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Sorting my life out and getting my degree

  1. Oct 20, 2013 #1
    I'm not going to give you guys the full story, but I will summarise. A fair few years ago, I got into some trouble, starting drinking far too much and basically went of the rails. I got kicked out of uni, ended up going to prison for a little bit, almost died after being stabbed and got into a bit more trouble with the police. And then slowly started getting my life back together.

    Only now do I really think that I am ready to go back to studying. Luckily (in a way) I've recently been made redundant and now have a fair wedge of cash in the bank. So basically I have the finances, and there is nothing more than a fear inside me holding me back.

    I know my old university is out of the question, but have looked into something called the open university. I can hopefully transfer over my old grades. However the questions I am asking myself is, am I wasting my time? I'm not sure I could even do it anymore.

    Anyone got any experience of distance study? Would I be wasting my time? I mean if I were to work like an idiot and do well will anyone will be willing to give me a shot after finishing? Ideally I would like to maybe even go on and do a PhD, but I am pretty sure that no one is going to look at me and want to give me a chance. I certainly wouldn't if someone came to me and said they were a recovering alcoholic and had been to prison twice.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2013 #2
    It's possible. I heard a professor speak once who had failed biology like 4 times and ended up in prison for a little while, and his professor gave him once more chance to pass the class, otherwise he would be kicked out. He is now a professor of chemistry and doing well. Sometimes it takes going to rockbottom to get yourself back up
  4. Oct 20, 2013 #3
    I've not gone into all the details, as it's not about me making excuses for myself. But I literally went a little mad when my relationship broke up. I wasn't old enough to deal with it. I am just sorting out all the paperwork for my application.

    I will still be working 40 hour weeks, as I have bills to pay. But with some luck and motivation hopefully I can do well. This sounds very soft, but many times I've stayed up at night and wondered what the hell I'd done with my life. I think doing it for myself is the main reason now. If I can do it and push myself, even if it doesnt help me get a job and I continue having to do manual labour, atleast I will have finished what I started 7 years ago.
  5. Oct 20, 2013 #4
    Maybe you've already gotten to rock bottom, you can only move up from there
  6. Oct 20, 2013 #5
    Well I hope so :). Thanks for taking the time to comment though. It's good to know that someone else has messed up and sorted themselves out before though!
  7. Oct 20, 2013 #6


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    Not to mention that education itself has a certain inherent value.

    One option might be to start with a class or two while you are still working full time (assuming that you can get back to working full time). Take something that really interests you and that is likely going to help you gauge whether or not you're ready for a full-time commitment.
  8. Oct 20, 2013 #7
    I think I'd rather cut down my hours and crack on with the studying. As I said, I'm sort of financially secure now. With my saving's I have around £15k, if I sold my Camera and my Car etc.. I would have £25k (those are things I like, but not things I need). So I'm not rich, but I can move back home and work part time and be ok.

    I'm a bit strange. If I am going to do something I have to really do it and not take it slow or I end up consuming myself with other things. I have never really had a job I enjoy. I was in the Army for two years, before I got injured. Then I worked as a hgv driver which I recently got made redundant from. So I won't miss work, and am looking forward to filling my time and life with something else. I'm currently working doing labouring on building sites when I can get it, and also working as a waiter in the evenings. I've just been offered a job working as a phone salesman, so once I've done my training that will be 30 hours a week over 3 days (10 hour days) leaving me 4 days a week to do any studying I need.
  9. Oct 21, 2013 #8
    Looks like you're on your way up. You will have to deal with ignorant, snobby people who have never had a serious problem in their lives- so be prepared for them. I want to wish you good luck and I would like to provide some advice but Im pretty screwed so I cant help.
  10. Oct 23, 2013 #9
    Thanks guys - I have submitted my application! So I shall now have to wait and see if they accept my previous study and then have until febuary to get myself ready. Planning on working like an idiot to save up some money in the bank, so I can take some time off and study as much as possible!

    Aero51 - your only screwed up if you let yourself be mate. For a long time I pretended I was not in control of my own situation and it lead me to continually do the same stupid things. I'm sure you are a top bloke, and I do appreciate your words of kindness!

    Thanks all again. I am sure I will be back on here asking for some help soon!
  11. Oct 23, 2013 #10
    Open university is very good. But it's not for everybody. Basically, with distance study, you will not be forced to do anything. Most people in that situation end up doing nothing at all and slacking off. This is certainly dangerous when you're also working full time. In an actual university, you have to go to lectures where you are bound to pick up something anyway. So that system is actually easier.

    But if you have the discipline, then go for it. Don't allow yourself to slack off though, not even once!
  12. Oct 28, 2013 #11
    I know a mathematician who went to jail and failed math first year but he succeeded, never trying is worse than failing.Go on try again. you have passed that phase now, I myself had a drug-dealing/addiction/depression/anxiety disorder but I got past it. I have seen what happens if you don't brush off the dust and carry on walking. do it.
    Good Luck :)
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