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Studying Is studying too much bad?

  1. Jul 17, 2007 #1

    daniel_i_l

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    I've found that in the past month or so I've been studying math a lot (more that 8 hours a day). I really like it but am I studying to much? Should I be "playing outside" and enjoying the world (other that math) while I can? Or just do what I enjoy the most? For some reason this thought hit me a few days ago and it's made my motivation go down a little.
    Any thought/advice?
    Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2007 #2
    Do what you enjoy most. If it's studying 8 hours a day, then by all means, do it.
     
  4. Jul 17, 2007 #3
    Do whatever you're comfortable with, if you can do 8 hours and not feel burnt out or have any negative impact then do it. I have done long study periods sometimes as long as 12 hours, but I generally mix it up with recreation too, so I don't get too burnt out, and I find you can only do so much before you stop absorbing information effectively, but everyone's different, whatever works, works. You'll work out what's best for you by trial and error I'm sure.
     
  5. Jul 17, 2007 #4
    this is a philosophical question (is the vitality of youth valuable?) whose answer is unique to you.
     
  6. Jul 17, 2007 #5
    Not to the point where you will isolate yourself socially. There are more important things in life too, like friends and family and having fun while you're still young.
     
  7. Jul 17, 2007 #6

    mathwonk

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    make sure you get some exercise. even if your main goal is studying, it helps to be physically healthy and strong, or you cannot even study as much.

    remember you have an intellectual self, an emotional self, a spiritual self, and a physical self, and all need to be in harmony, as the mystics put it.

    but the old formula says 8 hours of study, 8 hours of sleep, still leaves 8 hours for food, errands, and play.
     
  8. Jul 17, 2007 #7
    you're forgetting about actual class
     
  9. Jul 17, 2007 #8

    JasonRox

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    8 hours is pushing it, in my opinion. During the summer, sure if you don't work. During school, you won't even have time to have a social life. You might not think it's a big deal, but when you may seek a social life it might hit you really hard on how you don't have one and neither do you possess the social skills to get one. What happens after that? My vote is on severe depression.
     
  10. Jul 17, 2007 #9
    yea its odd but true that socializing takes practice just like everything else
     
  11. Jul 17, 2007 #10

    JasonRox

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    Yeah, it really does. Of course, I sound harsh about it, but I'm saying what the reality is going to be if you choose to ignore it like some students.

    You need a balance like mathwonk said.
     
  12. Jul 17, 2007 #11

    mjsd

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    try as you might, but eventually you will be burnt out and shall "play outside" anyway. Doing something for too long will cause you to lose interest. especially when you have been stuck on a problem for a few days, and getting frustrated, starting to lose interest, that would be a sign to really take a break.
    remember there are always more things to study than there is time available, so like it or not, you shall let your brain to recharge at some point.
     
  13. Jul 17, 2007 #12

    mathwonk

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    when i was an undergrd at harvard it was suggeated we spend 8 Hours on class + study, and so on.... but i think it took more study than that. but this was considered normal, not excessive.
     
  14. Jul 17, 2007 #13

    JasonRox

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    If you spend 8 hours a day studying and going to class, that's pretty normal. That's like having an 8 hour work day.
     
  15. Jul 17, 2007 #14

    mathwonk

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    yes, but we thought it optimistic. top students went to the library when it opened and left when it closed.
     
  16. Jul 17, 2007 #15

    mathwonk

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    let me remind of one thing: as students we often take pride in how smart we think we are, but in college and professional life, success is measured by how much we work.
     
  17. Jul 17, 2007 #16

    JasonRox

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    But remember, that's not true. I have to disagree. That's if you measure success in life as something like how much money you make and how high your grades are and if you're the best student or not.

    Remember the famous quote...

