Sophomore slump help

  • #1
Sophomore slump help!!

I was wondering if anyone else has gone through similar circumstances, and how they handled it. Since High School I've been really passionate about physics and astronomy, and its been my dream in life to get a Physics or Astronomy PhD. This being said im sure everyone can agree that it really breaks you down when you find yourself doing poorly at something youre passionate about. In my freshmen year, I finished with an A in calc I and Calc II, and an A in my first physics class. My overall GPA was 3.4. Now fast forward to my first semester sophomore year, Im doing well in physics, but not so well in the lab, though I will improve. Im doing decent in my first programming class, mostly because I've received help. However , I got a 61 on my first linear algebra exam, and just did poorly on a Calc III exam. keep in my mind I need a C in calc III in order to advance to Diff Eq. The workload this semester has really been breaking me down, and i'll admit, I could work harder at the cost of my social life and free time.

Im distraught as to how im doing so poorly in classes I should be doing well in, as most people say Calc II is harder than linear Algebra and Calc III. part of the problem is the professors I have this semester are poor, but that is still no excuse for me not getting at least a B or C. The worst part is I was pretty sure i had a grip on the material

I've tried to think about what I could do to make things better, one strategy ive come up with is to start taking better notes, an looking over them the same day of class, and doing the homework more thoroughly. I may also need to start attending office hours.

Has anyone else had these problems? how did you solve them? Also, if i fail a course or dont graduate on time, how will that affect my future career? If I cant fix these problems it may be best to switch to an engineering major, or maybe even pre-med. I have an excellent internship opportunity lined up this summer, but it requires a 3.0 GPA, so I will really need to turn things around in order to keep my GPA above a 3.0.

HELP!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
4
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I've taken all the courses you've mentioned, so maybe I can help a little :) I was one of the ones that found Calc 2 to be a heck of a lot harder than Calc 3 (we have different names for them here, but based on what you've said about them, I'm quite sure they cover the same material). However, I can also say that while I was able to keep up with my Calc 2 midterms (I scored above average both times, and then bombed the final), my first Calc 3 test was a complete disaster (46%, I think), but on my second, I scored in the 80s. So for me, Calc 3 got easier further into the course.

I found linear to be difficult as well (harder than Calc 3, easier than Calc 2), mostly because to me it seemed that all the topics were very separate and isolated from one another so I had no way of connecting them in my mind or even applying them to anything. It seemed like a list of concepts and techniques.

One piece of advice, from personal experience, would be to look over your notes in the evening, after your class, and on the weekend, look over all the notes from the previous week. I started doing that this year and it's really helped me. As well, for math, there's no better way to learn than to practice. Do homework questions, do questions from your textbook, and make sure you understand everything. And in regards to failing ... I failed Calc 2 and I believe I'm now behind a year (possibly only one term, I'm not sure yet). Annoying, but it's not the end of the world. As for not going into engineering, I've met loads of engineers who have failed at least one math course. I've always been of the opinion that as long as you're willing to put the time and effort in (whether that's just studying, or talking to your prof, or getting a tutor), you stand a pretty good shot in engineering. That's just my experience though :) Don't despair!
 
  • #3


thanks for the help. My ultimate goal is grad school for physics, but if my GPA is poor then that may not be possible.
 
  • #4


anyone else have any advice?
 
  • #5


Hey there,

My advice to you is to simply understand the material and not worry so much about the grade. Usually grades are "supposed" to reflect a student's knowledge of a concept or how to do it. Whats in the past is in the past, feel the failure, experience it, then spit it out and taste success.

If you're an engineering major you need to understand the topics because that's what will provide you with a good foundation for further courses. Again, employers don't worry so much about the grade as you think. If you can do it= interview, if you can do it well=hired

hope this helps
 

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