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Open Advice on... preparing for study

Updated Tuesday, 29th April 2008

One of Paul’s first tasks was making time for study. With a full-time job as a hospital porter, overtime, plus active leisure pursuits like running, how did he manage to fit it in?

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"I plan my week around my working shift. When I’m on earlies, I go to work then come home, go running. That helps me to relax and get ready for studying. I hate being disturbed. Those two hours are precious to me. That’s my study time. If the telephone goes, it doesn’t get answered; it’s tough. Once I’m in there studying, I’m 100%. At eight o’clock, say, 'I’ve had enough'. I go to the pub for a drink."

Making the space

Paul converted one room at home into a study. It’s barred from visitors and hasn’t been hoovered in some time!

"I’ve got my stereo system here with my classical music. I hated classical music when I started but now I really enjoy it. Before that I listened to Bruce Springsteen and I had a habit of singing to that, which is not very good if you’re wanting to study."

Preparing to study

Paul embarked on his course with little formal training beyond secondary school.


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I missed the first year’s course by weeks. I enrolled too late.

I studied with The Open University using their individual packs designed for students who are coming back into study. I was using them to read through to get myself ready and prepared mentally and physically for the following year. I think that’s one reason why when I started my first course that I’d got through the panic and I was relatively prepared for what was going to come.






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