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Starting The Open University... (advice)

chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 487 Moderator
edited September 2019 in Student Life & Education
So I'm starting a course at The Open University this October. Technically, this will be the final year in my degree studies since I've already completed two years at a "brick" university. I don't see very much on here about people attending university online so I'd love to hear your stories and get some advice about what to expect!

Make sure to comment down below with any tips for me :)


  • AzzimanAzziman The Mix convert Posts: 1,092 Wise Owl
    Hey :)

    Although it's not as common to attend university online, it's funny that the "largest university" by students in the UK is actually the Open University! Wish you the best for your final year!x

    Much love <3
  • JordanJordan Posts: 340 Super Moderator
    I don't attend Uni online @chubbydumpling but wish you the best!

    My one piece of uni advice would be to treat it like a job. Give yourself set hours to study and work. That sort of schedule really helps me stay organised and on top of things. 

  • AifeAife LondonPosts: 2,318 Community Manager
    This is exciting @chubbydumpling! What will you be studying? 

    I didn't attend an online uni so I'm not too sure what it will be like, but my advice would be don't be afraid to ask questions. Your tutor and lectures are there to support you and give you guidance on anything that you might be feeling a bit unsure about. I emailed a few of my lecturers to ask for a bit more guidance on the coursework and they helped me so much and gave me lots of extra info!

    Best of luck for when you start! Keep us updated with how it's going :) 
    Maybe somethings don't get better, but we do. We get stronger. We learn to live with our situations as messy and ugly as they are. We fix what we can and we adapt to what we can't. Maybe some of us will never fully be okay, but at least we're here. We're still trying. We're doing the best we can. That's worth celebrating too ❤
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 487 Moderator
    Hey @Aife! I'm studying a joint Philosophy and Religious Studies degree =)

    I've already been in contact with my lecturers on the phone (which was really weird to get used to lol) and had a flick through the course material. It's all fairly self-directed and that's exactly what I'm looking for. 

    Thank you for the well wishes <3  
  • MikeMike 🎧 LandaanPosts: 3,607 Community Manager
    As someone who never really got on with working at home, I'd recommend finding a space that makes you comfortable but also keeps you productive. The stereotype of people working in coffee shops is a stereotype for a good reason - places like that are comfortable, but not comfortable in the sense that you have all your nice things and distractions around you like you might at home.

    I'd also second what @Jordan says about keeping to a schedule. Routine can really help with productivity, and setting time aside specifically to relax and do your own thing is super important too.

    Good luck! :star:
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  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 487 Moderator
    I'd never really thought about it until you pointed it out but I'm rubbish at working from home. I can do it if I really push myself but I think a few days a week at a coffee shop might suit me better :p

    There's a nice, cosy Costa a few doors down from my therapist's office that would be perfect! Thanks for the suggestion @Mike :3
  • rachel_annrachel_ann Posts: 33 Moderator
    Hey @chubbydumpling how is open uni going so far?!

    I don't go to Open University so I don't know what it will be like. However one thing I would suggest is having a separate space for all of your University studies away from your space to relax and do anything else in a regular day. This way you don't always feel like you should be working or can see your notes etc! It's hard to keep everything separate at University and balance everyday life! Especially when you're doing open University. 

    I'd love to hear how you're course is going!
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 487 Moderator
    Hi @rachel_ann =)

    I just started yesterday and so far, I love how productive I'm being. Let's see how long that lasts! :p 

    Good call on keeping a separate space for studying. I've set up shop in my spare bedroom (pic attached) since I'm a notorious tv-on-in-the-background-studier lol

  • Evelyn360Evelyn360 Posts: 82 Budding Regular
    Hi @chubbydumpling, Philosophy and Religious Studies sounds really interesting. You'll have to share some of the things you learn! 

    I went to a "brick" university and as others have said, I found going to a comfortable space that wasnt the library really beneficial. My brother did most of his degree online and made himself a schedule that outlined what days and what time he would study around work and family commitments. Similar to what you have done, he used to go to my mums house and set up a work space to enforce "study time". Well done for being really proactive and setting up a space in your spare room! It's good that you're aware of how you learn best.

    He also tried to be quite active with the lecturers online. I'm not sure how your course works but he had some "live" lectures and I remember him saying he used to try to ask questions during them to clarify specific points in real time. He also used to talk to a few other people doing the same course online and they would periodically meet to go over material and tutor each other. I'm not sure if this is something youd be able to/ feel comfortable doing? 

    Good luck for your final year and keep us posted  :)
  • rachel_annrachel_ann Posts: 33 Moderator
    Hey @chubbydumpling

    It's great to hear from you! I'm glad you're being productive! Hopefully that'll last for you.  =) Spare bedroom is perfect for a separate study space! Thank you for the picture and I hope Uni continues to be good for you. 

    Please feel free to let me know on any updates :)
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