Its all in the timing

Im in my second to last year of doing a BSc Psychology degree with the Open University.  For anyone who doesnt know about the OU, this is a university which offers a selection of courses which can be done remotely.  I get textbooks in the post, and everything else I need is online.  I decided to do my degree with the OU for a number or reasons, one of the main ones being cost.

If I had gone to "regular" university, I would have spent £3000 for 3 years on tuition fees, plus all my accommodation and food costs on top of that.  At best I would probably have been able to work about 3 shifts a week in a minimum wage job.  I would most likely have walked away at least £15 000 in debt.

So...I chose the OU way.  I chose to work full time in a well-paid job (that I never should have been given, but thats a different story!) so it will take 4.5 years to complete my degree.  I walk out with the same British Psychology Society recognised qualification which would enable me to work in the industry.  I have lived at home for most of my course so my living costs have been negligible.  Im not entirely sure on the exact figures for my tuition fees, but it will probably total around £5000.  I will walk away with around £40 000 in savings.  My choice to do a degree with the OU was the foundation of my ability to consider making my travel dreams a (not too difficult) reality.

Wow.  Way to make a good choice Anna.  Wrong.  It wasnt a good choice.  It was a poorly thought out choice.  Lucky for me, I just happened to make that choice in the right place at the right time.  I learnt today that the OU are putting up their course fees (along with every other university in the country).  This wont affect me but for new students their tuition fees for an undergraduate OU degree will now total £15 000.  

OK so this is still not at the level of "regular" universities - who are putting tuition fees up to something crazy like £8000 a year (thats £24 000 on tuition fees alone, before you even consider living costs!), but it has certainly significantly narrowed the gap.  And honestly, aside from textbooks, someone who marks my essays and a room to take an exam in, the OU doesnt exactly give me much input.  No way is that worth £5000 a year!

So yeah, I found the perfect loophole in the system, in the perfect time, in the perfect place for me.  It was all in the timing.  So much of life seems to be like this, our chances are bound up with the fleeting moments in which they are available.

Life, it would seem, is all in the timing.


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