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"I went from being totally lost and feeling trapped to gaining purpose" says Kyle

Amid a time of experiencing mental and physical health problems, Kyle Andrews realised he no longer wanted to pursue his longstanding dream and sought a new purpose. After graduating with a Combined Social Sciences degree from The Open University (OU), Kyle knew he could achieve anything he wanted and is now in a career he loves. 

Finding a new purpose

If you had previously asked Kyle about his life goals, he would have told you his sights were firmly set on journalism. After experiencing a decline in his mental and physical health, Kyle slowly felt his interest in the field diminish, and for the first time, he felt utterly lost. 

Searching for a purpose, Kyle looked to the OU for inspiration. Drawn to the flexibility of distance learning and the benefits this would have on his wellbeing, he set out to study for a combined BA (Hons) in Social Sciences.

Kyle says: "I opted to study at the OU as I was experiencing mental and physical health difficulties at the time and felt studying remotely was best suited to my needs."

Success in his studies

As Kyle began to soar in his studies, so did his self-belief that he could succeed in other areas of his life.

"Studying at the OU made me believe I could overcome the challenges I faced. If I could succeed academically while limited by mental and physical health problems, why couldn't I also succeed in other areas of my life, and why couldn't I take that degree and build further success from it?"

Life after graduation

Since graduating in 2019, Kyle has begun a career as a Bid/Technical Writer at a digital mental health organisation, applying the skills he gained while studying at the OU.

He continues: "Studying independently, and having to plan and prioritise, has given me really crucial skills in my work. Working across two departments with competing priorities and deadlines, my ability to plan and prioritise helps me to not feel overwhelmed by the challenges in my role.”

While leaving behind his interest in journalism in the face of personal challenges was daunting, deciding to study at the OU was the critical first step in shaping his life in a way that reflected who he is today and has led to outcomes he never thought possible.

Reflecting on his studies, Kyle says: "My degree has made a huge difference in my life and career. I went from being totally lost and feeling trapped to gaining purpose and progressing forward in a way I didn’t think was possible. There’s great reward in studying with the OU, regardless of your life position."

Kyle’s completed qualification, Combined Social Sciences (Q69), has been discontinued and replaced by a new BA Social Sciences (R23). A range of alternative courses are also available, including Combined Studies courses , or check out our full range of distance and online courses.

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