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A question for physics students and professors :)

  1. Oct 2, 2016 #1
    What are the things you wished to know before starting your education in university?
    Like skills and somethings like that?

    I'm going to start physics after a year or two, and I want to be ready to start, what are the things I should learn?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2016 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    How to talk to girls :(
  4. Oct 2, 2016 #3
    I'm a girl lol
  5. Oct 2, 2016 #4
    I wished I had better developed study habits, as in being willing to take an extra half an hour if something wasn't perfectly clear instead of saying "I've been studying for four hours, time to do something else". Also that many textbooks are available on the interwebs.
  6. Oct 2, 2016 #5


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    Have you read this?


  7. Oct 2, 2016 #6
    You need to learn the importance of getting enough sleep. Seriously, make it a priority, and you will do far, far better in your courses.
  8. Oct 2, 2016 #7

    Simon Bridge

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    Case in point: I totally messed up talking to you ...

    I dunno what the girl version is.
    Generally the women students get better grades - and guys who manage to get a woman study partner get a boost from this (and that guys generally get smarter around women anyway).
  9. Oct 2, 2016 #8
    To be really ready to study physics.. learn math, math, math and math. Aslo, more of math.
  10. Oct 2, 2016 #9
    You could split your preparation into three categories,

    textbook/online course studying
    • Multivariable Calculus
    • Linear Algebra
    • Statistics
    and "tools"
    • learn to program (C++ or Python suggested)
    • learn to use linux
    • learn at least one "advanced" text editor
    • Start to learn to use Mathematica or Maple software
    • learn good computer habits: file organization, backups, version control software, security
    • learn to write cursive/shorthand for taking notes
    and "practice"
    • Make sure you understand your career path options with your degree, especially if you intend to get an advanced degree or work as a physicist.
    • Try to find the "lay of the land" - what kind of activities are going on in the physics world right now, and where might you fit in? You could try and interview some practicing physicists.
    • Finding a mentor / study friend
    I suppose many of these could be seen as monumental tasks. You don't have to do them all but these are just some ideas. They are meant to be general and not what I personally needed.
  11. Oct 3, 2016 #10


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    I wish I had been more open to other field of physics. I wanted to do astronomy, so that's what I focused on. But looking back after earning the PhD, I think I would have actually been more interested in medical physics, or even biomedical engineering. I wish I hadn't stuck so fiercely to my first pick, and looked around a bit more.
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