Oh my, I’ve been in a bit of a state over my degree course lately, with family circumstances and a bereavement playing in a large part in my recent struggle, then add to that my usual self-doubt and you start to see the picture.
My second assignment was due on 20th December which, for a number of reasons, not least it being so close to Christmas, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it together to submit on time. So, I did the sensible thing and contacted my tutor for an extension and she agreed to give me the maximum she could based on the circumstances.
All good yes?
Yes, it did appear to be, I now had until the tenth of January to submit – an extra three weeks. This was a huge weight off my shoulders and I believed I would be able to meet this new deadline easily.
How wrong I was.
Things remained very strained on the family front. Like, really strained! I was very unhappy and quite concerned about how the situation would all pan out. As you can imagine, it is very difficult to function when tension and anxiety are all around and your every thought centres around the uncertainty of your future. The deadline of January 10th drew ever closer, and I became ever more panic stricken. There was so much reading to get through so that I could produce a decent piece of work. How on earth was I going to get through it all? And even if I did, with trying to read so much in such a short space of time would I understand enough about the topic to draw on the necessary sections?
Every single time I sat down to go through the material it just appeared as a river of blurred words. My eyes wouldn’t focus, my brain took a holiday and every fibre of my being decided it was a good time to let me know where my nerve endings were. I was, as I said at the beginning, in a right state!
It was now Tuesday 10th January. I am now having a total melt-down, so much so that I contacted the OU to try and speak to head office for an extension on my extension because I was not coping.
By the time I’d picked up the children from school, prepared the evening meal and, more to the point, it’s now nearly 6:00pm, I realised no one from the OU is going to get back to me so I had two choices. Fail this assignment by not submitting anything at all, or get my arse into gear and produce something. In fact at this stage anything so that even if it’s a fail, it’s a fail on a submitted piece of work with a slim chance of being told to re-submit. So that’s what I did. I sat down with the Assignment question looked at the instructions and worked through it, dealing with the bits I knew first, including my reflection and then basically went through the sections of the module material that were relevant to the work before me and got to within a 100 words of the expected word count. I submitted the completed essay at 11:38pm with 22 minutes to spare of the 12-hour ‘grace period’ we’re given. I could do no more now. If what I’d produced didn’t at least scrape through and gain he bare minimum Pass I would be very surprised, though would have to accept whatever the result was. Not my best piece of work but at least I’d managed to pull myself together to do it. I felt a great sense of relief and achievement. I could relax. Well, for tonight at least!
I now had to wait at least ten days before my assignment would be marked and the results emailed to me. Mentally, this was the longest ten days I think I’ve endured for a long time. Knowing the timescale of the marking did not stop me from constantly checking my emails and the Uni site three days after submitting until the day it finally arrived. Which was exactly ten days later.
How did I do?
BETTER THAN I COULD EVER HAVE IMAGINED OR HOPED FOR!!!
To say I was stunned really is an understatement. Once the shock had worn off I was, naturally, ecstatic! My tutor’s comments and feedback were really helpful and I shall take them on board for future assignments and know (which I knew before really, just couldn’t quite believe it when I was falling apart!) that if I can achieve a DISTINCTION (I know!!! 😱) at such a stressful time, then I have no worries about my capacity to achieve a great result overall with this degree.
Dear readers, Never give up on your dreams. Believe in yourself. With hard work, sheer grit and determination you CAN achieve all you hope to.
Check out some of these great posts in response to WDP: Ten