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Very, very confused and doubting myself

  1. May 8, 2012 #1
    alright, well heres my story (sorry for the long read, heads up now lol :P)

    in highschool, i did absolutely no work at all. i pursued all the sciences however and did fairly well in biology and chemistry as well as math (advanced functions and calculus). thing is, never had an interest in physics back then (thought i would pursue a degree in either accounting or medicine). made up my mind and decided to enter university to pursue a degree in biochemistry. well i entered university and had to take entry level calculus (1 & 2) as well as physics 1 & 2.

    well university started and i picked up my physics text book and started to study and let me just say i have never been this interested in a subject before. would skip lectures just so i could work on physics. actually didnt like studying any course other than physics.

    only problems i have are
    1. i can not perform on physics tests (well tests in all subjects, actually). i dont know why but the problems in the textbooks are much more difficult than the tests yet i still performed horribly (B in physics 1, C- in physics 2)
    2. not the biggest fan of math. maybe its because i wont ever need math again that i didnt do as well as i'd think (i know, horrible excuse, im an idiot)
    3. i may want to pursue medicine after my undergrad but im not sure if i can even pass physics, let alone get into a physics grad program/something as difficult as medicine

    as of right now im off during the summer, just volunteering at a physicians clinic so i have a lot of time off to think about what i want to do with my life.

    thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2012 #2
    You THOUGHT this or you THINK this now?
  4. May 9, 2012 #3
    How did you study?

    You said you missed lectures to study, but I am wondering how you timed your study routine?

    I monitor my workout routines via a sketchpad detailing the amount of reps and sets I do of each exercise, you should use the same procedure with your studying routine. That is, how much time you spend on each section, and monitor the amount of problems you complete each section.

    Note your own perception of your competency of each section, i.e., "did I get all of it?" and number it from 1 (didn't get it) to 5 (got it). If you place yourself at 3 or below, either try reaching out to people to help you understand the material or rereading the section to see if you missed something crucial. Generally, using a tutor will help increase your understanding or speaking with your professor about the issue.

    Studying to me is sort of like working out, if you haven't done it in a while and are new to it, you will flop on the first few attempts. Like I did when trying to enter the gym and lift 45kg (100lbs) dumb-bells, didn't do so well. So take it easy at first but not at the expense of your other classes. Try studying for 30 minutes, and study 1 section of the chapter at a time, then do practice problems relating to that section. And also use a routine. You should also note when you feel you are most alert during your studying sessions, whether it is in the morning where you are most alert and energized or whether you are more nocturnal and more alert at that time period and begin studying at that time period.

    It would also help to note where (i.e. place or location) you feel most comfortable and least susceptible to distractions. Are you more distracted at home, outside, in the library, etc..., and try to change that location.

    I personally couldn't evade distraction because I was constantly around people, etc..., so I had to try other means and that required me to become more rigorously disciplined than I was before, and the way I was before I became disciplined contributed to much of my failure in school. So, if you can avoid distractions by other venues than go to them! Usually you can use tutor rooms as a place to get work done and ask for help, so try and search for those around campus.

    Another thing that helps would be weight training. That is one my essential routines I do 3 times a week. That, or at least in my case, greatly helps with concentration because when trying to lift a weight that is 35-40 kg (85-90lbs), takes a bit more concentration and focus than usual, also running helps with releasing various frustrations, but I run (primarily centered around high intensity interval routines) to help with the body, etc..., and usually when I run in the morning, I feel better throughout the day.

    I never would stay up past a certain hour (my bed time was 11:00 p.m., now it is 1:00 a.m.) and sleep for 7 hours. Make sure you get all of your hours slept. Also, like in my case, I couldn't exactly afford a sleep number bed, so I took some comforters that were old from the folks home and placed them inside a zip futon that I was sleeping on. That ended up being the most comfortable futon, and much, much better than my original bed I slept on.

    About 45:00 minutes - 1 hour before bedtime, turn off the computer. You want to wind-down, and allow your body yourself to de-stimulate. Try sitting at a desk and reading a boring book perhaps, or do something that will help you wind-down and is not related to computers.

    So before doubting yourself try changing habits about yourself that may also be contributing to your failure in those courses. It may not be that you aren't cut out for physics, just that there are roadblocks that needs to be taken care of before you can move on.
  5. May 10, 2012 #4
    i thought that, but i know if i pursue physics ill need to take calc 3 + a differential equation + linear algebra as well as many others

    cool, another gym goer. and the way i studied was i sat in the library/my room, read over the theory quickly, did some practice problems and then did the questions in the text book (for e.g every odd numbered question because that what i would have the answers to) and id pretty much always get them right
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