Getting Out of a Slump: Advice from Fellow Students

  • Thread starter Dougggggg
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In summary, the author seems to be experiencing difficulty motivating themselves to do homework. They suggest trying to lower their responsibilities, finding a hobby, and making time for friends.
  • #1
Dougggggg
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Do you guys ever find yourself for a period of time where you are just not as invested in classes as you would like to be? I have found in really really difficult to motivate myself to do homework thus far in the semester. At least in this early part. I think partially it could be due to the fact that I have not found any of my courses really difficult or interesting (one I have found interesting, but it doesn't require much). Calculus II just feels like Calculus I plus a little be of intuition, Statics is just "difficult" vector equations applied to a Physics I concept. Physics II is mostly E&M which is not something I have much interest in. It isn't hard but has way too much homework that I am slowly falling behind on. Then I have a class called Intro to Abstract Math which is essentially an intro to mathematical proof. I find it quite interesting, but it is rather easy.

The big problem is I just have a lot of homework continuing to build up/not getting finished with all of it by the time I turn it in. Not to mention my mind just seems to be in other places away from my classes which is weird for me. Ever since I became a math and physics major it has been the center of my world (granted, less than a year).

Anyone else ever hit sort of a slump with a lack of motivation/interest or are all you guys super motivated academic superheros?
 
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  • #2
experiencing burnout?
it's common I guess

Try to lower your responsibilities..
As dropping classes or perhaps stopped the extracurricular stuff..
 
  • #3
I'm not really doing any extracurricular things this semester. I was going to play intramural basketball but I missed sign ups. I only really have 14 hours of actual classes. 2 hours for a physical fitness gen ed, another hour for a class that is basically just us talking about something mathematical for an hour. Then I have an hour of research for credit, though I do usually do more than an hour, I at least get paid for it. Then also doing a TA thing this semester, though that is literally only about an hour and a half of grading per week, also paid. Then the bulk of my schedule, is the 14 hours mentioned in the original post. I'm not streched for time hardly at all. I'm just not really doing anything. Last semester was honestly harder due to a couple more gen eds.
 
  • #4
err...

Which year are you?
Research and TAing?
Seems a lot of responsibilities for me..
 
  • #5
3rd semester of school. It's not bad, the research, all I have been doing so far has been working in the machine shop to make stuff that will be used to put together a vacuum that will eventually be used to coat a SQUID microscope that will be used to do the actual research. The TAing is just grading papers for a gen ed science course. It involves me grading multiple choice quizzes and then putting the grades in an excel spreadsheet. 2 hours tops per week. I probably spend at most 3 extra hours in the machine shop on top of the one hour for class credit. So really, it is like working 5 hours a week while taking 18 hours and 4 of those hours have no homework of any kind.

The reason I get those kind of responsibilities despite being an underclassman is due to the fact that our school has no graduate physics program and only 6 physics majors, one of whom is very unreliable, 2 of whom are graduating, then the other 2 are only 1 semester ahead of me.
 
  • #6
im not an academic super hero, but here are some points I've picked up:

avoid classes as much as possible. what i mean is, don't think "i need to know XXXX(programming, matlab, *random math topic*, etc), therefore i need to take a class to learn it". this mentality is dangerous as there is ALWAYS something else you'll want to learn. take the core classes seriously and learn other skills on your own time. classes, with homework and deadlines and such, eat up a lot of time (labs are the worst!). and homework, I've found, is a big deal of what wears you down. you can't go home and relax. you have stuff to do.

get a hobby or something. preferably one not academic. personally, is started surfing. try and take up something that gives you something to show for it. (ie not video games!)
give yourself a project and see if you can do it. you say you work in a machine shop. that stuff is loads of fun! now build something in your free time!

find time for friends. seriously. I've been playing boardgames with my friends a lot recently (settlers of catan, twilight struggle, and puerto rico are fun games we've been playing).

in short: get a life outside of academics. I've had terms where I've taken 24 units + research (average load at my school is about 15...) and academics (hw/research) every minute of every day is tiring. i did an REU somewhere where there was nothing to do in my free time (dont ask). while some of my lab mates went home, i found myself staying until 8-9pm in lab everyday cause i had nothing else to do and figured i might as well run another experiment. it was hell. my professor was happy, but i wasnt.

something I've noticed: the graduate students are my school who are most tired seem to be the ones who let academics (aka their work) take over their lives.
yes, take classes seriously. think about the ideas you're presented with in your e&m classes in your free time. its important.
but sometimes you should just pick up a guitar and jam. or pick up a ball and shoot some hoops. or drink a beer and relax with some friends. whatever floats your boat.
 
  • #7
We can't drink at my school or that beer idea would have already been taken advantage of. Maybe that is the problem, too much soberity during college years make Doug a dull boy. As far as classes I don't need, I don't really have to have statics, but it is my first chance to have a class with my academic advisor for the physics department so I am mainly just trying to have an impressive showing in there so that he can be a good reference one day. I deep down have no interest in statics, it's cool, but not cool to the point of becoming my future.
 

1. How do I know if I am in a slump?

A slump is characterized by a decrease in performance or motivation over a period of time. Signs of a slump may include a lack of energy, feeling stuck or unmotivated, and a decline in productivity. Pay attention to your habits and mindset to determine if you are in a slump.

2. What can I do to get out of a slump?

There are many strategies you can try to get out of a slump. Some suggestions include taking a break and practicing self-care, setting small achievable goals, talking to a friend or mentor for support, and trying new methods or approaches to your work. Ultimately, the best way to get out of a slump will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

3. How long does it take to get out of a slump?

The duration of a slump can vary greatly from person to person. Some people may be able to get out of a slump quickly, while others may take longer. It is important to be patient and kind to yourself during this time. Keep trying different strategies until you find what works for you.

4. Can a slump be prevented?

While it is not always possible to prevent a slump, there are some steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of experiencing one. These include maintaining a healthy work-life balance, setting realistic goals and expectations, and regularly checking in with yourself to address any potential issues before they escalate.

5. Should I seek professional help if I am unable to get out of a slump?

If you have been in a slump for an extended period of time and have tried various strategies without success, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. This could include talking to a therapist or seeking guidance from a career counselor. Remember, it is okay to ask for help when you need it.

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