Last night, my little sister Lisa asked me why I started studying with the Open University so I figured rather than just tell her I’d do a blog post about it.
I started studying way back in 2008 with a module called Understanding Children. At the time I was working part time at K’s school and looking to return to full time work but was aware that seven years of being a mum meant my work skills and qualifications were woefully out of date. There was an advert for the OU in a newspaper so I gave them a ring, got a prospectus and signed up. Because of my low income as a single parent I was able to get full funding for my degree so there was no cost to me, always a bonus when things are tight.
In December 2009, when I first started to struggle with my mental health, I was just starting my second module and had decided on social science for my degree pathway. It would have been easy to quit then, but I was determined that I wouldn’t let my brain stop working even if part of it was a bit screwy. After that, it became a mission to prove that mental health doesn’t equal stupidity. So many times I’ve told people what I’m studying and been met with ‘You’re doing a degree? But you’re……you know……mental’ and they’re right, I am mental but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn.
So far I have picked up a Certificate, a Certificate of Higher Education and a Diploma of Higher Education. In a few months time I will receive my honours degree. Not bad for someone who’s mental, is it?