Physics is just getting more and more boring for me

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  • #1
TechieDork
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I'm sorry if this sounds uncreative,immature or entitled but I'm going to be honest what I feel about my situation now.

I'm currently studying in the 2nd semester of sophomore year physics major and I feel like I have to force myself to wake up and go to the class.I feel like studying physics become more like a chore to me.

-I start to study/do only what's going to be a part of grading not because of pure curiosity and passion. I feel discouraged to put in more works.
Everyone knows sticking with the prescribed curriculum is the safest way to save your time and energy.
No one really cares if you spend 3 hours after the class to do the extra works if in the end you got a C+ in that course.Just memorize the way to solve the old exams/ worked problems in class and you will do fine.

-No more watching documentaries /history and development of a course that I'm studying.
In the relativity exam , it's not important to know that Einstein/Lorentz/David Hillbert developed the theory of relativity.

-They often tell me
"You will know this by the time you study in graduate school"

"You are currently only a half way of your undergraduate. You should not be worrying about the career path/ graduate school education"

"Academia/university system should not be your concern, it's not undergraduate student's business"

-Yesterday I asked the professor "Feynman was the developer of Q.E.D,right?" after he asked the class if anyone know about Richard P. Feynman.
But he responded:
"That's not what you suppose to know or concern about in your current education, you should be sticking with the given assignment right now"

But I understand what he means and realized that stuff is far beyond my current knowledges/expertises so I have to do the best on what I'm studying now.
 
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  • #2
symbolipoint
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-I start to study/do only what's going to be a part of grading not because of pure curiosity and passion.
Everyone knows sticking with the prescribed curriculum is the safest way to save your time and energy.
No one really cares if you spend 3 hours after the class to do the extra works if in the end you got a C+ in that course.
That is not very good.

Is the staff showing a poor attitude, or are you just forming a counterproductive one on your own?

If you only put in enough effort to earn C or C+, then maybe the result will be a grade less than C.
 
  • #3
PAllen
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Where are you studying? That sounds nothing like my undergrad experience. As a freshman, I attended (with encouragement) a talk by Gerard t’Hooft’ on his initial work with Veltman, of which I understood essentially nothing, but was encouraged to always grapple with material beyond my courses, to the extent I had time to do so.
 
  • #4
TechieDork
55
22
That is not very good.

Is the staff showing a poor attitude, or are you just forming a counterproductive one on your own?

If you only put in enough effort to earn C or C+, then maybe the result will be a grade less than C.

-The staff does his job well ,I think it's just my counterproductive mentality starting to override.

What I'm going to say if in the end only final grade is truly matter why bother putting in more extra works/studies into it when it's not prescribed by the instructor.
It is not expected in the learning outcomes in the curriculum.
 
  • #5
sysprog
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I'm sorry if this sounds uncreative,immature or entitled but I'm going to be honest what I feel about my situation now.

I'm currently studying in the 2nd semester of sophomore year physics major and I feel like I have to force myself to wake up and go to the class.I feel like studying physics become more like a chore to me.

-I start to study/do only what's going to be a part of grading not because of pure curiosity and passion. I feel discouraged to put in more works.
Everyone knows sticking with the prescribed curriculum is the safest way to save your time and energy.
No one really cares if you spend 3 hours after the class to do the extra works if in the end you got a C+ in that course.Just memorize the way to solve the old exams/ worked problems in class and you will do fine.

-No more watching documentaries /history and development of a course that I'm studying.
In the relativity exam , it's not important to know that Einstein/Lorentz/David Hillbert developed the theory of relativity.

