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Another non-trad physics student

  1. Sep 7, 2010 #1
    Hello there everyone,

    I am also what you would call a non-traditional physics student. I will be 29 years old on September 24th and cannot imagine myself doing anything else in my career other than physics and astronomy.

    I received a bachelor's degree in pure mathematics in 2005, but ended with a dreadful overall gpa of 2.98 (my gpa in my major was even worse).

    I didn't really know what to do afterwards so I enrolled in the graduate program in Applied Math at the uni I was attending but subsequently got an F and then a C in 2 grad applied math courses. I dropped the program before I did worse. I think I did math instead of physics because I wanted to get a strong foundation in mathematics before I would tackle things like E&M, strings, etc.

    I have worked 40hrs a week for the past 6 years in the acounting sector and am also a husband and also a father of a beautiful 2-year old little girl born on pie-day. I want to teach her the wonders of the universe and maybe inspire her to become a future astronomer and/or astronaut :)

    Since I was a boy I have been fascinated with space, and up to this day it is my passion (personal research, readings, meetings, etc). I am currently enrolled in UG E&M, just finished Astro 101 with an A, and will be enrolling in more physics UG courses in pursuit of trying to get admitted into a masters program in physics, hopefully by this Spring. I ultimately want to get my phd in physics or astronomy.

    I will be working full time during my masters degree, and also tutor math and science pt in the evenings and weekends, while also maintaining our home we bought a couple of years ago. And more importantly, spending as much time as I can with my wife and daughter.

    I know it is tough and will get tougher as I take more advanced physics courses, but ultimately its what I would do even if I did not get paid doing it. That's how I know its my true passion.

    Good luck to all other non-trad physics students out there and let us know how you are progressing.

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2010 #2
    It's good to hear from someone else taking the "long way", so to speak. Because I didn't take Calculus in high school, I was rejected from the Physics program at the university I just HAD to attend. In a fit of childish pique I convinced myself I was far too stupid to succeed at physics anyway and reapplied as an Anthropology major. Three years later I am finishing Anthropology while taking the prerequisites to transfer to Georgia Tech for my second bachelors in Physics. I realized while sloughing my life away in Iraq that life is far too brief to not even try for a dream.

    I'm taking Calc II now after only having taken about 1/2 of Calc I, and I just failed my first quiz. Of course, I was so busy trying to finish Calc I that I didn't do any of the homework problems for that section, which be in some way loosely related to the low score. If you're considering shortcutting mathematics in any way in order to hurry up and get back on track, I would like to take this opportunity to strongly advise against it. (Though I'm sure that's not an issue for you, with your background.)

    Anyway, if you find it as challenging as I have found it to go back to such a rigorous schedule after having done no mathematics or science for almost four years, then godspeed my fellow late-bloomer, and I wish you all the luck in the world.
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