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I think I need some serious help with school

  1. Dec 13, 2007 #1

    I just transferred from one CC to another this past summer, my grades were horrible and I had so much F's that I was no longer allowed to enroll for the classes I need. So I saw the counsellors there and they told me to stop doing that major. Well the reason I have been failing in college isn't what my major is, it is a combination of low confidence and giving up easily. And it seems like an irresponsible side of me takes over. I am also guilty of escapism, instead of studying for an important exam I would just play a computer game. Its something I felt powerless to do anything about. And its been made worse as my transcipt got more F's in it, now overshadowing me forever. My GPA is so bad that I've spent a lot of time considering whether to just give up college and become a janitor.

    After I transferred to SMC, my bad grades initially began reversing. Let me start with physics 21. I failied the class three times, that's three times. And every time I'd get an F its because I'd quit trying in the class after getting A on the mid-term. My attendance become bad, I put work off til later, and seek escapism. In SMC I took the Physics class in summer session and got grade A so easily I astounded my whole class. But I will tell you guys honestly, I only got the grade because the session was so short, if it had been 12 weeks I couldnt have done it. I was working a lot better when I knew it would soon be over with. I still missed a couple days I needn't have though. Now I have completed physics 22 as well and got B. Despite B my instructor told me that he knew I would have been "easily" able to get the best grade in the class from the second week, and he was very disappointed in me. These are the hardest classes at SMC, and I had it in me to easily ace them. But I turned into the worst student in the class towards the end and I finally did incredibly poor on the final compared to what I should have been able to do.

    I have tried to stop doing it myself through willpower for several years and I dont think I have it in me. I feel destined to fail over and over because I dont have the necessary stamina to go all the way. So please if you have had similar stories please share how you were able to finally kick your bad habit and make something of yourself. I'm out of ideas.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2007 #2


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    You are the only person that can fix your problem. There is NOTHING that I, or anybody else, can say or do for you. It is solely in your hands. If you want to you can do it. Getting an education is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.

    Quit feeling sorry for yourself, get off your butt and get to work.

    Go Beavers.
  4. Dec 13, 2007 #3
    Just like the person above me said, you're the only person who can fix the problem. Sure speaking to someone else may help, but even that has an expiry date (through my own experience)

    If it's any consolidation, i know precisely how you feel as i have been through the same situation of seeking that sense of 'escapism' and just giving up easily when things seem to have gotten too far out of reach. I use to get the highest grades in the class, higher than other students who are usually expected to get the highest grade, and that made me immensely proud, although i think that's what got in my way, over confidence. I got to a point where i was in control of my home work, my studies (not it in control of me) and i just began to slip from there where i thought i could leave things for a bit later, that i didn't have to over study myself, that i could easily catch up later on in the semester, say a week or two before the exam. Sure this worked the first one or two times, but then you just become slacker and slacker. It falls into a habit.

    It's a nasty state to get into, and i got out of it firstly, but now have gotten back into it, although this time it's mainly because of unavoidable personal problems. What i see that helps me is to find ways of motivation and inspiration, that's what gets me. Like say i sit down to study hard and eventually i understand the work i'm doing, i'm getting the right answers, and that motivates me to study it more even so, and if i get stuck i just have more of a drive to learn. Try something like that, get yourself to do some set homework for the day and if it picks up you should get that old passion back. If you don't understand me, i'll rephrase that.

    Although I don’t understand why your low transcript has over shadowed you for ever? It’s just the transcript for the semester isn’t it?

    There comes a point where saying to yourself that you can do it all later doesn't work out that way, so it's important to get on top of it all before it gets on top of you. :) just try to find the strength and motivation in yourself to push forward, i know it's really hard.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  5. Dec 13, 2007 #4


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    Sounds like you're making excuses for yourself. If you don't have the initiative to finish a 12 week course, how do you plan on completing anything in life?

    If playing video games is your problem, then trying throwing the thing away. Repeat with anything else you are addicted to.

    Or, you could become a janitor...the world needs clean toilets.
  6. Dec 13, 2007 #5
    I did this (back when X-box was still cool). I traded my X-box for a sweet ipod that I can listen to while studying.

    Looks like it's just time for you to make the call. Saddle up, or get ridden...

    Good Luck,
  7. Dec 13, 2007 #6
    I've done the same thing at times. Just get rid of your computer. No seriously, you don't need a computer. I went without one for a year and my mark took a turn for the better.

    My other advice would be to stop obsessing over the 'F''s you're getting and the assignments/whatever that you are not doing well on. Just take it a day at a time. At times I know that looking at my mark will do more harm than good so I just wait until the weekend or whenever before I see what I got on a midterm.

    Try to figure out why you are there. If it's because you want to get A's and look smart well....it's probably not. So don't be so concerned about that. Do it for the enjoyment or whatever reason you might have.
  8. Dec 13, 2007 #7


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    There should be no need to take such drastic measures as "throwing out your computer." Instead, try and find a quiet place to work; whether that be a library, or a room in your house without a computer.
  9. Dec 13, 2007 #8


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    Low self-confidence, escapism and apathy could be depression or other issues. Suggest you work with a therapist or counselor. As you make progress on your issues, your schoolwork will improve as a bonus!
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  10. Dec 13, 2007 #9
    Thanks for the replies, looks like a lot of people know well what I'm going through. So I guess I will just keep plugging away and hope I find it within me for things to turn around.
  11. Dec 13, 2007 #10
    Just try to find it in yourself to really get into it, it's hard but imagine what it would be like after say achieving the desired results, or when the semester is over and you know you did well. Set small goals through out the semester and as you gradually achieve them, they should make you more passionate, that's at least what i'm trying to do.
  12. Dec 14, 2007 #11
    You have to ask deeper: why are you trying to escape from the class and can't finish things that take a long time?

