OU Students are… Confident

We asked some of our students about the number one skill they'd developed as an OU student. Their answer? Confidence.

We recently asked some of our students “What’s the number one skill you’ve developed as an OU student?“. The answers covered everything from time management to research skills, but there was one overarching theme – self-confidence. Cee and Chinedu found confidence in discovering their resilience, whilst for Jessie, it was about finding confidence in academic writing. Karen has even gone on to start a second degree! Read their thoughts below.


"I am quite an outgoing person by nature, I had never imagined studying from home or being shut out of the physical world, save for social media spaces. I actually did not believe I could even cope if such a situation ever presented itself. However, starting my PhD at the OU amid the COVID-19 pandemic made me realise how much inner strength and will power I have to get things done if I want to."

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"I realise that I am capable of many things, I feel like since joining the Open University that I have been able to do a lot more things than I thought I could. The main thing is definitely developing my academic writing, I feel much more confident within this and can write an essay with confidence now."

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"I've been managing study with home schooling my children, as well as working and volunteering from home. This was a challenging situation that presented a lot of barriers to completing my studies and meeting deadlines. Knowing that I have the capacity to work my way through any challenges that arise with work, volunteering and home-schooling, as well as meeting deadlines and keeping up with my studies, has really boosted my self-belief and confidence that I can overcome problems when they arise."

A mother sits at a desk writing with a child choosing a coloured pencil from a potOU Students Association


"I came into the Open University as a mature student and felt very apprehensive about everything really. I always believed I was a fairly confident person, but this was unknown territory and a bit scary, if I’m honest.

It was new and exciting as well. Once the course had started, tutors and other students were very welcoming. It just snowballed from there really, the feedback from assessments wasn’t as scary as I thought and helped me improve my writing skills. With that the confidence built, grades were better, to the point I enrolled in a master’s degree which I complete this year.

For a degree I thought I would never complete, I am just about to have two!"

A man takes a photo of a smiling OU graduate in her gownOU Students Association

Has being an OU student helped build your self-confidence? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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Ellie Milnes-Smith
Ellie is a former member of the Students Association staff team.

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