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Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Smooth88, Jul 13, 2010.
I'm have some struggles (i.e. a lot) so I just wanna pick people's brains. Advice etc.
Need a little more information about the type of struggles you are experiencing before I would feel comfortable dispensing any advice.
We don`t have college here. Our high school lasts for 4 years and then you attend the uni if you like. I enjoyed high school and both unis I attended. It`s always difficult at the begining Smooth (and I believe you are a freshman, right?), you just have to find the right people to hang around with. People-friends make your studies far more pleasent than anything! Don`t forget to have fun! Study and have fun
Advice? Play the game. I never liked school, and my performance reflected it. Give them what they want. It's really not that difficult. Take a course in good study habits and follow its advice. When you're through studying, go play like it's your last day on earth.
Seem vague? A more specific question will get a more specific answer.
Here's my advice: plastics.
Actually, what do you mean by "struggles"? There's at least three college graduates in this thread who might be able to offer some meaningful advice if you'd clue us into the issues at hand.
In the US of A the terms college and university are often used as interchangeable; although there are distinctions. My first year of university was extremely difficult. When I was 16 I was "encouraged" to drop out of high school and escape what passes as a public education in the State of Ewetaw. After eventually getting my GED I discovered I wasn't exactly prepared to be a real life university freshman. However, I spent my own time and money during my first summer break to get tutoring in those subjects that had me completely flummoxed or about which I was completely clueless. After that, I treated attending university just as if it were a full-time job where I competed for year-end bonuses and raises.
Although I also worked full-time through university, the second year was not only "educational" but also a hell of a lot of fun -- as long as I managed my time. I took two years off to work for VISTA (a government program that was like the Peace Corps, but within the borders of the USA and which no longer exists), and when I returned to school I was suddenly eligible for scholarships and grants which I had to work my ass off to keep. And I did. However, again it was more how I managed my time than anything else that made earning my undergraduate degree one of the greatest, most enjoyable prolonged experiences of my life (thus far).
As for graduate school? I have only two regrets. My biggest regret is not having picked (with eyes wide open) a better graduate school. Although faculty and universities change for the better or worse with the times, I'm convince grad school at The University of Texas had two main goals: 1. to break my spirit, and 2. permanently eliminate my sense of humor.
If I had the magical ability to be 18 and attend undergraduate school once again, I'd love it.
Without knowing more about your struggles, I'd just say choose a major you are passionate about and don't be afraid to change it if you find it's not suitable for you. That goes for life in general btw.
I'm a math major. My struggles have mostly been social. Related to being able to talk to professor and instructors. Asking for help. Taking advantages of services I have available to me (asperger's related). Stuff like that. Dealing with my mother also on what I should do going forward since she refuses to pay for school. She wants me to volunteer which I feel at this point in my life is counterproductive for myself. While my dad feels I should be in school and that I just need to have a less go to life and death mindset about it. And go to learn, meet people, and try new things. I know what I want to do this Semptember but I haven't told my mother don't want to deal with her. Also I tend to burn out and would like advice on ways not to get discourage and stay interested and invested.
In colleges the diversity of the social scene depends on the size of the college. I deliberately picked a state u. instead of a Catholic or private college here because I feel the most secure as an unknown in a large group of people I don't know. Larger colleges have more varied social cliques and groups so that it's easier to change your associates if one group doesn't fit you.
I never had a lot of friends. Just a few good ones. So give yourself the time to find those who you're most comfortable with.
Same with advisors. Some don't know their a-holes from a hole in the wall. Others want you to schedule an appointment months in advance. Find someone who knows the curriculum, makes time to talk to you, someone you can talk to and trust, someone who sees you as a person, not a number, and stick with that person throughout your major.
Professors...what can I say? Some you may want to talk to, but if you're doing fine in the coursework, you may find it better the less they know you. If you're good at taking notes TAKE THEM. Some profs. test from their lectures and not the book, and for those who don't, the notes can't hurt. But then again, you're a math major. That's pretty tough. (I always hated math.)
For burnout, set in your mind what's most important to you, minimize the rest. If it's the studies then concentrate on that and work the social life around it, rather than it around the social life.
Another major difficulty you mentioned is financial support for your schooling. I don't know what options are available to you in your area(work-study, local grants, etc.) The student loan route should be the absolute last resort, because you'll probably be paying on it for the rest of your life.
However you are correct in realizing that volunteer work would be a diversion from your goals, especially if you're dealing with burnout, social, and time issues. That would be the LAST thing you need. If you spend your additional time doing something like that you need to get PAID, dude.
It was a five-year Rodney Carrington routine.
Get and read Dave Ellis' book, "BECOMING A MASTER STUDENT". Every freshman in college had to read that book. There is a program on PBS public television called "MASTERING THE COLLEGE EXPERIENCE" that is based on subject matter from that book.
I went to college and graduated with (less than stellar grades--in my humble opinion). I wanted at least a B. :frown1: My experiences involved having to retake four classes over for GPA purposes. (I was taking 18 credit hours a semester every year and had to take two summer sessions in order to graduate in FOUR YEARS.) *sigh*
I wasn't a party student. Yet, my grades seemed to reflect that. I hated that. I dealt with that.
I cannot say that while at college you will not get discouraged. Somehow college has failure interwoven in the experience. So, I will say study. Do the best you can. And grades don't make the person. You just learn and do your best.
hi smooth -
sorry to hear your are feeling discouraged. thanks for sharing.
as far as the asking for help and talking to profs. and instructors,
i would encourage you to openly and frequently talk with them and ask
them any questions you have and share your thoughts with them!
they are there because they WANT to be and they WANT to hear from you,
they want to know your thoughts and when you have questions, they WANT
you to ask them. please don't be held back by fear of something that may not
actually be the case. this is all part of learning - asking questions, asking for other people's thoughts on things and taking it all in. we never stop learning, so its a good thing to start now - not being afraid to ask.
as per the parents, not sure what to say. i would encourage you to stay focused on your studies and on yourself, and please don't take yourself too seriously. and ask, ask and ask until you get the understanding you feel comfortable with to make sense of something, okay? hang in there and keep up the good work!
" A lot of people have bas , mbas , jds and even mds. What they don't have is J.O.B.s."
You actually have a major that might lead to a good paying job. AOL published a list a year or so ago of the 20 best paying jobs that didn't require a technical degree or something like that and all 20 jobs required advanced math skills. There is a lot at stake and you should do as well as possible. My guess is that some employers will ask for your gpa. The 4 years will fly by in some ways. This is a jobless recovery so jobs , for the foreseenable future , will be hard to get. I remember the work load , at berkeley , being incredible. In the past 50% dropped out because of the chaos and free for all but that's life.