Hello all, I'm taking my first actual quantum course this semester. I went over "briefly" some quantum mechanics Fall of 2012 in a Modern Physics course during my sophomore year, currently I'm a junior. To get straight to the point, this course is making me miserable. I had high hopes for this course but they are being killed fast. My main motivation for even studying physics is actually astrophysics, and more and more I hear from my professors that quantum is becoming more and more important in astro specifically. I am not sure if I am miserable in this course because of lack of math practice, or because of the teacher's style. I feel that I have learned very little actual physical concepts, and everything we do is just so bloated with ridiculous calculus. For example, right now I'm working on a problem where I am finding <x>, <x^2>, <p>, and <p^2> of a Gaussian wave packet, after having already spent the past 6 hours just finding the probability density to plug into the formulas for those!! We've barely even mentioned what wave packets actually are, what the time evolution of this thing actually means, what it is even doing..nothing! We started off the course opening up with some brief statistical machinery, and then jumped right into math overload. I don't feel like I've learned much physics. The homework assignments are professor-generated problems, so even though "we have a textbook," reading it doesn't much help with the HW problem sets, because the HW problems have nothing to do with what section of the book we should be in. How do you guys keep motivation for this beast of a topic? What is the best way to approach it?