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Open University History degree sept!

(25 Posts)
GuyMartinsSideburns Wed 31-Aug-16 14:53:30

Ok please excuse my rambling that's sure to follow but I would very much appreciate any advice and some listening to help me get my thoughts straight!

I've never been to university, I dream of having a history degree. I've always had an interest in the subject for as long as I can remember. I'm now 34 and my youngest starts nursery next week so I'll have 2 mornings and an afternoon to myself per week and dh says he'll take the kids (10, 8, 2) for as long as needed on a weekend for me to have peace and quiet to study. I've registered with the OU and I'm ready to select my first module so realistically I could start this in October. I'm just having trouble with believing in myself I guess blush

I'm aware it's going to be tough but I want this so much. I'm just worrying now that maybe I'm not intelligent enough, or maybe I'm not as articulate as I thought! I'm telling myself that logically, as long as I just get my head down and get on with it, work hard etc I could do it right? Sometimes the thought of 6 years is a bit off-putting but those 6 years will pass regardless and maybe in 6 years time I could be just a little closer to having a job that I want to do, rather than looking at my prospects now which seem to be little considering I don't have a degree or many qualifications at all.

Now the morbid bit - dh was diagnosed with cancer last year. He was told in March that he's now in remission. I'm worried all the time now that it'll come back and kill him, and this worry makes me think maybe I shouldn't take this on just incase this does happen, I don't know how I'd cope. I realize this isn't a rational thought and I can't 'not' do anything ever, just incase it came back but I guess I'm not giving myself enough credit for my ability to cope with things. I know I can't just sit tight doing nothing, just incase the worst happens.

Lastly, anyone here studied History with the OU? I know it's not ideal for some but logistically I don't have the support/childcare to attend a brick uni. I'm aware I need to be very disciplined though!

Any advice/support/encouragement most appreciated!

GuyMartinsSideburns Wed 31-Aug-16 14:55:01

Sorry I forgot to ask - does the October start date seem too early now we're almost in September already or if I bought the books now would that give me adequate reading up time before it started?

GuyMartinsSideburns Wed 31-Aug-16 16:46:30

What the hell - I'm signed up and doing it grin

SherlockPotter Wed 31-Aug-16 16:50:22

Get the books and start reading ahead smile

I'm a third year History student and I'm gutted my time is nearly up, enjoy it!

GuyMartinsSideburns Thu 01-Sep-16 09:31:42

Thanks Sherlock, I've just ordered the books and looking forward to getting stuck into them!

user1472582572 Sat 03-Sep-16 01:03:24

OP, you can do it! You've been so strong to get through everything already, raising 3 kids and supporting your OH through an immensely testing time. If you can get through that, this will be fine- you deserve to do something for yourself and pursue your dream. Here are some study skills books which you might find helpful to read before or whilst you're doing the course- they might help you feel more confident about returning to studies. Sending positive vibes!

1) amzn.to/2c0Iivt

2) amzn.to/2c0I4oe

GuyMartinsSideburns Sat 03-Sep-16 18:15:38

Thanks very much for your reply. Today I sat down and worked out a rough study timetable just so I could 'see' the available slots of time I should have and I feel a bit better for that. I know I'll regret it terribly if I don't give it a shot.

Thanks for the recommendations, I'll go and look now smile

GuyMartinsSideburns Sat 03-Sep-16 22:35:58

They look really helpful so I've ordered them, thanks smile

thedragonflyinn Sat 03-Sep-16 22:40:48

I have a degree in history (not with the OU tho)- happy to chat about it if you need a sounding board/sympathetic ear. I loved every minute of my studies and often wish I could go back and do it all again (this usually gets me the "is she crazy?" looks but I don't care)

user1472582572 Sat 03-Sep-16 22:52:27

No worries, you're gonna smash it!

GuyMartinsSideburns Sat 03-Sep-16 22:57:01

thedragon- thanks very much that's most appreciated smile I've always found history fascinating and I'm looking forward to having something for me, no matter how tough it gets! Do you have any plans to continue studying? I'm always in awe at people that do PhDs etc I couldn't imagine it! Amazing!

user1472 - thanks for the vote of confidence grin most appreciated!

