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How do I keep calm and relax while catching up?

  1. Oct 21, 2011 #1
    I'm about a month into my CS degree but I'm having some trouble.

    I'm not behind in any assignments and in fact I got 100% in my first assignment. However, the problem lies with my own study plan. The university recommends you study for 4-5 hours for each subject. I've only been generally doing that and has subsequently made me behind in some subjects and extremely behind in others. I've just finished week 4 but it feels like I should quit already :(. This wasn't my plan. I wanted to have a firm understanding of each lecture before the next week begins.

    I seriously need the advice of other students and possibly people holding a teaching position at a university. I'm trying my best to catch up but some days I feel too bewildered I just sit there for three hours panicking and thinking I'll never catch up.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2011 #2
    Well if you're spending 4 hours a day panicking it seems obvious to stop that type of thing and just be confident in your abilities and accepting of your performance. If you put too much pressure on yourself it's only going to make it worse. And I would say forget what the university recommends. You know your progress, you know your strengths, and you know your weaknesses. You should study as much as you need/want to, to achieve the results that make you happy.

    But if you have 5 courses, and you study 5 hours a week for each, how can you be behind in all of your courses?
  4. Oct 21, 2011 #3
    Some things seem to take longer to understand and solve than others. Another thing is because I am behind I spent 3 of those 5 hours getting worried about getting behind! :(
  5. Oct 21, 2011 #4

    Haha you know, I've experienced the same thing as you many times. Come midterm time I can't focus on current lectures because I have to focus on all of the midterm material. I end up skipping some classes and maybe doing a half-assed job on my assignments. Then after the midterms I never really catch up. The constant pressure and "looming failure" really weighed me down the first couple of times. I was living off-campus for the first time, it was winter, I had some terrible professors, and I was just stressed all of the time. I think that you have to accept some things that you can't change, and change the things that you can. For example, worrying about doing poorly doesn't help you. The fact that you want to succeed is very evident, and people who want to succeed, and actively pursue success, almost always end up succeeding. So you just need to trust in yourself that you will do well. The worrying in the back of your mind will never go away completely, thats just how life is i guess, but you can definitely minimize it. Just focus on your studies and stay composed. Being overwhelmed is tough to deal with, but I think you really have to find your study comfort zone. You have to get into a groove, maybe find a place on campus that is perfect for your study preferences and dedicate more time to studying. This way you will study more, and also feel less of a pressure on you because you have some breathing room in your personal deadlines.
  6. Oct 21, 2011 #5
    I know what you're going through. I'm going through the same thing. Solution? Nike's slogan, "Just Do It!". that's all there is to. Sacrifice some week-ends / free-time to get caught up or take the leap ahead of the class. I have to go back and re-learn 6 weeks worth of material (did I mention I have to teach myself?) for microbiology. I have to re-learn an entire chapter in Chemistry and Biology (plus keep up with the new chapters). Laziness is my enemy right now but all it takes for me is to just begin.

    When you're in a situation like that I hear the best advice is to go on and keep up with the class then on your own time try to re-learn the missed stuff later on otherwise if your try to catch up you'll be missing out on the new stuff which will pile up on what you need to catch up on.
  7. Oct 21, 2011 #6


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    Maybe you might want to speak to someone like a counsellor. It can be amazing what a simple chat with an unbiased unincentivized view can do to help your perspective.
  8. Oct 21, 2011 #7
    I have two words for you: Office Hours

    I consider myself very good at self studying but I need time. There's never enough time in college. This is the first semester I really needed to talk to a TA or professor because I literally don't have enough time to study something on my own. Something that would take me ~4-5 hours to fully understand can be cleared up in a couple of well thought out questions to a professor or TA. Of course, struggle through the topic on your own first but when that impending feeling of doom approaches that's when it's help time.

    Good luck.
  9. Oct 21, 2011 #8
    Some classes are just more rigorous than others.

    4-5hours a week is an average (actually, I was always taught that you should spend 2 hours out of class for every 1 hour in - so it should be more like 6-8hrs/week). In a Computer Science class - you may need to spend 10-15 hours one week and none the next if you have a project due (for which you don't have all the tools until the week before, for instance). Knowing when you might have these crunch times ahead of schedule can give you an indication of when you need to maybe work ahead in another class.

    Finally, don't panic. Grab your towel and roll with it.
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