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    I rushed into going to university. I didn’t do enough research into what studying physics at university would actually be like, outside of extrapolating my experiences of studying it at A level. I assumed it would be the same, but harder. Instead, there’s a lot, LOT more mathematics, especially calculus, which I had in reality been looking forward to escaping. For some reason, even though calculus is a core aspect of physics, neither GCSE nor A level had married the two at all.

    I managed to ignore the nagging in the first semester by not really paying attention in lectures, doing all of my assignments the night before, and spending all of my time socialising or chilling out in my room. Then the January exams came around, and I failed them pretty spectacularly. ~20% marks on each. I nearly dropped out then, but I decided that I had just been lazy, and if I worked to understand everything, I could be on top of the course and enjoy it.

    So the next semester, I shut myself away, in my room and one of the physics building’s study rooms. I worked really hard, and I did start to feel satisfaction with my understanding. But I think I pushed myself a little too far -- I burnt out really badly, and, probably out of habit at this point, still shut myself away. I wasn’t getting any work done, but I also wasn’t going to socials, or bonding with my housemates for next year. I think at its peak I spent four days (Friday morning – Tuesday morning) in my room/flat not speaking to anybody, half-heartedly doing hobby stuff and feeling guilty that I wasn’t working.

    Overall I felt pretty awful about everything, including the prospect of dropping out or switching courses, which seemed like resigning to the fact that I just wasn’t clever enough to study physics at university. I spent too much time thinking about how I was feeling, and kind of disappeared into my own head for a while.

    I feel like I’m coming out the other side of this weird haze of anxiety, mainly because I’ve forced myself to spend more time with my friends. Luckily, the amount of work I put in at the start of the semester means that I’m not unmanageably behind.

    I do feel that I’m interested in Physics, but I don’t know if my interest extends to treating it from a rigorous mathematical analysis point of view. Which does sound stupid and shallow now that I’m here and actually know what physics is, instead of the butchered version they give you outside of HE.

    Now I’m at this weird crossroads. I told myself and my parents I’d work harder and see how I found the course then. The fact that I sort of shut down makes me feel like I can’t honestly say I gave it my all, but also that something obviously isn’t quite right. I feel like over the course of a day I can go from sure I should go to sure I should stay and vice versa.

    My plan B would be to get a job for a little while and re-assess. I’ve also been toying with sitting a music a level independently and applying for the 19-20 academic year to read music. Both of these ideas I’m pretty worried about bringing up to my parents.

    I’ve read a lot of articles online about people having similar experiences, so I know I’m not even nearly alone in having this kind of first year. Would you say it sounds like I should carry on?
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    By the way, sorry that this post is formatted super weird, I basically wrote it to myself trying to collect my thoughts, and ended up just copypasting
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    My brother also studies Physics. He was lucky enough to do a foundation year first. It helped him a lot. He is doing fine . One thing I noticed in your post is kind of a black-white thinking. It seems that you either socialise or learn. You can do both at the same time. Studying in the library with friends who take the same course is pleasant and motivating. It works for my brother. It is much harder for him to study when he comes home for vaccations.If you go on with your studies try to be more balanced. Give yourself little rewards after studying to "recharge your batteries".
    Couldn't you combine Physics with music?
    Is there anything about Physics that exites you? If there is, focus on it to get motivated..
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    (Original post by Eirini Kakari)
    My brother also studies Physics. He was lucky enough to do a foundation year first. It helped him a lot. He is doing fine . One thing I noticed in your post is kind of a black-white thinking. It seems that you either socialise or learn. You can do both at the same time. Studying in the library with friends who take the same course is pleasant and motivating. It works for my brother. It is much harder for him to study when he comes home for vaccations.If you go on with your studies try to be more balanced. Give yourself little rewards after studying to "recharge your batteries".
    Couldn't you combine Physics with music?
    Is there anything about Physics that exites you? If there is, focus on it to get motivated..
    Thank you for responding. I'm trying my best, but I'm finding the workload of my course makes it easier said than done to have both.
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    It is a difficult course, I hope you decide what is best for you!
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    What uni u at fam
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    (Original post by rhombus chombus)
    I rushed into going to university. I didn’t do enough research into what studying physics at university would actually be like, outside of extrapolating my experiences of studying it at A level. I assumed it would be the same, but harder. Instead, there’s a lot, LOT more mathematics, especially calculus, which I had in reality been looking forward to escaping. For some reason, even though calculus is a core aspect of physics, neither GCSE nor A level had married the two at all.

