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## Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi guys,

Sorry if my first post has to be one where I complain, but I am unsure about what I should do next.

I started physics kind of late, after a degree in economics, at a top tier university in Europe but a public one. Our first year was horrible, VERY theoretical and we didn't do much vector analysis either. Electromagnetism was horrible too, for various reasons. But since the first year is meant as a test (admission is granted to everyone), I thought to myself "fine", after all I have to prove something.

In the second year we had a professor who didn't teach us anything in mathematical methods for physics, a VERY important course as you know. I still fear delta functions, I don't feel confident about the whole exchanging integral and derivatives and measure theory was pretty much ignored totally.

To add insult to this injury, in the second year we have electrodynamics: one should in theory learn Green's functions, get confident with delta functions and do some special relativity AND E.M. in matter and boundary problems. None of this was done, because the professor is famous so he felt like doing what he fancied, which was one semester of covariant theory (useless to know in the second year). His exam was then 1st year electromagnetism (with the related hard calculations with vector products, nasty integrals...). A lot of people failed that exam. I got a decent-to-good grade, but meh, can't be happy when you get it by chance because they normalize and fail to give a proper exam. I wrote a lot at that exam, but the quality of my work was very, very low.

Now ff to 3rd year. We get to the arguably best course in physics, i.e. QM. I had great hopes for this course and was looking forward to it. Turns out the professor is an experimental physicist (although I don't know if that's relevant), so he gave us 350 pages of latex with A LOT of unnecessarily difficult calculations (tunnel effect coefficients, all the relevant methods of perturbation theory). The notation is bad (he invented new Greek letters just for this Latex script I assume...), and while most of it feels just IRRELEVANT, sometimes he starts talking about eigenspaces, some very subtle considerations about 1st year linear algebra, and in half a page he draws elaborate conclusions about representation theory or common bases that would require much, much more attention.

Because we had to do a lot of difficult experiments in parallel, I lost the pace with the weekly exercise sheets. Now I'm reading the solutions for the exam and trying to memorize patterns. I notice, however, that a lot of exercise sheets are unnecessarily long calculations to show a relatively simple idea, as if they wanted to keep us busy from drinking tea, or having a girlfriend, I don't know.

Sorry for the lengthy text. The request I have is: is my situation common? How should I evade it? I feel I lost a little bit of touch in calculations, though I think I will still pass exams. More importantly, however, I feel that I haven't acquired much knowledge. The tiny bit I have is brittle, insecure. I wouldn't say I am excellent at solving integrals, or differential equations, or anything at all really. The more worrying fact is that from our scripts and what the professors write at the blackboard, it seems they understand even less/care even less.

TL;DR: feeling VERY demotivated in 3rd year of bachelor, have been only eating ice cream for 2-3 days now. My whole physics bachelor seems a lie, the transmission of new concepts was poor, the selection of topics covered inappropriate, now I can't bring myself to like a subject when the professors don't care enough to give us a proper lecture OR a full text to read at home. Exams are random because professors have too much freedom here. I've seen good, capable people fail some exams because they focused too much on theory, or too much on the wrong exercises. A new professor teaches each year so you can't really prepare either. Now, I'm very scared of the upcoming QM exam. It could be calculating normalization factors, or using power series approaches for all I know. I know a physicist should know everything, but an exam should be fair at the same time and a person should have a rough idea of what the important concepts/calculations to know are.

What should I do?

Sorry if my first post has to be one where I complain, but I am unsure about what I should do next.

I started physics kind of late, after a degree in economics, at a top tier university in Europe but a public one. Our first year was horrible, VERY theoretical and we didn't do much vector analysis either. Electromagnetism was horrible too, for various reasons. But since the first year is meant as a test (admission is granted to everyone), I thought to myself "fine", after all I have to prove something.

In the second year we had a professor who didn't teach us anything in mathematical methods for physics, a VERY important course as you know. I still fear delta functions, I don't feel confident about the whole exchanging integral and derivatives and measure theory was pretty much ignored totally.

To add insult to this injury, in the second year we have electrodynamics: one should in theory learn Green's functions, get confident with delta functions and do some special relativity AND E.M. in matter and boundary problems. None of this was done, because the professor is famous so he felt like doing what he fancied, which was one semester of covariant theory (useless to know in the second year). His exam was then 1st year electromagnetism (with the related hard calculations with vector products, nasty integrals...). A lot of people failed that exam. I got a decent-to-good grade, but meh, can't be happy when you get it by chance because they normalize and fail to give a proper exam. I wrote a lot at that exam, but the quality of my work was very, very low.

Now ff to 3rd year. We get to the arguably best course in physics, i.e. QM. I had great hopes for this course and was looking forward to it. Turns out the professor is an experimental physicist (although I don't know if that's relevant), so he gave us 350 pages of latex with A LOT of unnecessarily difficult calculations (tunnel effect coefficients, all the relevant methods of perturbation theory). The notation is bad (he invented new Greek letters just for this Latex script I assume...), and while most of it feels just IRRELEVANT, sometimes he starts talking about eigenspaces, some very subtle considerations about 1st year linear algebra, and in half a page he draws elaborate conclusions about representation theory or common bases that would require much, much more attention.

Because we had to do a lot of difficult experiments in parallel, I lost the pace with the weekly exercise sheets. Now I'm reading the solutions for the exam and trying to memorize patterns. I notice, however, that a lot of exercise sheets are unnecessarily long calculations to show a relatively simple idea, as if they wanted to keep us busy from drinking tea, or having a girlfriend, I don't know.

Sorry for the lengthy text. The request I have is: is my situation common? How should I evade it? I feel I lost a little bit of touch in calculations, though I think I will still pass exams. More importantly, however, I feel that I haven't acquired much knowledge. The tiny bit I have is brittle, insecure. I wouldn't say I am excellent at solving integrals, or differential equations, or anything at all really. The more worrying fact is that from our scripts and what the professors write at the blackboard, it seems they understand even less/care even less.

TL;DR: feeling VERY demotivated in 3rd year of bachelor, have been only eating ice cream for 2-3 days now. My whole physics bachelor seems a lie, the transmission of new concepts was poor, the selection of topics covered inappropriate, now I can't bring myself to like a subject when the professors don't care enough to give us a proper lecture OR a full text to read at home. Exams are random because professors have too much freedom here. I've seen good, capable people fail some exams because they focused too much on theory, or too much on the wrong exercises. A new professor teaches each year so you can't really prepare either. Now, I'm very scared of the upcoming QM exam. It could be calculating normalization factors, or using power series approaches for all I know. I know a physicist should know everything, but an exam should be fair at the same time and a person should have a rough idea of what the important concepts/calculations to know are.

What should I do?