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My journey to educational social media was only made possible by going to The Open University

Tell us about your journey

When Scott was at school he was put into support units as he was a bit behind other students, but nevertheless he achieved good GCSE grades and could have stayed on for sixth form. Having had a bad experience of school, and his confidence battered, he decided to go to college to continue his studies.

“It was at college after just a few weeks that my tutor sent me to have a dyslexia test as he was concerned about my writing ability,” Scott told us. “It was then that I found out I was dyslexic. I was shocked and somewhat relieved. Shocked that my primary and secondary schools hadn’t pick that up and relieved that there was an actual reason why I struggled throughout school.

“Throughout my two years at college the idea of university was always in the back of my mind but my old fears and worries about my intelligence would resurface. By the time it came to applying for university my fears and doubts won the battle raging in my mind and I decided I wasn’t clever enough to do a degree.”

He started his own business as a personal trainer after leaving college, which meant he had to work with people on a one-to-one basis or instruct large groups.

“At this point in my life, I had a weapon against my fears, confidence. 15 years had passed since school and 13 years since college. My job had helped me become the most confident version of myself and had installed a strong work ethic. Furthermore, over those years my passion for history and my interest in learning about the past had become so strong. So strong that I started thinking about changing careers and going into teaching or a field related to the subject of history.”

In 2018, Scott saw an advert for The Open University on the internet and the spark of interest in obtaining a degree came back to him.  

“My mind was clear, and my determination was high. Combine these things with confidence in my own abilities I applied for a history degree (classical studies) with The Open University. The best decision I have ever made in my life. I started part time at first but quickly realised that I was coping more than easily enough with the workload and so transitioned to fulltime study. I am blessed for the fact I am self-employed, so I was able to manage my studies alongside my work.”

As Scott told us, “The structure and set up of The Open University made completing my essays and coursework such an enjoyable and fulfilling journey. Don’t get me wrong though, it is not an easy ride doing the coursework and hitting the deadlines. You need be driven, committed and willing to work hard as you make that journey, but the OU make that journey such a supportive, fulfilling and enjoyable experience.”

“My essay results started coming through and to my shock and delight I was receiving 70%+ marks on nearly all essays. The support and encouragement I got from my tutors from the very start to the very end was nothing but amazing. The feedback was always so supportive and, even if they had to address issues, it was always with constructive criticism that helped me become better in structuring and writing essays. I strongly believe that my time with the OU not only enhanced my knowledge in history but has drastically improved my writing skills. These things alone are what makes me think studying with The Open University is truly a life changing experience.”

Scott graduated in 2021 with an Upper Second-class Honours (2.1). His initial goal was just to be able to say he was clever enough to just pass a degree, but when he got his grade, he was left with such a sense of shock, pride and accomplishment.

 “My journey with The Open University has led me to creating one of the most popular history TikTok accounts called “mad about history” which has over 135,000 followers and 1.8 million likes and has led to collaborations with Sky History TV, History Hit TV, My heritage DNA and interviewing leading Historians.”

“This unexpected journey down the route of educational social media was only made possible by going to The Open University. My history videos have been watched by nearly 30 million people and I feel so confident in my ability to educate others. My proudest response to my TikTok history channel to date is a comment from a student doing his GCSEs who mentioned my videos helped him pass his GCSE history. That to me is success. If you are contemplating doing an Open university degree, then take it from me… you will not be disappointed.”

Scott’s TikTok channel:

Published: 18 July 2023