    I managed to ignore the nagging in the first semester by not really paying attention in lectures, doing all of my assignments the night before, and spending all of my time socialising or chilling out in my room. Then the January exams came around, and I failed them pretty spectacularly. ~20% marks on each. I nearly dropped out then, but I decided that I had just been lazy, and if I worked to understand everything, I could be on top of the course and enjoy it.

    So the next semester, I shut myself away, in my room and one of the physics building’s study rooms. I worked really hard, and I did start to feel satisfaction with my understanding. But I think I pushed myself a little too far -- I burnt out really badly, and, probably out of habit at this point, still shut myself away. I wasn’t getting any work done, but I also wasn’t going to socials, or bonding with my housemates for next year. I think at its peak I spent four days (Friday morning – Tuesday morning) in my room/flat not speaking to anybody, half-heartedly doing hobby stuff and feeling guilty that I wasn’t working.

    Overall I felt pretty awful about everything, including the prospect of dropping out or switching courses, which seemed like resigning to the fact that I just wasn’t clever enough to study physics at university. I spent too much time thinking about how I was feeling, and kind of disappeared into my own head for a while.

    I feel like I’m coming out the other side of this weird haze of anxiety, mainly because I’ve forced myself to spend more time with my friends. Luckily, the amount of work I put in at the start of the semester means that I’m not unmanageably behind.

    I do feel that I’m interested in Physics, but I don’t know if my interest extends to treating it from a rigorous mathematical analysis point of view. Which does sound stupid and shallow now that I’m here and actually know what physics is, instead of the butchered version they give you outside of HE.

    Now I’m at this weird crossroads. I told myself and my parents I’d work harder and see how I found the course then. The fact that I sort of shut down makes me feel like I can’t honestly say I gave it my all, but also that something obviously isn’t quite right. I feel like over the course of a day I can go from sure I should go to sure I should stay and vice versa.

    My plan B would be to get a job for a little while and re-assess. I’ve also been toying with sitting a music a level independently and applying for the 19-20 academic year to read music. Both of these ideas I’m pretty worried about bringing up to my parents.

    I’ve read a lot of articles online about people having similar experiences, so I know I’m not even nearly alone in having this kind of first year. Would you say it sounds like I should carry on?
    I can't decide for you if you should leave or not but I will try give some advice (I study physics)

    1. If you managed to do A-level maths then you have the ability to do the maths in a physics degree
    2. You may not of found the right way of studying maths and physics for you yet, try experimenting with different techniques, its about working smart not hard
    3. What do you define as working hard? I would say you should treat studying physics like a job + a bit imo, working 9-6 M-F then a few hours on a saturday to review content/cover any more issues you have is a roughly normal workload for me and a lot of my friends (though we put more time in closer to exams)
    4. everyone feels like/are behind on the work, I dont think I know someone that thinks they are on top of it all the time
    5. As for changing subject that depends, what do you want to do after? as long as you can get into that career without physics then if you wanted too then it wouldnt be an issue career wise (also if you're not enjoying physics I wouldnt continue it either)
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    (Original post by Eirini Kakari)
    It is a difficult course, I hope you decide what is best for you!
    Thank you.

    (Original post by jonjoshelvey21)
    What uni u at fam
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    I'm paranoid if I say that you'll tell me you know me.




    (Original post by madmadmax321)
    I can't decide for you if you should leave or not but I will try give some advice (I study physics)

    1. If you managed to do A-level maths then you have the ability to do the maths in a physics degree
    2. You may not of found the right way of studying maths and physics for you yet, try experimenting with different techniques, its about working smart not hard
    3. What do you define as working hard? I would say you should treat studying physics like a job + a bit imo, working 9-6 M-F then a few hours on a saturday to review content/cover any more issues you have is a roughly normal workload for me and a lot of my friends (though we put more time in closer to exams)
    4. everyone feels like/are behind on the work, I dont think I know someone that thinks they are on top of it all the time
    5. As for changing subject that depends, what do you want to do after? as long as you can get into that career without physics then if you wanted too then it wouldnt be an issue career wise (also if you're not enjoying physics I wouldnt continue it either)
    1. You'd think so, wouldn't you? haha
    2. I have found better methods for studying since posting, which is good!
    3. That is about how much I'm working right now.
    4. Yeah, that's true for the most part. I made the mistake of making friends with some really clever people though lmao
    5. I want a career in the arts which is a bit of a pipe dream.

    Thanks for responding, your post is very motivational because you've taken a nice and logical view of my sitaution. I guess I was viewing it with emotion. I think I'm going to stick with it, and try and chill out a bit.
 
 
 

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