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Failed my first semster

  1. Jan 17, 2016 #1
    Hi guys! I am a first year Bsc Physics student at university in the UK

    Basically I did well last year (my foundation year to allow me access to this program coming third in my class of 80 over with 90%)

    However due to a mixture of bad teaching and my poor work ethic (mainly this one) I have most likely failed my maths 1 and physics 1 papers. It has actually made me really depressed and I have started self harming again but I have sat down and had some time to think about what went wrong and how I am going to fix it so I have lots of motivation to get stuck into the next semster.

    I have made a plan of action for improving in the coming semester and june exams and eventually resits in august for my january exams. I was just wondering if any of you could give me any advice on what you think of it and give tips on how to improve it.

    Plan of action
    1. Attend every lecture
    2. Attend and complete all workshops and tutorials (including questions set before hand)
    3. For any coursework set, do it myself, rather than copy others (something I did last semester)
    4. Do the tutorial questions and courseworks within two days of them being set (if not possible do at the coming weekend)

    My study guide for this semester (this is after the lecture has been done and to be done day of or day after the lecture)
    1. Read through the theory and derivations making sure I initially understand it
    2. Make notes on the topic using the lecture notes and text book recommended for the course (notes will contain the concepts, definitions, relevant equations, detailed version of the derivations of said equations when needed and any hard worked examples)
    3. Do the worked examples given in the textbook and lecture
    4. Next do the textbook questions on that topic going from easier to hard type questions
    5. When stuck on questions make sure I understand how to complete the question instead of skipping over that question
    6. Ask lecturers for help when needed

    Could you give me any advice on how to improve this study guide and also for step 5 how should I go about understanding how to complete the question

    I will add this next bit but not sure if it is relevant

    modules I will be doing next semster
    maths 2 - (second order ode,limit of a sequence, Taylor/Maclaurin series, fourier series, partial derivatives of functions of two and three variables and determine the maxima, minima and saddle points of a function of two variables)
    Physics 2 - (simple harmonic motion/oscillators, thermodynamics, wave equations, diffraction, reflection, refraction, Time-independent Schroedinger equation Tunnelling and a couple of other things)
    Introductory linear algebra - (Matrices, Determinants, Concrete vector spaces and subspaces, Eigenvalues and eigenvectors and General systems of linear equations) (This module will allow me to change to MPhys Theoretical physics next year if I get there)
    Computing 1 (introduction to python)
    Physics lab 2
    Thanks for any help

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 17, 2016 #2
    Implement your plan.
    Apply your self and work hard.
    Consider counseling.
    Good luck.
  4. Jan 17, 2016 #3


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    Gold Member

    You have deeper issues if you're harming yourself because you did poorly in courses. You need to seek professional help. If you can't deal with the stress right now, it's only going to get worse.

    Forget your courses, get help.
  5. Jan 17, 2016 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    2017 Award

    See a mental health professional. Now. Do not put this off.

    This is what you should have been doing along. I cannot guarantee that you will succeed if you do this, but I can be pretty sure you will continue to fail if you don't. The problem is that your new classes build on your old classes, and you didn't do the work for the old classes.
  6. Jan 17, 2016 #5
    I am going to see someone but forgetting my courses isnt a option, due to the funding changes that have happened I either do the course now or never
  7. Jan 17, 2016 #6


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    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    You aren't in the right state of mind to really focus on your courses. If you continue, it's likely that it will only exacerbate the circumstances and destructive feelings. I'm sure the school will work with you, if that's the problem.

    See if you can be excused for a term, just long enough to work on these issues.
  8. Jan 17, 2016 #7
    I am going to go see someone, I know its just I was lazy, do you think I should work through the other semesters work as I go through this one? I can do the bulk of the complex numbers, integration, differentiation, first order ode, vectors but unfortunately the things I dint bother to learn were all the things that came up as higher markers (when doing the mock paper I received a solid first as it was all the stuff I could do)

    From what I have read of my physics 2 syllabus it is mostly separate topics from physics 1 so I am going to cover the physics 1 topics again after june exams
  9. Jan 17, 2016 #8
    While the university is willing to work with me on that, they said my finance would be removed which would effectively make me homeless for a term, so they have set up regular meetings with someone and I'll just have to make it work emotionally.
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