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Bury St Edmunds woman's Open University psychology degree earned through 5 years of determination despite personal difficulties

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Rebecca Bungay is the proud owner of a degree in psychology, having returned to university 22 years after first leaving education behind.

She had attended university after college while still a teenager, but found the workload overwhelming and missed her home.

After six weeks, she left university and began a career in IT, but always felt as though her full potential remained unfulfilled.

Rebecca Bungay (24084404)
Rebecca Bungay (24084404)

Rebecca, 40, from Bury St Edmunds, said: “I always felt I hadn’t achieved my own potential and that completing a degree was possible.” She added: “Being quite a socially aware person, I wanted to understand more about our behaviours and why we make the choices that we do. So, at 34, I decided to study psychology.”

Rebecca spent five years studying through the Open University, and last month, she finally graduated and accomplished her goal.

Balancing studies with daily life was not an easy task, as Rebecca worked full time throughout her studies and her father was suffering with dementia.

She said: “During my studies, I had to be very strict with my time. I set a study pattern split across lunchtimes, evenings and weekends. I studied for 30 minutes during my lunch break, as well as two hours twice a week and then as much time as possible at weekends. I found that it is possible to make the most of every minute available to you.”

Sadly, Rebecca’s father did not live to see her graduation, but she says that she used his illness ‘as motivation to succeed’.

While entering the latter stages of her degree, Rebecca was able to secure a new job managing a large IT team at a book publishing company.

Since gaining her degree, Rebecca has started to look at post-graduate options and says that her decision to study has strengthened her confidence.

“I feel that I am more outgoing and can build relationships with others quickly,” she added.

The Open University provided Rebecca with a platform to learn while working, and 75% of all its students are employed while they study.

Since it began, the Open University has taught over two million students across the world and is the largest academic institution to offer flexible distance learning.

It also scores highly in research, with almost three-quarters of its research being rated as internationally excellent.