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I would be grateful for some advice regarding my study situation.

I have lived in the UK for a while and now have moved to back to Europe to start there a mathematics degree.

I did not have a particularly mathematical education, so I did a year long access course to higher mathematics at university level, I did ok, but not great, partly because I tried to learn too much at once, but I did my best to prepare myself well for the maths degree.

I have received encouragement from my tutors there, who said that my kind of thinking is what I need to study maths.

Compared to the people from the country I am in at the moment I probably have some lacks from the secondary school level; the access course I did was a bit weirdly structured, it covered partial differential equations for example, but did not really cover limits, and now I am feeling the lack of that practise in my current Analysis course.

I have read up on studying maths as such, if it is possible to do it with my background, and the answer was "yes if you are prepared to work really hard", and I thought since I am considered highly intelligent I should be able to manage it.

The feeling I got from reading this forum as well, was that people who do mathematics are usually open and helpful to people who want to learn it.

My motivation for studying it is that I think it is a necessary subject to know, and want to train my thinking.

This term I am taking Linear Algebra 1 and Analysis 1.

I am doing ok in Linear Algebra, but so far Analysis is going rather horribly: the level is really high, which is good, I can follow the concepts, but when it comes to proofs I tend to deliver results with low marks.

We need to hand in our weekly assignments in groups of two, and it does not help that my partner has been really "flaky" and does not want to work on them together, I always did the harder questions, and messed them up, and he even messed up the easier ones (we get graded together).

I have talked to my tutor about this, and he told me to come to him to ask for help with course work etc, but he also told me "directly" (because here everyone is very "direct") that my work lacks "a sense (flair) for mathematics", even though he knew I did a rushed job before class and was not able to talk to the other person from the group before, and we talked only about 2 pieces of my work. It is my first term...is that not too soon to pass a judgement like this?

Overall the feeling I get from the course is that the atmosphere is very harsh and competitive. The first 2 terms are meant to be as hard as possible to "weed out the bad students", which I understand, but I struggle with the atmosphere (and of course I feel homesick..)

At British universities, the culture was different: you received critique for your work, but also encouragement. I knew tutors who were extremely intelligent and knowledgeable, but who never, ever appeared arrogant or "superior" to the students, even the ones who were asking very silly questions, here I see "put downs" happening a lot, in very subtle ways.

I know it all takes place to make us "good mathematicians" but I miss the sense of encouragement and human warmth I felt in the UK.

Now I am facing the prospect of repeating Analysis 1 (which is apparently considered "normal") and 3 more years studying in this cold atmosphere. I am wondering if I have done the right thing.

I don't aspire to be "real" mathematician, I only want to understand mathematics better and be good at it. I don't think this is an unreasonable aspiration.

I am wondering if I have made the right choice, if maybe I don't fit into this degree, I study less and worry more, this is a vicious cycle.

I don't know if the doubts I have are because of the subject itself, or of the university and the atmosphere there.

I would be grateful for some advice.

Thank you

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# Mathematics degree not going too well advice needed.

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