For as long as I can remember I’ve really want to take my education through to degree level. After having to leave college because of mental health, I have to admit I began to doubt whether I would be able to do this. However as previously mentioned on another post, I found I really missed studying so started my OU degree.
My choice to go through the Open University (OU), although it was a choice between waiting or OU, was partly chosen because it meant I didn’t have to go back to college first. This was a huge benefit to me, as not only did it mean I could start sooner, but it also meant I didn’t have to go back to that ‘school environment’. It was never something I felt comfortable in, loved the learning, but being surrounded by people who don’t want to be there? No thank you. I know people say its different in college, that everyone is there because they want to be, but from experience I find that is not accurate.
Choosing my course was a step I thought would be straight forward- history, its what I’ve always wanted to do. However there was a link on the page for Classical Studies, so I took a looksee, and found that actually that was fair closer to what I wanted to do. Ultimately it is still history, but just really really OLD history; ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, as well as the opportunity to learn Latin. In the end, this is what I went with.
My first unit was compulsory, and though it read well, it has turned out to be a bit of drag. Its a mixed unit of a large range of humanity subjects; history, classics, English, Religion, even Philosophy. Those are the ones which I’ve not minded, the two that make me want to through the book in the fire, is Music and Art! I shouldn’t complain as I actually got a good mark in the Art assignment, but still don’t understand what I wrote.
Another big advantage of the course for me has been that I can do the whole degree without a single exam, I can do all coursework. Exams are not my friends, panic attacks, nausea, and generally bad things happen during them; and 9 times out of 10, I drop several grades compared to if I did it in a classroom. Unless you have experienced this you can not understand the frustration when you pick up your results and find you got a D, when all year you have been getting B’s and A’s.
I’ve now started looking at what module I will choose for September. Once again, all the choices are mixed humanities rather than subject specific; unless you do languages but these are only 30 credits rather than 60. I have to admit this has annoyed me a little as I’m at a stage where I just want to get on with Classical studies. To add to it, the Level 2 unit- which would be my third and fourth year- which I’d been looking at taking, runs for the last time in September; but I’ve been sensible and emailed them explaining this, and asking what options there are.
Though if you are thinking about studying, but don’t have the money, or time to go to a Brick University, then I would definitely recommend Open. There is lots of support, from both your tutor and the support team; but you can apply for further support from the DSA if you have any disability that would effect your learning- this includes mental health!! I have been given some amazing computer programmes to help with my dyslexia.
So my favourite topics so far have to be Cleopatra, and Dalai Lama. Worst have been Cezanne, poetry and Diva(a music topic). But all in all I am really enjoying it. I’ll give an update when I’ve completed this unit, to say how it has gone.