1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Should I stay doing physics?

  1. Sep 28, 2014 #1
    Good evening, I'm currently am an undergraduate student in University of Arizona. Currently I'm in my 4th year and I have just few more classes to take before I can graduate but I have serious amount of my doubt about the possibility of graduating as my GPA is just barely above the requirement and I am having trouble even following the course material despite the hours of study I sink into these materials.

    Right now I'm at a loss on what to do, I know that I have zero hope on getting into graduate school nor any possibility of working in any science-related field with this academic state and I feel the main reason behind is my inability to grasp higher level abstract mathematics. The amount of hours I put into reading, going to office hour just doesn't help me at all and I barely am able to finish any of the homework problems without looking at the solutions manual.

    I feel paralyzed, I'm past the self-admission that I'm just not good enough to be in this field but the job situation frightens me. I have zero-experience in working yet I'm in mid-20s. I have absolutely no families to seek legal-financial support as all my families are non US-citizens except me and the only thing that keeps me being in the university is the promise of a piece of degree paper which everyone around me tells me how it won't help me get a job at all.

    I think I'm lapsing back to depression but I need some advice other than my academic counselor who refuses to understand from my situation and give any reasonable advice that I am capable of following. I really need an advice that I can understand the realistic side of it because I just feel so hopeless just about everything. Should I even continue with this major and the current semester? and should I even bother continuing with this major in any foreseeable future at least just to get that diploma? I'm struggling to even following the materials even when I'm just taking 9 hours of credit.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2014 #2
    Depression certainly makes learning harder, so anything you can do to ease your depression (counseling, exercise, medication, etc) can help.

    As for what you should do academically, have you considered switching to engineering?
  4. Sep 29, 2014 #3
    I'm at my 4th year and I'm at a point where I either graduate or don't--there's limit to how far my parents can help me out especially when my sister is about to enter university back in Korea.

    I feel I don't even want to do anything with science anymore, I spend sometimes more than 2 hours on each of the homework problems because of my weak foundation and I end up having to go through the internet, solutions manual and textbook from previous semesters just trying to figure out what I'm doing.

    Everything about me is just feeling of worthlessness at this point. I can't even follow course materials, I can't even muster motivations to continue focusing on studying without feeling in a verge of mental break-down. I can't even find a job, can't even get a loan to seek other ways to continue my education because I have zero people that I can use to take a loan at all.

    I really want to continue the education, but my self-confidence is shot and I feel trapped because I don't even know how I will even be able to support myself. I'm approaching 30 and I'm absolutely nowhere in my life.
  5. Sep 29, 2014 #4
    Have you talked to your professors and academic advisors?
  6. Sep 29, 2014 #5
    Hi, Ein12,

    I second TomServo, try talking to someone else at the university who is supposed to support you, because, if you find a helping hand locally, it might be able to help you much more concretely then we can at a distance.

    That said, since you're looking for help here, I'll share my opinion: I think it only makes sense to drop out so late in the course if you have a clear idea of what you'll do instead - be it starting to work in a company, founding yours, going to Korea, or simply tackling your depression if it turns out to be the real issue here. Otherwise, I would expect that graduating would at least bring a welcome closure to this phase in your life.

    With the degree of difficulty you describe, it sounds like you might have dyscalculia and, at any rate, I definitely agree that you shouldn't switch to engineering or something similar. Depending on your preferences and opportunities, you might consider roles like tech salesperson or, if you have IT skills, looking for something in this field. I can't really offer non-obvious advice on the financial difficulties - for that, someone who knows the local reality can be much more helpful.

    Above all, don't feel guilty. You're simply facing harsh times - it can happen to any of us, it's happened to me too - and all you can do is to get all the help you can and try to keep going. The best of luck!
  7. Sep 29, 2014 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    This would probably be a good place to start looking:

    http://www.health.arizona.edu/caps.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  8. Sep 29, 2014 #7
    Thanks for the advice, I've decided to drop one course that I can't even follow because I understand nothing on what's going on during the lecture. I am hoping to land some kind of part time job in the university and become at least a part-time student for an year to get out of this massive burn-out.
  9. Sep 29, 2014 #8
    It sounds like a great idea, a compromise that will give you at least some room to breath. Good luck!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook