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    as its not cambridge itself thats the problem (ie: social life, attirtudes etc..) would suggest that you ask fora change of course asap. because theres no point in studying something you dont understnd/dot like/ or struggle drastically with. change your courseto something else more suited towards your individaul style and tasts..do a bit of research and hopefully you'll be fine.
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    (Original post by Quizzimodo)
    So basically I'm hoping for some advice. I had a pretty poor first term, and I've pretty stressed over the break as well, so I'm weighing up my options. The tl;dr version is in bold.
    • I don't like the course. I opted for Maths with Physics because I don't particularly like pure maths but equally didn't want to have to do many experiments. It turns out that I have to do a lot of both of those things, and there's no real way of avoiding them both until at least third year - I'd have to do pure in IB Maths and experiments in IB Physics.
    • I'm struggling with the work. Not liking it probably doesn't help, but the pace is too fast and I got behind very quickly. I understand most of lectures (or so I think) but then have no idea what to do on the examples sheets and have to spend even longer sifting through notes to try to get a handle of what's going on.
    • I can't get away from the work, either. There's just too much of it, and whenever I have a break from it, I'm either worrying about not having done enough or I have no energy to do anything else. At home I like to read, I have an interest in programming and quizzes (hence the username) but in college I feel lethargic.
    • I don't like the social side. I'm no party animal, and would rather have a quiet drink at a pub, but everyone else seems to either be focused on work, at some kind of society event, or getting completely bladdered. And of course, nursing a pint is a bit of a time sink, and time is a luxury. I played in the college orchestra, but it felt like a wasted two hours every week, and went to pub quizzes on Sundays, which frankly were the only thing I genuinely enjoyed all term.
    • I don't particularly care about the subject. Everyone else on my course seems to be genuinely interested in maths, can reel off a dozen digits of pi or e. I only have a passing interest in it, and completely balk at the idea of doing research. I have nothing against academia for the sake of itself, but it's just not for me, and I feel that's making my life a lot harder at somewhere like Cambridge where you really do need to want to do the work.
    I feel like if it was only one or two of these then I might be able to muddle through but I don't really think any of it suits me. So, am I alone? Can it get better? I'm seriously considering trying to transfer to my insurance choice, Mathematical Physics at Nottingham. I know it doesn't have the "prestige" but I think a little less pressure and a course I have a chance of enjoying would give me a much better chance.

    Help! Any opinions are appreciated and I will try to answer questions.
    Here's a checklist of what you should do.

    1. Remind yourself when you applied to university what the reasons were for applying for the course you're on and the university you're at.

    2. Whatever the reasons to part 1. (eg great surroundings, interesting course, brilliant prospects), are they still the case?

    3. If yes to part 2, then persevere but seek help, else look for an alternative.

    My advice to students at school is maths at uni is very different to maths at school and even if you have done STEP, it's unlikely you'll have experienced pure maths (unless you happen to come across Group Theory offered by MEI).

    Some who are not brilliant at maths at school (though still good or else why would they choose to study maths at uni!) do end up getting firsts, possibly because they dislike the lack of rigour at school and pure is their thing.

    Sounds like you're the opposite and prefer applied to pure (in the uni sense here).

    If that's the case, you might enjoy a more applicable subject such as engineering and even then, choose a uni with a high practical element and possibly strong links to industry for greater employability afterwards.

    Perhaps you might see more of the benefits of university as a mature student, in which case you should venture out into the working world, gain a few years work experience then return, full time or part time to bolster up your qualifications. That way, you'll see a purpose to what you're studying.

    Sometimes a good tip for working out what to do is to work backwards. Ask yourself where you want to end up after graduating, and hopefully that'll point you in the right direction for your next step.

    Whatever you choose to do, be 100% committed. Constantly changing your mind is not going to help and only wastes time.
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    Have a read of this article in from the Daily Telegraph.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...e-for-you.html

    Do not feel pressured to stay, your happiness is the most important thing. I learned this the hard way. I spent many years working in a career that I never wanted to do. Others thought I had a great job, I chose my own hours, had a six figure income, massive bonuses, company cars, loads of perks and benefits and an amazing social life. The problem, I was not happy. One big mistake I made was that my pride would not let me quit, I was always determined to carry on, and no matter how bad it got and how depressed I became I just kept going.
    I tried to talk to people but they never seemed to listen, either that or they could not believe I wanted to walk away from a career that others would give their right arm for.
    3 years ago I finally decided enough was enough, I walked away and decided to follow my dream. I went back to college, started my own business and I will be going to uni in September (another dream I missed out on). I have less money, an old car and a lot less of many other things and I have never been happier. It is unlikely that I will ever earn as much money again as I did before or move in the same social circles and I just do not care.