    In the mean time, go to the library to study. You can't do anything there but study and do homework. No distractions.

    Yes. I've been having the same problem (see my thread about failing), but in my case I know I have clinical depression. I didn't want to bring it up, but those 3 are signs that I had of depression, too.

    Which is why you have to ask yourself why you do what you do.


    See how much this sounds like you. In my case, my jaw just dropped because it was like someone just knew me and stuck all of my feelings on wikipedia.

    What ever your problem is, you have to get it fixed at all costs. You can't live like this and you know it.
  13. Dec 14, 2007 #12
    Wow, go_ducks - we seem to be polar opposites yet share the same exact problem. I'll explain: I have been a poor math student for years, but I had considered myself a hard worker, but just not too bright with the subject matter. In your case, you seem very smart, but you're giving up for different reasons (escapism, low confidence, etc). I recently have been hitting the books on my own in an attempt to shake off the stigma that I'm too unintelligent to learn what I really want to learn. In your case, you have to shake off the stigma that you're invariably bound to give up, because you think it's ingrained in your character. Every day I read more and study more on my own time, I feel better and better about myself, even if I have trouble. I'm attacking the problem, and i get positive feedback for it. I suggest you try and prove yourself wrong, because you'll inevitably feel better about yourself (your low confidence) and you'll get on the right track. Trust me, these things don't fix themselves. I've had my stigma since I was 12 (I'm 22 now).

    Good luck!
  14. Dec 14, 2007 #13
    I'm like the above, poor at math just never was my strong point. I personally had to take calc 2 3x. passed it the 3rd time though. I know guy who's at NASA who had to take every math class at least twice, through undergrad, grad, and a few in his current phd program. it's not that he's not smart it's just we all learn differently I think. and having the determination to want to repeat a class until you understand it can make you a good engineer, physicist, etc.

    on the other hand that giving up the video game thing. don't knock it. i HAD to pawn my wii, DS, and Ps2 to pay for my december rent which was rite around finals. ended up passing 2 classes that i 'just knew' i would fail. I think i learned a lesson, next semester I'll just take it back to my parents when i go home for easter so i can focus. it really helped from procrastinating
  15. Dec 14, 2007 #14


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    i was like that, and was consequently forced to leave school and work at a real job for a year, then reapply. i worked in a factory and an office. i got such a lesson in real world economics that i wanted seriously to go back, and was able finally to make myself attend class, and do some work.

    i think the people at my old school understood that in my case nothing would suffice except a dose of reality. it wasn't a permanent fix, but got me going enough to get on with my career.

    in general i decided the earlier you take your medicine and get cured, the better.
  16. Dec 15, 2007 #15
    It seems like education beyond high school doesn't seem to interest you. I've know some people like that. The best thing to do is drop all this college crap and go out and get a job. Don't force yourself into thinking that you need a 4 year degree or any education beyond high school to succeed. College isn't for everyone.

    I know people without college degrees that make $100k a year.... that are not business owners. Mostly in IT/government/game industry. Even my parents(foreigners with no HS degree who barely speak any english) did better than a janitor/housekeeper.
  17. Dec 15, 2007 #16
    go_ducks, like fizziks said if you can find something that you are passionate about than try your hand at that and see how it goes. I know a person who did a degree in political science, and most of my friends thought this guy would go into government or something like that (he was just that kind of a person). The next thing I know, he is working at Rogers Wireless and helping with some software coding what not.

    I was shocked, so I initially asked him how he knew to code and when he did a degree in computers, and he was like throughout his university career he used to borrow computer coding books from the library and practice those! Then he did one of those online computer degree tests, and got a diploma from them. Now he currently makes some from $90K to $100K - I can't remember exactly but I know it is very high!

    So basically you never know, you might just find pleasure in something that you can fully control - as in control the length of time it takes you to complete it and how much of it you need. But what ever you decide, good luck man!
  18. Dec 15, 2007 #17
    This is something to look at definitely. It took me almost 7 years out of high school to realise that reality without a degree is much more difficult.

    I hear this a lot, yet I never really see it.... If just doing better than a janitor is your goal in life, power to you; I wish my aspirations were such (it would certainly lower my blood-pressure).

    However, before running out and thinking you are going to make $100k without any degree or any brilliant ideas, you may want to consider giving school one more try.

    Or do like mathwonk (and I) did and go out and get a good beating from the man and then go back to school.

  19. Dec 18, 2007 #18
    How old are you? I'm 36 and just went back to school January of this year. Before this year I just was not ready for the commitment of school. I even had a GI Bill that I never used, meaning that I was out of the service 10+ years so now I can't collect. So now I find myself paying out of pocket. But I'm a much better student now that what I could've ever been in the past. Math always intimidated me before, but I've faced it head on. I've worked my way up to calculus I starting next semester and can't wait to start! Maybe take some time off and live life, then go back. It's working for me.

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