I've been thinking about a personal trait of mine for a long time now. I feel like I don't have anyone in my surroundings to talk to about this either, since it's both a personal problem and at the same time a scientific one. I have been studying engineering for two years now and my results are overall far from satisfying. The thing is that I on occasions get excellent grades and compliments from the teachers. Other times I fail completely. When I read about science I always feel like there is more to it which ends up in "the big search for true understanding". The stuff we have in school often seem utterly specialised and lacking a bigger picture. In maths for example, I cannot accept things given for truths without getting to prove and realise it myself. This is of course a nice thing, sometimes. Unfortunately there are just so many areas of mathematics and physics that no single person can fully understand even a fraction of it all. Still I always get a very bad feeling when I skip rigorous proofs as if I'm being an idiot just learning things by memory. For example, during the calculus course I spent nearly half the time trying to grasp concepts of limits and continuity reading books about the philosophical implications of the two and how it all started with Newton and Leibniz. In the meantime my fellow students were doing integrals and finding limits like madmen. When the exam came I of course failed because even though I might have had a deeper understanding, I could not do it in practice. To sum things up, this is haunting me, it's like a trap I wanna be in and stay out of at the same time. I try to stick to the doings of the course I take but sometimes I get too tempted to dig deepe. And I always end up wasting weeks worth doing things that honsestly don't lead me anywhere nearer a deeper understanding. Anybody who recognises this feeling?