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I've started taking Linear Algebra this quarter and am feeling very

  1. Sep 6, 2009 #1
    I've started taking Linear Algebra this quarter and am feeling very burnt out when it comes to math.

    Last quarter I was so interested in math that I founded the math club at school, but now I honestly don't give a **** anymore. Not getting along with certain teachers, especially the "faculty adviser" that was appointed to me for the math club really drained me.

    Linear Algebra should be simple, since I'm most comfortable with matrices and numbers, but I don't know. I don't care anymore.

    Is this common? How do you guys stay interested when outside factors take away from your interest/concentration/motivation?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 6, 2009 #2
    Re: Motivation

    I've come up with a somewhat facetious aphorism that I find is all too often applicable in undergraduate physics and math courses (of which I've taken a few - I'm just starting grad school in physics): "School takes the fun out of learning." The point is that it can be rather easy to get caught up in the hassle and stress of assignments, midterms, finals, etc.

    I would recommend that you take a few minutes and ask yourself whether
    a) you really no longer wish to learn math, or
    b) you're focusing too much on the grind and stress, and forgetting to step back and appreciate the fun and beauty of math.

    For me, it has consistently been option b) whenever I've found my motivation reserves low.
  4. Sep 6, 2009 #3
    Re: Motivation

    I know for a fact it has to do with me being somewhat homeless, and having to sleep on my parent's couch day in and day out (there are barely any places to rent in my area). It's really depressing.
  5. Sep 6, 2009 #4
    Re: Motivation

    Well, it seems fairly clear that you're going to have to somehow deal with this source of depression before you can really concentrate on mathematics again.

    I should mention that on applications for scholarships and whatnot, there is usually a spot wherein you can explain why you may've had a semester with grades that don't measure up to your usual standards. I know, from speaking with professors on admissions committees, that these sorts of things are taken into consideration. That is, if you screw up your linear algebra class, it needn't be the end of the world.
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