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I seem to have lost all interest in physics

  1. Nov 24, 2015 #1

    I'm getting my degree this year, and I seem to have lost all interest in learning physics. I don't feel like studying any more, I just don't see the point in it. I was fine when this semester started, I felt very motivated and I even started reading up the recommended bibliography before classes started.

    But a month after that I started to lose all confidence in myself. Everyone I meet seems smarter than me, more interested on physics than me, more focused than me, and I feel somewhat inferior. This leads to less time and energy put into studying, which makes me lag behind the class, which reinforces the cycle.

    I know the smart thing to do is to stop waiting for motivation and just work my ass off until I get my confidence back, but I just don't have the energy to do it. If any of you has gone through a phase like this I would welcome any advice.

    Thank you for your time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2015 #2


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    The first big thing in dealing with a lack of motivation is to make sure that you're taking good care of yourself. A lack of energy can stem from poor sleep, poor nutrition, stress, lack of exercise, etc. So don't overlook the small stuff. Make sure you're getting a decent amount of sleep on a regular basis. Make sure to eat nutritious foods (lots of vegetables and fruits, avoid the high fat and processed sugary stuff that will make you lethargic). Exercise. Socialize. Take time to laugh.

    Next, pay attention to the choices you're making when picking people to hang around with. Some people naturally evoke stress, or talk about mid-terms as if their entire life depends on getting a certain grade. Avoid people like this when possible. Search out people whose company you enjoy. Maybe try to spend some time with someone who might look up to you.

    Avoid comparing yourself with others. In university, especially in physics programs, it can be difficult to remember that just being there is a major accomplishment in and of itself, and though there are points where competition will matter such as admission to graduate school - every little aspect of life is not a competition. Focus on your goals and do what you need to do to achieve them. It doesn't matter if the guy sitting next to you in your differential equations class is two years younger than you, has a perfect 4.0 GPA, and just published a paper in string theory. What matters is that you get into the graduate school that you want to get into, or that you get the education you want for the career you want.

    Take the time to critically assess your workload and timetable on a regular basis. Pushing yourself if good. Burning out is bad. The trick is figuring out the balance point between the two.
  4. Nov 24, 2015 #3


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    ^this advice is good. Never underestimate the effect that your physical state has on your mind

    You should think strongly about why you chose a physics major and what your plans are.
    Where do you want to go in life? This is a deep and difficult question, so a certain answer is definitely not obligatory, but thinking about it may give you new insight into your true desires
    You have made it this far, so there must be something about this science that connects with you. Try writing your thoughts down on paper, I find that this helps me

    Best of luck in your pursuits.
  5. Nov 25, 2015 #4
    I can understand that feeling. The semester is at a very stressful time right now, I'm sure it seems like just studying for an exam instead of learning what you are passionate about. Give it time, I'm sure it'll pass.
  6. Nov 26, 2015 #5
    Well, just writing this post made me feel instantly better. I'll give it time until I feel like I used to. Thank you all for your kind answers.
  7. Nov 26, 2015 #6
    I know how you feel, physics can be tough sometimes and I too have thought about quiting at some point, but it's an exciting major, and I know it's tough, it's tough for everyone not just you. You have to be confident in yourself. If you're struggling ask for extra help from your professor. YouTube is a great tool as well. YouTube is the only way I survived quantum mechanics.
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