Self study, distance learning or home learning are all fantastic options for adults that have lots of commitments but really want to better themselves. Last year I was able to take a course in Creative Writing and I really enjoyed it. It was such a great experience to learn things again and have a chance to write again. I mean, I’ve been writing on my blog for a good few years now but I really wanted to get back into fiction writing. It was something I loved doing as a child and teenager and with life I’ve sort of stopped. I want to fill those blank sheets with words that reflect these novel idea’s I’ve had in my head for a while.
Through studying I’ve also realised I’ve missed out. Back in 2006 I made the decision to drop out of college and therefore didn’t have a chance to come away with any A-Levels. I don’t regret the decision I made because I didn’t feel college was the right place for me at the time. Looking back I knew I was suffering badly with depression, feelings of acceptance and adjusting to some pretty big lifestyle changes. I met some wonderful people at college and I’m so happy to still have a few of them in my life however it’s always really annoyed me that my education section on my CV has always looked a bit bare.
I think what frustrates me even more is that I’m quite a clever person and I don’t really have any problems admitting that. I’ve always felt I was quite intelligent and have a good understanding of the world which has just enhanced as I’ve grown, become a mother and had a home of my own. Life experience is incredibly valuable and I feel like I’m the person I am today exactly because of the decisions I’ve made and the hardships I’ve faced. I think one thing that has always really helped my depression and anxiety from really taking over is I know I have that one redeeming quality about myself. One thing I can confidently say and admire about myself is that I am quite academically minded. I actually quite like exams. I really enjoy testing my own knowledge. Gaining a qualification in Creative Writing and also my Cert CII in Insurance have both really helped make this decision to go back to studying.
A lot of people may be asking well why go back to A-Levels why not just go straight to the Open University and the truth is I’m not really doing this because I strive to have a degree. Whilst that would be nice it’s just not something I feel I need and it’s also a very long commitment. I also wanted to study more than one core subject, in fact I’ve made the decision to do 3 A-Levels.
I’m going to be doing this through distance learning with cloudlearn as they offered the best priced plan for me and an option to have online and text book study. I’m all enrolled now and I hope to take my first exams next June so I have a whole year to really study and get to grips with the courses. I plan to do this my blocking out my time properly so that I can really focus on small chunks of each course and I plan on doing a lot of recommended and outside reading. I’ve decided to study for English Literature & Language a course I did actually start before dropping out of college and an extension from my Creative Writing course. Government & Politics because this recent general election has been so interesting to discuss and I want to learn more about how countries are governed. Sociology because again I started this at college and really enjoyed learning about all the different theories that make society the way it is.
I’m not really fussed about what grades I get but I am very interested in really learning about these courses and completing them to the best of my ability. The goal is to study and learn rather than progress from this point but I do think with these subjects my writing will improve, along with my general understanding of how our society works. I’m really looking forward to getting started. If you’re looking to self study then here are my top tips for making sure you do the right course for you.
My Top Tips for Home Study
- Look at the qualifications you already have and think about how you would like to extend on them. I did quite well with my GCSE’s back in 2005 and I knew I wanted to do something a bit extra however there are plenty of people that enjoy going back over them or gaining some. GCSE’s are a great way to study and there are plenty of courses online.
- Consider a more vocational course if you feel that would be better for you. There are courses like BTECs, Diplomas and Certificates that have fewer exams. If you would prefer to do a coursework based course do some research.
- Would the Open Uni be the right course for you? It’s a six year study part time option and it’s incredibly flexible. The system is easy to use and you have a group of other students doing the same course as you. You come out with a degree without the need for A-Levels
- Choose a course that will either enhance your career prospects or enhance your personal development. Both will be be rich for your mind and you will feel more motivated to complete the course rather than something you have to do.
- Get yourself a planner so that you can block out some time for study. This might mean getting up earlier or going to bed a little later to fit it in.
- Book exams 6 months in advance to avoid massive late administration fees.
Are you currently studying at home? What are you doing? Do you have any top tips to share?