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Nervous about next year in college

  1. Aug 10, 2005 #1
    so i'm going into my soph year of uni, and i'm a bit really horribly nervous. i didn't do so hot last year, and i definetly never did well in highschool either. i know i'm smart and all, but i have some serious difficulty with motivation and getting work done. i've kinda been hoping that i could get some sort of advisor or mentor or something, but i don't know how. i mean, i don't want to just advertise for a mentor, but i'd like to find someone who'd be one without blatantly and delibrately assigning them that title. i feel like, i'll need a lot of support this year, because i've been through a real emotional time, and i just need the help to get me through things. my parents aren't the most supportive and motivational, and my academic advisors aren't really too personable. my dean seems really nice, but awful busy. i haven't met any profs yet, but i'll try to get to know them a bit better. i'll try joining clubs and things, but i'm just afraid i'll get frustrated trying so hard to meet good influences and not finding someone i can relate to and work hard for.

    so, any advice about what to do? i just need to find someone to help motivate me. i do really really well when i care about someone and i'll work hard for them. but i just can't do it myself very well, or at least not for very long. so. help?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2005 #2
    I don't want to be rude, but you are grown up person and you will have to get the job done not with someone helping you but with someone competing with you. I guess that is just part of being grown up. You know what is at stake and you'll have to suck it up and start studying! Good luck!
  4. Aug 10, 2005 #3
    right, well, though perhaps a wee bit rude, valid point, and of course thats the thing i've been hearing from most people. i don't need like, help more like, support. advice. encouragement. ect. i know it seems immature to need that stuff, but i never really got it as a kid, and i just have a really tough time these days, and i'd really just like someone to care about me a little, and to want me to succeed. you know? i'm only 17 at any rate, and i'm a soph in uni, its rough. and i need help, so i'm asking. and i guess maybe it seems immature, but i've been grappling with the idea, and i think its more mature to just find help if i need it you know? maybe not..?
  5. Aug 10, 2005 #4
    17 and sophomore in university??? Well I'm taking back whatever I said. I don't know. Girlfriend would just make it worse. Maybe you should take a year off, live it well, and then try again with university. But still at one pint it is gonna be you who will have to step it up and graduate.
  6. Aug 10, 2005 #5
    well, ya, i'll be 18 soon at any rate, its not really a good excuse, but people tend to accept that maybe i'd have some difficulties being so young... i just, for a semester or so, i just need to find a way to feel encouraged enough to work hard and do well. being a soph in uni makes it very hard to find supportive people... (obviously seeing as you yourself were rather unwilling to sympathize.) but i really need it. hence why i need advice. i assure you, i'm a generally very independent person, but, thats rather the problem. at any rate, assuming i've justified my position well enough, any advice on how to find like well, support?
  7. Aug 10, 2005 #6
    nobody here is going to mentor you, here is a much much much much better option: go to your university's Mental Health Services. they have free therapy, you can talk about whatever you want. see a therapist and im sure you will be doing a lot better in school. and its free.

    Good luck
  8. Aug 10, 2005 #7

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    Isn't there a particular teacher that you've found helpful and inspiring, Gale? Did you have a favorite teacher when you were in high school? Maybe you could write a letter to him/her and let them know what you've been up to. I'm sure that they would be delighted to hear from you and you would most certainly get a reply with some words of encouragement.
  9. Aug 10, 2005 #8
    thats not a bad option, but its temporary.

    im almost positive if Gale17 goes to her uni's office of Mental Health Services, she can iron out with a professional any issues she has in her life and start to work towards building structure in terms of her life and her studying.

    Gale17, you just need to be willing to commit and place your faith that the therapist is trying to do what is best for you.

    don't look for anyone to offer you support or constant encouragement. sure, friends will give you an occassional pick me up, but effort, determination and focus are all from the heart.

    Gale17, i cannot stress it enough, please see ur University's Mental Health Services, and work with a professional.
  10. Aug 10, 2005 #9
    heh, well, i've been i've been in and out of therapy for ages. and yes, i've considered seeing the mental health people, but i dunno. i get really bored with therapists. i don't really want it to be someone's job to help me... i feel... i dunno... i don't like it. i'll probably go, just in case it does help. but i'd really rather find some other resources.
  11. Aug 11, 2005 #10


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    I agree with JasonJo's advise, you should note that university therapists/counselors are more personable and your situation will be considered within the context of your attendance/struggles at the university; plus they are more highly trained, definitely qualified.

    You're not going to find a mentor who'll "baby" you through the school year, it might actually scare them a bit. Teachers/mentors are looking for responsible and perhaps gifted inidividuals with motivation at hand, something you obviously don't have in light of your explicit statements.