ReadyToSignOff Sat 03-Sep-16 23:05:03

I studied for ten years with the OU and I really enjoyed it - I ended up studying a mixture of humanities and sciences. It wasn't just for fun though, I needed a degree for the career I was aiming for when my children started school. It seems hard at times when you are juggling family and studies, but it is possible and very fulfilling (but expect some very late nights when those assignments are due!). I am sorry to hear about your husband, but it sounds as if you are both very supportive of each other. Remember though, if it becomes too much for you, you can always take a break from your studies... once you have completed a module you can bank the credit and pick it up again at a later date. You can also take 'half credit' courses with a lighter workload. The best thing about the OU is its flexibility - good luck 😀

thedragonflyinn Sun 04-Sep-16 08:10:27

No plans at the moment but hopefully in the future. History fascinates me, always has done. I think you are really going to enjoy your studies!

Jenijena Sun 04-Sep-16 08:13:02

I have a non OU history degree and work for a university. Go for it!

sandgrown Sun 04-Sep-16 08:16:50

I studied part time for a degree when I was 50 because I knew I "had it in me". It was hard work but very enjoyable really and such a sense of achievement. I say just go for it but be prepared for some late nights! Good Luck smile

GuyMartinsSideburns Sun 04-Sep-16 10:41:08

Thanks for the further supportive comments, they're just what I needed to read!

anneyaramis Mon 05-Sep-16 18:55:02

Just wanted to say good luck OP. I finished a degree in History last year part time at a brick uni designed for mature students and loved it so much and shocked myself with my results and am now back for an MA and have even been advised to consider a PhD by a couple of the academic staff. Like you, at the start I never thought it possible and thought I would go, scrape a 2:1 and be able to change career or at least be more employable.

It is the best thing I have ever done. Like the above poster, happy to chat by PM if you need any specific help.

Great to hear about the remission.

GuyMartinsSideburns Mon 05-Sep-16 19:12:14

Thank you very much anne smile that's very kind. Wow you did amazingly! What a brilliant achievement. My books have arrived today so im a bit eeeek! But excited too smile

anneyaramis Mon 05-Sep-16 20:27:48

It is super exciting. I don't start back until October but have started my reading for week1 of one of my modules and loving it. I have read an incredible (if you are of a Marxist persuasion) article today and it has just reminded me how much I have missed it this last year.

Writing is brilliant and making an argument. It is just so satisfying.

flowergirl456 Fri 30-Sep-16 14:57:30

Just stumbled across this. I am SO jealous, I've been wanting to do an OU degree for years. I started one about 8 years ago before the prices went up. I faced cancer in the family too, I had two relatives die in quick succession, one for which I did a lot of the caring for. In my case I abandoned the course in the second year, I became a bit overwhelmed by it all to be honest.
I don't want to put you off because I've always regretted abandoning my OU course - and would list it as one of the major regrets of my life. It is something I've really wanted to do. Now the prices have gone up I don't think I can justify the cost any more - especially as I have a degree already, in a stupid subject I didn't enjoy admittedly but I do have a degree. I wanted to do Natural Sciences with the OU.
So it will be a lot of work. My advice is try to keep on top of it, or if anything keep ahead, so if you do have a crisis you have a bit of time in hand as it were. And be systematic about planning a work schedule. But its something you can do for you yourself and I hope you enjoy it.

GuyMartinsSideburns Wed 12-Oct-16 16:13:22

Thanks for the latest reply. I'm having a bit of an anxious wobble today, it's my first tutorial tonight and I'm prone to anxiety attacks etc. It's not with my own tutor group, but this tutorial is much easier for me to get to so made sense to go to this one.

I'm getting worried I'm just not intelligent enough blush obv the OU has forums and I've been having a read, everyone seems so clever on there! I'm knocked a bit I think.

flowergirl456 Wed 12-Oct-16 19:29:39

I hope it goes well, I'm sure it will. There will be others there just as anxious as you, and it's a good opportunity to meet people you wouldn't normally meet. Just enjoy it! And I'm sure you're intelligent as anyone, it's how you apply yourself that counts. Keep going!!

GuyMartinsSideburns Thu 13-Oct-16 08:59:45

Well I was jittery at first but once the first 5 mins was over and we'd done introductions I really enjoyed it. Nice small group of 5 of us, nice friendly people. Thanks for the push! smile

flowergirl456 Fri 14-Oct-16 11:03:29

Oh good, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm still jealous!

SophieLion Fri 21-Oct-16 13:09:04

Hi OP,
I've been following your thread and hope the course is going well. Good luck!

This is something I am interested in so wondering (roughly) how many hours you are studying each week or day at the moment. Is it a completely struggle to fit it in with children or is it manageable? Are the tutorials mainly in the evening?
Do you have much freedom with the periods of history that you can choose to study?
How many years is the degree of you do part-time?
Sorry for all the questions. Thank you!

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