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Taking a Year Off.

  1. Feb 8, 2010 #1
    Hi everyone

    I will try to be brief. I have completed my junior year as a mathematics undergrad. I am seriously considering taking a year off before my senior year as an undergrad. This is not so rare at my university. I want to do this because I realise I have a very poor foundation in mathematics. Very poor. I have been to a few lectures for this senior year, and I am completely lost. We are expected to know amy things which I do not know. I plan to take the year off to build a solid foundation in mathematics. I also plan on working, because I can't sit at home and do nothing but study. I can also save for my studies, since I come from a poor(ish) family. I should also add that I received a scholarship for my senior year, and I will relinquish it if I take a year off. I would also have to re-apply to the university. I am quite confident I will be re-admitted -- I have asked the head of the department (HoD) about this -- but it is unclear if I will be awarded a scholarship.
    I asked the HoD if he thought this is a good idea, but he didn't have any advice for me. I do not want to go to the curriculum advisor because the last time I went to see him he told me I was stupid, in thinly-veiled terms of course.

    As you can see I am in quite a quandary. I'm trying to ask everyone I can for advice, so any you might have is very much appreciated. Thank-you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2010 #2
    You're worried about an inadequate knowledge of math and paying tuition, so you're plan is to drop out of school and forfeit your scholarship?
  4. Feb 8, 2010 #3
    Lol, yea, I know that sounds crazy. I've spoken to a few people -- none of them mathematicians or math students, I should add -- and they all seem to think I'm just nervous. Well yes, I am nervous about my senior year. Yes, I will forfeit a scholarship, which I know is a very silly and selfish decision. But! I really am very worried that Iam not well prepared for my senior year. The first two years of university I stuffed around. I didn't really learn much. My junior year I worked hard and I did very well, which is how I got the full scholarship (I don't like to brag, but this is a necessary part of my explanation). But the first two years where I was carrying on have really hurt me. I've sat in a few lectures now and I really am lost. If I don't take the year off, I might pass, but it'snot likely I will do well. Then I won't get into grad school. That sucks because what I want most in life is a mathematics PhD. I just feel that if I take this year off, work and study in my free time, I can do much better in my senior year, and that will place me in a better position.
    I won't just be lazing about. I plan to look for work and save the money to go towards my tuition. Ultimately what I do is my decision. My mother thinks it is a bad idea. My sister doesn't know; neither does the department head. My friends just think I'm nervous. As you can see I'm quite confused.

    EDIT: you might be wondering how I managed to stuff up in my first two years but aced my junior year.
    First two years I did: calc; ODEs; PDEs; linear- and abstract- algebra.
    Junior year: real analysis in one variable; complex analysis (Conway); topics in analysis; topics in algebra.
    So none of the stuff I did in the first two years was really a prereq for anything in my junior year. Topics in algebra was sorta stand-alone, mostly category theory stuff. I did so poorly in my first two years I was nearly kicked out. I've also taken a lot of applied math courses: I didn't know whether to go pure or applied. Numerical analysis I & II; mathematical modelling; mathematical physics; nonlinear ODEs; general relativity.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  5. Feb 8, 2010 #4
    Why not go part time for a semester and see how that goes?
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