-They often tell me
"You will know this by the time you study in graduate school"

"You are currently only a half way of your undergraduate. You should not be worrying about the career path/ graduate school education"

"Academia/university system should not be your concern, it's not undergraduate student's business"

-Yesterday I asked the professor "Is Feynman was the developer of Q.E.D,right?" after he asked the class if anyone know about Richard P. Feynman.
But he responded:
"That's not what you suppose to know or concern about in your current education, you should be sticking with the given assignment right now"

But I understand what he means and realized that stuff is far beyond my current knowledges/expertises so I have to do the best on what I'm studying now.
I wouldn't recommend Feynman for an intro to physics class, but browsing around the Feynman Lectures is an excellent way to rekindle your interest in Physics -- he's anything but boring. :oops: 🤔:wink:
 
  • #6
symbolipoint
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What I'm going to say if in the end only final grade is truly matter why bother putting in more extra works/studies into it when it's not prescribed by the instructor.
It is not expected in the learning outcomes in the curriculum.
GjeeWillikers! I could try to explain this but maybe someone else could explain it better. One may try to earn a grade, or one may try to earn what a grade means.
 
  • #7
TechieDork
55
22
Where are you studying? That sounds nothing like my undergrad experience. As a freshman, I attended (with encouragement) a talk by Gerard t’Hooft’ on his initial work with Veltman, of which I understood essentially nothing, but was encouraged to always grapple with material beyond my courses, to the extent I had time to do so.

Thailand, First I don't like the way professors do that but now I understand that many of professors have a good reason to not introduce/encourage their students to the exotic materials/topics beyound the course/current education level.

They want their students to be truly good at their current materials before moving to the more complicated/advanced ones,stepbystep-wise.
 
  • #8
PAllen
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Thailand, First I don't like the way professors do that but now I understand that many of professors have a good reason to not introduce/encourage their students to the exotic materials/topics beyound the course/current education level.

They want their students to be truly good at their current materials before moving to the more complicated/advanced ones,stepbystep-wise.
But the draw of what you can only glimpse understanding is a huge motivating factor. It helps you see what you could be doing, and shows you how much work you have to do to be able to do it. Sure, 95% of your effort has to be with current courses. But another anecdote of what I think is good motivation is that still freshman year, learning basic SR as it applies to Maxwell equations, a paper came out by Mendel Sachs challenging the existence of twin differential aging. Professor encouraged us read this and express whether we agreed or not, and if we disagreed, to specify where the error was - that is, if we believed established theory, we had a greater burden - to find the flaw in peer reviewed publication by an established tenured professor.
 
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  • #9
Choppy
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This looks like a job for... self discipline!

It's quite common to experience a lapse in the passion that originally drove you to study physics (or any subject for that matter). At some point you realize that you're simply jumping from assignment to assignment and don't have a lot of time for much else, or you find that all the "fun" stuff that got you excited about physics required a lot of foundational work on stuff that really isn't all that sexy.

And it's true, no one is going to reward you specifically for reading beyond the lecture material. But that's often the way of the world. Beyond school, people aren't necessarily going to pay you to do what you're passionate about. It's great if things line up and that happens once in a while, but the reality is that a lot of what people are paid to do is pretty boring stuff.

That doesn't mean the solution is simply to suck it up. That's part of it certainly, but not all of it.

I think what happens with many of the really successful people is that they find a way to power through the stuff they're not passionate about, and they find ways to keep that passion alive on the sidelines. That's where reading beyond the lecture material comes in. Sure it may not count for much in terms of direct grades, but you have to consider secondary effects. If reading about Feynman is what keeps you motivated, keeps you focused on your studies when you'd really rather be doing something else, then THAT is going to be reflected in your grades.

Kindle your passions for their own sake.
 
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  • #10
TechieDork
55
22
But the draw of what you can only glimpse under is a huge motivating factor. It helps you see what you could be doing, and shows you how much work you have to do to be able to. Sure, 95% of your effort has to be with current courses. But another anecdote of what I think is good motivation is that still freshman year, learning basic SR as it applies to Maxwell equations, a paper came out by Mendel Sachs challenging the existence of twin differential aging. Professor encouraged us read this and express whether we agreed or not, and if we disagreed, to specify where the error was - that is, if we believed established theory, we had a greater burden - to find the flaw in peer reviewed publication by an established tenured professor.

I agreed that motivation plays a huge role in one's studying. We are willing to work all day and night if that things truly fascinate and inspire us not because someone told us so.

