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Studying Motivation for studing phyisics

  1. Jul 23, 2016 #1
    Hey...people.. I have some bad problems with motivation when comes to studing physics.... now i will go to my 3rd year but i did not pass all my exams form the 1st and 2nd year..

    The main problem is that i do not study at all.. I do not know why?? everything is better than studing for me... I do not believe im myself and I am in fear of dropping my college... I really do not know what to do...
    Not to mention that my parents do not undersand me.. they want results..

    If everyone had a similar situation please give me some advice...I would appreciate it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2016 #2


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    The first question you might want to seriously ask yourself is if physics is the right degree for you in the first place.

    There's a difference between a "burnout" scenario, where you start out really liking something and then lose motivation along the way (often the result of an overwhelming workload, poor work-life balance, not taking care of yourself, or study habits that are inefficient for advanced courses), and just plain not having a passion for something.

    You see, there's only so much motivation you can force on yourself. If you're just having a rough semester, that's something you can push through. Take some time to do some reading on your own. In extreme circumstances it's not a bad idea to take a semester off. But if you're just not *ever* having those days where you feel a sense of accomplishment at getting through a tough problem set, or when something "clicks" in your mind, or when you're looking forward to a quiet night of reading, then you have to ask if you're on the right track.

    If you've been failing courses up until this point, doing the same thing a third time around is likely to result in the same result.

    I understand that pressure from parents can be overwhelming - particularly when they are footing the bill for your education. But you need to have some confidence and motivation in your direction. Taking some time to figure out if you're on the right track is not a bad thing. It's a lot cheaper than failing out in the long run.
  4. Jul 24, 2016 #3


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    Some people's parents are a problem. Decide on your goals and get advice how to reach those goals (courses, programs, what you will be qualified to do at each stage of your path). You may then know what you want to do (choices) and why (results). You could then have a sensible discussion with your parents instead of difficult arguments. Along with this, you must put daily effort to studying your courses. The way you describe yourself now, you are not putting in the right kind of effort to study and learn.
  5. Jul 24, 2016 #4
    First of all tnx for answers to both of you.....
    Is physics really my thing..i do not know.. I only know that i dont have anything else that i would like to study.. (that was my main problem when i needed to choose my college)
    I think that my problem is discipline...Before college i was a good student with great marks.. and when i give some effort i usually have a good result..
    So I dont really know what happend to me right in college.. just dont know.
    I was thinking about dropping this semestar but my parents would kill me. They are not bad on me...the just want some results from me...
    Tnx for advices.
  6. Jul 24, 2016 #5


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    Why? Why just Physics? Study other scientific and technology courses also. To study for a degree in Physics, you will still be required to study some other courses in science.

    What did you study? What did you not yet study? Did you start taking too many courses in each term, or did you just stop putting enough effort?

    You should figure out if you have been overloading your courses per term. Be sure to enroll in courses OTHER THAN JUST Physics.

    You wonder if Physics is really for you. Do you know that the initial set of courses for most major fields toward earning undergraduate physical science degrees are very similar? They nearly all will have some combination like this:
    • Calculus & Analytic Geometry 1, 2, 3
    • General Chemistry 1 &2 or 101 &102
    • Fundamental or General Physics for scientists and engineers 1, 2, 3
    • Maybe a specified intro Bio course
    • Maybe a specified computer programming course or two
    • Maybe some other survey course
    • Maybe some specified Geology or Earth Science course

    Also, pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-veterinary, and pre-optometry "major" field objectives list the same set of courses this way.
  7. Jul 24, 2016 #6


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    Have you been ignoring the field of Engineering?
  8. Jul 25, 2016 #7
    Tnx mates for your comments. I think that the main problem is that I don't put enough time to study physics. Like I am in some bad dream but my days are counting and it's time to put more effort in studying physics. ..but it's hard for me to be dedicated. I like using physics with other sciences because then it's more interesting.
    Engineering is interesting field for me but it's hard to study only that in my country.

    In the end if someone has asked for psychological(I am trying to find something that would kick me like a thunder so I can start working) help for "laziness" and how to become dedicated to something I would really try to this method.
  9. Jul 25, 2016 #8
    Are your motivation and studying problems specific only to certain courses or does it happen with everything that you take?

    Having a strong aversion to studying is a common feature of ADHD and can also be a result of an anxiety disorder, and possibly something even more sinister like a hormone or metabolic problem. If you're finding that there is a consistent pattern of avoidance behavior that interferes broadly with both academic and non-academic obligations then you might do well to go to your school's health services.
  10. Jul 25, 2016 #9


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    But the question is why do you want to study something as a university student in the first place? To me this reads like attending school is what your parents expect you to do, but you don't have a lot of personal motivation for it outside of appeasing them or doing what's expected of you. The problem with that kind of motivation is that it's not enough to get you through the late nights of studying that most people need to do well in a major like physics.

