Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Failing Calculus Dont know if i want to be an engineer

  1. Jul 21, 2010 #1
    Failing Calculus :( Dont know if i want to be an engineer

    I am posting this because i wanted to be an engineer at one point,but now im not too sure. At one point during this course i was actually on the brink of being homeless. I had no job, no food or anything. As a matter of fact i was unemployed for about four months; I cry every night. I truly feel like i 'CAN' become an engineer but life keeps screwing me over. Its a different feeling to fail something when it is not even your fault. Its hard to focus in a class when literally everything is against you. If any of you are wondering how i was able to pay for my class; its because of my financial aid. When i registered for the class i was not expecting to become unemployed. I guess i am at a crossroads, this is my second time attempting to take calc 1 and I am about to call it quits. I have a final on Monday but I am feeling so indiffferent, i dot think it even matters. Some words of inspiration would be good; If someone has failed engineering courses and has still became an engineer or an educator[something else i wanted to do]...please post ALL or ANY of your testimonies. Any trials, times of adversity, let me know that theres still hope out there for me. :/
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2010 #2
    Re: Failing Calculus :( Dont know if i want to be an engineer

    Pretty cliche, but Tracy Caldwell Dyson, NASA astronaut currently in orbit on the ISS, admits to making a D her first time around in Calculus. I can't really speak from any personal experience, but I found that interesting to know.
  4. Jul 21, 2010 #3
    Re: Failing Calculus :( Dont know if i want to be an engineer

    I'm sorry to hear that, but the truth is calculus is only the first step of many to becoming an engineer. You'll have to take more math courses after calculus. Not all of them will be particularly practical, but they will likely be required if you want to be an engineer.

    The best thing you can do is study for your final and pass it. There is still a lot of time until Monday. I've leave you with an inspiring story, but maybe not the one you're looking for. Decades ago, my previous math professor was called in to give a crash review course for calculus for a group of "remedial" students (those who had not done well in the course) the day before the final. This was his longest lecture ever, since for I think 14 hours - barring bathrooms breaks - they did nothing but calculus. Everyone got A's and B's on the final, but most of them forgot the material a week later.

    You have more than a day, and although you don't have my math professor, you still have resources. For one, you clearly have access to internet. Read your textbook, use Google or wikipedia to look stuff up, use the forums. You should give nothing short of your best attempt to pass the course.
  5. Jul 21, 2010 #4
    Re: Failing Calculus :( Dont know if i want to be an engineer

    Your best bet is to study as hard as you can for the final. It's likely worth a significant portion of your grade, so you can really bring your grade up by doing well on it!

    You have A LOT of time until Monday; many students don't even study for a test until the night or two nights before! Start studying TODAY if you haven't already!

    I was getting a C in a class last semester (I was also distracted by personal problems), but studied hard for the final, got an A in it, and thus got a B+ in the class.

    It may be hard to remind yourself of this, but doing poorly in Calculus, even failing it, does not mean that you failed at being an engineer. In fact, most of the engineering classes that I have taken have used only a small portion of what I was taught in Calculus.
  6. Jul 21, 2010 #5
    Re: Failing Calculus :( Dont know if i want to be an engineer

    Well, the first thing you should do is stop crying every night. It sounds callous, but feeling sorry for your situation isn't going to help you out of your situation. If you're laying in bed crying, then get up, stop crying, and review the chain rule, or practice integration. Whether you fail the course or not, tell yourself that the important thing is whether you LEARN calculus. It's not necessarily about the grade. Focus on your differentiation techniques, your integration techniques, your rules and theorems, and PRACTICE. Go above and beyond the call of duty. Go to Khan Academy and look at Sal's calculus videos. They will help.

    Good luck. I'm taking calculus I myself, and I just got my first test back.. a 75. I was rather upset about it myself. So, really, I feel for you. Practice practice practice.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook