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Other Advice to incoming students

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Hello, what are some advice you think are for incoming students to school, it can be any school level whether it is highschool college or otherwise.Personally I would like any advice on what college is like as well as how to make the most of college, but post whatever school related advice you would like to
 

kuruman

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1. Pay attention.
2. Don't forget what you have been paying attention to.
3. Always assume you know less than your instructor.
 

ProfuselyQuarky

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I'm definitely not a good person to answer. But here’s what I’ve learned anyway…..

1) You can do anything you want. Take initiative. If you sincerely want to do something that will be of benefit to you, then do it.

2) Don't lose focus of your final goal. Don't forget what the end result is. Some days, weeks, and months with suck and you’ll want to just...stop. Don’t. Think logically.

Similarly, don’t get carried away with sudden spasms of motivation and energy. It’d be like getting a runner’s high. Until you crash. Slow down. Think logically.

3) Don’t wait for anyone.

4) Don’t go to office hours unless you have to! :oldsmile:
 
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ProfuselyQuarky

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I hope you never have to mentor anyone as you pursue your studies, this is terrible advice when you are mentoring someone.
Why, may I ask?
 

ZapperZ

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Hello, what are some advice you think are for incoming students to school, it can be any school level whether it is highschool college or otherwise.Personally I would like any advice on what college is like as well as how to make the most of college, but post whatever school related advice you would like to
The series of essay "So You Want To Be A Physicist" was written exactly because of the things I wish someone would have told me before I started college. While it is written specifically for someone intending to major in physics, there are many aspects of it that are applicable for other majors. So if you haven't read it yet, you might want to give it a go.

Zz.
 

Choppy

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Everyone is a little bit different in how they best learn, but here are a few tips that might prove helpful.
  1. Do as much as you can to understand the big picture with respect to your education. It's easy to get swamped by the minutia, keep your head down, work hard and hope that everything works out in the end, but this tends to result in people coming out the other end of their undergraduate years with a lot more uncertainty than they figured on. In general, a university degree will give you an education, but in most cases it's not actually vocational training. To this end, think hard about the courses you decide to take and what you're getting out of them. And re-assess where everything fits into the big picture every once in a while.

  2. Take good care of yourself. Get the sleep you need. Eat properly. Exercise. Socialize and make conscious decisions about who you socialize with. Give yourself quality down time. University can be very challenging. It's best to meet these challenges feeling healthy and energized.

  3. Challenge yourself. It's rare that anyone gets a second chance at university, and you don't want to be on the other side wondering if you could have done more. The caveat to this of course is learn to recognize your limits too.

  4. Make mistakes and learn from them.

  5. Make time to read up on your own interests. It's easy to get swamped with the things that you *have* to do. But it's also important to make sure that you're still taking the time to read up on the things that got you interested in the subject you're studying in the first place. This helps to maintain your motivation and can do a lot to put your studies in context.

  6. Build you CV. Work part-time and summer jobs or take volunteer positions so that when you finish, you'll have an experience base to make decisions on and some non-academic skills to help you find or build a career.

  7. Ask intelligent questions. Chances are, if you've really sat down and thought about something and it still doesn't make sense, there are a lot of other people in the same boat.
 

Dr. Courtney

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Do all the assigned homework.
 

Math_QED

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A little bit of specific advise.

If something doesn't work out, you should know where your mistake lies. Knowing what can go wrong, and what is to be avoided, can spare you tremendous amounts of time.
 

Dr. Courtney

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Consider it a necessary but not sufficient condition.
Yes, doing all the homework is a necessary but not sufficient condition. But there is a short list of things that are absolutely necessary, and this is one of them. In high school physics, doing the assignments and following the attendance policy is just about all most students will need to do. College is harder and requires more in many Physics courses - taking careful notes, studying for exams, getting help from the professors or tutoring center, etc. But in high school, most of the things that one needs to take initiative to do in college actually ARE usually assigned - reading sections in the book before they are covered in class, chapter review problems in preparation for a test, etc.

I guess my main point is that my experience with this generation is that when asking for advice, they are often looking for a work around to doing all of the assigned homework. They want a shortcut. I've been teaching Physics since 2002. I've never had a student earn below a B in any high school or introductory college physics course who did all of the assigned homework. Not even once. The sample of students I've interacted with may not be representative, but from 2002 to 2018, the willingness of students to do all the assigned homework has been trending downward. After several years home schooling, my recent return to outside classrooms (volunteering at a nearby school) has been quite disturbing with the wholehearted resistance students present to homework and their expectation to be spoon fed everything they need to know on tests. My interactions with other teachers suggests that this trend is very common.
 
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Endeavor to translate the material into your own words in full, complete sentences (and pictures) in ways that make sense to you.
 

Meir Achuz

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I have one bit of advice, which is rarely taken, but which will be the key to your future in any field.
Make sure you go to a school where you will be in the upper half, even if you are accepted to more prestigious schools.
I could give case histories, but the details are not important. As a corollary of this advice, don't go to any graduate school that does not offer you financial support with a fellowship or assistantship. (Unless you are in an unsupportable field.)
 

Vanadium 50

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I have one bit of advice, which is rarely taken, but which will be the key to your future in any field.
Make sure you go to a school where you will be in the upper half, even if you are accepted to more prestigious schools.
I disagree with this. You learn from the professors but you also learn from your peers.
 

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