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I need some guidance for my next school year

  1. Apr 25, 2010 #1
    Hello, I'll be finishing my freshman year of college soon and I'm pretty saddened as to the results of my academic performance. I am currently a Physics major and after my first semester I pulled off a dismal 2.7 gpa. This semester I was working for a big change, but I guess this was mainly talk for me. I estimated at a website that my cumulative gpa will be 2.3.

    I feel as though my main problem is I don't really apply myself as a student too much(this has been said to me before in my high school days). Right now, I will admit that I do not put a lot of time into studying because (I know this is stupid) sometimes I feel that if I had to dedicate hours and hours of studying per week to a subject then I am not capable of surviving in the field. As in, I generally have trouble studying for more than 8 hours per week not because I am uninterested in what I am studying, but because I simply get sidetracked/restless and simply wish to do other things and then resort to cramming. I feel like I have some trouble concentrating too. In class, I'll have problems recalling what I learn or simply forget everything I learned in class. Even my notes will seem foreign to me on regular occasion.

    On average, is there anyone here on the forums that really had to study and apply themselves to really understand Math/Physics? If so how many hours per week should I really study? It seems to me that everyone else in my Math and Physics classes were born to do this and I am simply a fledging student trying to get by.

    Assuming I get a 2.3 or god forbid a lower gpa than that, how much of an uphill battle would be to get my gpa back up to a graduate school level (3.0 I believe it is)? Will future employers see my grades freshman year and assume I am not capable?

    Lastly, in terms of redoing a class (Say I get a D the first time, retake and get an A) how will this work? Will the A just show and it will make a note that I retook the class?

    Thanks in advance

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2010 #2
    Depends on the school. At mine, both show up on the transcript but only the A gets calculated in the GPA if you ask for it. This info should be in your bulletin, or ask your academic adviser.

    How many credits do you have? It's all about having enough credits worth of decent grades to balance out the bad ones, and that depends on how many you've currently got.

    However many you need to really understand the material. There's no magic number and it could very well vary by topic.

    Most don't ask for transcripts, and even the ones that do tend to weight your most recent grades most heavily.
  4. Apr 26, 2010 #3

    George Jones

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    Close to eight hours per week per course.
  5. Apr 26, 2010 #4
    This might sound crazy, but maybe consider talking to a psychologist about this problem. You might have a moderate case of adult ADD. This is really something you have to ask yourself though . . . Are you legitimatly having a tough time, or are you just lazy? (I'm not calling you lazy, it's just something you have to ask yourself). It's easy to be pumped about school early in the semester, but it usually takes a lot to keep that momentum going. If you show a significant turn around, schools and employers will be able to see your progress, so it shouldn't hurt you that much, but it's something that you will really need to start taking seriously.

    I did the same thing my first two semesters, and eventually dropped out with like a 1.3. After 5 years out of school, I just got back in and had my history wiped clean. I think with age and the maturity that follows, I have appreciated my time in school much more and (hopefully if nothing crazy happens) will have a 4.0 at the end of the semester (out of 4.0).

    Another thing to keep in mind . . . very few people just have things that "come to them". The rest of us have to work hard. A statistic that I learned that I really keep close to home is that our brain, on average, retains something like 20% of what we hear the first time. Something like if your professor teaches you something in lecture, you can expect to remember about 20% of what they said. If you go home and either practice or study what they said THAT NIGHT, that percentage jumps to 80% retention. Your brain actually stores that information into "long term memory" files. So, for me, I have to make it a point to at least practice some of what I learned that very night for me to actually remember it. Cramming the night before just doesn't work.

    Anyways, hope this helps.
  6. Apr 26, 2010 #5
    That is really bad, either you need to really put in the work from now on or you better change your field if you can't muster up enough willpower to do it. Might seem harsh but honestly, do you think that the answer would be any different?

    The courses don't get easier, as you go on now you will only get more and more behind until you start failing classes. There are no shortcuts really, either start working or switch to a field that interests you enough to do it.
  7. Apr 26, 2010 #6
    I dont really agree with this. Close to 8 hours per week for physics and math courses is definitely a good idea. but as a freshman and sophomore you take a lot of Gen Ed. BS classes where 1 to 3 hours a week is enough to get by with an A and its pointless to do more.

    I got A's in Calc 1 and Calc 2 with only putting in maybe 1 hour a week in calc 1 and 3 hours in calc 2, however i would usually put in about 8 to 10 hours of studying for exams.

    Alot of intro physics classes will pretty much require around 8 hours a week because of all the homework problems.
  8. Apr 26, 2010 #7

    George Jones

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    This is just a rough, ballpark number. Of course, the time required depends to some extent on the student and the course.
    I have no experience with this. In first year, I took two semesters of chemistry and two semesters of computer science. All the other courses that I took in university were either physics or math courses. A guy whom I know, however, is a classics professor, and he tells the students in his courses the same number, eight hours a week per course.
  9. Apr 26, 2010 #8
    Wow. Dude I"m also going through something similar. Sometimes I wonder if I'm lazy, afraid or have some disease. I hope you can get out of your hole, man. I really don't know much about the college system but I'm going through the exact same thing as a senior in high school.
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