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How to be proactive?

  • #1
Felipe Lincoln
Gold Member
99
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I made a thread where was discussed ways to improve the studies here
But there I saw a lot of time that we should be more proactive when studying. But I realized I was only being reactive, my behaviour is: give me an exercise list and I'll do it, give me the chapters of a textbook and I'll read it. I never did more than this, and it's the minimal one can do. But what can I do more?
So can you give me any advice on how to become a proactive student?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Joshy
Gold Member
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Maybe join a professional or academic society and work on projects? I find myself looking into things even if it's not required or given to me.

Another thing I like to do is make up my own problems. You don't have to be too crafty: Take something you already know or are familiar with, and mess it up; add in a different conditions or parameters.
 
  • #3
opus
Gold Member
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For me it has been my curiosity. I think if you’re really really interested in something, you will always think about it and want to engulf yourself in that thing and doing more problems is something that you want to do. I dont think this should be much of a problem because we should ( I would think ) major in something that is extremely interesting to us, so we should usually be interested in the classes that accompany that as well.

But you cant be interested in everything. Some psychology classes and finance classes that Ive taken were absolute torture for me. And how I got myself to perform well and sit down and do it was to have pride in my work. In doing so, at the end of the semester you can feel good that even though you didnt want to do it, you got it done at the best of your ability. I think that’s just life in general- we need to be mature enough to do the things that we dont want to do but need to be done.

Also, I think that having a good work space is very important. I have my study room set up to where I love being in it, and its strictly for studying. So when its time to sit down and work, Im in an environment that’s conducive to learning.
 
  • #4
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I made a thread where was discussed ways to improve the studies here
But there I saw a lot of time that we should be more proactive when studying. But I realized I was only being reactive, my behaviour is: give me an exercise list and I'll do it, give me the chapters of a textbook and I'll read it. I never did more than this, and it's the minimal one can do. But what can I do more?
This sounds to me as if you lack the most important ingredient of success in science of all: curiosity. This is the normal motivation to read scientific literature. So if it is not this, then ask yourself what motivates you instead and act accordingly.
So can you give me any advice on how to become a proactive student?
Here is what K. Smith had to say about it, which I think is a valuable advice:
http://www.ams.org/publications/journals/notices/201707/rnoti-p718.pdf
 
  • #5
Stephen Tashi
Science Advisor
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1,237
So can you give me any advice on how to become a proactive student?
I think it's essential to have a sense of humor and relax.

When we are reading a textbook and doing its exercises we have the confidence that the text (somewhat) makes sense and that the exercises have solutions. So if we fail to comprehend the text or can't solve the exercises, we admit a defect in ourselves and anxiously work to correct it. Success in routine study is measured by correcting such defects.

However, if we formulate our own questions and answers, we create "text" that make not make any sense at all So when we "study" our self-written text, we can't do so with the same confidence as studying a textbook. Likewise, if we pose our own exercises, we can't be sure that they have answers that we are equipped to find. You can't take a proactive outlook toward a subject unless you can tolerate (or even enjoy) the experience of not always bringing things to a successful conclusion.
 
  • #6
symbolipoint
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The title of this topic means, "How to prepare in advance to handle unexpected changes or unexpected difficulties."

Proactive for learning or studying can mean or include: Begin to study a course or set of topics before being officially enrolled in the course containing those topics. Or trying to study ahead if already enrolled in and studying a course. It can and usually should mean both finding extra material tor read for the course; and also trying more than just the officially assigned exercises.
 
  • #7
Andy Resnick
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However, if we formulate our own questions and answers, we create "text" that make not make any sense at all So when we "study" our self-written text, we can't do so with the same confidence as studying a textbook. Likewise, if we pose our own exercises, we can't be sure that they have answers that we are equipped to find.
This is exactly what I tell my students when they ask me how to study. It really is the best way to learn the material.
 
  • #8
Felipe Lincoln
Gold Member
99
11
Thanks all the aswers, I'll take into consideration every advice.
I'll try doing my own content on what I'm studying, never heard of this method before and I liked it.
 

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