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Schools My university is a waste of time. Please help!

  1. Mar 5, 2012 #1
    I'm a self learner. I've been programming since I'm 10 years old. I'm cursing Electronics and Computer Engineering on the best university of my city. But there are many problems. 40% of the curriculum consists of things I already know, 40% consists of things that are either irrelevant for me or outdated, and the remaining 20% I could do better studying home. Then there are useless essays and hours on traffic. For example, last semester I wasted 90 hours in Computer 1 classes, plus the time to program and write an essay about 5 useless software like calculators and agendas. Serioulsy? I could do that at 12. And Pascal?

    I'm wasting a precious time I could be using to learn things that matter for me like advanced math, physics, chemistry and biology. But I can't leave the university because of the diploma and social and parental pressure. So I'm giving up knowledge for a diploma. This is an absurd. Please someone tell me there is an alternative to this.

    Essentially I want to learn and can't because of college. The irony.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2012 #2
    How long have you been at the university? I felt the same way in calculus. Every once in a while I learned something that I couldn't learn otherwise, but it was slow. Things are better for me now that I am nearing graduation and taking higher level classes with fewer students in them. This may not be the same for you.

    Have you spoken to anyone about skipping classes. If you truly know the subject, you might be able to convince a professor. Otherwise... I don't have any good answer.
  4. Mar 5, 2012 #3
    Even if I skip some classes there would still be a huge amount of time wasted for numerous reasons. I've been there for 1 painful unproductive semester. I'd like to point how unproductive the last 3 years already were because of high school that was even worse.
  5. Mar 5, 2012 #4


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    One of the things that having a diploma says about a person is he can stick with something, even if it's boring/useless/irrelevant/etc. You may think that's unimportant, but to an employer, it's critical because not every job is fun all the time.

    You're in the very early part of your education, and the classes geared for people who don't have the experience you have. You're just going to have to bear with it until the rest of the students catch up to where you are.

    Have you tried talking to one of your instructors about your situation? I strongly advise you to that. And when you do, ask about DrewD's suggestion of skipping classes (note: in some places, it's called "challenging classes").
  6. Mar 5, 2012 #5
    I'm in the same boat, I'm studying Physics in my first year atm.
    I've been studying for a good 2 years or so on my own for a large portion of my spare time (~9+ hours a day)
    For me going to university takes me 3 hours alone in travel (and £25 a week!) for me to sit in classes going over newtons second law problems whilst I could be at home reading more of Sakurais Advanced Quantum Mechanics.. :blushing:
    So yeah, university (at the moment) is really cutting into my studies.
    Hopefully I'll be able to take better classes next term /fingerscrossed

    You've just got to stick with it though, you're pretty much an undeucated bum in the eyes of the rest of the world without a degree.
  7. Mar 6, 2012 #6


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    Do you want a degree or not? Most places you want to work at won't let you in the door without one....and if they do they wont pay you much based on your credentials.

    If you are really that truly gifted....maybe find a good online college. Then you can just breeze through all the tests and not waste a minute of your time. That being said....sooner or later you will get bogged down with a REAL course.
  8. Mar 6, 2012 #7
    If you are really that bored with your classes then I would recommend asking the professor for more challenging material. Since the other stuff is so easy it shouldn't take you long to finish it and move on. This is what I did in Calc 1 and 2. Most of the assignments in those classes felt more like busy work than me actually learning anything. So I would finish the assignments asap then grab some challenge problems either from the book or the professor. Of course, once the professors knew I needed more they laid it on fairly thick. If they can't challenge you then yeah I guess the only other option is transferring schools. But I highly doubt that would the case. Good luck
  9. Mar 6, 2012 #8
    When I went to community college, I asked them if I could test out of classes and get the credits. So I took 2 tests (general education) and passed them both, whereby I didn't have to attend the class and the college credits were mine ALL MINE...mwhahahaha!!

    My intentions were to get my state mandated general education requirements out of the way so that when I transferred to the university, I took classes that I wanted to take concerning my degree.
  10. Mar 6, 2012 #9
    At my University there was an option to take non-honors courses for honors credit. Essentially it was the same class but I worked with the professor to do an additional set of advanced problems. Maybe you could set up something similar?

    Also, have you thought about doing a dual major? Maybe something you're really interested in but haven't learned as much about?

    Another thing that may be helpful would be to get involved in research. I don't know your exact field, but in physics this type of experience is extremely helpful. For me, the projects I worked on were proposed by an adviser who was available to help but largely were self-guided/motivated. Publications are excellent if you intend to later pursue an advanced degree.

    (I suggest these things because they are ways to improve your knowledge while obtaining necessary documentation of your hard work and abilities. As annoying as it is, this kind of "proof" is very important to future employers/graduate schools)
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
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