    If your parents were not part of the equation, and if no one expected you to do anything, would you still be on this same path? Would you take more time to figure your direction out? Just some things worth thinking about.

    This happens to a lot of bright students. In many high schools, you can get by and even do quite well with minimal hard studying. Because of this a lot of students pick up bad habits - cramming the night before an exam, or avoiding systematic self-review of lecture material, for example. Sometimes this can even work okay for the first year of university. But eventually the bad habits catch up. Students who thought they were bright are suddenly middle of the pack, or worse. And it doesn't help that now they are competing in a new league, where everyone on the field has picked the same major, and most of them also did really well in high school.

    The solution to this isn't so much motivation as it is to develop new study skills. Universities will often hold workshops or seminars to help out with this kind of thing. You can also talk to other students who are doing well, or join/form a study group, or talk to your professors for advice on how to study well.

    Strategies to help with this include:
    • Making a habit of systematic review, not just review for the exam or assignments
    • Asking and trying to answer your own questions about the material you've covered
    • Reading ahead on the material that will be covered in the lectures
    • Selecting locations and times for study that limit distractions
    • Scheduling in study time
    • Scheduling in down time (trying to work for long stretches without breaks can quickly burn you out)
    • Taking good care of yourself so that you aren't struggling with other issues such as sleep deprivation or a surplus of physical energy while trying to study
    • Setting smaller studying goals for yourself.
  11. Jul 26, 2016 #10
    I think that my problem is only laziness and bad habits which results with bad years in college. Actually when I study something of my materials I don't think that they are boring.
  12. Jul 26, 2016 #11
    In spite of my parents I would still go to college because it is the only way for a decent life later.

    I think that some working group will help me with my regularly study. But the main problem is that I live alone because I was thinking that would help me to study in like I want. On my colleague there's no working groups and making one is not natural.

    I think that I would have great results if I study at least 5 hours a day. But with my mess in head and laziness i don't do nothing. And it bothers me a lot because later I will be sorry.

    I will definitely try some of advices about how to organise my studies.

    Tnx to everyone.
  13. Jul 26, 2016 #12


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    May I ask what country you hail from. Do you have vocational type education available to you. Some people like working in technical type disciplines, but don't like the paperwork / tedious documentation that comes from the design or research world. Often these hands on types should be looking at the trades instead of suffering in the academic world.
    Often they make as much money and just as often have less educational debt, so that overall, they have a better lifestyle than the college educated professional.
  14. Jul 26, 2016 #13


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    The topic here is a bit misleading. After reading what you have written in this thread, you have a flat-out motivation problem with school in general. Period. I don't think this would change even if you study something else.

    So unless you figure out the root-cause of what's bugging you, I don't think the situation will change.

  15. Jul 26, 2016 #14
    I relate to this so much. I changed my major but I am still fighting bad habits! I regret every course I got a C in even when liking the class . Motivation is not what you need if you already like physics, discipline is what you looking for. I am no academic advisor, but I would like you to know this is a common. Start small with an hr-2hrs a day for every subject. they say it takes 21 days to change habits so try your best to keep track and do something similar. set small goals until studying becomes a second nature.

    "motivation is fleeting and it's easy to rely on because it requires no concentrated effort to get. motivation comes to you. you don't even have to chase after it. discipline is reliable. the question isn't how to keep yourself motivated. it's how to train yourself to work without it." a reddit user commented this on a topic and I kept it on a note as a reminder.

    +set priorities, once you do that you will manage your time better and get less distracted.

    As for parents, they are just afraid of you failing in your life, but try to ignore what they say, as they probably think they are encouraging you while they are stressing the crap out of you. When you get good grades you get them for yourself, when you fail an exam you fail and disappoint yourself only, remember that college experience is about you learning first than pleasing someone else. Academic success will benefit you not your parents.
  16. Aug 1, 2016 #15
    I agree.
  17. Aug 1, 2016 #16
    Hi! Tnx for sharing this with me. I am struggling with my discipline. I noticed that my classes are not so boring to me when I push myself to study more so I still think that I musn't give up. This is a nice quote and I am going to write it on my desk.

    My parents are very patient with me and my behavior. I am too stressed with all this failing so it's hard to get up myself again.

    Tnx a lot for this sharing.
  18. Aug 1, 2016 #17
    I study in Croatia and every educaton is available to me. I don't like paper work at all.
    Tnx for sharing.
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