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Old 05-08-2014, 08:09 PM   #1
Cacoethes
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Rethinking everything

Well, mainly my degree.
I'm doing an OU degree in Health Sciences. I do find it interesting but it involves a lot of maths type stuff. I'm good at biology, **** at chemistry and physics. Mainly because of the maths.
Always had a serious problem with maths, it's not as simple as just trying harder, I think I have a genuine issue. Like whatever the maths version of dyslexia is.
So I think I'm going to either quit or change my degree. Which is a real shame.

Talked to my mum about it today, she agrees with me. She said I've always been clever but not in the maths/science way.
She was a bit harsh about it, said I'd never be able to cope with it, never get to the 'top end' of any profession etc. She said I'll never be stable enough.
I know she's worried about having a repeat of what happened after my AS levels. Still hard to hear.

But anyway. It's thrown me off. Been thinking about it for a while. I just don't know if it's really that I can't do it intelligence wise or because I've been struggling with my mental health recently.
I only got 55% in my last assignment, lowest mark I've ever got. My next assignment is due on the 13th. I haven't even started it.

So I don't know. Is it worth waiting it out to see how I feel when my mental health/concentration gets a bit better or just finish this module and change it or pack it in?

Just confused.



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Old 05-08-2014, 09:36 PM   #2
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Have you completed the first year of the degree?

As you could always finish your current module and then look on UCAS for part time degrees at universities near you.

If you're struggling with the work in the 2nd year then I would try to find what module choices you have in 3rd year as if the chemistry/maths/physics elements of the degree get harder it's likely that if you don't do well they will drag your marks down and degree grade. It might be better to find a healthcare course that you will enjoy that is more hands on and maybe less academic?

I was doing a really mathematical course last year and I was constantly getting extensions for work and just generally not doing well but I thought I had to continue as I would of thought myself a failure if I gave up. I soon realised that I wasn't going to learn finance/retail marketing overnight and it was making my mental health worse as I didn't even enjoy the course. I have since completely changed my degree course to something less academic but which still have some business modules in although it's alongside practical hands on work which is what I am better at. At first I felt like a failure for giving up on my first degree but if I had of carried on I would of just screwed it up more.

I know it's sometimes hard to hear you parents honest opinion but your mum is probably worried of putting too much pressure on you to achieve loads, I am sure she does believe in you but also realises that your mental health can change.

Also something else to consider with starting a new degree would be student finance. As I think you are entitled to 4 years but you would probably need to phone the student finance people.

Also could you email/phone your open uni tutor/regional office for advise?

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Old 05-08-2014, 09:48 PM   #3
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Re student finance- part time has different rules to full time. So doing the OU is part time and going to a 'real' university would be full time (if you did study full time).

I went to 'real' university first and I've had 3 years of funding already but I left two times. Now I'm starting the OU in october and I've got funding because it's part time, and it doesn't matter that I've had 3 years of full time funding at all.

So Beckie if you wanted to switch from part time to full time at a university near you then you shouldn't have a problem getting the funding. Also as far as I am aware disabled students can still claim DLA and ESA while they are studying.

However you've got to think are you ready for a full time course right now? Do you think you'd be able to cope with travelling 5 days a week to university, sitting through 2 hour lectures, interacting with lots of people, doing essays and projects?

I think you are very intelligent, and it does sound like the Health Sciences degree might not be best suited to you. However changing to another OU course would be very easy and you can most like transfer your credits for the modules you've already done.

Have you been to an OU tutorial before? Maybe if not you could try and get to the next one to see what it's like and if you enjoy it?

Personally speaking I left uni because I found the travel and lectures too much. It made me very anxious and stress which lead to depression and suicidal thinking.

I chose the OU because I'm capable of the work but it eliminates most of the stress of going to university, and my tutorials will only be about one a month.

I would be worried if you quit the OU and decided to go to a 'real' university as I'm not sure you're 100% ready mental health wise yet for the pressure and stress it will cause. If you're having issues with completing your work on time for the OU then it wont be better at uni, it could be worse as you'll be studying 4 modules at the same time rather than 1.

I don't want to discourage you from doing what you want to do though.

I don't think you'd be able to start full time anywhere this september as you need to apply through UCAS and unfortunately you've missed this year's cycle. It open against this september for 2015 entry.

Though if you wanted to study part time at a university you can apply to them directly at any time, however if you want to study part time at uni you'll only get the tuition fee paid by student finance (same as OU) and no money towards living, halls, food etc.

