Words and illustrations by Andrea Sangco
At first, I wasn’t aware of what would be my study-set up at the UP Open University and what college would be like for me. It’s funny because I mindlessly chose my BA in Multimedia Studies as I was applying for my UPCAT before I graduated from senior high because it sounded pleasing to my ears. And here I am, studying online in the comforts of my home. I became a more independent, disciplined, and responsible version of myself.
Although I wanted to shift and be a Fine Arts student in UP Diliman, I already started to love my set-up in the Cyber University of the Philippines. I want to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to be a distance e-learner (that’s what they call us). Even though it’s an unconventional study set-up for college, let me give you 5 reasons why studying in an open university is a great choice for college considering the constraints brought by today’s health outbreaks and transport crisis.
1. It’s cost-effective!
Studying at UP Open University didn’t require me to spend a lot (e.g. everyday baon, travel expenses, printing expenses, and etc.) while studying because all I need is my laptop and a strong internet connection. Depending on my course requirements, I still have to pay some fees though, including shipping fees, change of matriculation fees, or anything related to requests for official documents. Regardless, it’s more cost-effective compared to conventional colleges.
2. You can take on work, play, and school.
If you’re the type to work on goals simultaneously, open universities are for you! You can earn from work, take on passion projects, and pursue your degree all at the same time with proper time management. In fact, many of my course mates are working while studying at UPOU. The Internet has brought new and convenient ways of learning that allow us to pursue our degree while also working on other personal agendas.
My study-set up allowed me to work on my career goals through internships and provided me with time for my passion for painting. It also allowed me to add more things to my routine like working out, reading novels, and watching my favorite Netflix series. I can even travel around a lot with my family while studying. Just by having my laptop with me and a stable internet connection, I’m already good to go.
3. You have absolute control over your time.
One of the perks of being an online student in UPOU is that you are encouraged to study at your own pace. We study asynchronously, which means we can study whenever we like as long as we keep up with our deadlines. For a week, we are required to allot at least 3 hours per subject with 3 units. As for me, I study during the night because that’s the time of the day when there are lesser distractions. Effective time management is the key if you do not want to cram your requirements.
4. Independent study helps you learn beyond academics.
As an online student for 2 years, I have learned a lot when it comes to time management, self-discipline, and independence. I have realized the importance of reading and appreciated the technologies that enabled us to study in a new way. Learning in a virtual environment also helped me learn to take advantage of the Internet in my college study. We are also held accountable for our own learning which means that we should take our academic tasks seriously with minimal supervision from our Faculty-In-Charge (FIC). So if you’re prone to procrastination, studying in an open university might be an opportunity to reform good study habits and to practice self-discipline.
5. It allows you to study in the comfort of your home.
Studying in UPOU does not require physical attendance like in those colleges where you are to study in the 4 corners of your classroom. It is very convenient because it lessens your hassles of traveling for school especially now with our transport crisis. Also, even with class suspensions, you can still access the course site whenever you feel like studying. In my case, I study whenever and wherever I like. Of course, this is with consideration of my deadlines. I study in coffee shops so I could read piles of readings without being distracted by my bed or my social media notifications.
Even though studying at home might feel isolating due to a lack of interaction with my classmates, I’m already liking my college set-up more because I can do whatever I want with my spare time. I’m choosing to spend it to learn new things and meet new people through internships and organizations while pursuing my college degree. Studying at an Open University has provided me the freedom to choose how I learn and exposed me to many possibilities and opportunities to better myself.
What do you think? Let us know!