    I have known many former Oxbridge students, of all of them the two happiest are one that dropped out in his second year and is now a family man and runs his own IT business, the other graduated with 1st class honours and now lives in New Zealand where she breeds alpaca's. There is far to much importance placed on being an Oxbridge student to be successful. Success is waking up in the morning and looking forward to the day ahead, success is being excited about going to work, success is looking forward to the future with excitement, success is going to bed and sleeping contentedly all night.

    Life is to short to waste it doing something you do not enjoy. Good luck with whatever you decide and I am sure it will work out for you.
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    i cant help you with much of that, and good luck with whatever you decide. just one thing though- the party scene is the norm at most unis so it can take longer to weed out those who dont want to go clubbing. a lot of students wouldn't want to go to the pub too regularly all evening as this would cost £££ as a pint costs more than alcohol bought from the supermarket which can be taken home.
    To be honest by my 3rd/ 4th year at Cambreezy ( I was literally running things socially ( club scene/ societal positions).

    I guess Cambridge was intimidating initially. I remember my 1st DOS meetings where all of us in my subject met. My DOS was like "some of you will find this course straightforward, whereas others will struggle all the way through"!

    And it was a struggle all the way through for me all 4 years ....
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    (Original post by ebam_uk)
    To be honest by my 3rd/ 4th year at Cambreezy ( I was literally running things socially ( club scene/ societal positions).

    I guess Cambridge was intimidating initially. I remember my 1st DOS meetings where all of us in my subject met. My DOS was like "some of you will find this course straightforward, whereas others will struggle all the way through"!

    And it was a struggle all the way through for me all 4 years ....
    at least you made it though
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    at least you made it though
    Yeah point in case... If I made it thru Cam, then perhaps the OP should be inspired to make it thru cam?
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    (Original post by ebam_uk)
    Yeah point in case... If I made it thru Cam, then perhaps the OP should be inspired to make it thru cam?
    there is no point in them struggling through 4 years if they know now they might be happier elsewhere
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    there is no point in them struggling through 4 years if they know now they might be happier elsewhere
    *3 years.

    I suppose but one has to take the long term view, probably in 20 years time, this point of our lives will be so critical to where one ends up. & you don't wanna left on the scrap heap!
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    (Original post by ebam_uk)
    *3 years.

    I suppose but one has to take the long term view, probably in 20 years time, this point of our lives will be so critical to where one ends up. & you don't wanna left on the scrap heap!
    tbh firstly they arent going to be going to london met! secondly it will be experience that counts i believe
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      (Original post by Quizzimodo)
      I'd have to do pure in IB Maths
      You can avoid it almost completely if you want (from personal experience).

      [*]I'm struggling with the work. Not liking it probably doesn't help, but the pace is too fast and I got behind very quickly. I understand most of lectures (or so I think) but then have no idea what to do on the examples sheets and have to spend even longer sifting through notes to try to get a handle of what's going on.
      It gets better. You've gone directly from an environment where you easily understand everything without much effort to an environment where the work is much more difficult and there are parts you can't do. It takes time to adapt!

      [*]I don't like the social side. I'm no party animal, and would rather have a quiet drink at a pub, but everyone else seems to either be focused on work, at some kind of society event, or getting completely bladdered.
      You sound very similar to me! I've made some great friends who I can hang out with quietly or sit in our college bar with or whatever. It can take a while to fall into a group of friends with similar tendencies. Don't worry.

      [*]I don't particularly care about the subject. Everyone else on my course seems to be genuinely interested in maths, can reel off a dozen digits of pi or e.
      It does feel like this sometimes. There are some people like this, but there are also many others that feel like you. Hopefully when you start to specialise a bit more you'll find an area of maths that really interests you.

      (Footnote: I've read through the first page of this thread and there are a lot of people with kneejerk reactions saying you should drop out or change course immediately. I don't think you should take such drastic action, you're just expressing common concerns that many students at Cambridge and other universities have, especially in the early stages of their course. It's like in the relationships forum where everyone says "break up with him/her now" when the OP has a problem that can probably be fixed!)
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      (Original post by ch0llima)
      ...

      Cambridge doesn't carry half the weight it used to. Neg away, but it's true.
      Try telling that to all the employers lining up to give undergrad engineers summer internships and sponsorships...

      (Original post by ebam_uk)
      Tbh, Cambridge was a hard route for me personally, I found the step up from A level to 1st year huge !!!

      But fair not, passing a cambridge degree is not easy feat... Think of the prestige post uni.
      First term seemed really daunting - but looking back on the work we actually did, it seemed worse at the time.
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      (Original post by tommm)
      (Footnote: I've read through the first page of this thread and there are a lot of people with kneejerk reactions saying you should drop out or change course immediately. I don't think you should take such drastic action, you're just expressing common concerns that many students at Cambridge and other universities have, especially in the early stages of their course. It's like in the relationships forum where everyone says "break up with him/her now" when the OP has a problem that can probably be fixed!)
      I think this is very true.
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      (Original post by tommm)
      You can avoid it almost completely if you want (from personal experience).