    Personally I think that you're a bit immature in the sense that you're looking for such a quick solution...in reality that's the whole point of college, is learning to be independent, to stand out on your own, show your smarts, crush the competition, and uhm teamwork of course, heh. :blushing:

    Maybe you're just looking for a boyfriend. Find a "tall, dark, handsome" intelligent guy and suck up to him, or don't...and outcompete him.
  12. Aug 11, 2005 #11
    I was pretty young when I entered college. So, I worked full time and took around 12 credits (just enough for full time) for couple of years. By working not only you will gain experience to deal with people but also learn how to appreciate money and time.
  13. Aug 11, 2005 #12


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    There's a free newspaper called the Metro which you've probably heard of, and I saw one last week with what looked like corny advice to me, but it might work for you. It suggested that you identify yourself to those in your class that seem to be motivated, and try to form a study group with them. Maybe being around other motivated students will help you to keep yourself motivated.
  14. Aug 11, 2005 #13
    ya, i did really well when i had a study partner last year. i was a bit shy though, so i didn't get involved with any bigger groups. well, I think GCT was a bit insensitive. i don't want to be babied, or coddled, i just need to find people who may be interested in my future a bit, and would help motivate me. I'm obviously a gifted and motivated student if i'm a soph in college at 17, but whatever. thats beside the point.
  15. Aug 11, 2005 #14
    not unless it shows in quality rather than "oh, i graduated", and your lack of motivation is not helping you here. I suggest seeking counceling or even better taking time off and figuring out what it is YOU want to do rather than what someone would motivate you to do. Sorry if this is harsh, but life is like that :wink:
  16. Aug 11, 2005 #15


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    insensitive but right on the mark. You're competing against other people, you should employ the type of attitude that would help you rise above others. Getting into graduate school is competitive, getting into a reputable lab group in competitive, finding a mentor who will help you to suceed and motivate you...is competitive. You need to show your skills, show them how smart and gifted you are, be a bit more confident in yourself, they'll see that you're unique. Nobody wants some helpless, unmotivated, 17 year old tagging along.
  17. Aug 11, 2005 #16


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    That's a great problem. Try to solve this situation as soon as possible, because when somet time passes anybody will believe in you when you say you are smart if there is none successful background of right scores. Why do you feel desmotivated and don't get the work assigned done? Think of it and take inmmediate measures.

    As far as I have read your posts here, I do sincerely think you are smart and clever, but if you show me a lot of failures in your exams I will start to think you are not as smart as I could think, because "smartness" also lies in the capacity of oneself of solving his problems.
  18. Aug 11, 2005 #17


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    and if you can't handle college, than you'll need some extra support. Threre's nothing wrong with seeing a personable university counselor. Obviously this is your time...simply talking with someone about your problems should do wonders for you as well as get you focused.
  19. Aug 11, 2005 #18


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    Well, I think the trick is going to be putting yourself into a situation where you are motivated yourself. Nobody else can motivate you, it has to be something coming from within yourself.

    As others have suggested, the mental health folks at the university are a good place to start, mainly because they know the college environment you're in and the unique pressures that come with that.

    You just mentioned the group study thing yourself, and that was going to be my next suggestion. Since you said you'd work hard for people you care about, if you have a study group (or groups...join one for every class if you have to) and the rules of the group are that everyone has to attend lecture, read the relevant readings, and do the relevant homework assignments before coming to the session, you won't want to let down the group by not arriving prepared.

    My last suggestion is one that you're going to have to really think hard about. Are you in the right major? Sometimes we think we're interested in something for one reason or another, but that lack of motivation can be a symptom of waning interest. Just because you're good at something doesn't mean it's what holds your attention. Maybe there's something else you'd rather be doing or would be better at? Do you find yourself procrastinating on math problems while you're surfing the 'net for information on psychology or English literature? (Just random examples.)

    Sometimes this last part also requires trying to picture "what you want to be when you grow up." What do you want to do with your degree? Try to picture yourself doing it. Is that something you'd really enjoy? Or do your mental images of what you're doing when you graduate have you doing something else? I really think that's the only real way to be motivated to do something is to know it's what you really want and enjoy and then it's just fun to do what you have to get done. Sometimes it's even worth taking a semester or a year off to go work, see what life is like without the degree, experience more of the "real world" and figure out what it is that you really want to do and that motivates you.
  20. Aug 11, 2005 #19
    ^ well said Moonbear.

    I also agree with GCT.

    Gale, motivation can only come from you. Nobody else. Nobody else can motivate you enough to succeed. They can motivate you to pick up a book and start you on the way, but only you will be bearing the load.

    I am not making any judgements on you, i am not saying this may apply directly to you. Once, after I did average on an exam that i needed to do great on, I caught myself blaming all these other things. The blame is squarely on your shoulders. When you accept all responsibility, become accountable, that is when you begin your ascent.

    I used to blame motivation as well. I still battle with motivation. But in the end, you need to find something that lights a fire under you. It's not always easy; somedays I really dont feel like going to recitation. Other days, I don't feel like studying in the library by myself and questioning if all this work is worth it. But I just picture getting it done. I wonder how it would feel to achieve the things i want to achieve. and it greatly outweighs what i sacrifice.

    its a hackneyed cliche, but a journey of 1000 miles begins with 1 step. its up to you to finish the journey.

    Will you finish the marathon even though your legs are literally on fire and about to buckle? Will you dig deep? Can you?

    I have been through these issues, but fortunately in high school. I learned a lot about myself, and I learned if you push yourself, you set new limits. and if you keep pushing, the limits get pushed further.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2005
  21. Aug 11, 2005 #20
    i have several solutions for you Gale17.
    I think you just need a boyfriend, not necessarily a social life. If you want you can talk to me online in msn messenger, just pm me your address.
    One you can be hypnotized
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