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A little anxious about grad school

  1. Sep 2, 2014 #1


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    I'm going to finish undergrad in a year and I'm almost sure I can make it to a good university, in fact the best in my country. You may say its too soon for worrying about grad school now but I have reasons for that.
    I really like physics and I want to stay in it. I mean, after being introduced to physics when I was at high school, my life changed somehow that I now hardly can imagine my life without physics ( or even a little physics!!!), I mean I can't imagine doing something other than physics. And by doing physics, I mean teaching in a university and doing research. I love both.
    But I somehow feel maybe I'm not going to be good enough. Not good enough for being graduated. I mean good enough for myself. I really expect a lot from myself and I really don't want to disappoint myself.
    You may think I'm just overestimating myself. Well, that may be true, but that's reasonable. When I look at other physics undergrads, and sometimes master students, I really feel that I know much more. I don't know what do you guys think about me and how much do I know. Of course its very easy to get lost among people I see here and so I really understand it if you guys think I'm not that good but I'm comparing myself to people I see around myself. I think to myself if they can make it, I should do far more than just making it! And that's scaring me. What if I don't? I'll be really disappointed because I...you know...spent lots of time on physics that there is little else I know ( Well, I know programming in several languages and also a little math(by this little math,I mean the parts not needed by physics), but I meant things more practical than these).
    Before, I studied physics because I enjoyed it. I mean things other than the ones I should study for undergrad. But I'm starting to feel that my reason has changed. It seems now I study because I want to be far ahead than other grad students when I get to grad school. I want to do much more research and write much more papers. I want to be really good. Hard to say why!!!

    Any ideas or suggestions or anything else?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2014 #2


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    I'm not sure exactly what you're asking.

    It's important to keep in mind though that in academia a lot of the outcome beyond graduate school is determined by factors beyond your control. Most people who graduate with a PhD are extremely studious and extremely smart. You might work extra hard to get slightly ahead of the pack, but once you're over a certain threshold the returns diminish and other factors become more important in terms of hiring decisions (such as whether your sub-field of expertise is hot, whether it meshes well with what other people at the school are working on, do you know and get along with current faculty, etc.)

    My advice is to enjoy graduate school as much as possible. It can be a lot of work, but it can also be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life.
  4. Sep 2, 2014 #3


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    oops...I forgot that part. My main reason was to ask is it advisable to study things which I should study at grad school from now on ? I already feel I know a good deal of them. Should I continue? Specially this final year of undergrad that I have little things to deal with.
    Any other advise is of course welcome.
    Yeah...I somehow understand what you mean. So I should take it easy in case of those uncontrollable things but I should also try hard.
    But what you exactly mean by enjoying grad school?
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