      It gets better. You've gone directly from an environment where you easily understand everything without much effort to an environment where the work is much more difficult and there are parts you can't do. It takes time to adapt!



      You sound very similar to me! I've made some great friends who I can hang out with quietly or sit in our college bar with or whatever. It can take a while to fall into a group of friends with similar tendencies. Don't worry.



      It does feel like this sometimes. There are some people like this, but there are also many others that feel like you. Hopefully when you start to specialise a bit more you'll find an area of maths that really interests you.

      (Footnote: I've read through the first page of this thread and there are a lot of people with kneejerk reactions saying you should drop out or change course immediately. I don't think you should take such drastic action, you're just expressing common concerns that many students at Cambridge and other universities have, especially in the early stages of their course. It's like in the relationships forum where everyone says "break up with him/her now" when the OP has a problem that can probably be fixed!)
      If by IB you mean Investment Banking and you intend to be a quant, you definately need to know stochastic calculus and so analysis (a branch of pure maths) is unavoidable.

      In fact you''ll be hard pressed to get into a quant position at any decent IB without a PhD in maths (not any PhD but analysis, stats or applied), theoretical physics or something similar.
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      (Original post by smileatyourself)
      If by IB you mean Investment Banking and you intend to be a quant, you definately need to know stochastic calculus and so analysis (a branch of pure maths) is unavoidable.

      In fact you''ll be hard pressed to get into a quant position at any decent IB without a PhD in maths (not any PhD but analysis, stats or applied), theoretical physics or something similar.
      I thought they were referring to Part IB Maths (the 2nd year of the Cambridge maths course).
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      (Original post by smileatyourself)
      If by IB you mean Investment Banking and you intend to be a quant, you definately need to know stochastic calculus and so analysis (a branch of pure maths) is unavoidable.

      In fact you''ll be hard pressed to get into a quant position at any decent IB without a PhD in maths (not any PhD but analysis, stats or applied), theoretical physics or something similar.
      http://www.maths.cam.ac.uk/undergrad.../coursesIB.pdf
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        (Original post by smileatyourself)
        If by IB you mean Investment Banking and you intend to be a quant, you definately need to know stochastic calculus and so analysis (a branch of pure maths) is unavoidable.

        In fact you''ll be hard pressed to get into a quant position at any decent IB without a PhD in maths (not any PhD but analysis, stats or applied), theoretical physics or something similar.
        Part "IB" is the second year of the Cambridge maths course (pronounced "one-bee").
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        (Original post by tommm)
        Part "IB" is the second year of the Cambridge maths course (pronounced "one-bee").
        Ah the tripos!

        But surely everyone should know that regardless of which uni you attend for maths, owing to the watered down standards (in the UK at least) over the years starting from school onwards, in order to gain a complete thorough grounding, there is very little choice at uni, certainly not until way in the latter part of the second / third years?

        So even in part IB you would still have to do Pure and Applied maths.
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          (Original post by smileatyourself)
          Ah the tripos!

          But surely everyone should know that regardless of which uni you attend for maths, owing to the watered down standards (in the UK at least) over the years starting from school onwards, in order to gain a complete thorough grounding, there is very little choice at uni, certainly not until way in the latter part of the second / third years?

          So even in part IB you would still have to do Pure and Applied maths.
          I did Part IB and only seriously took one pure course, and could've easily done without it.
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          (Original post by tommm)
          You can avoid it almost completely if you want (from personal experience).

          It gets better. You've gone directly from an environment where you easily understand everything without much effort to an environment where the work is much more difficult and there are parts you can't do. It takes time to adapt!

          You sound very similar to me! I've made some great friends who I can hang out with quietly or sit in our college bar with or whatever. It can take a while to fall into a group of friends with similar tendencies. Don't worry.

          It does feel like this sometimes. There are some people like this, but there are also many others that feel like you. Hopefully when you start to specialise a bit more you'll find an area of maths that really interests you.
          The problem is that it is not one or two things I don't understand, or even just one course. There are huge swathes of things that pass me by and I don't even know where to look to fix it sometimes! If things don't improve on that front I really doubt I can pick it back up.

          (Original post by dugdugdug)
          Here's a checklist of what you should do.

          1. Remind yourself when you applied to university what the reasons were for applying for the course you're on and the university you're at.

          2. Whatever the reasons to part 1. (eg great surroundings, interesting course, brilliant prospects), are they still the case?

