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Scraping by in school...


Jake
English Conversation About COLLEGE ...
English Conversation About COLLEGE LIFE - FINDING A CLASSROOM

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If anyone reads this I really do appreciate it as this is more of a rant than anything...

 

How does a successful student find the energy and motivation to maintain A's after A's term after term in college?

 

I did it for 2 terms (Fall and Winter) and I'm dieing now. Last term I got chemistry so easily. This Spring term was just short of disaster. I lost all motivation of "what" I had to study. I mean I couldn't even pick up my book to read.

 

I'm really having a difficult time concentrating on my work. I mean I could put a million excuses up why it didn't work out this term for me. But the simple truth is that I was unable to put forth the effort...and that frustrates me.

 

I want too study/put in the effort in but something keeps stopping me. It's like I ran out of energy or something.

 

Heck I can't remember the last time I applied myself 100% to study. I know I'd have A's if I did so. Fall and Winter I just applied a "little" more then usual and I got A's. This term I lost "even" that energy.

 

Coming this Summer term I'm taking a pretty darn hard chemistry class and I pretty much know if I go in like this I might as well right a pathetic C on my on grade paper.

 

*sigh*](*,)

 

My parents define me as that really "smart" kid that's also really lazy. I'm starting to think they're right. Energy drinks "energize" the body but man would I pay for something that works on the dead brain of mine.

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I had a 4.0 for two quarters, and for the past three quarters I have gotten mostly A's with a few B-range grades and one C+.

 

It's hard to deal with a perfectionist mentality all the time. When I got my first C+ (my first quarter of chemistry) I literally broke down and sobbed. My friends where like "What? Why are you upset? You passed! Yay!". I'm hoping to get into vet school so a C+, especially in a science class, just isn't acceptable.

 

That being said, you don't have to be perfect all the time. I know that it's what your parents expect of their "smart" kid and what you expect of yourself, but college is hard. Aren't you supposed to study one hour outside of class for every credit hour? And they say to get an A you are supposed to study 10 hours more. That's a full time job. That's on top of a real job, sleeping, and hanging out with friends. It's a lot to keep up with.

 

Plus, it's always harder in the spring quarter. Fall is like New Years day---It's so full of promise; it's easy to vow to do better in every single class. Plus you, have a nice long winter break and holidays to motivate and recharge. Winter there isn't really much to do except study inside, plus you have spring break to motivate and recharge. Spring quarter is hard. The weather is beautiful, you're mentally exhasted. If you're taking summer classes there isn't really a break to recharge.

 

And knowning that you summer class is going to be difficult---well, no wonder you have lost your motiviation!

 

My suggestions:

Forgive yourself if you fall short. If you strive for all A's and get three A's and two B's, that's ok. Really. Even if you're planning on going to graduate school, they take into consideration factors like a heavy workload, outside job, etc. Having a 4.0 for two quarters is a HUGE accomplishment and you should be proud.

 

Recharge as much as you can before your summer class. Go swimming, sleep in, read a good book.

 

For the summer, make a set scheduale for work, school, homework, and fun. Yes, actually schedule in some fun. I know taking summer classes (and usually, working) is tough, but you need to have something completely non-academic to focus on once in a while.

 

If you can, I would drop the summer class completely and just get a job. I think if you took a long break you'd be better off for fall.

 

For me, when I know I am behind or have a lot to do or that the material is going to be really difficult, here's what I do. I set a timer for an hour. Then do my homework for one hour. I completely focus on it, or at least try to, because I know I will only have to do it for an hour. When the timer goes off, I close the book and take a break. I watch a TV show, I eat lunch, I read a chapter or two in a really good book. Then I set the timer again for one hour. It's much less stressful for me to know that I can stop after one hour and do something else, rather then thinking "Oh man I have 5 chapters to read AND that paper to write and I really should get started on that lab report..." because all I can focus on is that one task for one hour. After a couple of these "timer sessions" I usually can focus easier and eventually can work for 2-3 hours without a break.

 

I know this is long but I hope you find it useful!

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Oh boy have I been there. To the point I dropped out the first time around with a failing GPA and lost my scholarship - I simply lost interest and couldn't focus. You have to really have an objective that you are trying to reach, and the grades are NOT the objective. It's why you're taking the classes to begin with - that's the driving force behind getting the grades. You want to achieve that objective so much that the classes just become tasks along the way. When I returned to college I was so focused on what I wanted to do AFTER college, that now I started using that high IQ and graduated just short of salutatorian.

 

So set long range goals first, and then use each class as a step toward that goal. Getting an A might be viewed as doing a thorough job. This is also how to be successful in the workplace, BTW, so it's an awesome mindset to get into.

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Heh. I've learned that motivation is innate- you either have it or you don't. You can definitely get it at any point, but you can't force it or fake it.

 

Also, it really doesn't have anything to do with brute intelligence, either. I know two individuals who received perfect scores on their SATs, skated through college with 3.0s, and are continuing to skate through life now. One of them is actually very self-destructive (heavy drinking, drug use, and a DUI). Meanwhile, a girl I went to high school with, whom I'd consider of average intelligence on her best day, is a doctor and is happily married to a doctor.

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Thanks guys for all the advice and information. When I wrote this thread I was on finals...they're over with now (thank goodness). I'm going to rest now and hope for the best when Summer term comes.

 

I do agree with all your guy's points and opinions on this matter and *Sunny* I'm sorry to say but I can't drop my Summer class (I wish lol!) I need to finish my chemistry series as I have to take biology come Fall term. I just need to concentrate better and actually can't some good rest (not the 4AM to 11AM crap).

 

Again thank you all for the help.

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