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Burnt out?

  1. Mar 28, 2009 #1
    Do you guys ever feel like you just get burnt out with regards to physics? I found that I really loved it a little while ago, and I was seriously considering going into it. When I really really liked it it obsessed my mind and it was almost all I thought about.

    I don't know if it was that, or the fact that it's getting warmer so I'm getting re-interested in some of my older interests (cars mainly), but either way I feel much less interested in Physics right now than I did before.

    It's not that I'm having trouble with it or anything. I'm still just as good at it as I was before, I just don't get the big excitement out of it that I did a little earlier in the year...

    Do you guys ever just get burnt out for a little while from thinking about stuff so much? Does that make you feel kinda like I do? If it does, what do you do about it? (I really enjoyed having something I loved so much as physics and potentially a career I loved, and without it I have no idea still... and I'm a junior in college.... so it was a nice feeling to know something I might want to do and I don't like this right now :P)

    Thanks :D
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 29, 2009 #2
    I think everyone gets burned out a little bit , just do something else for a little while
    to get your mind of it , I guess.
  4. Mar 29, 2009 #3
    Do you get an uninterested feeling in it then from time to time?
  5. Mar 29, 2009 #4
    Happens to everyone, and it doesn't matter what the subject/topic/area of interest is. One just can't be interested in one thing for the whole life. I suggest you take a break for a while. Of course, don't take a break, if you're currently studying. But find something else of interest, a hobby, and eventually, you'll get back to physics if you really were as interested as you say.
  6. Mar 29, 2009 #5
    I've switched my interests many times in early high school I wanted to do art and I was very good at it, my mom has an MFA and I learned a great deal from her, but I got tired of it as my main focus and turned away from it, but not entirely. It is still very useful as a skill and enjoyable as a hobby. This is also true for music and guitar for me, I almost went to music school and still play often. In fact, were I to get a successful band together I would probably leave mathematics behind for a while, though I would still continue to keep it as a hobby. I get bored of math sometimes, but so far I have always come back to it.

    I think interests are cyclic, at various times over the last two years my interests have varied thusly: Go(japanese, korean, chinese board game) and Music, Physics, Philosophy, Math, logic, math, music and math, more recently math breaking into subsections: mathematical logic, combinatorics, set theory, algebraic geometry and lately I've been getting back into Go and music again.

    There was a time when I would practice guitar 5-6 hours a day ( a period of around two years) and I thought nothing would make me happy except music, and then a similar thing happened with math, though my social life has blossomed a bit so my study time was more like a few hours a day (and this is apart from my class work). Now I'm in between passions a bit, though math is still near the forefront.
  7. Mar 29, 2009 #6
    I used to feel like physics was just one of many activities, along with others like exercise, socializing, etc. Now, as a grad student, I feel like quantum mechanics is just one activity, along with others like electromagnetism, stat mech, topology, etc.

    Of course, I mean that as a joke, but there is some truth to it.
  8. Mar 30, 2009 #7
    Haha, alright thanks guys. I'm not the only one then.

    Yeah, I have a ton of interests too. I really like cars a lot and working on them/racing them (I have a trans am and a camaro). That takes up a lot of my mind's time too. I really like playing guitar and music. I like lifting and staying in shape. I would really like to start up martial arts again... and I would like to do something with aircraft... I really like them a lot too. I like to read a book every now and again or play a video game if I get the time (rarely). And a whole bunch of other "normal" stuff.

    Normally I have a very good head for physics and math stuff, and I like it a lot, but very recently I've been getting more and more overwhelmed by aaaaaallllll of the information in physics, and feeling kinda stupid (kinda like I'm trying to drive down a nasty muddy road instead of just cruising on a highway). Like there's too much packed in my brain. It has been slowly increasing over the last couple weeks, and I just realized last night I've lifted once in the last 3 weeks, and that was about 2.5 weeks ago now (I usually go 3+ times a week). So I'm thinking lifting may be a good release for my brain to basically release "thought" pressure and I didn't know it. I can go there and just not think about anything and be completely physical with stuff. My dad was a real strong guy (indiana bench press record holder for a while) and I'm getting there, and he got me into it, so it's almost like a habit now to do that pretty often. So not doing it I think might be throwing my brain out of whack a little bit. No time for it to "relax". lol. I always thought I would have to pick between being a big "tough guy" that was athletic, or being a "nerd", but it looks like maybe I have to be both to be good at the other :P. haha

    Another thing is... I'm just JUST getting into this physics stuff, yet for some reason I find it necessary to look up all kinds of stuff and read books (some feynman lectures) about it and all kinds of stuff that I can understand the concepts of, but can't *really* understand because I don't have the base of knowledge built up under me. And then think about it constantly non-stop at all time (pretty often if you didn't get that. lol). Feels like I'm walking on crumbling ground or something. It makes me question everything I read about that we can't "see" and want to test it, probably just because I haven't learned enough about it and why people think it's true. So I think I need to stop looking at things too advanced for my level without a good comprehension of what it is I'm looking at.

    Wow, that was long, sorry about that :P
  9. Mar 30, 2009 #8
    You can't have a lot of demanding interests and do physics seriously at the level you are now starting to encounter. You could decide to, say, be a car mechanic. This would leave you time to develop as an amateur & dilettante* in your various interests (including physics). But if you want to be the next Feynman drop everything and just do physics. You should still lift a few hours a week, or do something physical, just to keep the body ticking over. But forget about being Mr Indiana as well as Professor Feynman -- these days it would be a full time job just getting to be one of these.

    * in the best sense of that word!
  10. Mar 30, 2009 #9
    Oh I know, I'm not trying to do anything special with the lifting. I may go to a competition or something some day (we get very strong with very little work o_O), but I'll never do it as a focus of my life.

    I don't think I could focus ALL of my time on physics, as I've learned recently. I get too tired of thinking about it all because my brain just won't shut up about it once it gets going (and not productive thought either, I'm just not allowed to have any "idle" time up there when I get thinking about it). Don't get me wrong, I would love to be the next Feynman, but I know that just won't happen. If by some chance someday it does, great, but I'm not going to toss everything else out in my life for the hopes that I will be able to do that with it. Besides, Feynman was a very well rounded person outside of physics with the bongos and the art and being a good father and all. Who says I can't do it all :)? hahaha
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