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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know why I'm designating this question exclusively to the INFP thread (my posting patterns have always been slightly incestuous - I like to ''stick to my own'' :laughing:), but I was wondering if anyone here hasn't taken the conventional academic route, i.e - a bricks and mortar university? I had the chance to go to university when I was 18 (I''m 21 now), but I'm glad I didn't because I didn't have the same passion for learning as I do now. Also, I had no idea what to study and I'm quite a traditionalist regarding education - I believe learning is its own reward and I don't think someone should embark on the journey unless they have a genuine passion for their chosen subject. I understand the illustrious student lifestyle that is often promoted to young peaople as a right of passage is part of the reason why some decide to seek higher education, but it has never appealed to me. I like my space, my peace and quiet and quite frankly, I'd much rather have a cup of tea than down a crate of cider (yes, I really am 21:blushed:). Open University appeals to me on a number of levels:

1. It's cheaper - I don't want £15000 of student debt hanging like a millstone around my neck untill I'm 30.
2. I can work at my own pace - it looks very flexible because you can fit it around your life - not the other way around
3. It will show I'm self - motivated.

However, I worry that I'll be missing out on friendships, comparing and discussing my ideas with fellow students, not to mention the inevitable accusations of ''But is isn't a proper degree''. It's even more tricky because my yougner brother has just left to become a student and I know that vicious comparisons will be drawn - ''Well, she's just jealous because she didn't have the brains to go to a proper university, like her brother.'' It sometimes feels like I'm an injured sparrow living among a nest of vipers.

Anyway - has anyone had any experience with distance learning? What were your thoughts?
 

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Hi there,

I've been home educated since leaving Primary School, have got all my qualifications via distance learning and am about to start my second year of an Open University degree (I'm 20 btw).

I decided to do it through the OU mostly because of financial reasons and it is rather ridiculous how much cheaper it is. With the Level One course then I found that it didn't take up enough of my time, obviously this would change somewhat on the higher level modules and if you double up but it does leave plenty of time for a job or whatever else you want to do. It does also most definitely show a good level of self-motivation and direction that employers (apparently) like. :happy:

With the "proper degree" bit it does depend on what you decide to study as there can be quite a bit of customisation if you go in certain ways, but anyone who says this is ignorant. I'm doing a BSc (hons) Degree in Psychology and this degree is recognised by the British Psychological Society so it is definitely a proper degree. :happy:

There are course forums, day schools/ (group) tutorials and with the one I'm about to start the option to be apart of a "self help" group for your group area. I've also had quite a few good discussions.

You will however almost certainly greatly limit your chances of making new friends and generally just meeting people. I think you're more likely to meet people that go with the whole INFP-ness, but in my area at least there wasn't anyone too close to me age-wise. If you've maintained a good network of friends and you go out and do stuff with them I don't think you'll miss out on too much of note.

In my case I've only got a couple of friends (working on that though >.>) and live in the middle of nowhere so am quite isolated and, indeed, lonely most of the time. Hopefully you're not in a similar situation to me but even though I really lament such things I do still think that the OU was the most sensical option in the long run.

Hopefully you'll find something here useful. :happy:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Fallout. Your post sounds very inspiring. Its interesting you said you're studying psychology, I'm contemplating doing Philosophy with Psychology.
 

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Inspiring? Me...? :shocked: Err, thank you.

Psych and Philosophy are very INFP things really so it's not too surprising. :happy:
Are you wanting to study those purely out of interest or do you have a career in mind that that might help with? If it's mostly out of a desire just to learn then I think the OU would be much better than a normal university.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Philosophy.......career choice....don't think so!:laughing: It's purely out of interest. I was in the job centre this morning and explained that I wanted to go back to college to study philosophy and let's just say they weren't entirely enthusiastic. They tried their best to make languages and business studies sound appealing.....and failed dismally! I find it so sad that people can't appreciate learning for learning's sake. Schools nowdays put their students on a conveyor belt for employability.
 

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Whatever you end up doing, you should try to get some insider information from those involved in your chosen field. See what they think of it. After all, that's what matters. Find some people doing the job you want to do and ask them what they would think of it. Better yet, try to find some recruiters and ask them what they think of an OU degree.
 

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Well there might be something where it might help! :wink:
Oh eeew, business studies...I think studying that would kill me. :tongue:
Yeah I too find it odd how most people don't like learning things. There are some subjects that I despise but I greatly enjoy just learning random things.

