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Studying Self studying

  1. May 22, 2010 #1
    I know a good number of people who seem to be able to self study physics material - aka read ahead for classes, read textbooks outside of classes, and I always find myself jealous. I'm usually able to learn pretty well on my own if I have a project, or if I'm trying to learn something really specific, but I can feel that I never approach the same level and scope as learning from a class. If I try to read a textbook, I get bored after 2 or 3 chapters, even if it is a topic that I was really interested in. And I rarely motivate myself to do more than a couple practice problems. In other words, usually it's either that I'm interested starting out in the book but it's really hard to focus once I've gotten the gist of the explanation or I'll read the couple of chapters that are particularly interesting then stop.
    Does anyone else have the same issue? How do you motivate yourself to keep reading or focus? or does it just come naturally to you if you are interested in a topic? Do you care about learning on your own?
    I'm thinking specifically of physics-type material books, although my question could apply to anything.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2010 #2
    I'm exactly the same way. This whole year I basically self-studied everything. I skipped most of my bio lectures and just read the textbook (since my proff. basically does the same thing in class and in a monotone voice). The only reason I went to my physics lectures was to see where we're at during the course otherwise my professor spoke pure gibberish to me.
    Here's the thing I found really helpful (at the end of the year too when it's too late lol):
    Read the textbook ahead of the lecture. You don't have to read it in detail but get the gist of it. Then when you go to lecture the proff. just reinforces what you already know. After lecture read it again and this time detailed and most importantly do some questions. This will let you know if you really understand the material or not. Also don't study the same subject 2 hours straight. You get bored. FAST. Take a break then switch to another subject. Keep switching when you get bored.
    At times you might feel like a robot and get rather depressed. I think the education system is designed to make us feel this way on purpose :/ So don't just sit and study, go out and see the world. Take what your learning and apply it to the world. Grab books about subjects that really interest you, or watch some documentaries or videos about what your learning. Keep it positive. Don't make yourself feel trapped because your not. Break free of the system :) And ask questions. Never stop asking questions.

    And that's my little advice lol. I hope it helps.
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  4. May 22, 2010 #3
    I self study a lot and many many times I feel just like Fantasmagoria - getting bored after a few chapters.
    I think it's an absolutely normal feeling when you study by yourself.

    You may reach the same level as taught in regular classrooms when you self-study. The real issue is to get motivated to do so.

    If I were you, I'd be involved in more challenging projects. If you're still in high school, science competitions are a wonderful way of being challenged. You may also create a study group, which I've tried doing in the past, and it worked nicely for a few weeks, but we had some conflicting schedules.
  5. May 22, 2010 #4
    I have the problem as well. The bright side is that you don't really need to know everything you would learn in a class. Even if you just read ahead of classes you will have a deeper understanding of a professor going over the same material plus you'll have a better chance of remembering what they are saying, repetition is key!
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