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Insights How I overcame learning challenges - comments

  1. May 5, 2015 #1
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2015 #2
    Nice article x86! I definitely struggle with lack of interest at times. I have severe motivational swings. I can be pumped about something and not get any sleep and then next day I am so-so about it.
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  4. May 5, 2015 #3
    Yeah, that's me. One day I can stay up all night learning about topology in condensed matter physics, not get any sleep, the next day I'll spend goofing off on the Internet or doing meaningless coding, and I just get so hyperfocused on that...

    That's part of what I'm trying to solve now, dealing with the roller coaster of my emotions.
  5. May 5, 2015 #4
    The bouncing around shouldn't be that troubling especially if you are young. You should be trying as many different things as you can to figure out your true path. Get some sleep though. It's very important to your health and happiness.
  6. May 5, 2015 #5


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    Homework Helper

    To me the true challenge of self-studying is when you have to study something you have no genuine interest in to begin with, like for example there can be certain part in doing thesis where one is sometimes obliged to learn something out of his field. This especially can become quite painful when this stuff out of your field actually belongs to some not-so-easy graduate level courses in its own field. Such experience has occurred to me at least once.
  7. May 5, 2015 #6
    I liked your article quite a bit. Regarding Challenge #5, that's where Physics Forums can help.

    Regarding Challenge #4, you have discovered that, in solving problems (e.g., modelling), a very effective practice is to start simple. Why? If you can't solve a simple version of the problem, then you certainly won't be able to solve the complicated version. Plus, after you has solved the simple version, you have "something under your belt" with which you can compare your more refined solutions.

  8. May 5, 2015 #7
    Challenge #1 is my main issue personally. Not comparing yourself to others is difficult, but once you decide to ignore the progress of others learning becomes much easier, and you'll find yourself leagues ahead! Nice article.
  9. May 6, 2015 #8


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    Nice article!
  10. May 6, 2015 #9
    Love it! I'll be applying to universities this fall and I'm hoping to do physics. I thought it was very helpful.
  11. May 6, 2015 #10
    Challenge 6: How to avoid pessimistic people who constantly bug you and tell you to give up and you are not in a position to snap back at them and tell them to shut up.
  12. May 6, 2015 #11
    Challenge 3: How is it even possible to know your limits early on? have you heard of this saying ?
    "To know your limits you must try to cross them"
  13. May 6, 2015 #12
    Try to surround yourself with more positive people who believe in you. Changing your environment really helps, if it is possible. I've been through this before, and I can't lie, it is a tough thing to go through, especially since what they say will always be a nagging thought at the back of your head whenever you fail. You need to find people who believe in you and support you, as well as do something you have a passion in.
  14. May 6, 2015 #13
    Well, I think it is important to have a rough idea of your limits before starting. I.e., It may not be wise to jump into a calculus course if you don't yet know precalc algebra and trig.
  15. May 6, 2015 #14
    I felt the exact same way when I had to take material sciences, dynamics, and thermodynamics this semester, given that I'm not in mechanical or chemical engineering. However, you're going to have to force yourself to get excited about this content. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you enjoy it. (It works best for me).

    I don't know much about academic research, but perhaps it is possible to talk to someone who is an expert in this field?
  16. May 6, 2015 #15


    Staff: Mentor

    Nice insight.

    It mirrors the same problems researchers in all fields have when breaking new ground. They often have no one to turn to, doubt their results and struggle to verify things before publishing so in a sense the self-learning exercise prepares you for the real world where you will have to self learn difficult things to solve difficult problems in novel ways.
  17. May 6, 2015 #16
    A...freaking...men. Well said, and welcome, since it so aptly describes my own experience.
  18. May 6, 2015 #17
    And it's nice to know it's a shared one...
  19. May 6, 2015 #18
    Yes, my new academic counsellor (I was too proud, too bull-headed, and too stupid to ask for any help from anybody as an undergraduate, which was a serious mistake) and I are trying to devise ways of me getting uninterrupted sleep. I think I might just have found a formula.

    I've noticed my productivity is generally better. And it's like a muscle-as you train it, you'll need less, though never none.
  20. May 6, 2015 #19
    That's a tough one, but if necessary, simply change who you hang out with.
  21. May 10, 2015 #20
    Unfortunately, you need strong self-discipline to get studying stuff you don't have any interest it. My shocking lack of self control has meant I have probably sabotaged my first year at uni.
  22. Apr 14, 2016 #21
    That was very useful !I would plan to do so many things for my vacation like learning a programming language,master high school math and science (I just completed my middle school ).But I would end up spending most of my time learning science since I love it more that math and computer science.
    The lack of interest was as you said "self doubt" I think I should dive into this freaking math and master it before my vacation ends so that I could crack my medical entrance !
  23. Apr 14, 2016 #22


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    I'm not saying it's describes me perfectly, but it describes me perfectly.
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