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Do somthing you love or you're good at?

  1. Dec 7, 2014 #1
    To start off, I am a freshman majoring in physics and I am a girl.
    Over the past few months in college, I am begining to feel like I don't fit in. Because I am not as smart as others, I am questioning if I still want to major in physics. To be honest, I am very good in biology and understand it very well. However, I am not in love with biology. I just kind of like biology . I find myself to struggle in physics (as a whole), but for some odd reason I still LOVE it.

    I don't know what to do.
    Should I study somthing I love, but struggle in or somthing I kind of like but is good at?

    Please give any thoughts, suggestions, opinions, etc.
    I would sincerely appreciate everyone's response.
    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2014 #2

    Newbe318, you remind me of myself!

    When I was a freshmen i spent my second semester deciding between physics and chemistry. I was very good with chemistry, but not so good with physics. I felt like I didn't belong in either department because I thought everyone in the physics department was smarter than me and I just didn't like chemistry enough to belong in that department either.

    I enjoyed self studying physics and loved that it was constantly challenging me. I ended up majoring and doing something I love, physics! Do not bother comparing yourself to other people because it simply does not matter. Also, they are probably not as smart as you think they are. =) If you really enjoy learning and studying physics, it will all eventually come through.

    I'm not a genius physicist, but I have come very far from freshmen year. Now I'm in the process of applying to grad school.

    Good luck ! You still have plenty of time to explore things before deciding your major.
  4. Dec 7, 2014 #3
    It's normal to question your choice of major when things start to get difficult. What evidence do you have that you're not as smart as the others? That's very hard to quantify, and a lot of factors can come into play. Are you having difficulties understanding the material? Do you have good study habits? Biology tends to have a less steep learning curve (students' first biology courses mainly consists of memorization and lab work, whereas physics is more foreign and requires calculus). If you're struggling, the first thing you should do is pinpoint what you're doing wrong. Otherwise, if you did switch, why would it be any easier?

    If you're not struggling, then you're all good. Just let your interest in physics inspire you to grind through the tough times.

    AND I'm in electrical engineering. When I started, it seemed like there was a whole universe of knowledge floating around me that I would never have time to learn when I spoke to upperclassmen. You'll end up learning a lot more than you think. Just give it some time.
  5. Dec 7, 2014 #4


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    I would edit that 'just a dream' one. Kim Kardashian - and Paris Hilton before her - nicely filled that niche.
  6. Dec 7, 2014 #5
    Thats just the greatest.

    To the OP, the only person you're competing with is yourself! If you are loving physics and like that you're challenged by it, I'd say thats a recipe for success.
  7. Dec 8, 2014 #6


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    There are certain things I may be good at but don't care much for, but if I'm not good at something then I generally don't like it. I felt the same way you do about physics: wasn't good at it, but found it interesting, liked the sound of "physicist." Thought I could improve. Took a few classes this semester and am doing pretty poorly in them with no real improvement so I lost interest in it pretty quickly. Now I'm switching majors. I just can't enjoy spending the majority of my time studying something that I'm not able to make adequate progress in.
  8. Dec 8, 2014 #7


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    I think this video might come handy to OP:

  9. Dec 9, 2014 #8
    Thank you loved it.
  10. Dec 12, 2014 #9
    I would be wary of Newport's advice, I think he's right for the wrong reasons on his 'following your passion is wrong' advice.
  11. Dec 12, 2014 #10


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    you have to make the decision, but it is fun to comment. in my opinion, what you love makes your day go well everyday, and if you love it you can stand to spend enough time at it to become good at it.

    you do need to learn how to get better though. in college it is not enough to bust your b*** by yourself, you need to form alliances with others to help each other learn.

    here is an article detailing a project by Uri Treisman who discovered how to help smart (minority) students at Berkeley succeed in college, when they had not been doing so on their own. I think it helps explain why I did not succeed in college science and math at first.

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  12. Dec 13, 2014 #11


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    I would be interested in hearing more about why you didn't succeed in college at first.. Perhaps you've some post in PF that already talks about that?
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