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to give up ANOTHER degree

(81 Posts)
Objection Mon 13-Jan-14 22:33:17

background: I went straight from sixth form to a volunteering position in Africa and then went on to work in various office jobs.

In 2011 I took a part time job in an office at a University and started a full time degree at another university nearby in Media & Sociology. After 2 weeks the hour commute between work and lectures was killing me (i worked a half day, every day) so I switched to attend the University I was working at studying BA Sociology instead (I wanted to do Psychology but it was full).

I despised both the course and my job and then got hit by a car (as you do) and had to take some time out. This gave me chance to have a think and shortly afterwards I quit both.

Taking another job at the University, this one being Full Time and in a much nicer department, I enrolled on a Psychology degree with the Open University (my OH is also studying with them and we both rated them highly). I much prefer the subject and also means I can progress onto Clinical Psychology which is what I wanted in the 1st place.

I felt pretty stupid though as this was now the 3rd university I had been to.

However, I now work in a very stressful office job full time (a high level role but not management) and work in London as a weekend Nanny most weekends.

My motivation skills are poor (and clearly my attention span is too) and I am battling with an ever increasing depression and anxiety disorder as I struggle to fit study around 60+ working hours a week.

I have worked out that by quitting my office job and starting yet another degree at a brick and mortar university I could bring home £370 a week at least by studying the degree full time, working most weekends and fitting in the odd temp nanny job during the holidays.

This would give me 5 days a week extra to study and the contact time with the university would most likely increase my motivation.

I'm also confident I will be allowed to start in year 2 as I have already completed a lot of credits. so I would finish the degree a year earlier.

but I would be accumulating a lot (£25000) of student debt and would be hugely embarrassed to be changing routes AGAIN

AIBU to change universities for blush the 4th time?

Objection Mon 13-Jan-14 22:33:37

Another long one blush sorru

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Mon 13-Jan-14 22:40:42

If I were you I would stick with it. You might switch again and hate the new course.

Can you cut back on your hours to focus more on your coursework?

Thetallesttower Mon 13-Jan-14 22:41:48

How much have you done with the OU and are you realistically likely to keep going? If it is for many many years, YANBU.

Objection Mon 13-Jan-14 22:45:54

in Feb I will have to add another module on top of the one I'm doing. I'm halfway through a level 1 now and will be adding a level 2 in a few weeks.
I have to (and am scheduled to) complete in June 2017.
[with a "normal" degree ill be done June 2016]

so far I have had an extension on every single OU assignment. its driving me mad.

Objection Mon 13-Jan-14 22:48:19

unexpected (LOVE the name) I'm not likely to hate the course as it is the same as my current course (I've checked the syllabus) and I think Psychology is fascinating.
The problem I have with my current course isn't the content (though I'm doing a sociology bit at the moment which I don't like) but the learning method - im blush to say it but I'm really not cut out for distance learning

Thetallesttower Mon 13-Jan-14 22:49:37

Why are you working two jobs? It seems to me that one job plus OU is doable, of course 2 jobs plus OU is not going to be doable.

I don't think there's anything wrong with quitting and going to uni, but I'm just interested in why you don't want to change the current set-up.

The other thing to think about is your recent experience may be the thing that gets you a job after graduation- there are not enough training posts for clinical psychology and you are expected to have some experience, though being a nanny may count.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Mon 13-Jan-14 22:51:54

Thank you blush

Do you know how many contact hours / tutorials you would have at a bricks and mortar uni? There will still be a lot of self-directed study in psychology...

callamia Mon 13-Jan-14 22:52:13

Do you want to continue doing Psychology?
If so, just check that universities will accept you for a second year transfer. Many courses will be full for second year entry, and all should need to see your full transcripts and course breakdown to check that you are covering enough research methods/stats and BPS-relevant content. It's worth talking this through with Admissions Tutors before you apply.

mummymeister Mon 13-Jan-14 22:52:27

I think you have to ask yourself and answer honestly why? why are you studying? because you enjoy it? because there is a particular job at the end of it that you can only get with this qualification. because it means you can put off working at one thing solidly instead of rushing around like a headless chicken doing bits and pieces here there and everywhere. I am guessing you are mid 20's and a bit rudderless. you are trying to butterfly from one thing to another and never actually giving anything your full attention. stop. sit down. write down where you think you want to be in 2,5, 10 years. you cannot do a couple of different jobs, work every hour god sends, do a degree and expect to do any of them well. if you think it will help get some good careers advice. you cant stay a student forever, perhaps its time to grow up.

Objection Mon 13-Jan-14 22:59:26

I want to be a Clinical Psychologist or perhaps a Counselling Psychologist.
I can't say much without giving to much info but in my current job I am extremely well placed to know a lot about Psychology professions and their routes.

