it has been life changing! A lot of it was due to having access to an amazing tutor, (not sure you have that privaledge with OU) who really brought the best out in me, instilled me with confidence and helped me to realise my potential. I was gobsmacked to leave with a straight set of distinctions. As it had been 20 years since I'd been in college, I got the chance to practise writing again and get into the studying mindset. But also, the access course is so geared up to preparing you for uni, they help you fill out the form, they help you with your personal statement etc. They support your application so that it's the best it could ever be.

I'm starting uni in a couple of weeks, and although excited, I don't feel overwhelmed and I am confident I can manage it.

What I got most from the access course it confidence, so this is all it really takes, you sound like you have the passion and ability, all your lacking is a little confidence.

And yes, universities do love a mature student! I think you'll probably be surprised at how much you've learnt just through adult life and being a parent - it all comes in very useful, I promise. I was the oldest in my access course - and the most focused. All the younger students had hectic social lives that interfered with studying (absent with hangovers etc). and often had big dramas going on in their lives which distracted them from college, whereas we learn to cope and multi task better as adults and parents.

Definitely call the uni, tell them you really want to study there and ask for their help. They will love it! What they want most, is an eager student.

Good luck!

FrenchRuby Sun 23-Sep-12 22:16:44

Thank you so much for your replies they really have helped! I think I just need to be more confident smile
I will definitely give them a ring.

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