When I tell people I study at home with the OU, I often get the response, ‘Wow, you must be really motivated.’
Well, yes and no.
For example, I no longer have to get up at 7.30 am, get showered, dressed and walk twenty minutes up the steepest hill you could ever imagine in time for a 9 am lecture. If I want to read my course books (our version of lectures, I guess!) in my PJs, or in the garden, or in bed, I can.
When I was at Kent, I would rarely get any work done, because I was living with friends. Especially in first year. There is so much to do, so many people to meet. You are on your own for the first time and you want to push the boundaries as much as possible. If that means getting slaughtered the night before your dance lesson, so be it! If that means feigning an injury (I ‘slipped on ice’) to avoid going to a really dull lecture, so be it!
At home there is less temptation, and I feel more guilty when I don’t study with the OU than I ever did with Kent. Why? At uni, as long as I went to my lectures/seminars/tutorials/rehearsals, I did no other work that week (unless I had to read a play or something). They say students ought to be doing 40 hours of personal study a week. LOL. That never happened, ever. Maybe like 4.
But now, I have to get my books out in order to learn anything. So as long as they are out, I might as well read around the subject a little as well!
And the final reason: I find it easier to let other people down than myself. A lecturer with a class of 60 isn’t going to notice you missing their lectures (although some evil ones took registration!) and you have loads of people who you can ask for notes. Not so with the OU, so you have to study, unless you want to learn nothing!