    "And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

    A life working all day isn't much of a life filled with success at all.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2007
  18. Jul 18, 2007 #17
    The thing is if you talk about things like 'life' as in your quote it can't be well defined and measured. Life for one person might mean being at the beach whereas life for another might be doing problems. Both type willl say the other has wasted their life.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2007
  19. Jul 18, 2007 #18
    This is something that it took me till my third year of college to realize. I had like a 4.0 for the first two years however I was killing myself and not enjoying things. I was miserable. I do attend college 5 hours from my home but lately Ive been trying to get home every 2 or 3 weeks for a couple of days and trying to be sure to play some games with my college buddies.
     
  20. Jul 18, 2007 #19

    JasonRox

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    Exactly, same here. I had the same experience.

    Once you hit a balance, you're literally on top of the world.
     
  21. Jul 18, 2007 #20
    I would recommend that you take probably 30 minute breaks and do whatever you want, so that you don't get burnt out. If you do get burnt out, those next few hours are going to be worthless, since your body is going to be too tired to focus on studies and you'll find yourself most likely going to sleep.
     
  22. Jul 18, 2007 #21
    Indeed, like most guys say, don't push yourself beyond your limits. When you feel tired and dizzy, just take a break. It's meaningless not to do so, you'll only hurt yourself for nothing, since your performance is terribly low in such situations.

    Also, it's imperative that you're honest to yourself. You should only do things that you like, not things that you wished to like. Let's say you study calculus, for example, for 5-6 consecutive hours, taking breaks or not. If you begin to feel pretty tired and confused, end it there, give yourself some time to relax. Avoid thoughts like "Why am I tired? I like studying calculus, I really enjoy it, what happened here? Maybe I should try harder, this is not me...Yeap, I'll just keep on reading!".

    Every day is different, and we're not robots..Just cool down, be honest to yourself and you'll readily find the suited balance!
     
  23. Jul 18, 2007 #22
    Realise that the 'nerd' stereotype was most likely propagated by intelligent, hardworking people who aren't jealous of intelligence, but scornful of a lack of social acumen. 'Nerd' in school is acceptable and is probably in truth a showing of positive qualities. In college, you're supposed to have grown up and be surrounded by intelligent, motivated people - all of whom have positive qualities and an opinion worth consideration. If these peers think you study too much and socialise too little, they probably have a point. If you can't strike up a conversation with everyone in your dorm unit about something or other, you probably have your priorities wrong.
     
  24. Jul 18, 2007 #23
    Being one who overworked/streched myself too thin in the last year I can safely say that: yes, you can study too much.

    I neglected my health for nearly a year, as well as my relationship with girlfriend and my other close friends.

    I had to actually be rushed to the hospital for overexertion which had resulted in triggering a repressed anxeity and stress disorder (When I arrived at the hospital I had all of the signs of an appendictisis; except for the swelling appendix).

    I didn't think I was over-studying, I thought that working 8-10 hours a day on top of classes (which was about 4-6hours a day) wasn't going to hurt me. I ended up running on empty...and my brain just decided to literatlly stop. I couldn't focus on anything. I was tried, depressed, underweight, and in a cycle of perpetual stress.

    It has taken four and a half months since this incident to recover from it. I stayed in classes during my breakdown, heck I even did well despite being forced to cut back on my studying.

    Will I be doing something as intensive again, knowing me-yeah classwise I will put myself through the same intensities; however, I will be intimatly aware of my limits.

    To sum up:
    Be careful, you can over study.
     
  25. Jul 18, 2007 #24

    mathwonk

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    jason,
    by success in mathematics, i meant success in understanding concepts and in proving theorems, not making money.

    and success in life to me means success in achieving your goals, nothing to do with money either, unless that is your goal. if you want a successful marriage, or to finish your novel, you also have to work at it.

    maybe you are misunderstanding my use of the word "work". maybe to you that means working for someone else. to me it means thinking about and pushing on your own project.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2007
  26. Jul 18, 2007 #25
    " The first requisite for success is to develop the ability to focus and apply your mental and physical energies to the problem at hand - without growing weary. Because such thinking is often difficult, there seems to be no limit to which some people will go to avoid the effort and labor that is associated with it...."

    Thomas Edison

    not that edison is revered around here but he has a point.
     
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