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What do you do to remotivate yourself once you hit rockbottom

  1. Oct 11, 2008 #1
    Ever since I've been in college , I have dropped or flunked one class every semester. I have like two years to graduate. My grades are not always the best, yet I still have expectations to enroll in grad school. What are some of the things you implement to motivate yourself towards you goal , even though it seems like the odds are are against you ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2008 #2


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    Why did you drop or flunk? Too many courses per semester? Faulty concepts or skills? The answers will be very useful for you.

    Ideas to try could be take fewer courses per term, spend longer studying, restudy any possible weak topics.
  4. Oct 11, 2008 #3
    First you need to figure out why you flunked those classes. I've flunked a few courses in my time but that was because the courses were designed to make students fail.

    Motivation for me is just to stop, clear my head, and remind my self of the goals that I have in life. The rethink everything I need to do in order to accomplish those goals.
  5. Oct 11, 2008 #4
    I think I took too many courses and I sometimes gave up in the middle of the semester and stopped attended a class, therefore I ended up flunking that class.

    I don't want to dropped out of school because I like school. But sometimes I feel I am headed in that direction. And I know that college is for many because I love learning ; I learn a lot more outside the classroom thanks very much to my university library. Sometimes I think that the professors think that I am stupid because I show up at their office hours more than anyone else. I'm sure most of the other students learn about physics concepts from other students since they mainly do there homework in study groups. I joined a study group this year. It has alleviated some of the frustrations I am having .
  6. Oct 11, 2008 #5
    Well there was one class where I had no choice but to dropped the course because the test average was like 40 percent and the professor refuse to change the grades;
  7. Oct 11, 2008 #6


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    Benzoate, now you are either ready to head in the right direction or are headed in the right direction. You did not say what kind of program you are in. Be sure to build up pre-requisite competency and not just rely on course credit from those pre-requisites. This take extra practice and some restudy. College professors are often not very patient with helping students with prerequisite courses for the current course. "You should already understand those skills..." is the kind of reaction that some professors will give when you are slow to recognize and apply some needed skills. Responses like that are not a reason to cease effort to learn. Just restudy things and you will learn them better.

    Also, try to learn as much as you can learn in a difficult course for as long as you are permitted to attend before dropping from it.
  8. Oct 11, 2008 #7
    well, I may not be in the right position to give you advise since I've never failed any courses. But I'll give you my share of how to motivate myself in my studies.

    For me, I just get up and go. What I mean is that when I feel I need studying, I just go study. If you feel you need to work harder, then work harder! There is no substitute for hard work. If you feel you are tired, burnt out... take a 10 minutes break, take a 30 minutes nap (with alarm clock set) or take a shower. Remember to time yourself however, so that when you are done taking a break, get up and go again! Even when you are doing well in class, you STILL should study. Do some extra problems, get a different book on the same material, discuss problems with friends, or in the physics forums. The reason why smart people always seem to have an extra edge is mostly because they dedicate more time than anyone else in the class. When I was in my classical mechanics class, most people did poorly in the final exam, but for me, I got an A. Why? because even though I was doing well in that class, I did (almost) every single problem in the book. So when an extra difficult exam is out, I can still handle it. I don't claim to be particularly bright or anything, but one thing I can say is that I definitely can work harder than anyone else in my class.

    To be honest, to do well in physics, you just have to be willing to put in the extra work and effort. For me, studying are often very enjoyable and satisfying, so that it doesn't feel as much of a burden. If you can't put in the extra work or studying just do not interest you so much, then maybe you should re-evaluate your career path (please don't take this as offensive). Whatever your major is, you should enjoy learning it.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008
  9. Oct 12, 2008 #8
    I was a student that people believed wouldn't even manage to complete my bachelors. I was going that bad. I wasted a year!

    But as Topher pointed out, you might be in the wrong kind of courses. I was too. It wasn't much of my fault.

    In the last 3 years, I have been at the top of like 80% of all classes I took. I am now in M Phil. In a recently test+interview taken for a very attractive research position, I was 1st in 200+ people, which included people who topped that college which I almost failed back in bachelors. That should tell you that getting poor grades doesn't mean that you are good for nothing. It could mean a million things. You might be suited for more advanced courses. You should stop cursing yourself. That's how I lifted myself. I continued telling myself that college was good for nothing. Judging from my recent performance, I think I was right.
  10. Oct 12, 2008 #9
    I don't understand. Did you switch majors or something ?
  11. Oct 12, 2008 #10
    Changed colleges!
  12. Oct 12, 2008 #11
    You have to go find a quiet place to study at. I usually pack my bags early in the morning, grab food and coffee and head out to the College Library and study 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. maybe I'll take a 1 hour break in between and run back home to go feed my pets but then I'll run back to school to continue studying though LOL. Those video games you have at home, throw em out the windows, TV shows and series you usually watch, you can forgot about them (buy them on DVD after you finish your Degree). Just focus on the Semester and don't let anything get in your way.

    You'll sometimes have to go out of your way to find studying and reading materials. If the Professor tells you to buy a specific book, go ahead and buy it but supplement it with 1 or 2 other books that is just as better for reading. :biggrin:

    Try forming study groups within your classroom and if that doesn't work then go directly to the Professor after office hours for help. And if the Professor is giving you a hard time and or refuses to help you out on your assignments...Give him the finger and just download his Solution Manual online as a last resort and bomb on his test! :grumpy:
  13. Oct 12, 2008 #12
    I've lost jobs and failed many, many times in undergraduate school. I ended up in enrolling into CE Masters program at a state school with a 2.6 GPA.

    I think to myself after all those failures that there is no need to get any better because I'm already better than 3/4th's of the US population by finishing undergrad school, entering grad school and have a decent paying job in front of me whether I finish my Masters or not. (even though I don't really want to work there)

    P.S. It also made me a more hard-skinned person. I'm not afraid of failing in life now. It's better to fail many times and learn from your mistakes than to achieve everything and learn jack. People learn more from failing than achieving.
  14. Oct 12, 2008 #13
    true, but to a certain extent...
  15. Oct 12, 2008 #14
    I think you should just try to learn the material as best as you can.

    Others have raised some good points. I think the following are very important:

    What are your study habits?

    I think it's important to put in consistent effort; study a good amount everyday instead of marathon work sessions. This allows the material to sink in and you aren't ever behind.

    I think an junior or senior physics/math student should be putting in a good amount of studying a week. Anywhere from 15 to 30 hours a week, depending on your career goals. Certainly this isn't unreasonable if you aren't working as you go to school.

    I think it's also important to have an attitude of never giving up. Physics is so damn tough, sometimes the concepts come to you weeks or months later. Part of being a good science student is being tenacious and very driven.

    Most importantly, try not to focus on grades. Focus on learning the material. Also, don't let grades and pressure interfere with you ENJOYING the material. I noticed anytime I'm freaking out about grades, I view the material as a chore. I need to reset my mind frame and start enjoying the material.
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