I also think Timeless has a point though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes I know, I know we have to be ''practical''.... ugh I hate that word:laughing:. This may seem odd Fallout, but I just read your profile (potential stalker alert!) because your avatar picture has been bugging me. I think I recognize it. Where in Wales are you from?
 

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Yeah I saw your message, but apparently I need more posts before I can reply to those. /sigh

Haha, as you probably saw I'm from South Africa not Wales :tongue: but I live in Llansilin, Powys, near the border. The photo is from one of the side roads leading out of there. Yourself?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm from Powys too! But then again, it's a big county. I'm from Brecon. You're photo looked a bit like the path that leads to some beautiful secluded waterfalls near where I live. They're nestled in a small forest. It feels like your won private glade.
 

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Funnily enough that path also has a waterfall next to it. ^^
Meh Brecon is on the other side of Powys, and the country itself. :sad:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I know, for some reason, I thought it was next to Hay-On-Wye. Then I counsulted the map. O dear! Spooky about the waterfall though. It can be really annoying walking along those narrow country lanes when you get some selfish sod in a four wheel drive who expects you to practically dive into the hedge wth all the nettles!
 

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Hahaha, apparently all Welsh country roads are the same, I normally get to stand on just grass/mud rather than the mass of nettles though. :tongue:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A really annoying incident happened a few months ago. I was walking along a quiet country lane, minding my own business, miles away in thought when I saw loads of sheep coming towards me. They were being transferred or something. Anyway, I stood aside to let them pass but they just glared at me as if to say ''I ain't trusting this bitch!'' and they would NOT budge. It was a one way lane. So I had to retreat all the way back for about a mile and a half untill I could climb over a gate and after all that trouble, the farmer in the truck just drove past me withought a hint of thanks! What was he thinking? I decided to become a shepherd because I wanted a bloody career change?!
 

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It's even more tricky because my yougner brother has just left to become a student and I know that vicious comparisons will be drawn - ''Well, she's just jealous because she didn't have the brains to go to a proper university, like her brother.'' It sometimes feels like I'm an injured sparrow living among a nest of vipers.
Just another thing that occured to me. I know it can be very hard but you can't let people like that get to you. It's tough enough feeling like you don't belong in this world and that you're not good enough/don't matter (not saying you do but it seems to be a common issue :/ ) but although you'll have to get a job and the like you (probably) have a different measure of success.

A big flashy career is good for some but for myself, and many others, things like improving your self, helping others, creating things and most of all romance are the scale. You'll have to swallow the petty ignorance of some people, but always remember most NFs and a lot of INs at least will always appreciate what you are and what you've done. :happy:
 

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I don't know about languages, I'm a Spanish major and my last few jobs were checkstand cashier and warehouse. DHL driver and ESL teacher, all of which paid less than 10.50 an hour. Maybe arabic will get you a government job but who wants one? The only job you can get with Spanish is going for highschool teacher. Interpreter and translator jobs go to the native speakers, spanish is just a nice addition to whatever skill your job requires. I wish there were more apprenticeships, if I could do it over I would do something like PT assistant or something that is purely job oriented.
 

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I don't know about languages, I'm a Spanish major and my last few jobs were checkstand cashier and warehouse. DHL driver and ESL teacher, all of which paid less than 10.50 an hour. Maybe arabic will get you a government job but who wants one? The only job you can get with Spanish is going for highschool teacher. Interpreter and translator jobs go to the native speakers, spanish is just a nice addition to whatever skill your job requires. I wish there were more apprenticeships, if I could do it over I would do something like PT assistant or something that is purely job oriented.
Exactly. There are no guarantees. Just because you have a degree in a ''reputable'' subject, doesn't mean you're set up for life. You may as well go with a subject you love and then at least it wouldn't have been a waste.

Then again, you are lucky you're a Spanish major - you have the opportunity to work/live abroad. Also, its such a beautiful language.

In response to Fallout - I'm totally with you on your perspective of success. I'm not very materialistic and would much rather live a simple, happy life doing something I love which isn't highly paid, rather than slave away in a job I hate, accumulating wealth I wouldn't have the time to dispense with. On the issue of property, I don't plan on ever getting a mortgage. I''l save up to buy some land and build a modest low impact house, which works out remarkably cheap. Sorted.

A Hobbit's life for me! God, I'm such a geek.
 
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