          3. If yes to part 2, then persevere but seek help, else look for an alternative.

          <snip>

          Sometimes a good tip for working out what to do is to work backwards. Ask yourself where you want to end up after graduating, and hopefully that'll point you in the right direction for your next step.

          Whatever you choose to do, be 100% committed. Constantly changing your mind is not going to help and only wastes time.
          This is one of my problems. I really have no idea what I see myself doing after university, although I have no interest in going into something high pressure like finance or a similar job in the city, which means I'm not desperate to stay on and stick it out.

          (Original post by Spookman)
          Have a read of this article in from the Daily Telegraph.

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...e-for-you.html

          Do not feel pressured to stay, your happiness is the most important thing. I learned this the hard way. I spent many years working in a career that I never wanted to do. Others thought I had a great job, I chose my own hours, had a six figure income, massive bonuses, company cars, loads of perks and benefits and an amazing social life. The problem, I was not happy. One big mistake I made was that my pride would not let me quit, I was always determined to carry on, and no matter how bad it got and how depressed I became I just kept going.
          I tried to talk to people but they never seemed to listen, either that or they could not believe I wanted to walk away from a career that others would give their right arm for.
          3 years ago I finally decided enough was enough, I walked away and decided to follow my dream. I went back to college, started my own business and I will be going to uni in September (another dream I missed out on). I have less money, an old car and a lot less of many other things and I have never been happier. It is unlikely that I will ever earn as much money again as I did before or move in the same social circles and I just do not care.

          I have known many former Oxbridge students, of all of them the two happiest are one that dropped out in his second year and is now a family man and runs his own IT business, the other graduated with 1st class honours and now lives in New Zealand where she breeds alpaca's. There is far to much importance placed on being an Oxbridge student to be successful. Success is waking up in the morning and looking forward to the day ahead, success is being excited about going to work, success is looking forward to the future with excitement, success is going to bed and sleeping contentedly all night.

          Life is too short to waste it doing something you do not enjoy. Good luck with whatever you decide and I am sure it will work out for you.
          I can't really say anything about this, other than it was a very interesting and helpful post. I wouldn't mind breeding alpacas, I must say, and I'm glad things have worked out for you!
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          Hey I don't go to Oxbridge but some of the stuff you describe is what did happen to me in my first year. :hugs:

          (Original post by Quizzimodo)
          I don't like the course. I opted for Maths with Physics because I don't particularly like pure maths but equally didn't want to have to do many experiments. It turns out that I have to do a lot of both of those things, and there's no real way of avoiding them both until at least third year - I'd have to do pure in IB Maths and experiments in IB Physics.
          The advice that I can give you is that it's early days. A lot of first year courses especially the first term is to get everyone to the same level. So you might find stuff in the first term especially that you are not a fan of. What I can tell you is that it does get better (this is talking from a general perspective but I think people here who are at Oxbridge would say the same thing here.

          I'm struggling with the work. Not liking it probably doesn't help, but the pace is too fast and I got behind very quickly. I understand most of lectures (or so I think) but then have no idea what to do on the examples sheets and have to spend even longer sifting through notes to try to get a handle of what's going on.
          The bit of advice that I can give you, talk to someone. Whether this is your personal tutor or DoS (I think that's the correct terminology ) they are also there to have your best interests at heart. You have to remember that you've come from A level which compared to university (and this is more applicable to Oxbridge) is extremely relaxed. The work pace is much faster and some people are on the ball straight away whilst others (which again included myself) took longer to get the hang of things. As others have suggested, if you don't talk to someone not only will you suffer in silence but your work and happiness would be seriously affected.

          Again, talk to someone as soon as possible. :hugs:

          I can't get away from the work, either. There's just too much of it, and whenever I have a break from it, I'm either worrying about not having done enough or I have no energy to do anything else. At home I like to read, I have an interest in programming and quizzes (hence the username) but in college I feel lethargic.
          Look my point above. Also, when talking to relevant people make sure that you talk to them about potential degree changes. But see what there opinion is before you do something that you might feel is a mistake in the future.

          I don't like the social side. I'm no party animal, and would rather have a quiet drink at a pub, but everyone else seems to either be focused on work, at some kind of society event, or getting completely bladdered. And of course, nursing a pint is a bit of a time sink, and time is a luxury. I played in the college orchestra, but it felt like a wasted two hours every week, and went to pub quizzes on Sundays, which frankly were the only thing I genuinely enjoyed all term.
          Social things things like this take time even though you might not see it. All I can advise here is keep trying, but you'll find that group soon

          This is what I can advise you and I hope it does help. Remember you've only just started and it can be hard at first (and having friends who are at Cambridge, they do tell me these things). However, don't do things that you are quite drastic and make sure you talk to someone.

          Hope it gets better soon :jumphug:
         
         
         
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