Im having a Rough Term, need advice

In summary, the speaker is in their third year of studying chemical engineering and has always been able to manage their workload and maintain a good GPA. However, the current term is proving to be extremely difficult and they are struggling to keep up with the coursework, despite dedicating all their time to studying. They are seeking advice on how to perform better and improve their efficiency, as well as considering dropping a class. The speaker also plans to talk to their professors for guidance. One suggestion is to review study habits and possibly do more independent work. The importance of taking effective notes is also mentioned.
  • #1
NanjoeBot
49
0
Hi everyone,
Im in my third year of studying chemical engineering. Its been ALoT of work so far, but its always been manageable and I've been able pass every class so far and I have a pretty good gpa (3.5). However, this current term is really killing me. I dedicate every waking moment, that I am not in class, to homework. And I still can't keep up! Even on the weekends, I start my days by 8:00am and just study until midnight but I still just can't keep up. This term has just barely started and I am approaching my breaking point in a way that I never have before. Its not just me either, everyone in my program is having a really hard time.

Can anyone provide any insight on how I could maybe preform better or be efficient enough to keep up?

Thank you.
 
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  • #2
Pick one person in each of your classes and resolve that, "No matter what they earn in the end, I'm going to do better." :D

Better advice: re-evaluate your study habits. You may very well be doing something inefficiently. Is your study area too noisy? Too quiet? Maybe it's too cluttered and it's distracting? Are you simply not understanding your assignments? In that case, you might benefit from haunting your professor's office hours. Are you working with anyone else? That can help you more than you know.

Bear in mind, though, that nobody in college is more stressed than the person with the 4.0. Being stressed and studying long hours tells me you're doing something right :P
 
  • #3
NanjoeBot said:
Can anyone provide any insight on how I could maybe preform better or be efficient enough to keep up?

Something that you might consider is dropping some classes if you can do it without academic penalty.

There are some things that you might be able to do in order to study more efficiently. However, it's important to realize that everyone has their limits, and it seems that you have hit your limits, then you need to do less. Trying to do more, once you've hit the wall just makes things worse.
 
  • #4
DDTea said:
Pick one person in each of your classes and resolve that, "No matter what they earn in the end, I'm going to do better."

The problem is that that person is looking at you and thinking the same thing. Someone is going to get disappointed.

Bear in mind, though, that nobody in college is more stressed than the person with the 4.0. Being stressed and studying long hours tells me you're doing something right :P

Then again maybe not. Life is a marathon and not a sprint. If you slow down and keep heading the same direction you'll make it there eventually. If you run too fast, and blow up, you'll never get to where you are going to go.
 
  • #5
Thanks for the responses. I can't drop a class becuase they are all offered only once a year and my 3 engineering courses are required for senior year. I could drop p-chem, but then I would have to take it along with my senior classes, which are filled with projects and lab work.

I do most of my homework with a group, I think I might actually start doing more independent work. I'll go talk to my professors and get their advice.
 
  • #6
NanjoeBot said:
I do most of my homework with a group, I think I might actually start doing more independent work. I'll go talk to my professors and get their advice.

Via my experience with doing "homework with a group" (in some classes I was in even required group-submitted homeworks), you should ALL do EVERY problem independently, then compare both solutions and technique. First -- this can catch errors and improve your homework grade (over doing the work completely independently)... but second, and more importantly, perhaps via good comparisons of not just ansers but also techniques, it will show more than one way of solving a problem... which will be useful in the end to all of you.
 
  • #7
DDTea said:
Being stressed and studying long hours tells me you're doing something right :P
No offense, but this is probably the single most ridiculous thing I have ever read here.
 
Last edited:
  • #8
NanjoeBot said:
Hi everyone,
Im in my third year of studying chemical engineering. Its been ALoT of work so far, but its always been manageable and I've been able pass every class so far and I have a pretty good gpa (3.5). However, this current term is really killing me. I dedicate every waking moment, that I am not in class, to homework. And I still can't keep up! Even on the weekends, I start my days by 8:00am and just study until midnight but I still just can't keep up. This term has just barely started and I am approaching my breaking point in a way that I never have before. Its not just me either, everyone in my program is having a really hard time.

Can anyone provide any insight on how I could maybe preform better or be efficient enough to keep up?

