Dealing with burnout: should I continue in math?

  • #26
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If you understand mathematics well enough to be able to enjoy it, then what's the point of thinking about your ability anymore?

However, I think the problem is a psychological one. I recommend watching this video :


The main advice is to drop your self image. Stop caring how good or bad you are at mathematics, just enjoy it.
 
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  • #27
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My advice is to accept you will not solve every last thing, and to learn to talk to people and ask for help.

As you grow older, the reason a question is being asked will make more sense, and your arsenal of attack plans grows.
 
  • #28
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OP: I'm sorry to hear about your situation, seek professional counseling if it really gets to you. I have gone through similar (but probably milder) downers, namely when I transferred into physics from a different university and degree last year.

I was really behind at first and developed a fairly deep-seated inferiority complex. I progressed very slowly, but -long story short- by the end of the year I pulled through and earned appraisal from teachers and some classmates who initially recommended I should "slow down and retake some courses". The inferiority complex still lingers though.

My enjoyment of the toiling process in the subjects I like is what kept me sane , otherwise I don't think I could've handled all the strain and blows to my intellectual self-esteem I experienced (and continue to experience) while transitioning from moderately clueless to moderately decent.

Moral of the story is: enjoy what you're doing and forget about everything else that troubles you emotionally. And you're getting to do actual publishable research in pure mathematics as an undergrad? I don't know how common that is in the US but afaik, that's literally unheard of in Europe, both in math and the sciences.
 
  • #29
Surprised both that this thread got revived and that I stumbled into it after being away from the board for a year or so. Anyway, these sorts of feelings have passed for the most part, mostly due to necessity. I don't really even have any advice for getting over these sorts of problems, I just stuck with math and matured and that was that.

These sorts of threads usually don't have any sort of closure, but I figured, why not buck the trend?
 

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