A year of surprising decisions

The following article is courtesy of OULS member and W101 student, Anna Yates.


Having taken the decision to study law, not so long before the start of W101 this October, there was firm decisiveness about it. I did not expect decisiveness as compatible with my character. So this became a revelation leaving me with a sensation of a surprise. It is still here, taking a bit of my breath away, as I think about it.

The fact that my Student Finance and OU applications were both accepted, allowing me to enter the doors of higher education, is still causing unrest in my mind. Three months of study have brought this year to “closing time”. As the New Year approaches with all of the uncertainties that there may be expected in it, I am certain: revelations aren’t complete. As I study through more units and navigate my way through assignments, there will be more discoveries. All I need is to seek them out.

Study and employment: for some students these dots are already connected, but I am yet to make it happen. This exact choice of study, the Bachelor of Laws, reopens not just an avenue to employment, but many avenues. It is hardly possible to be as determined as I am about finding employment or about letting it find me. It may require leaving my “comfort zone”, but how much actual comfort is there, being unemployed and on benefits? Being a student is what defines and gives me confidence. There is now a direction and a long term-goal, and my focus is only getting sharper.

Becoming a student could be explained as a logical consequence from parenting. After periods of frustration, exhaustion, depression, separation and relocation, there is suddenly a new page in my parenting book; be someone who my own daughter would want to be. Being a parent will not prevent me from becoming someone I’ve never been. With empowerment holding my hand, as I hold on to my daughter’s hand, I know I have made a decision she would approve of. The exact events that led to this decision, make a serious precedent to look back at, whenever I am in doubt and hesitant. It is something to think back to and be bound by.

There are already decisions that followed on: I began exploring volunteering. Unlike a paid job, there isn’t as much restriction of freedom. It also turned out to be an activity that requires yet again, decisiveness and determination, and more. It is really different from what I expected; there is so much energy, and so many diverse communities to engage with.

Having joined the OULS and writing an article for it, I am yet again acting out of character. How could I not, when there is this simple opportunity available to OU Law students to be published? It may take years until I have all of the qualifications to allow me to represent someone in a courtroom. Should I be waiting this long to think, speak and write, as a lawyer?  I hear the argument that I am not a lawyer, and I agree. However, thinking, speaking and writing are not against the law, which is why “breaking the silence” is my New Year’s resolution.

The OULS is keen to support OU students in any way possible. We hope that in the New Year, other students will follow by Anna’s example and submit articles for publication on the OULS Website.

Written by Anna Yates – OULS Member


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