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Did I overload myself this quarter?

  1. Mar 12, 2015 #1
    I took 3 upper divs this quarter (Analytical Mech, E&M, and Abstract Algebra) along with an introductory German course, which is a total of 16 units. It was tough trying to keep up, and I would spend long nights each on homework for one course then the same for another course evey week. I'm also in the Army Reserves, which takes up 1 weekend a month (about 4hrs a week if you distribute it evenly), plus more time for keeping myself in shape.

    They say students usually take 15 units a quarter, though since most classes are 4 units, it's really either 12 or 16. I lost a lot of points on the homework sets for not completing everything, and did well on a couple exams, but not so well on others. I feel like I understand the gist of the material, but not confident enough to solve any problem on the spot.

    I'm taking 3 courses next quarter and am wondering if I ought to focus on those rather than taking on anything extra (like a research project). The courses are Analytical Mech, E&M (both 2nd of the series) and Quantum Mech. I'm just worried that if I take it slow, I won't get departmental honors without having to spend extra quarter(s).

    Since I'm in the Reserves, I won't have my Summer free this year, so likely any research experience I get before graduation is going to have to occur during the school year.

    How would you advise? I am considering grad school, but only if I can get into a good program.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2015 #2
    The question I would ask myself if I were you is: what's my main objective here? Hopefully you're going to school for a purpose and not just because it's "the next step". Unfortunately, too many people go for exactly that reason and don't have a plan for what school is supposed to do for them (but then that's another topic altogether).

    I think you have a lot on your plate and it might be better to slow down and get the grades you need if you're planning on grad school. Plus, research is great but it's not as good as, say, an internship or something where you can get practical work experience in your chosen field. Again, ask yourself what you're going to school for and then tailor your classes and extra activities like research or grad school to that.
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