If you want to know any more please ask/PM me x



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Old 05-08-2014, 09:51 PM   #4
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Not yet. I would have completed it in September but I dropped a module during a bad depressive episode early this year.

I don't really want to do OU anymore. It's been good, but I feel time closing in. My 19 year old brother is going to uni next month, he's the first of us to do so, he has a job, has his own car and is basically doing everything 'right'.
I brought up the idea of going to uni and doing a full time degree a while ago because otherwise I'll be 27 by the time I finish. My mum was worried I couldn't cope but my step dad was very much for it. He's always worked and thinks I should be doing something with my life after years of doing nothing. Which I do agree with.

I want to move area anyway. I like where I live but as my family is moving much further away, there's no real reason to stay here.

After my AS level results where I did horribly because I was so ill and basically did no work throughout the year, I went downhill very very quickly. And this along with other factors got me sectioned for 2 years.

I've just found out about this grant thing I could get that would fund a degree (something my ancestors did with the mayor of Norwich years and years ago which means all descendants get an education grant)
So if student finance doesn't work out, I have that as back up.

Thanks Sarah. If I did decide to go to a 'real' uni, it wouldn't be for a year or two.
I've not been to an OU tutorial, I always meant to go but was always too anxious.
Tried to gp with a friend once but we bailed outside the door and went on a pub crawl instead....

But yeah. This isn't going to be for a while. I'm not sure whether to bother continuing with the OU and just quit while I'm not failing yet.



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Old 05-08-2014, 10:17 PM   #5
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Thanks Carmen

Last year my tutor met up with me at a local library to help me through some things. I've only contacted my tutor once so far to ask for an extension so I could ask about something like that. Or just some email help because meeting new people isn't really a good idea right now.

Even if I managed to struggle through this degree, i'm not sure if I could do it as a career. I want to be good at what I do and as much as I want to be good at this, I don't think I ever will be.
I've always been far to ambitious, always set incredibly high standards and always thought I could do things that I couldn't do. So it may be time to try and really think about what I'm doing and lower my expectations. A lot

My mum suggested speaking to a careers advisor too so I think I'll try and look into that.

Also, really well done for getting so far Carmen!



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Old 05-08-2014, 10:47 PM   #6
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I always think my expectations are within reason, but they usually aren't unfortunately. It takes other people to bring me back down to earth.

I just don't think i'm clever enough. I know I'm not stupid, but im not the 'right' kind of clever.
Like I've always been exceptional at English and more creative subjects, but maths, science, that kind of thing. Just could never do it.
And I didn't really go to school from the age of 14 onwards and the occasions I was at school, I was very ill and unable to do the majority of the work. Kind of sounds like an excuse, but it affected me more than I like to think.
An example of this is that the OU suggested I do an access course before starting a degree. I didn't think I needed to do it so went straight into a degree.
(Think I might have been a bit 'elevated' at the time though)

Sounds like you've done really really well Carmen! It's good to hear :)



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Old 06-08-2014, 02:11 AM   #7
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55% isn't bad. One of my mid-terms (which counted towards my final degree result) was 5% Like 05. And I graduated with a first. Don't beat yourself up if you have a bad result. Is the maths going to be a deal-breaker for the course? Often with science degrees (I'm thinking Physics) it forms a decent part in the first year (or so) and then becomes much less relevent (ie. you keep using the stuff you learnt in first year but don't learn much new maths).

If you're not sure, I think OU is very modular, and you could 'pause' it for a bit, and have a think. Access is always on the cards. I think it's free/funded until you're 24, so it's worth considereing.



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Old 06-08-2014, 11:06 AM   #8
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I was telling someone at the adtu about it. I told her it was 55% and she was like, oh, the way you were talking about it I thought it would have been way lower and you still passed!'
Then went on about how I have really high expectations :/

I'm meant to do an entire module on maths in February. I did one assignment but then deferred it until next year.
Every time I even looked at the course books I burst into tears. I'm not sure if it was because of the maths or because of the depressive episode I was going through at the time. Probably both.
I had to do a literacy and numeracy assessment thing for a HCA job. Maths level was GCSE grade D-G or something like that. I failed it the first time.
I'll have a look at the modules for next year
Although I'm not sure I can get out of doing this maths module.

I really don't know.



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Old 06-08-2014, 11:22 AM   #9
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55% really is not bad at all. At my uni we needed 40% to pass the module/assessment and for some I remember getting something like 46% because I struggled hugely with it (statistics).

