SRS Ugh...help please

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by korverftw, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. korverftw

    korverftw New Member

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    Hey guys, I've been reading the forums for a while. This is my first post.
    I'm a sophomore in college and having some rough times.

    I've always been a really smart person, but always had trouble being successful in school. I pretty much coasted through elementary/high school/first year of college without studying much, turning in half-assed homework to keep my grades decent but bombing tests because I have never really learned to buckle down and study.

    I'm 19, Electrical Engineering major, introverted, only 1 real friend that I hang out with (which is fine, I'm not very social at all). I work 25 hours a week and have 14 credit hours. Free time consists of building computers, video games, playing in the Engineering labs at school and that's about it. I love my major which is why I chose it, but I'm already starting to fall behind simply because I can't focus enough to keep up with my classes. It's to the point where I am this close to just choosing a dumb major that I can get out of the way without studying.

    My first year of college was easy because it was all general ed classes with super easy tests. This year is harder with Calculus and some other math courses. My computer courses are all super easy as that all comes natural to me and I barely have to study. I've been doing all the homework pretty well but still have a poor test record. I've been trying to narrow down the problem since 9th grade and I've never been able to. Now that the work is so hard that it actually matters, I need to get it figured out. I'm completely behind on the subject matter and can't focus for long enough to buckle down and get it. I don't think ADD/ADHD is my problem.

    I've thought maybe quitting my job would be best, but I really need the money since I don't want to take out student loans. Aside from that, I don't even think that more free time would solve my problem as I already have a reasonable amount of free time.

    I hope anyone understands what I'm talking about. I know I just need to man up and do it but there's some sort of mental block. Any help would be really appreciated.
     
  2. Amanda Ann

    Amanda Ann New Member

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    I have serious attention issues when it comes to studying or writing papers. I attribute it to basically getting through high school without having to study. Not saying I didn't have a rigorous course load, but I was always that person who just naturally understood and grasped things. I found into my junior and senior year of college (and even now in my first year of grad school), not having study skill bit me in the ass! When I'm studying or writing a paper, I always find other things to do - like shower, paint my nails, check my email, etc. I found that I have to FORCE myself to get things done in one of two ways:

    1. I have to block out ALL distractions. Like, everything. This approach works better for me when I have a paper or reading or some other project due. For me, I would go to the library or a study lounge and sit in a room with NO COMPUTERS. (If I needed a computer to work, I would make sure it did not have internet access.) I would completely turn my cell phone off and just sit and study/work until everything was completed.


    2. I break studying (mostly) up into time segments, because otherwise I go crazy. I give myself a set amount of time, say 30 minutes. After those 30 minutes are up, I usually give myself like a 5-10 minute break to do whatever - check my email, grab a snack, send a text message, etc.

    The thing I've found that helps mucho in studying is making flashcards. It sounds so silly, but it really breaks up all the information, and forces you to actively participate in studying. It can be time consuming to make those flashcards, but if you put an effort into making them after each class, come test time, they're done, and all you have to do is review them.


    Don't switch your major just because you "can't" study - that's a really silly reason to dictate what your life goals are. You just have to stay on top of things and discipline yourself accordingly. Also, make sure to start enforcing these habits now, because your last two years of college will (most likely) be the most challenging. If you have to lessen the amount of hours you work, do it, even if it means taking out a student loan. You have your whole life to work, no need to burn yourself out now and set yourself up for disaster. :hs:
     
  3. kissingurami

    kissingurami New Member

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    what do you define as smart.. being naturally gifted/ talented and not having to study, or someone who works hard for what they want?

    i forgot where it was, but there was an article on this. people who had the idea that they were "naturally" smart and gifted did worse on a problem given to them than people who weren't as smart, but believed in trying hard and working hard.

    "It's to the point where I am this close to just choosing a dumb major that I can get out of the way without studying."

    "I don't even think that more free time would solve my problem as I already have a reasonable amount of free time."

    since you have TIME to study, you should get down to it, work hard, and study for your tests.

    i dont know if i am wrong about you, maybe i am, i'm just trying to help. pls don't take it the wrong way

    what is your mental block?
     
  4. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Tell me, why did you choose electrical engineering?
     
  5. korverftw

    korverftw New Member

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    I'm not claming to be "gifted" or anything, but I know for a fact I'm a lot smarter than my grades let on. I completely believe that survey by the way. I had a friend in high school who tried even less than I did (and he seemed very intelligent) and ended up working as a trucker, while people of less intelligence who spend twice as much time on studying are on pace for a much better life. I guess my mental block is what was mentioned by the 1st reply. I keep finding other things to do. Most of my homework is done online (I hate it) and that's what I study for exams so I'm always clicking around surfing the web.

    For the person who asked about my major, Electrical Engineering is what I've had my sights set on for 4-5 years and is based on my long time interests. I've considered many times switching to Computer Engineering or Computer Science. If you're going to hassle me because it's too hard, please don't. I get down on myself about it but I know I can do it and the last thing I need is people telling me it's too hard.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  6. pseudonymous

    pseudonymous New Member

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    Get a cute study partner, problem solved.
     
  7. kissingurami

    kissingurami New Member

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    lol, then he will get distracted even more
     
  8. Amanda Ann

    Amanda Ann New Member

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    For real! I cannot study with other people because all I want to do is chit chat.
     
  9. johan

    johan Active Member

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    No I'm not hassling you based on the fact that EE is hard -- which is most certainly is.

    I more wanted to know what is pushing you towards it. Whether its truly a passion of yours -- something YOU wanted, or someone else's idea (like an overbearing father who thinks it might be a 'solid' career choice).

    At least this is something YOU wanted, which gives a clear signal to proceed, otherwise I might think you don't try because your heart just isn't in it.

    I remember a study that concluded intelligence is correlated to grades as follows: r=.9 for elementary, .8 for high school, and .7 for university. and so it follows that r^2 for university is only .49

    Yeah...only 50% contributing factor. What's the other half?
    Hard fucking work.

    Those of us who continued on to university all know damn hard workers who weren't that smart -- they did ok, maybe SLIGHTLY better than genius slackers like yourself....but point being that you really need a good measure of BOTH to excel.

    And as you're now well aware, EE is not something you can phone in....



    You started off the thread by inquiring about possible motivation for not studying. As in...why do I slack? Why do I get distracted? Why can't I focus?

    I tend to think that the motivation for all that is pretty simple. Studying is damn hard work.
    It ain't pleasant, it isn't always fun, and it's usually pretty dull.

    So why is it hard to persevere? Isn't it obvious?

    Who wouldn't rather watch a movie than study? Maybe shoot some pool with your buddies? Blow off the whole evening fucking a cute girl?
    All things infinitely more fun than studying vector calc.


    You can however develop a studying rhythm that makes it more bearable. Once you develop a pattern, it just becomes a habit.



    So next steps...:

    Most big campuses have resources to help you with time management.

    You just need to develop a system for blocking off your time, and even if you think you're not being productive, you just need to stick to your schedule and put in the hours, as dictated by said schedule.

    Go check out your student services association, they have some resources to help you with this. You're not the first person to have trouble settling in -- and plenty of people have gotten through it with just a little help in restructuring their time.

    Update after you've checked out your school resources.
     
  10. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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  11. kissingurami

    kissingurami New Member

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  12. korverftw

    korverftw New Member

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    Thanks for all the great replies. I did go to the library at school today and had GREAT success compared to trying to study from home. I think if I sit and focus without any distractions (Internet/TV/phone/blablabla) I can do pretty well. I think the stress of falling behind in hard classes is really tough to deal with and that's why I've been freaking out.
     

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