My name is Stacy and I am studying Security and Risk Management. Like most students I am always busy writing reports or assignments, poring over journals for the latest research and of course abusing my student discount. There is however one fundamental difference between me and many other students: I am a distance learner.
What does being a distance learner mean to me? Well, it means I carry out most of my learning online at home or in one of the many universities participating in the SCONUL access scheme. This provides me with access to academic libraries closer to home. ‘Home’ for me is London, where I have lived now for almost two years (though I am in fact from Scotland). I work full-time in the public sector, in a job that I love and also relates to my degree, which means I have the advantage of gaining both theoretical and practical knowledge. Shift-working allows me to study flexibly, though at times it can be a little difficult to balance books with the boss. Luckily I have a great manager who understands my needs and is always willing to find amicable solutions.
There are so many aspects concerning distance learning to discuss. Whether you are considering becoming a distance student, already are one or even if you are a full-time student studying in campus, I would be interested to hear what you would like to know about – just leave me a comment below. In my next blog post I will answer some common questions and tell you a bit about studying online using Blackboard, student networking and what you can expect from distance learning.
As well as working and studying at Leicester Uni, I am also a student of the Open University (OU) where I am studying intermediate German. In my free time (what free time?!?) I enjoy playing the piano, lomography (attempting to develop 35mm/120 photographs and stinking the ‘darkroom’, i.e. flat out in the process), socialising with friends in one of London’s many parks ( and bars…), cooking, keeping fit, retro videogaming, pole dancing and watching anything by Studio Ghibli.
My favourite part of the course so far has been the sheer mixture of criminology, sociology, psychology and business studies. As I still have a year or two before I complete the course there’s still a lot for me to explore. I have found issues relating to information technology security and research methods particularly interesting, and being a fan of the social sciences I love anything related to psychology!
My ambitions are….to be honest, I’m not quite sure just yet! I tend to work hard at what I’m doing and see where it takes me, what opportunities appear. I have no doubt that a degree will open many doors with regards to career progression, however there’s also something personally rewarding about distance learning. The motivation has to come from within. It develops good time-keeping and motivation as well as all the usual academic skills. Plus there’s a lot to be said for being able to listen to lectures while wearing your pyjamas at two o’clock in the afternoon…