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Asked to Withdraw from my program, asking for advise

  1. Apr 14, 2014 #1
    Asked to Withdraw from my program, asking for advise :(

    Hello everyone, I've recently been asked to withdraw from the physics program i was in due to my grades. I've talked to some school counselors about my situation, they told me i should take time off and reflect on why I did so poorly and such, but from the way she was talking, it seems that they didn't wish to take me bacK. i know there are options that i can take to get back to school, but recently, i've gotten into a really depressed and dark mood, due to the fact that i feel really disappointed, wish i could go back in time and fix my mistakes. I understand that there is no excuses except my own fault, on top of that i've already threw so much money into education. Right now i'm currently taking some off to work and save some money (working as a cook in a kitchen, and i do not wish to do anything like this for the rest of my life), so it just makes me want to go back to school even more, because everyday i feel as i'm wasting my time not accomplishing anything. Just like everyone else i want to be doing something that is meaningful to me and to be successful in life, and i absolutely love math (calculus & physics and such), but i simply lost momentum after spring or winter break, started lacked the motivation and procrastinate a lot after those breaks, and i hated myself for that, and like any other university programs if you slack off a little bit, you are going to be so behind. I've never been so depressed in my life, seeing friends graduating, getting into professional schools and such. I'm kinda stuck at this point in life, really just stuck and depressed, hoping i can get some guidance and advises from everyone.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2014 #2
    For a little bit of background, are you in graduate school or undergrad? Or elsewhere?
     
  4. Apr 14, 2014 #3
    I am currently second year undergraduate, took about a year off after high school to upgrade some marks and worked a bit, now I want nothing but to do well in university.
     
  5. Apr 14, 2014 #4

    Choppy

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    So the the question you really have to figure out is WHY you were doing so poorly. Getting back into the program for a second chance isn't going to accomplish anything except waste even more time and make you even more depressed unless you identify the root of the problem and make a change.

    Some questions that might help you figure this out...

    1. Are you happy with the subjects you're studying? With physics in particular a lot of students discover that there's a difference between learning about popular physics (concepts of wormholes, or non-local phenomena in quantum mechanics for example) and crunching through the problems and labs of a physics curriculum. To really do well in an academic subject, you have to be motivated to struggle with the tough problems on a continuous basis.

    2. Are you taking care of yourself? A lot of students struggle with a proper diet, getting enough sleep, avoiding the constant array of distractions (video games, internet, parties, etc.), getting enough exercise and constructive down-time. This can lead to lethargy, procrastination, falling behing in coursework, depression, etc... all of which lead into an ugly negative feedback loop.

    3. Once you're happy with those, it's time to start looking at your study habits and identify what you need to do to get the grades that you're happy with. This isn't alwasy easy - particularly if you're relying on a set of bad habits such as craming the night before an exam or relying on your intuition to solve a lot of problems for you. Those may have worked in high school, but tend not to be all that successful through university.
     
  6. Apr 14, 2014 #5

    ZombieFeynman

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    This is an excellent post. It should be stickied and be required reading for anyone asking for this sort of help in academic guidance.
     
  7. Apr 15, 2014 #6
    I agree. I have read a lot of posts of this kind but this is so far the best!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  8. Apr 15, 2014 #7
    i agree too, pin it up!
    and OP, did it help you?
     
  9. Apr 15, 2014 #8
    Pin it!
     
  10. Apr 15, 2014 #9
    Thanks for some of the advises guys, i know it is NOT the end of the world, but its just so hard to get back on track and be successful. In my family education and especially getting a University education is very important, more important than anything else in this world.

    and i think my biggest problem is consistency, i guess sleeping habits can be a bit a of a issue too, since sometimes i would pull a really late night and waking up feel like crap, then the whole day just goes to hell.
     
  11. Apr 18, 2014 #10
    Always a good question to ask: Are you going to school for you or for your family? I have seen people who's families pride education (the sciences, specifically), so they go to college, major in a hard science field, and struggle and drown pursuing a discipline that they probably shouldn't be pursuing. It's hard to turn against your parents' wishes and how you were raised, but sometimes you need to set aside everything and reflect on your situation by itself.

    A few more questions to ask yourself: Does college (or, if you need to be more specific, whatever major you are considering) really equal success? Will it bring you happiness and fulfillment? Is it something you want to do or do you feel more that it's something you have to do? Is wanting to learn more about a subject you are truly interested in at least one of the reasons that you wish to go to college? If you are having doubts about college, is there a career/life path that seems appealing to you between going to college and working a dead-end job that you don't like (e.g. pursuing a trade, working a routine job that leaves time for you to pursue hobbies, volunteer, raise a family, etc.)? Will your family still accept you if you decide against college?

    Of course, I am not implying definitely that you shouldn't go to college (or go to college and pursue a STEM major), merely that it is a possibility that you should consider and reflect on and decide for yourself. If you consider life without college and reject it, great, but deciding where or not you should go to college needs to be done before you start deciding how to succeed at college and get back on track and individuals under a lot of pressure from their family to attend college seem to rarely even consider other possibilities.

    Now, with regards to sleep, that takes some discipline and habit development. This quarter I am taking 20 units (the maximum at my school is 19). 7-8 hours of sleep (and for some reason between 5 and 6 but not 6-7) (plus maybe half an hour on the bus and a cup or two of coffee) and I can go through my day completely carefree, waking up a little before six, getting to school at 8, going to class from 9 to 2 (9 to 6 on lab days) with some study breaks in between (breaks from class to study, not breaks from studying), eating lunch during class, doing lab work for the research group I am in during my free time, culminating with busing home at 7 (usually with some reading on the bus). Long days, but I am pretty content with them when I get enough sleep. When I don't get enough sleep, I find it hard to concentrate during class, can't study very well, and spend lab asking myself why I took 20 units. It's terrible- the difference is huge.

    With a light/medium work load, you can usually get through the quarter/semester with late night cramming and tired days, but with a heavy work load, sleep will make or break you. Plan your day out and fall into a routine. If you can discipline yourself to follow the routine, you can avoid procrastination and lack of sleep (I have gone through six quarters, half of them heavy quarters, as a commuter student and have never, aside from a few rare cases related to Facebook/Wikipedia addiction and insomnia, had a night where I slept less than six hours). If you find yourself staying up late to watch TV or something, factor in more leisure time that doesn't conflict with sleep time, because you might be working yourself too hard and not getting enough. Try to avoid addictive leisure activities during the quarter. I enjoy reading, watching a few TV show episodes (shows with independent episodes- avoid continuous/series shows because the lack of a plot ending after each episode will draw you into the next one), talking with my family, and listening to music. Video games, Facebook, internet forums, and sites featuring articles (e.g. news sites) should be avoided, especially at night. Once you start getting enough sleep, you'll be amazed at how much more enjoyable and less stressful and hopeless school becomes.
     
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