I don't want to give up the Nanny job because I enjoy it, it's good money and I live the family.

The office job is stable, challenging and means I am definitely in the black (my hours aren't set as a Nanny).

I have been considering giving up the office job and just doing weekend and temp Nanny work but something is holding me back.

Objection Mon 13-Jan-14 23:00:14

* love the family! though sometimes I think I live them too!

PumpkinPositive Mon 13-Jan-14 23:01:14

I would be really loathe to leave a third degree unfinished. On the other hand 3 years spent doing something you hate on top of working a full time job is hardly going to be a barrel of laughs.

Is there a particular reason you want to have a degree, OP? (career progression, etc). It sounds as if you're spinning too many plates to give yourself a real crack of the whip at the degree thing.

Loopytiles Mon 13-Jan-14 23:05:41

If you have anxiety/depression, working this much and studying probably isn't a good idea. Whatever study path, you need to have sufficient time to study, see your DH, friends and family and rest as well as attend lectures/library and do paid work.

Are you sure of your career path, have reasonably good prospects in that field, and know of FT degree that will give you credit for your work so far?

LynetteScavo Mon 13-Jan-14 23:08:08

I think you should give up one of your jobs.

When do you actually have time to study? confused

Casmama Mon 13-Jan-14 23:09:14

Not sure how it would look to a future employer for you to have a third unfinished degree and a fourth university before you graduate.

However, you need to work out what the likelihood is of you graduating doing this course and is the need for extensions due to having too much on your plate or is it a lack or organisation/focus.

Objection Mon 13-Jan-14 23:09:57

Hi loopy. yes, I'm confident that the university local to me can get me in on the 2nd year though it wouldn't be my first choice of university. I haven't spoken to the other university yet but I could definitely get in at 1st year with them.
With the OU I'm averaging high 2:1st and 1sts so I'm happy about the grades but it's a huge struggle and tbh I would be disappointed with less than a 1st and I would struggle to do it with the OU.

Objection Mon 13-Jan-14 23:11:38

Casmama - it's not really something that I'd bring up! I would think that a good degree in psychology and relevant experience would be key.
We certainly don't investigate people's study history beyond their certificates in my job

Loopytiles Mon 13-Jan-14 23:14:51

So you have some options. You seem to set really high standards for yourself, eg wanting to get a first in addition to everything else that's going on.

Could you make time to study (on your current degree) by quitting the stressful job?

It's just not possible/sensible health wise to work 60+ hours a week and study in addition.

Objection Mon 13-Jan-14 23:18:21

I have thought about that loopy but the problem is that I'd be relying on my nannying which is notoriously unstable work. At least with a "normal" degree I would get financial support.

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 13-Jan-14 23:34:18

The most sensible thing to do would be give up the nanny job and spend your weekends studying the OU course.

sightunseen Mon 13-Jan-14 23:50:49

Oh, OP. I have started four degrees, including one with the OU, and only completed one of them. I have issues with MH as well and it's really tough to keep motivated. I found that I wasn't cut out for OU study either - life was too busy and I found it hard to make time. I find it easier to study at a bricks and mortar university as you have a bit of pressure from your peers to keep going. The OU is a sensible option financially, but if you're recognising that it's not right for you, there's no shame in admitting that.

Agree that 60+ hours a week is impractical. Personally I think the debt for f/t study is worthwhile for a subject you love, and to give yourself time to focus attention on it, which you couldn't do with your current work. The repayment options are very favourable so no need to be hung up on the actual amount, they only expect you to repay what you can afford from your earnings.

Are you getting support with your anxiety/depression? You can get a lot of support for MH issues through the DSA, which can help fund things like a computer, software, weekly mentor, additional printing costs etc. Depression affects your ability to concentrate and absorb information, and these additional supports can help reduce the impact of that, and the mentor can help you stay on track.

FreudiansSlipper Mon 13-Jan-14 23:55:26

maybe you need to look at why you keep giving up and moving on to another degree

I understand you work long hours but you make choices this is how future employers and universities will look at you

Objection Mon 13-Jan-14 23:59:43

That's exactly the problem sightunseen
I struggle desperately with motivation and think the physical effort of going into university would help enormously. i have realised that my currebt situation is not working.

I predict that ill really struggle to motivate myself at weekends (quitting the nanny job) especially as OH will be there etc. and i wonder whether i can cope wuth a very stressful FT job on top of the OU. Another lady in my team does but she is fantastically motivated and says herself she barely copes.

The OU are being fantastic with my MH issues, im getting a lot of support.

Objection Tue 14-Jan-14 00:02:14

Freudianslippers (another great name!) the first course I quit for logistics and the 2nd because I genuinely only wanted to do Psychology but had been pressured into a different subject with little time to consider it. I'm certain I want to do Psychology (my current job has solidified that)

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