Disenchanted and failing – what do I do? Watch

Kolya
Badges: 14
#1
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#1
asdf
0
reply
SunderX
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#2
Report 9 years ago
#2
I say keep it going, especially with exams so close you need to muster up the effort to really make an impact. A small concentration of revision now could drastically improve your circumstances, perhaps to the point of being more motivated to continue.

Your degree might not be what you anticipated, but I doubt a lot of people's are. Overcoming a period of life that might not exactly suit you is part of the challenge of developing yourself. You don't have to show up to useless lectures, but you *can* make sure you read the material and know the techniques that you need to solve the problems you want to be able to solve. In the end, lack of support from the university is a hindrance but not the be all and end all, and it's your effort that really defines how much you get out of the degree.
0
reply
S
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#3
Report 9 years ago
#3
what are you averaging? If you're on a 2.2 or above, it's worth giving it your best shot and staying on. Get through these exams, and you've only got the final year left. I suggest that you pick your modules wisely, choose the easiest options.
0
reply
Antimatter
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#4
Report 9 years ago
#4
Hi,
Firstly, you can get a certificate of higher education for your first year's work, or something different for two (I'm not sure of the details, I'm sure good_bloke (is that his username?) will elaborate)
Secondly, a degree really isn't everything, yes, they're useful, but work experience and a good personality at interview will count for a lot, sometimes more. I know saying this on TSR isn't the best thing, but it's true; my mum never finished secondary school and has a million turnover a year. Yeah, it was hard and she's self employed, but it's something to think about. Do you have any family friends who work in the feild you'd like to work in? A good word is useful =)

Er, that made sense in my head, I just left formal education and I'm still a little :lolwut: so feel free to PM me :yep:
0
reply
Toxic Tears
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#5
Report 9 years ago
#5
(Original post by Kolya)
Despite being almost at the end of my second year at university studying Maths, I have only just come to the realization that I will not pass my degree with my current approach. I have had no motivation or interest in my course whatsoever for over a year; all I have done is the bare minimum to stay off the radar. With exams coming up in a week or two on topics that I haven’t spend more than 20 minutes on, it has finally dawned on me that I am not in a good place.

Do I continue or give up? It did not occur to me any earlier to do anything about my situation because I had started my course and could spend ten hours a week on it to stay above water during the year. Rather than making an effort and changing something, I simply continued on – everyone else I know was getting along and going to university is the "done thing", so why be any different? I enjoy intellectually demanding work – my ideal job would be one where I analyse and plan and compete – so it seemed best not to think of other things as most jobs involving those skills want applicants to have a degree. To turn my back on it would be to turn my back on what every person with my interests does, and what every employer who wants someone with my interests requires.

It’s not that I don’t have an interest in Maths; on the contrary, I have a strong interest in quantitative work, solving mathematical problems and abstract ideas. However, the presentation at university is not one that motivates me and so I just find myself spending all my time reading and thinking about other things (including quantitative problems!). My whole experience of working at university has left me with a negative impression: the slow lectures with the lecturer mindlessly transferring his notes to the board without thought; the uncaring, uninterested tutor who couldn’t see to want anything more than for the tutorial to end; the excruciating slow, directionless and tedious supervisions; the uninspiring problem sheets and courses. How can I even begin to try and motivate myself to do the work necessary when those are the experiences that I have to put aside to begin working?

So what do you think I should do, both in the short-term and long-term? I have no motivation for “official” academic work given my experience thus far, but almost everything I am interested in is academic and intellectual – I love solving mathematical problems and challenges (even pure, abstract ones) that interest me; I have read dozens of books on history, philosophy, economics and politics – and that kind of work is what I hope to do in the future. Can I reconcile the two? If so, how?

