Feeling Down

I quite like the idea of documenting my feelings whilst trundling through my final two modules. Today however isn’t going to be such a positive post. I know I will wake up tomorrow and feel totally differently but today I feel swamped and deflated. I knew I was in for a long and tough journey this final year with doing a level 2 module overlapped with a level 3 and both being psychology – previously I had only studied criminology. I am really enjoying all of the material and finding it fascinating. So many areas which I never thought I would be so interested in I am now developing a real love for however there is so much material to cover for DSE212 I often find myself just staring at the timetable and the pile of textbooks wondering where to start! Last week I felt on top of the world, I had the weeks work completed by Wednesday and so had time to dig deeper in areas of interest and even had time to briefly plan TMA 02 which isn’t due until January! This week it is a different story, I had today blocked out to get a few sections of Chapter 5 read however nothing seems to be sticking! It is taking me hours to read a couple of paragraphs and I do not feel motivated at all. I am going to take an hours break and then come back to it with fresh eyes. For anyone who is considering DSE212 or has it as a compulsory module (9 weeks in) my advice would be to stay on top of the study calendar, enjoy the fantastic material but be prepared for A LOT of reading!

What tips do you have for coping with the workload when you feel disinterested?


12 thoughts on “Feeling Down

  1. Hi Sophie

    Sorry to read that you’re having a hard time with your studies. I have some experience of what you’re going through as when I studied DSE212, I also did ED209 (Child Development). ED209 is a L2 course, but our tutor did liken it to be a level 2.5 course as there was a lot to cover. I’m in the fortunate position of having stopped work in order to study for my degree, but there were times whilst studying both courses, that I felt overwhelmed.

    For me, the important thing was to focus what was required for the TMAs and centre my reading on them. For DSE212, you have the advantage that subjects/chapters that are covered in the TMAs wont come up in the exam. I know I’m getting ahead of myself as the exam wont be until June, but for me it was good to know what I would have to base my revision on early in the course.

    If you can, go to the tutorials. My DSE212 tutor was fantastic and really went out of her way to make the tutorials fun and informative. As you’ll be aware, the tutorials are normally scheduled 2-3 weeks ahead of the TMA deadlines and so usually focus on what is required for each assignment. This really helps as you get information about the TMA from the person who will be marking it. Apologies if I’m already preaching to the converted and that you already go to the tutorials ☺.

    As far as keeping up with the work, try and focus on one course at a time. So maybe Mondays DSE212, Tuesdays DD307 etc. I found the Palgrave Student Planner handy in keeping track of dates etc. Also I have an A4 filofax year planner where I mark up the TMA dates so that at a glance I can see what’s due.

    The other thing that helped me get through the course was a local study group that myself and a couple of other students set up. During the course, we met every 3-4 weeks and discussed the chapters and TMAs. It was really useful to be able to bounce ideas off others who were studying the same material. Do you know any other students local to you?

    An alternative to meeting locally, is to have a study buddy online. I know there was a Facebook group that was set up for that – i.e. to help people connect with each other. Cant remember the exact name of it but I’m sure it’ll come up in a search.

    One final thing that helped me was the DK The Psychology Book – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Psychology-Book-Nigel-Benson/dp/1405391243/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386248047&sr=1-1&keywords=the+psychology+book. It’s a bit pricey but it’s really good in summarising the key theories and people involved in psychology. Another good book is the Rough Guide to Psychology – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rough-Guide-Psychology-Reference/dp/1848364601/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386248116&sr=1-1&keywords=rough+guide+to+psychology. It’s more detailed than the DK book but does summarise some of the key stuff covered in DSE212.

    I’m sorry I can’t offer any help on DD307, I’m not due to study that until next October. I have DD303 starting in Feb ’14.

    Sorry for the long reply, but hope it helps

    (PS – let me know if there is anything else I can do to help?)

    1. Hi Marc,
      Thank you so much for the reply! Feeling much better now. Have a full day to focus on studying today so making good use of it!

      I do go to the tutorials and LOVE them – have one this Saturday and really looking forward to is as they clarify things and really motivate me.

      I am due to start DD307 in January and so over the Christmas period I think I will sit down with my diary and create a timetable and as you suggested set different days for each module.

      I am a member of three Facebook groups for DSE212 which are extremely helpful – love the idea of a study group but haven’t found anyone who is interested. Talking ideas and concepts over with someone is really beneficial.

      Thanks for the book recommendations! I have Richard Gross’ ‘Psychology’ which is great for simplifying elements of the module books but will check those two out.

      Are you working towards the straight Psychology degree?

      1. Hi Sophie

        Glad my comments were of use :-). Yes, I’m working towards the straight Psychology degree. I’m finishing up the online project course at the moment, which then leaves me with the two L3 courses to complete my degree. Roll on June 2015!!


  2. The best approach, I find, it to take it one step at a time. I know it might sound like a cliche, but that’s really the only way anything worthwhile ever gets done. Some days you might get through a few chapters, other days two paragraphs might be an achievement. The important thing is to keep moving and to build on top of every success, no matter how small, because they all add up.

  3. Hi, no great words of wisdom to add really but I did DSE212 a couple of years back and it too was my first ever psych course. At about as many weeks in as your are now I felt really deflated and out of my depth. Once I’d got past TMA02 though something ‘clicked’ and what I’d picked up from the previous ‘sloggish’ weeks fell into place and seemed to lay firm foundations for the rest of the course – which I surprised myself by loving in the end and my marks picked up! Keep ploughing on – it gets better! See you on DD307 this time maybe 🙂 Best of luck!!

    1. Hi, that’s great to know! I am feeling positive about TMA02 – chosen to go with the option of Theory of Mind as I find it fascinating. It’s great to know others feel the same. I must admit the statistics book is making me feel slightly out my depth at the moment!
      Yes, would be great to know others doing DD307!

  4. What I always do when I’m struggling with my course, not an Open University course but studying nonetheless, as I have been for the past week is to try and teach somebody else who knows very little about the disciplince, I try and teach them the things I don’t understand, for instance this week it was a biological approach to crime, I ask them to try and begin a debate with me, to ask me questions I have to look up. This type of attitude puts me in ‘problem solving mode’, it forces me to read material in order to give educated answers and it also forces to me form an opinion on which I can base my further reading. Even if this teaching is a conversation with a friend over a glass of wine or even via text or email, for me it all works. I find talking about things makes them stick in my head, recording these conversations helps me remember what I need to write in essays, how i need to structure them and what sort of information is vital to understanding a topic. Plus it’s a lot of fun to teach others!! Good luck!! x

    1. This is fantastic advice! I find talking things over or explaining words or theories to people who have no background in the subject extremely beneficial. I would say that is the only flaw I have with the Open University as the number of tutorials for each module is very limited and so you don’t get the student interaction in the same ways as a brick uni. I have never thought of recording these conversations so may have to try that out! What is it you study? x

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