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Fail Physics major? ISO opinions

  1. May 21, 2012 #1
    Iwe been planning on studying Physics for a few years now. And well. I just got done with my first year of uni. And Iwe had a horrible time of it. First year is undecided major hence general intro courses into everything. The curriculum and amount of work required at this uni is very tough. Much more tougher then other universities in some cases. The intro courses are very detailed and for example what most unis call cal 3 is cal 2 in my university.

    Mechanics101 I got a C
    Cal 1 I got a B

    This semester had cal 2 and E&M. I have a feeling im failing both. Cal2 purely because i didnt put enough effort into it. E&M..well I t thought I put in a lot of effort there. But sigh.

    So heres the deal. Do I still love physics? Very much so. I feel E&M was simply amazing. I hate myself for doing so bad at it and not being able to understand it. But when I was there in class I Was absolutely stunned captivated by my professor. I know I like Physics because when most of my colleagues despise Physics and think its too hard, I am totally amazed by it. My first years been horrible in every regard more so because the one subject that I really love Im not good at.

    Should I let it go? Should I switch to some useless social science major or study commerce things I despise.

    I need serious advice nothing romantic. Can I still make a come back? We know doing Physics isnt engineering so 4 years down the track Im already one step behind. But to have a messed up gpa and the fact that the school that Im studying at isnt particularly renowned for its physics department doesnt help.

    Also, changing university isnt an option, just in case someone suggests that. While my academics in the past have been pretty strong Im not in a financial position to go abroad or study etc. I study in Pakistan in case I didnt mention that before.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2012 #2
    What do you mean by this?
  4. May 21, 2012 #3
    I mean. Well. After a bachelors in physics i can basically go on to master in anything. But. If I go ahead with the aim of studying phyysics even for my majors. What I mean is that we know physics isnt always a lucrative career. I feel Studying a degree like physics and get a low/bad gpa is worse then studying engineering and getting a low gpa. But all this is irrelevant technicalities.
  5. May 24, 2012 #4
    Still iso more info
  6. May 24, 2012 #5


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    Do you think you would do better doing something you despise compared to something you enjoy?

    It sounds to me like you need to figure out why you were not as successful as you had hoped in your first year courses. Often undergraduates can have a hard time in university because in high school they weren't challenged that much. In high school they managed to do well with lousy study habits. But he bottleneck in university means that you're now among a cohort of people who all did well in high school. So you need to figure out how to study or write exams more effectively. I would first take a serious look at your approach to learning and see if you can't do better.

    But let's say you give it the ol' college try and you still can't manage to get better marks. Marks aren't everything, but if you're really struggling with the material at the first year level, you'll find it difficult to build up from that as you advance. Take advantage of your elective courses to explore other fields. They're not all "useless" and that's the best way to find something that really clicks with you.
  7. Jun 27, 2012 #6
    Seriously- let this motivate you to work harder.. I did pretty garbagety my first semester.. not gonna lie it was a 2.8.. but by my second semester I brought that up to a 3.43. I was having major doubts about majoring in physics.. But just do it- honestly. If it's what you love, and you plan on having a career that will be supported by your study of physics.. just do it.
  8. Jun 27, 2012 #7
    My physics teacher from highschool is the smartest guy I know- I told him that I was gonna re-learn stuff over the summer.. He said why bother? Since it was already over. The upcoming courses are going to be a lot more interesting and fun. You'll get better at it as you go.
  9. Jun 28, 2012 #8
    My suggestion is, if you love physics, work hard for it. Use this summer to prepare ahead for the courses you will take next semester. It is all about hardwork and practice.
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