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How does anyone get through school?

  1. Oct 20, 2004 #1
    How does anyone get through school??

    How the hell does anyone get through college as an engineer or scientist??

    I have no free time to myself - and that INCLUDES sleeping. I get like 4 hours a night, and I take naps for like 1 or 2 hours during the day whenever I get a chance. I'm living off coffee and soda to help me stay awake.

    Somehow, my schedule is such that I start at 8:30 twice a week, 9:00 3 times a week, and I end at around 4:30-6ish. My classes are just evenly spaced so I have no real significant breaks. Why the hell are all the harder engineering, math, and science classes in the morning?? I don't understand what they are thinking when differential equations is scheduled for 8:00 am, but Accounting 101 is twice a week for an hour at 1pm. It's ridiculous!!

    So besides my rant, I have a question. Is taking a nap for 2 hours or for 4 hours, but not less or more, better than sleeping for 3 hours if you have the chance? My roommate swears by this, and takes naps in 2 hour intervals when he can. He says he feels better, but when I try it, it doesn't work. I understand there's some science to this idea - that it has to do with the stages of sleep. Is it true?

    Well, off to the library to study for my physics and circuit exams, which of course are tomorrow, one right after the other.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2004 #2

    Math Is Hard

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    I know the feeling. I work 40 hrs. a week and go to school on nights and weekends ( 3 classes). It's very tiring! I think naps help. How long a nap? That probably varies for each individual. If I nap on a study break, I tend to not go into full sleep, and often I am still working on problems while I am doing this. It helps me process the information.
  4. Oct 21, 2004 #3
    You have it easy. You don't have to work twenty hours a week and attend thirty five hours of lectures a week (excluding private studying).

    And no, my money doesn't feed a drug habit. I don't pay for drugs.
  5. Oct 21, 2004 #4
    Grad student?
  6. Oct 21, 2004 #5
    Apparently 20-30 power naps are the best you can get, go any longer than 30mins and your body just wants to keep sleeping until you wake up naturally. So prepare to feel worse than you did if you sleep for 1-2hours!!!
  7. Oct 22, 2004 #6
    Or miss your alarm...

    and the next class. :cry:
  8. Oct 22, 2004 #7
    Mmm, Nap, our best invention!
  9. Oct 22, 2004 #8
    Is this your first year of undergrad? I hope not, because I think second year was the worst! If you get past these years, the sheer volume tends to drop.

    Also (I wish I had gotten this info when I was in college) Don't feel bad about joining the 5-year club! No one cares if it took you four or five or even six years to complete your degree (except the one paying the bill, but you can get better results, so which is the better return of investment?) Spread your classes out and have a life!
  10. Oct 22, 2004 #9


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    Lots of caffeine during the week. Weekend parties to blow off steam. Get a circle of friends that can both amuse you and help you with homework. Do homework in between classes. Next semester, better arrange the timing of your classes. Keep your sense of humor.
  11. Oct 25, 2004 #10
    This is my second year of undergrad.

    Also, I just got my class schedule for next semester - 8:30 lectures EVERY day of the week. 3 out of 4 classes are lab classes, which I guess is to be expected. I just don't understand why all of the classes start so early? :frown:
  12. Oct 25, 2004 #11
    What is the difference between waking up early and going to sleep earlier, and waking up late and going to sleep later?
  13. Oct 25, 2004 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    There is only one attitude to have: Quitting is not an option. No exceptions. Everything else will take care of itself. :approve:
  14. Oct 26, 2004 #13

    The fact that there is no such thing as going to sleep earlier? Not for me, insomnia yay!! Off to study, Calc midterms, yuck.
  15. Oct 26, 2004 #14

    Chi Meson

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    No sympathy from me . :cool: I start teaching each day of the week at 7:25 AM.

    But you do get empathy: I always slept through my 8:00 Spanish class because I was up til 5 AM at the dang blasted telescope :yuck: .
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2004
  16. Oct 26, 2004 #15
    I heard that if you use GHB you can get eight hours worth of sleep in six. Also, if it's used for sleep it isn't addictive (people with cataplexy use it as a long-term hypnotic).
  17. Oct 26, 2004 #16
    Is your hobby astronomy?
  18. Oct 26, 2004 #17
    Before next semester I have to work on my sleeping habits. I stay up till like 3 am studying when I have a test the next day at 8am. That's what I did today, and it killed me. I could barely think. I can do the problems, but since I haven't slept, I can't do them in the given amount of time - so I do poorly. If I had the problems for homework, I could take my time on them and be fine.

    So that's one test so far this semester I think I bombed. :frown: Good think it's only worth 10% and not like 25%. I guess I'll have to make it up on the midterm which is worth 20%.
  19. Oct 26, 2004 #18

    Chi Meson

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    No. I did Astrophysics as an undergrad. That pretty much killed the hobby! When you find out that your time at the "Big Telescope" would be spent continuously tweaking little knobs for 45 minutes during one of five exposures you needed that night, well... let's say the fun gets left behind!
  20. Oct 26, 2004 #19

    jimmy p

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    Useful suggestion. Dont go to school when it is raining.
  21. Oct 26, 2004 #20
    I'm in third year at college in Toronto and, while I'm not in science or engineering I know the feeling of overwhelming amount of work with little time.

    I worked full time and went to school with a full time course load. It was frigging horrible and I was burnt out within some months. Little things like just winding down from 6 hours of lectures (grabbing a soda and watching some tv) weren't possible.

    My plan now is to take 1-2 years off of school beginning in September 2005 and just work (programming) full time and work my way through some calculus texts to build a really solid foundation so that when I enter university (Physics at Toronto hopefully) it will be easier transition (money and having a leg up on the math so I can focus on the physics)

    The alternative: you could always chop a credit off here or there and just do them in the summer (unless you go full time during summers too!)
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2004
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