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Biting off more than I can chew?

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#1 *~dee~*

Posted 11 February 2013 - 02:45 PM

I know nobody can answer whether I can handle this or not, but has anyone else studied full time at Open University and worked part time (I currently do 5 days a fortnight) and been a single mother of one (3 year old)? I could study part time but if it's full time I could get JET assistance and graduate a lot quicker!

I am motivated, energetic etc, but wonder whether I could handle this work load, even if I put my daughter in full time daycare.

Any personal success stories?

#2 My3Squishees

Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:17 PM

Full-time daycare you should be right (not saying it'll be easy but it's certainly doable).

I work between 1 and 3 days a week, have a 3yr old myself and do 3 units of uni a semester (usually 1 or 2 I have to have contact for). My son is in daycare three days a week. I also have a full on volunteer role.

First year - I was all enthusiastic and gun-ho
Second year - I became one of those students that would only go to class if I had too.
Third year - I'm dreading now and just want it to end.

You'll be fine if you are really organised. May need to accept there isn't much time for a life outside your little one, uni and work though.

#3 busy_bee

Posted 11 February 2013 - 08:38 PM

DH is doing his degree through open unis

Just some thoughts you might want to consider.....

1) traditionally uni is 2 semesters of 12 weeks with holidays in the middle and swot vac etc. Doing 4 subjects at once, so 8 total in year. At open its 4 terms - so you would be doing 2 subjects at a time to get your 8 for the year. BUT there is no breaks AT ALL. No holidays, no swot vac etc. Exams are usually week 1 of the next session so you have no down time.

2) with open you don't have to do all your first year subjects, then all your 2nd year etc. DH did his core subjects then his majors and is now finishing off with electives. Just make sure you meet all your quota for each year level subjects and meet pre-reqs etc. The other reason to do it this way is that some uni's may pull out and the more core stuff you have done the better.

DH tends to do 1 subject one term (usually a 3rd year) and then 2 the next (1st/2nd etc) so does 6 a year. Although we have been flexible depending on the subjects/other commitments.

All in all he will be done in about 4.5/5 years - so somewhere in the middle of full time and half time.

Hope that helps

#4 Guest_Spunkrat_*

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:37 PM


Edited by Spunkrat, 24 April 2013 - 12:59 PM.

#5 libbylu

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:45 PM

Have you looked into what JET requires as a minimum for full time?
I was enrolled in a part-time course that had a requirement of 20 hours study a week.  Centrelink considered this a full time load.  You may be able to do slightly less than what the uni considers full time and still qualify for JET assistance, which might make it just a bit easier on yourself.
Also seriously think about what study commitments you take on over the summer semester (if your online course has three semesters) as Christmas is a busy time with children and most childcare centres close for three weeks over this period making it a juggle just to cover working days, let alone extras.
How flexible is your workplace in terms of allowing you annual leave when you choose it, which would presumably be in your exam periods?

#6 MuppetGirl

Posted 11 February 2013 - 10:49 PM

My situation is a little different. Not single, 3 kids, work part time and do uni part time.

It is difficult, absolutely. Study is mostly done in the evenings and when exams are coming up or I am doing a particularly hard unit late nights are often and being tired can be a struggle day to day, particularly with also having to keep up the cooking/cleaning/washing etc.

It is rewarding too though. Knowing I am doing something for me, for the future of my family. Studying something that means a lot to me.

Being on your own and working part time could you look at starting out Uni part time? See how you go first and then decide if full time would work or not.

#7 ubermum

Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:13 PM

I did it. I am not single, but dh is away weeks at a time. I started the degree with a newborn and a toddler and ended it with a primary schooler, kinder kid and newborn. I used the extra study periods offered to keep up with a full time schedule so that it didn't take forever. As long as you can cope with minimal sleep you'll be fine. I studied 7.30/8pm - midnight most nights and my day starts around 5-6am. I finished at the end of last year. It was hard, but soooo worth it.

#8 Roobear

Posted 11 February 2013 - 11:35 PM

I about to start studying full time with OUA with 2 kids and working part time although work is working for my family business so very flexible. DD is in long day care 1 day a week and I will be leaving them in the gym creche and extra hour twice a week so I can get some extra study in. I also have them down for 3 hours in occasional care next term once a week but I will see how I go.

I feel like it is a lot but I have studied 5 subjects per semester so overloading my semesters with a one year old, pregnant with DS and dealing with gall bladder attacks which saw a few hospital stays and managed to do well still so I am hoping that I can just put my head down and get on with it like I did then.

#9 mad3under3

Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:03 AM

How are you feeling about your uni /  work load now??

I am a single mum with 3 boys under 8 and study full-time (externally 3rd year) and possibly start working 5 days a week next week. I'm hoping that the income takes some of the pressure off.

I have a goal just to be tried for the year, do the same as pp, get up before the boys and do a lecture and study after they are in bed.
It's got to be worth it, right?!

#10 *~dee~*

Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:09 AM

Thanks for the feedback! I will be starting just one subject this term, to ease myself into it and see how I go with working. I work 5 days a fortnight and my daughter will be in daycare 8 days a fortnight, so I'm pretty sure I would handle full time.

Centrelink/JET say that 15 hours of study is considered full time, and one subject at the Uni is considered part time and is 12 hours! I will still apply for JET and see what they say as I work 38 hours too. If not I can get more assistance if I go up to full time study. I do not want to study for 8 years as I'll be over 40 by then.

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