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First time taking physics

  1. Oct 19, 2013 #1
    Hello everyone,
    I'm currently going to a community college after being out of school for 5 years. Next semester I'm taking Calculus 2 and Physics 5 (the first part of a 3 part calculus based physics sequence) along with 2 philosophy courses.

    I was wondering what to expect, I never took physics in my life and my high school never offered it. What should I expect in the first semester and especially a lab, I don't think I've ever taken a science lab in my life. Am I doomed to struggle in physics? Should I prepare during winter break?

    Any advice will be much appreciated!

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 19, 2013 #2
    Not going to eat around the bush, without some exposure you will probably struggle. There is definitely a learning curve involved with physics
  4. Oct 19, 2013 #3
    I took physics in high school and hated it so much that I stopped going after the first week. During college I read a few of Carl Sagan's books (and fell in love with science) and took calculus so I decided to give it another shot. The first month of Physics 1 w/calculus was the hardest in my college career, but after that I breezed through Physics 1, 2, and 3. Since it is your first exposure to physics you will have to literally create new pathways in your brain, which, unless you are naturally gifted at physics, will be a slow and painful process. However, after that it may be the most enjoyable class you've ever taken.

    My advice is to make sure you understand the first few or five chapters of the book very well. A lot of the people in my physics 1 class seemed cocky at first because they had seen the material before in high school, but by the midterm half of the class was gone, while I was still there despite never having taken a physics class before. I ended up making an A while everyone else I was friends with in the class made excuses (the instructor grades too hard, etc.) and didn't fare as well.

    Just make sure to struggle in the beginning and you'll be all right. Most of the ones who don't struggle in the beginning are inevitably the ones who don't fare well. There are exceptions, obviously.
  5. Oct 19, 2013 #4
    Thanks yall! I think Ill stick with just calculus and physics, my counselor wanted to put me in chem also but I think that's a little bit too much for me for one semester. Ill definitely look over some key concepts over the winter break, I guess I should start the struggle early.
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