In my opinion ,Physics getting more and more boring because It lacks "the soft part" : the history , developmental and how it impacted our everyday life.

It get reduced to a mundane tasks of crunching a mathematical symbols ,theorems graphs and facts to be a serious and competent academic not a popsci crackpot.

But sure the majority of efforts should be putting in my current education.

-I think I should be more careful about the scope of question before I ask my professor to avoid being off-topic.
 
  • #11
TechieDork
55
22
This looks like a job for... self discipline!

It's quite common to experience a lapse in the passion that originally drove you to study physics (or any subject for that matter). At some point you realize that you're simply jumping from assignment to assignment and don't have a lot of time for much else, or you find that all the "fun" stuff that got you excited about physics required a lot of foundational work on stuff that really isn't all that sexy.

And it's true, no one is going to reward you specifically for reading beyond the lecture material. But that's often the way of the world. Beyond school, people aren't necessarily going to pay you to do what you're passionate about. It's great if things line up and that happens once in a while, but the reality is that a lot of what people are paid to do is pretty boring stuff.

That doesn't mean the solution is simply to suck it up. That's part of it certainly, but not all of it.

I think what happens with many of the really successful people is that they find a way to power through the stuff they're not passionate about, and they find ways to keep that passion alive on the sidelines. That's where reading beyond the lecture material comes in. Sure it may not count for much in terms of direct grades, but you have to consider secondary effects. If reading about Feynman is what keeps you motivated, keeps you focused on your studies when you'd really rather be doing something else, then THAT is going to be reflected in your grades.

Kindle your passions for their own sake.

Thanks for your insightful piece of advice.
What really inspired me to study physics was because of biography and contributions of the great ones in the past and how it shaped our world today.

The foundation works in order to understand physical reality is not all fun and games because working through a mundane taks of crunching numbers and equations in assignments can be boring to almost anyone.It's like a chore and routine.

So ,it's important to keep one's passion and curiosity alive. :)
 
  • #12
PAllen
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I wonder if, given your comments, you would prefer to study history of science rather than physics. Undergrad, this still includes physics courses, but also history. I have no idea what you university offers. Look at the career and background of John Stachel as an example.
 
  • #13
TechieDork
55
22
I wonder if, given your comments, you would prefer to study history of science rather than physics. Undergrad, this still includes physics courses, but also history. I have no idea what you university offers. Look at the career and background of John Stachel as an example.

I prefer to study physics and willing to do the hard part but I just find it lacks the developmental aspects/fun parts beyound the textbook so I find it getting more boring.

I have to work on my homeworks now because it is due tomorrow ,thank you.
 
  • #14
TechieDork
55
22
Conclusion:

-I find physics getting more and more boring because it lacks the soft and fun part and get reduced to nothing more than a mundane and robotic tasks of doing what you've been told so ,memorize sets of facts ,symbols and worked examples to earn a high score.

-I feel discouraged from stepping outside the given curricula.
I just want to know what is going on now in physics outside of my current education.I want to know where am I heading to in the world of physics and how to plan that journey ahead.

But after all ,I accept that I'm still lacking necessary knowledges to grasp it and the professor may not have enough time to explain it to me.
 
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  • #15
PAllen
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Conclusion:

-I find physics getting more and more boring because it lacks the soft and fun part and get reduced to nothing more than a mundane and robotic tasks of doing what you've been told so ,memorize sets of facts ,symbols and worked examples to earn a high score.

-I feel discouraged from stepping outside the given curricula.
I just want to know what is going on now in physics outside of my current education.I want to know where am I heading to in the world of physics and how to plan that journey ahead.

But after all ,I accept that I'm still lacking necessary knowledges to grasp it and the professor may not have enough time to explain it to me.
Doesn't your school have invited speakers at colloquia? That is exactly how get a feel for different parts of physics without large commitment. As an undergraduate, the amount you get out of each talk will initially be low, but will grow as you progress. But even right away, it gives you a feel for what is going on in physics. If your school does not have any such program, that is very unfortunate.
 

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