Your comments are welcome.
It seems your problem is with the actual university rather than the course. I would have suggested change uni but since you're in second year changing unis would be too much disruption plus problems with student finance so I would suggest sticking it out and working hard to get a 2.1. Good luck with what you decide to do
0
reply
MGIL
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#6
Report 9 years ago
#6
Don't give up-how long is a maths degree anyway?
you might as well stick it out for the last year or two.
I mean what would you do if you left now?
look forward to the future-and life after the degree it might motivate you-look forward to the job you desire and hopefully the prospect of leaving should motivate you to make the most-although it is pretty sad you dont like the uni itself and your experience should be good but try be positive and maybe have a bit more fun in your spare time-by joining sports or something that interests you-I dunno
but don't drop out; you're most likely to regret it as much as it is tempting to drop don't do it!
unless you can't tolerate it anymore
0
reply
Xenopus
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#7
Report 9 years ago
#7
I was like this on my course, biology, last year. I got a very low 2.2 mark at the end of the year because I just wasn't doing enough work, and I wasn't doing the work because I felt bored with the course and found myself spending time reading a lot of books like you, some on physics, some on philosophy, and some from all kinds of other things, as they were more interesting than the stuff we were being taught. I want to go into doing research after uni, but all the stuff we were doing just seemed so pointless, such as memorising stuff for true/false tests, and doing pathetically contrived lab reports. This year it's all picked up, the work we've been given has improved a lot, and I've been averaging over 70, so should be able to make it up and get a 2.1 if I can get at least 55% in my finals, which shouldn't be too hard. It's not too late to catch up, and you will regret it if you drop out now. The hardest bit is motivating yourself.
I would suggest finding a postgraduate course to do that involves mathematical research. There are plenty of ones involveing maths alongside other fields, where maths is being used to solve scientific problems, and you should be able to find a research masters that will involve solving problems you find interesting.
0
reply
Acaila
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#8
Report 9 years ago
#8
Does your uni offer a decent number of optional modules? You could perhaps do some more customisation of your degree.
I would encourage you to speak to a personal or pastoral tutor about this, mine have been very useful when I have had the uni blues and second year is a common time to get them.
It's also not too late to rethink the way you get your work done. This year I decided I had to sort myselfout in terms of how I get work done, and thanks to the power of itunes bribery, it worked
0
reply
generalebriety
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#9
Report 9 years ago
#9
(Original post by Kolya)
My whole experience of working at university has left me with a negative impression: the slow lectures with the lecturer mindlessly transferring his notes to the board without thought; the uncaring, uninterested tutor who couldn’t see to want anything more than for the tutorial to end; the excruciating slow, directionless and tedious supervisions; the uninspiring problem sheets and courses. How can I even begin to try and motivate myself to do the work necessary when those are the experiences that I have to put aside to begin working?
This doesn't sound indicative of maths at university to me, this sounds indicative to maths at your university, or with your lecturers/tutors/supervisors, or whatever. Given that your interests are academic, perhaps you should consider simply not going to lectures and teaching yourself the course from books; hell, if you're doing that badly and are that disillusioned with the whole system, it might even make sense just to teach yourself the bits you're interested in and screw the bits you're not. Stick it out; I know from talking to you extensively that you're interested in maths, and if no one is inspiring you then it's up to you to inspire yourself and perhaps even others around you. Believe me, I know it's difficult, but it's doable.

Perhaps as you get higher and higher up the chain, more and more tutors will find what you're doing interesting rather than boring and trivial. But from previous conversations with you it sounds more like you dislike the whole system of lectures and so on; so perhaps that's simply not your learning style, and I think we also decided it wasn't mine. It's not time to give up, though; the more advanced you get, the less you are required to take part in silly methods of information transfer like lectures and the more important independent work is.

Those are my thoughts, albeit a bit rambly. I hope they help in some way - given that we've spoken about this before, if you want to talk more, I don't think I'm PMable at the moment (my inbox is overflowing and spilling out onto the floor), but I'm sure we can arrange other methods of contact if you quote me. :smile:
0
reply
Kolya
Badges: 14
#10
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#10
(Original post by generalebriety)
This doesn't sound indicative of maths at university to me, this sounds indicative to maths at your university, or with your lecturers/tutors/supervisors, or whatever. Given that your interests are academic, perhaps you should consider simply not going to lectures and teaching yourself the course from books; hell, if you're doing that badly and are that disillusioned with the whole system, it might even make sense just to teach yourself the bits you're interested in and screw the bits you're not. Stick it out; I know from talking to you extensively that you're interested in maths, and if no one is inspiring you then it's up to you to inspire yourself and perhaps even others around you. Believe me, I know it's difficult, but it's doable.

Perhaps as you get higher and higher up the chain, more and more tutors will find what you're doing interesting rather than boring and trivial. But from previous conversations with you it sounds more like you dislike the whole system of lectures and so on; so perhaps that's simply not your learning style, and I think we also decided it wasn't mine. It's not time to give up, though; the more advanced you get, the less you are required to take part in silly methods of information transfer like lectures and the more important independent work is.

Those are my thoughts, albeit a bit rambly. I hope they help in some way - given that we've spoken about this before, if you want to talk more, I don't think I'm PMable at the moment (my inbox is overflowing and spilling out onto the floor), but I'm sure we can arrange other methods of contact if you quote me. :smile:
Thank you for your thoughts, Billy. One problem I fear I have is that my bad experiences of maths in the university context has infected my thought when I try and do similar maths on my own independently, so that I put it off as much as possible. If I find myself doing maths in completely different contexts then I don't have the same mental barrier/dislike that I find I cannot shrug off when I try to approach work within, and/or from, the "university mindset".

(I added my msn to my TSR profile.)
0
reply
Bismarck
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#11
Report 9 years ago
#11
(Original post by Kolya)
So what do you think I should do, both in the short-term and long-term? I have no motivation for “official” academic work given my experience thus far, but almost everything I am interested in is academic and intellectual – I love solving mathematical problems and challenges (even pure, abstract ones) that interest me; I have read dozens of books on history, philosophy, economics and politics – and that kind of work is what I hope to do in the future. Can I reconcile the two? If so, how?

Your comments are welcome.
Have you considered transferring to statistics or economics (or some combination of the two)? They both make use of math to solve concrete problems (the former being more applied than the latter). Both would allow you to pursue further academic work if you enjoy the subject matter.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Have you registered to vote?

Yes! (446)
37.93%
No - but I will (88)
7.48%
No - I don't want to (80)
6.8%
No - I can't vote (<18, not in UK, etc) (562)
47.79%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise