The summer is coming to an end and the start of a new academic year is not far off. You’re brimming with enthusiasm for the new term – or as much as you can be knowing that you’re going to be sacrificing a large chunk of your free time to studying for the next 9 months – but hey, at least you know that it’s all for a good cause. You’ve even treated yourself to a brand-new set of highlighters, some new files and an array of notepads to get ready for those all-important first tutorials!
But despite our very best made plans, our meticulous study timetables and expertly-organised Google calendars, there will inevitably come a time during our studies where we will be faced with some unforeseen hurdles that will set us back despite even our finest of preparations. This is particularly true for OU students and our often-complicated lives and schedules! Whether it be an illness, a bereavement, heartbreak or another major obstacle in our lives, this point in the year where we are usually at our most motivated might also be a good time to consider some of things that we could do to try and keep things together should life not go quite as we had envisaged or hoped from the outset:
- Pair things down to the bare essentials: this is a time to tackle true priorities and to ask yourself the question “what do I absolutely have to do right now?” Anything else can be put on hold for the immediate time being and dealt with at a later date.
- Ask others for extra help: can other people such as friends or family temporarily take on some of your responsibilities while you get yourself back on your feet? Once you explain your circumstances, many people may be willing to offer you help, whether it’s giving you a hand with childcare or scanning a few pages of a much-needed book!
- Let the university know: let your tutor or student support team know that you are currently having problems. Perhaps you could get an extension onyour next TMA or depending on your situation, perhaps your case would qualify as extenuating circumstances. Don’t suffer in silence!
- Be good to yourself: go easy on yourself and treat yourself to what you feel you need right now whether it be rest, a short break and, if you really need it, perhaps even some time out from study temporarily.
- Look at the bigger picture: while life may be difficult at present, things will likely get better as time goes by. And while it might not be easy to study right now, it’s worth pursuing your goals in order to meet your long-term objectives, whatever lemons life is throwing you in the present!
Whatever challenges life throws at you over the coming year, the News Team wishes you a great start to the new term and all the best with your studies. We’ll be here throughout the year to keep you entertained and up-to-date with what’s going on in the legal world.
Written By: Karen Evans