Etranger wrote:I've had a lot of issues (emotional and existential, for the most part - I was lucky enough to not have to worry about food...) to get through, and as a result, *I* messed up high school. I suppose I am the typical "Oh, but he had so much potential..." kid old ladies sigh about.
Lately, I have been having doubts about physics. What if I'm not good enough?
My study habits have been horrible (I may/may not have ADD + previously mentioned issues) and before I go to university, I intend on at the very least doing some parts of Halliday-Resnick and the first Volume of the Berkeley Physics Series books. For a year or so now, I have been "contemplating" studying proof based calculus, classical mechanics, and electromagnetism on my own, but I haven't done jack ***.
The only constructive things I have done, besides volunteering, over the past year is going to the gym (even then, I haven't been too consistent) and improving my social skills in general.
On some levels, I think I can hack it. Twofish-quant, over at physicsforums.com (I don't really like it there anymore...), often said that if you could do calculus, then none of the math in physics should be a problem. It sounds almost too easy, when he puts it that way. Watching the admissions results here doesn't help much either. I'm scared at the thought of spending my college fund on a physics degree, and I end up doing badly, and/or I can't find a job after it.
As for why I even want to do physics, then it's just because I am good at using math (I don't know about pure math...), and I like the idea of using math to describe physical processes. It looks pretty and interesting. I get kicks out of it. And I can't really imagine doing anything else. I like literature/philosophy but I don't think I could stand doing a single major in either (got rejected from all US schools - except for one waitlist -, so I need to pick *one* thing anyway) subject.
I acquired Cal Newport's "How to be a Straight-A Student" book, and I will read it tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to apply some of his ideas.
Andromeda wrote:Everyone feels like they're not good enough and overwhelmed, even the folks who claim they aren't.
The joke at the end of a B.Sc. degree is everyone doesn't totally feel like they earned it but rather that they just sorta faked their way through and ended up with a degree. Not true of course, the first time you try to TA pretty much proves that, but rather physics is just a sort of field where you go into it thinking you'll get answers to your questions and instead end up having more questions than when you started.
I'm also in the crew who had an awful high school experience but a comparatively amazing undergrad one. I've never been a top student because I don't test well- I've failed exams along the way- but you can accomplish quite a bit with a crazy amount of determination and a knack for your experimental courses.
Also, at the end of the day, I know it might sound crazy now but if you try it and it doesn't work you'll still be better off from having the experience (if you don't try it sounds like it would be a lifetime regret), and anyone who judges you for that is not someone's opinion you should care about anyway. Trust me on this last point.
Etranger wrote:How did you turn things around in college?
actrask wrote:Griffiths is the first one listed so I expect they'll say something like "We'll be following Griffiths but if you want a more thorough treatment/are a masochist then you can look at Jackson."
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