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What were you most afraid of throughout the development of your academic careers?

  1. Aug 19, 2011 #1
    I know everyone's had a big fear during their academic careers; mine currently is the fear of which field to take. I'm a current 2nd year physics major at the University of California, Davis and I am having doubts about physics being the right path for me. I do well in both physics and mathematics field but I don't know if I want to be an engineer, physicist, or something completely different but reliant on mathematics and physics.

    Tell me your biggest academic fear as you went through life? Did you overcome it? Is there any helpful advice you can give to me or anyone that comments on this post.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 19, 2011 #2
    My biggest fear was not getting a top-tier job after graduation, and having all my extra hard work and community involvement go for naught. I actually had a very painful job search, but ended up with a fantastic job I am very happy with.
  4. Aug 19, 2011 #3
    Glad to hear that man. I would love to pick a path and put all my effort in to it but I'm still deciding which path to take. Once I do I'd put a lot of effort into it just as you did.
  5. Aug 19, 2011 #4
    Worst fear is spending so much time and money at school for no reason
  6. Aug 19, 2011 #5
    Worst fear was that I would be wasting my time getting a degree and slowing myself down. I've wasted sooooo much time in university its rather sad to think about all the amazing things I could have accomplished.
  7. Aug 19, 2011 #6
    I was worried about getting the next assignment completed.
  8. Aug 19, 2011 #7
    My worst fear was not admitting by any graduate school and continuing living in China
  9. Aug 20, 2011 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    At the beginning of my third year, I was having serious doubts about getting my physics degree due to the practical considerations - post-graduation marketability and starting incomes. Everyone knows an EE is much easier to market than a physics degree. And I came very close to changing to an EE, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. I knew I would likely be working as an engineer but I couldn't stand the thought of not taking the upper division series in physics. My love of physics was what drove me back to college in the first place.

    So for me, it became a matter of having a little faith in myself and following my heart. When push comes to shove, that has always served me well. And in spite of virtually insurmountable odds, I have managed to make a decent living with a physics degree, working as a private engineer and consultant, while living in the backwoods of Oregon! Now who would have thought that possible!!! It wasn't easy, but a lot of hard work can do wonders. :biggrin:
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  10. Aug 21, 2011 #9
    Glad it worked out for you! Must have been hard but I think if you really love something its worth all that hard work you went through.
  11. Aug 21, 2011 #10
    I am a finalist and my biggest fear have always been my results. But i thank God that i'm now scalling over.
  12. Aug 21, 2011 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    When I finished college, I started a business [based on a grant awarded from the National Endowment for the Humanities] that was killed by a major flood, in 1996. At that time we were out of options and I had to take a job in the city, so we had to leave for a few years. Meanwhile, we had our farm [a little over 5 acres] rented out. Leaving this place was one of the hardest things that either one of us has had to do. Our hearts are here and we would always miss it. Three years later, my wife would still cry whenever the subject came up. But how can I make a living in the sticks with a physics degree?!?!?! It just isn't going to happen, thought I. We had to move on.

    We were literally within days of selling this place and buying another when the situation changed - I had fallen into a new business without meaning to - and we were able to return. The internet had changed everything.

    Good luck to you. I don't know if I was smart or lucky, maybe a little of both, but I hope things work out well for you, whatever choices you make. I will say this: There is no doubt in my mind that hard work is the great equalizer when it comes to life choices.

    ...and it's easy to work hard when you love what you do.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  13. Aug 22, 2011 #12


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    i was afraid it would become obvious i was a moron before i got tenure.
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