green grass brick building

An Anxious Introvert’s Guide to Freshers’ Week (Part 1)

At school I was always the kid hiding a furious blush behind a curtain of hair, desperately hoping not to be noticed. Whenever a teacher threw a question out into the room like a knife-edged boomerang, I became painfully aware of the chair jamming into my spine as I attempted to disappear into the plastic. In short, some school days felt like being led to slaughter (in front of a cheering crowd). So not too pleasant, really.

I’m not saying I hated everything about school, I actually liked plenty of things about it. But I did find it extremely difficult to be part of a group and to interact with people I didn’t already know very well. Understandably, when I left college at 18, I did not want to go to university; I took a bit of time out of education to figure things out and, perhaps naively, hoped I would be able to fully overcome these awful feelings.

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Why face-to-face tutorials are great for distance learners

Today I had my first ever face-to-face tutorial since the start of my distance learning course in October; I had no idea what to expect as I hiked my way up five floors of a local university building in search of my tutor. I was welcomed into a room as one of four students who had turned up, a situation the socially anxious part of me was relieved to discover. We took our seats and for the next two hours listened, thought about and discussed ideas from our current module topic.

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Distance Learning: what I’ve learnt one month in

One month ago, I began studying an undergraduate Sociology degree with the Open University, the largest academic institution in the UK. I decided to take on this distance learning course full time, knowing it was going to be a challenge to balance this new responsibility with working and hopefully getting out of the house once in a while. These last few weeks have taught me a lot, not only about my most effective learning style but also about myself, as cliché as it sounds.

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