Does anyone else find University textbooks really complicated?

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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 7 months ago
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So i'm in my first year of my Biomed degree and i'm trying to catch up on my reading since universities have closed and i'm finding my recommended textbooks extremely difficult to understand. I feel overwhelmed with the amount of detail there is. Sometimes i feel like there's no point in even reading them since I don't understand any of it. It goes into way more detail than the lecture notes which i'd expect but the concepts are so hard to get my head around and its just confusing me a lot. Does anyone have any similar experiences at first year? Thanks
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HunnnyBee
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Yes, it sucks! I'm first year Creative Writing and we have to read all these texts about literary theories but I cannot find or understand the theory that it supposed to be in the text at all. Lectures and seminars are where I really learn and I rarely bother reading the theory texts in depth at this point.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by HunnnyBee)
Yes, it sucks! I'm first year Creative Writing and we have to read all these texts about literary theories but I cannot find or understand the theory that it supposed to be in the text at all. Lectures and seminars are where I really learn and I rarely bother reading the theory texts in depth at this point
Exactly, thats why I think there's no point in even doing the extra reading that the lecturers nag us to do. I wasted well over £80 on some of my textbooks and I put them down after 10 mins because i don't understand a word.
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Mr Wednesday
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Exactly, thats why I think there's no point in even doing the extra reading that the lecturers nag us to do. I wasted well over £80 on some of my textbooks and I put them down after 10 mins because i don't understand a word.
Sorry, but these are UNIVERSITY level text books, they are supposed to be high level ! That said, these are typically books you need to dip into to deal with complex ideas in bite sized bits, trying to read one cover to cover is almost always tough, and not the optimum way of using them. Also use your library. That’s the place to go try out a text and see if it works for you. If you don’t understand a word, than that’s an invitation to keep working on the problem, otherwise you are stuffed come exam time.
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Noodlzzz
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For me, I was really struggling with stats at undergrad and just couldn't get my head around the textbook they recommend at all. So I decide to buy a much easier textbook to learn the basics from and then progress to higher level textbooks. Might be worth a try?
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Mr Wednesday)
Sorry, but these are UNIVERSITY level text books, they are supposed to be high level ! That said, these are typically books you need to dip into to deal with complex ideas in bite sized bits, trying to read one cover to cover is almost always tough, and not the optimum way of using them. Also use your library. That’s the place to go try out a text and see if it works for you. If you don’t understand a word, than that’s an invitation to keep working on the problem, otherwise you are stuffed come exam time.
Yeah, I know they are supposed to be high level but its hard to adjust to this level straight after coming from college/sixth form. It seems like the lecturers just expect you to read and understand it all straight away. Maybe they need to be recommending us more simpler textbooks at 1st year so we can get the basics before going more in depth in the subject area.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Mr Wednesday)
Sorry, but these are UNIVERSITY level text books, they are supposed to be high level ! That said, these are typically books you need to dip into to deal with complex ideas in bite sized bits, trying to read one cover to cover is almost always tough, and not the optimum way of using them. Also use your library. That’s the place to go try out a text and see if it works for you. If you don’t understand a word, than that’s an invitation to keep working on the problem, otherwise you are stuffed come exam time.
I think we call this 'resilience', or lack thereof
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thepurplerain
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I also found some of my first year texts confusing! Don't be afraid to consult other resources which you find more accessible, I know professors will recommend certain texts but if there are other resources available online then by all means use them instead. Sometimes the textbooks seem to make things even more complicated, try not to panic and don't see the books as the be all or end all
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MidgetFever
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Sometimes, but legal language is almost like reading a whole new language in the first place.

If you're struggling with it still, why not find a different source of information? Find a different textbook, look for supplementary information like YouTube videos to help you understand the concepts.
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black tea
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I found that in first year, I needed to re-read some of my A Level revision guides covering the same topics because they explained things in a much more understandable way. Later on, I would look through different text books and find ones that I found easier to read, which were often different to the recommended ones (obviously, I still used the recommended ones as a reference to know what to cover).
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giella
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The phrase reading [insert subject] at university is not redundant. Reading is hard work. You essentially have to become fluent in a new academic language. Making notes as you write is a good way to try and make sense of it. If you can rephrase it in your own words and it makes sense, you’ve probably understood it.

The more you read, the more you will understand. However, you may wish to consider the possibility that you just need extra time or extra support. It could be worth contacting your university’s disability support service when you get back.
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