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Struggling with motivation to study physics

  1. Nov 24, 2014 #1
    Hello all, new poster here.

    I dont want to sound like I'm ranting but I feel like I have no one else to tell.
    Studying physics has been my life dream since about a year and a half ago. After a long and hard journey (college would not let me take further maths), I finally made it into a prestigious university, studying theoretical physics.
    To make a long story short, at college I was not the brightest student due to lack of studying in my previous lifestyle. I had to work hard to eventually get to a position where I found maths and physics a-level pretty easy. (I'm aware that most people work hard, what I want to point out is that it didn't come naturally to me)

    At my university, many, if not all, of the students are much faster than me, and I cannot answer many of the problems set, whereas they can.
    Something which bothers me (also at bothered me at college although it never really surfaced until now) is that I cannot creatively think of a solution to a problem. I feel like I am too rigid and stick too literally to the content we have learnt. I've started to feel really depressed because I am so far behind everyone, I can never contribute to the lessons.

    All of this has perhaps made me lost my motivation to study physics, something I did not want to admit. Before I started university, I felt I was connected with physics and it became more than just a subject I wanted to study. I know I definitely want to study physics, but I'm having troubling rekindling my love.

    I've thrown out so many problems here, and I'm not expecting a solve-all solution but any helpful advice is greatly appreciated. I am sorry for moaning so much but its gotten to the point where I am starting to slowly become depressed.
    I just want to love doing physics again!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2014 #2


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    There will always be times when you struggle and there will always be those who seem to be so much smarter than you at one time or another. It's tough but it's just something that you have to overcome. Focus on your studies, try not to judge yourself on the successes of others and be confident that you are now doing your best. The rest will come eventually.
  4. Nov 24, 2014 #3
    I would venture to say that there are very few people to whom physics comes naturally. Creative solutions to problems and the ability to quickly figure out how to go about solving a problem both come with practice--nothing else. Some people have to practice more than others, but that's okay.

    Physics is a lot of work. Learning physics to a degree of expertise (or learning ANYTHING to a degree of expertise) is not easy. It's one thing to say "I know it won't be easy, but I'm going to work hard and accomplish it," and it's another thing to actually confront the difficulty. Quite frankly, you have to avoid falling into the trap--you don't study as much as you should (or efficiently), so you lose your motivation, so you don't study as much, so you lose more motivation...
    You get where I'm going.

    If you want to do physics, you have to put in the work. Take small steps, and always keep up with what's going on in your courses.
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