Thank you.
Get back to basics and review how you are learning. Are you taking notes like a demon and trying to catch everything? I found that to be a huge waste of time. I'd take lecture notes in the margins of my texts and underline concepts that the instructor stressed. That stuff is bound to be included in quizzes and exams. Your notes should be memory-joggers, not transcripts. When it's time for you to review, your notes are right there near the relevant material in your texts. Saves a lot of time trying to synch some hand-written notes in a notebook with the material in the text, and helps avoid that "why did I write that?" feeling during review.

Beating yourself up with long study hours every day is a good way to end up stressed and ripe for the next illness (mono, bronchitis, etc) that surges in the school population. You need some relaxation and unwinding every day, and a healthy amount of sleep to keep your mind sharp. Good luck.
 
  • #9
I also think you have to ask yourself if the pace you're currently keeping up is something you can and desire to keep up for the rest of your life. I know a lot of people say that they're just sacrificing a couple of years in university so that they'll have a better life further on, but I don't think this is an on-off switch. From personal experience, as well, I've noticed that I keep telling myself that I need to grind through this and that in order to get the reward later on. While some of this is needed to get anything done, you need to stop someday, and just go at a pace you're comfortable with, so as to enjoy the process. Don't toil yourself to death just because you're surrounded by people who live for university and by them telling you the harder you work the better person you are. I don't know how much this will help, I just know it's advice I'd like to follow, even though I, too, sometimes find it hard, as those thoughts of "just get this done and then ..." prevail. But if on the other hand you enjoy such pace and would like to keep it up for the rest of your life, then I guess I can't offer any other advice.
 
  • #10
Turbo and Ryker, I think your both exactly right. Now that I think about it, I think I've spent too much time my whole college career trying to digest all I can out of the textbooks. I always spend a lot of time trying to understand all the theory and derivations. I think now what I need to do is just grab the main points and put all that time into practice problems instead of reading.

Thanks guys.
 
  • #11
turbo-1 said:
Get back to basics and review how you are learning. Are you taking notes like a demon and trying to catch everything? I found that to be a huge waste of time. I'd take lecture notes in the margins of my texts and underline concepts that the instructor stressed. That stuff is bound to be included in quizzes and exams. Your notes should be memory-joggers, not transcripts. When it's time for you to review, your notes are right there near the relevant material in your texts. Saves a lot of time trying to synch some hand-written notes in a notebook with the material in the text, and helps avoid that "why did I write that?" feeling during review.

Beating yourself up with long study hours every day is a good way to end up stressed and ripe for the next illness (mono, bronchitis, etc) that surges in the school population. You need some relaxation and unwinding every day, and a healthy amount of sleep to keep your mind sharp. Good luck.

That is the best piece of advice you will probably get. I am a UK A level student (i believe this is 12th grade equivilant in the US), and have been working the skin off my bone since day one. I now realize after taking my first set of exams that, I probably over worked with too little sleep. You need sleep. You also need to work, but sleep should take priority. Today, I took a practice mechanics test in my class, and sure I did pretty badly. Not because I didn't know the material; but because I was sleep deprived and spent until about 1 in the morning working.
 

What can I do to improve my grades during a rough term?

First, identify the root cause of your struggling. Are you struggling with a particular subject or assignment type? Are you having difficulty managing your time? Once you know the issue, you can develop a plan to address it. This may involve seeking help from a tutor or professor, creating a study schedule, or finding ways to improve your time management skills.

Should I drop a class if I'm having a rough term?

This depends on your specific situation. Dropping a class may be the best option if you are struggling to keep up with the workload and it is negatively impacting your other courses. However, if you believe you can manage the course and still pass, it may be worth sticking it out. Consider talking to your academic advisor for guidance.

What resources are available to help me during a rough term?

Most universities offer resources such as tutoring services, writing centers, and study groups. Additionally, your professors may have office hours where you can seek help. Don't be afraid to reach out for assistance when you need it. It's always better to ask for help than to struggle alone.

How can I manage my stress and anxiety during a rough term?

Stress and anxiety are common during a rough term, and it's important to address them. Make sure to take breaks and practice self-care. Exercise, get enough sleep, and eat well to help manage stress. Additionally, talking to a counselor or therapist can be beneficial in managing these emotions.

What steps can I take to prevent having a rough term in the future?

Reflect on what caused your rough term and make a plan to prevent it from happening again. This may mean improving your study habits, seeking help earlier if you are struggling, or making changes to your schedule. It's important to learn from your experiences and make adjustments for future terms.

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