So I don't thnk you're struggling academically, though doing a maths refresher would probably help you a lot.

But it sounds like you are struggling with motivation and concentration to physically do the work right now. Having a break for a while might do you good. Or looking into switching degree with OU to something you find more interesting and less maths based.

If you jack it in you might really regret it in a few months! And as I mentioned before if you are struggling to study doing one module at home, how would you cope at uni with 4 modules at once? Yes you'd probably have more support at university, and in 2 years you could work on recovering/getting more stable, but it's still something to consider.

Also look at your reasons for wanting a degree- is it something you really, truly want? Or are you getting a degree to prove a point to those who thought you couldn't do it? Because if your heart isn't in it, and you are doing it just to prove others wrong then it will be harder to stay motivated. There's no shame in not having a degree, you don't need to prove to anyone how clever you are by having a piece of paper!



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Old 06-08-2014, 11:59 AM   #10
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It's a 40% for me too.

I think I would regret it if I stopped completely. The plan to go to uni wouldn't happen for a while because there's other stuff I need to sort first.
This year has been a bit of a roller coaster. It was only January that social services were against my mum having jasmine and we really didn't know how court would go. Then jasmine going to live with mum and we're still adjusting really. And then discharging myself from cmht, nearly dying several times and my first hospital admission in 2 years.
So maybe it's just not a good year for me.

I originally started the degree because I was really low. It was Christmas eve I think and wasn't seeing jasmine for Christmas and I spent Christmas on my own. So I signed up for it mainly to prove to social services that I wasn't a useless idiot like they thought I was.
But that's not the only reason now.
I want to do it so I can get a good job and career mainly so jasmine will be proud of me when she gets older. I don't want her to be ashamed of me.
And I really need to do this because I missed out on a lot of education. I didn't get to celebrate A level results or even consider going to university which I did want to do.
So its important to me for a few reasons.



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Old 06-08-2014, 02:43 PM   #11
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Have a look at being able to transfer your academic credits. First year modules don't usually count towards degree classification. I started off doing a chemistry degree, then switched to environmental science. Now obviously there was some overlap there, so not sure how applicable it would be if you decided to switch from health sciences to Ancient Greek for example! But it's worth seeing if you can avoid racking up excess tuition fees and loans and gain a degree earlier.





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Old 06-08-2014, 03:49 PM   #12
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I want to do something related to healthcare so I think I'd be able to transfer the credits.
Even if/when I complete the first year, I know I'll have to do the full 3 years of another degree course, I just need the credits to be able to get onto the course due to the fact I didn't do A levels so have no qualifications at all that would get me into uni.
I'll email a few universities to see what their policies are.



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Old 06-08-2014, 04:43 PM   #13
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It's not always the case if you start another degree you have to start from the beginning. I reckon quite a few courses you could go into 2nd year from the credits you've already gained if they are the equivalent to a full year's worth of credits (120 I think for one year).

I hope you find a course you are excited about :)



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Old 07-08-2014, 10:22 AM   #14
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I think I'd prefer to start from the beginning tbh.
I wouldn't trust myself to know enough or be clever enough to pick up things that quickly.
I've done 60 credits so far. Because I deferred a module I won't have 120 credits until September 2015. Which is ok because I wasn't thinking about changing my course and going to another uni until around that time anyway. Depending on what goes on.

Thanks :)



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Old 07-08-2014, 03:13 PM   #15
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You say you want to do something related to healthcare but that's a huge field so what do you want to do? Can you narrow it down eg mental health or physical health, client facing or say lab work, that may give you an idea of what you need to aim towards degree wise.

You say you excel at subjects like English and I wonder if you'd consider doing a degree in something like that?




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Old 07-08-2014, 03:28 PM   #16
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I know I don't want to do mental health but that's as far as I've got.
I've got a while to think about it so I'll have a look at different options.

I always liked English and I used to write stories and things, but I can't see myself doing it as a degree. I was good at the creative stuff, I didn't enjoy the more structured side of it.



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Old 07-08-2014, 04:51 PM   #17
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Maybe instead of thinking what degree you'd want to do you can think of jobs that you can see yourself/want to be in in 5/10 years time?

Once you've bought of some you can then look back and see which degree courses would be best.

Also there are loads of personality/career tests online that take about 40 minutes to complete and once you've inputted your answer they give you career results based on your personality and interests. Obviously computers aren't right all the the time but it could give you some ideas you may not of thought of. I think the National Careers Website has one on their website.

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