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Should I switch my perspective major away from Physics?

  1. Aug 28, 2014 #1
    Was interested in Physics ever since 6th grade when my science teacher taught us a few physics concepts. So when I got to high school, took a college preparatory Physics class. Pretty cool stuff. Loved having my mind abused day in and day out. I couldn't wait to the day I graduated and became an adult and could dedicate my life to science.
    Now I am in AP Physics 1, and it is the most tedious and boring thing I have ever done in my life. I hate every moment of it. So far it is only basic stuff like acceleration and what not, but it's just so boring. I hate to use "so boring" over and over, but that is the only way to describe it. I don't know if it's a different teacher that's bothering me or the fact I've already learned this stuff for the most part. I just don't know how I can do this every single day, when last year it felt like a part of my life was removed when I finished my normal physics class.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2014 #2
    If the boredom is because it's too easy, rest assured that the calculations will get more challenging as time goes on.

    How much do you enjoy doing Math? What exactly do you want to do with a Physics degree? What is it about Physics that got you hooked in the first place?
  4. Aug 28, 2014 #3
    I think it's safe to say that introductory physics is not a proper representation of how difficult it can get. You should probably be thankful that this stuff is that easy that it's boring... A lot of people struggle with the basics. More importantly, having to trudge through the required basics will probably make the more complex stuff worth the wait
  5. Aug 28, 2014 #4


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    I suspect you mean "prospective" rather than perspective.

    Anyway, there are a few things to consider. First, if you intent to study physics you're going to have a lot of instructors. Some of them will be inspiring and a pleasure to learn from. Others will literally read a textbook to you. I suspect this is true of just about all majors.

    Second, you have to give it time, and there's nothing wrong with that. In a worst case scenario, say you decide to major in physics, make it through your first year and absolutely hate it. You haven't lost too much. It's generally pretty easy to switch majors at that point, particularly if there is a lot of overlap with your second choice. It's more costly if you make that decision after your second or third year.

    Third, remember that the primary purpose of these classes isn't to entertain you. It's to educate you. In physics there is a lot of work that involves going through calculations in intricate, painstaking detail, a lot of which won't seem relevant at the time. One way to deal with this though is to make sure you do your own reading and learning outside of class. Take on problems that aren't assigned, but that you're simply curious to know about.
  6. Aug 29, 2014 #5


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    You shouldn't quit physics, at least not for those reasons. You might, however, consider quitting high school, and forgetting the AP exams.

    Giving up interest in physics due to an AP exam is like giving up on Mexican food because of a bad meal at Taco Bell. The US high school system is like that cheap Chinese takeout place down the block: the food there is "Chinese," not Chinese. Likewise the physics in the US school system is "physics," not physics.

    Moreover, unlike the takeout restaurant, the US government can force its meals down your throat without your permission, or at the very least through a lot of fear-mongering, misinformation, and brainwashing. Consider this quote from Einstein, and try to decide if it perhaps fits your situation:

    If you find yourself playing the role of that beast, and if you have forgiving enough parents, then perhaps take a year off from high school. Grab a copy of Taylor's "Classical Mechanics" and a good vector calc textbook, and give real physics an honest go.
  7. Aug 31, 2014 #6
    If you're 16 you can just go to a community college. A lot of them have programs to get a high school equivalency diploma but you can just ignore that and take only required courses for the degree.
  8. Sep 2, 2014 #7
    Dropping out of high school and going to a community college isn't really an option as my parents have told me I'm on my own when it come to paying for college. I doubt they'd pay for me to do it and as I'm just a wee boy I don't have the financial resources for it.
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