By Leanne Goodall

Did that title feel familiar? Are you trying to choose your next module or pick a pathway to follow with the Open University? Some people know from the start and are certain of what they want to do but that doesn’t apply to everyone and it certainly didn’t to me.

For me, I didn’t know what I wanted to study and I didn’t know what I wanted to ‘be’. All I knew is that I was ready to study something, to push myself and see what I could achieve. I spent ages deliberating about which subject to go into and I didn’t have a clear ‘winner’.

There was a time where I believed that this meant that academia wasn’t for me. If it was then surely I would know my subject. I kept trying to fit myself into a box and work out what I was meant to do. In the end I followed one simple piece of advice and that has led me to where I am now.

Just do something

Those were my husband’s words.

‘Just do something that you think you might enjoy and then see where it takes you, if you don’t like it at the end, do something else’.

He’s a genius when it comes to advice like that. So the something I first chose was An Introduction to the Social Sciences. I enjoyed my studies in this field and chose it because I like studying people and social science sounded like it might cover that. It was fun, interesting and opened up my mind. It showed me that I did enjoy studying but at the end I wasn’t sure that it was the subject area for me.

Fast forward a couple of years and I was ready to try again. I already had 60 points ‘in the bag’ and had now decided to try English Literature. This meant starting off with the multi-disciplinary module AA100 An Introduction to the Arts. Not a course I would have chosen myself but I got on with it nonetheless. This course changed my life! (See my review of it here). I loved the English elements but I also found that I loved the History and a couple of other disciplines too. I realised how everything was inter-connected and my thirst for knowledge just grew and grew.

So now I had 120 points in the graduation fund and still didn’t really know what I wanted to do. In the end, I chose History (read about how I chose my pathway here). I have just finished my first level two module and loved it (A200 Medieval to Modern see the review here). I’m halfway through my degree without ever actually choosing what I wanted to be.

Trust yourself

I suppose my point is this: it’s OK if you’re not sure. Just doing something will always broaden your horizons, knowledge and confidence. By doing something, you’ll begin to find out what you love or don’t and you’ll make your own pathway. So if you’re currently trying to decide which way to go and worrying about making the wrong choice, just trust yourself and choose something.

Leanne is half way through a BA (Hons) in History with the Open University and enjoys writing as a freelancer as well as on her blog. Find out more here. You can catch up on all of Leanne’s excellent contributions on STOU here.

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