How to look at school work positively, when it’s completely dragging you down?

3 years, 11 months ago

School has never been an easy thing, and I try to stay positive because I know it’s something I need to get through, but college is killing me. I can’t stay positive about the math homework that I attempt to do, but fail to complete because it’s so damn difficult.

February 9, 2011 at 3:28 am

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Profile photo of Jordan Lejuwaan Jordan Lejuwaan A (@jordan) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

Hey Keeley, first off welcome to the HE community :)

I dropped out of college to start this website so I guess I’m not the most reliable source on this, but I was an straight-A student in high school and dealt with motivation problems. The thing that always worked for me was keeping in mind my ultimate reason for doing the math homework instead the immediate reason. So instead of thinking ‘Okay I do this hmwk, and then I get a good grade,’ I would focus on ‘Okay I do this and keep going and I’ll get into a fantastic college.’

You need to have a goal in mind that you actually care about. I think it’s all a matter of perspective.

My other one-size-fits-all recommendation is meditation. I get VERY burned out coding websites sometimes and even a 5 minute mini-meditation can do wonders to get you back on track. Walks are also good.

As for the math being difficult, I have some experience with that too from tutoring my younger sisters. This sounds very cliché but with math specifically, I think a big part of being able to understand is how difficult you *believe* it to be. Many time my sisters would be able to tell me exactly how to do a problem if they thought it through, but when looking at the problems they psyched themselves out. Math can actually be fun, unless you’re taking Trig/Calculus in which case I am very sorry :)

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

This is a tough one for me too. Sometimes…I just can’t get my head in homework. Or papers? Fuhgehdaboudet. The only thing that gets me through it is this…

Time is going to pass regardless. You can play and do mindless things during that time or you can do something productive with it ’cause Time doesn’t care. It’s going to keep on truckin’. So for me, I just tell myself that I’m going to make the most of it all.
I agree with Jordan on trying to keep an eye on the main goal rather than the immediate wants. Cause in the big picture, getting an A in that class, understanding the material, transferring to a great college and having a smarter brain is more important than most things that can distract you…. hope this helps. I’m right there with you sometimes though.
: )
Also, unless you’re a math major, there is an end in sight. Get through those general classes and then you’ll get to the ones that you will be more interested in and are for your major.

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Profile photo of  Anonymous (@) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

Also, if you need a perspective on math that will help you, I think it’s good to think of math as another interpretation of the universe. Or a puzzle. That’s how I see it. Math is just analyzing shapes and speeds and basically the physical reality in numbers. It’s all about visualizing what you are computing. Then again, the problem with more difficult math classes like calc is that you don’t understand why or what you’re learning until much later. In that case, maybe talk to a TA, a professor, or a mathematician about what you are learning. For example, when I took Calc and pre-calc in high school, I did not understand the function of it until the final months when we started rotating and creating shapes with the lines we had analyzed for 2 years. Probably what you’re learning in math is a foundation, but no one gave you an overview of what it’s a foundation for.

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Profile photo of Syn.Ther. Syn.Ther. (@luna) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

What i have always experienced as an obstacle is the lack of immediate use or purpose on the things they were trying to teach me. I have learned to play pool, drink beer and smoke grass during my days in school. I really only started seriously with studying when i was 21, now i am 36 and am still studying. On the theoretical education before i could easily pass as i can read and remember things quite well (but thats other topic) anyway what has helped me was to find real live examples which also are of some interest to you personally in relation to what you need to comprehend.With math there is a need for comprehension, a mere knowledge of concepts most of the time does,nt cut it. but today it is quite simple (google) to find explanations which you can relate to.
Further more as I said still am learning, or expanding insights ;)

And remember, I know now, it would have been a lot easier if i would have known what i would want to do, I am an engineer now, but i will finish my masters international management this summer, and I am thinking about law now.. ;)

Knowledge might seem a drag but it is the gateway to new explorations, if only for yourself.
Adapt , keep thinking, criticize, and find your forte, we are not all the same, nor is our tempo, or our interests.

Good luck and remember you are doing it for you, of for more shoes later… if that is what you are into(used to help to motivate my ex girlfriend, here currency was shoe)

Peace

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Profile photo of Keeley Keeley (@musique) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

Thank you all so much! This has all helped tremendously. This website is amazing Jordan. And I’m still so fascinated by your “50 Life Secrets and Tips” I’ve been sharing it with everyone. And Alicia, you’re definitely right. I’m an Elementary Education major, and this is my last semester of Math, and most definitely my hardest. But as you said, there is an end in sight, and that just motivates me to get through it more. So thank you so much for that. (: Egle, unfortunately, there are no tutors for this course because they just came up with it. (which is ridiculous) However, I finally got in to see my professor today, as she’s insanely busy I was afraid I wouldn’t get to have time to ask her questions one on one. But I did, and it helped wonderfully!
ST, thanks a lot for your input as well. Keep truckin’! I’ve heard being an engineer is hard work! I love what you said, “Knowledge might seem a drag, but it’s the gateway to new explorations, if only for yourself.”

Thanks so much guys! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything you’ve said!

Peace and lots and lots of love,
Keeley

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Profile photo of norm norm (@nblakely1) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

It is always a good idea to remember what the end goal is. But what is interesting is that the more you progress in life, the more goals one obtains. Just don’t get caught up in all the noise. That is my problem. I used to just lay in bed fretting about the smallest stuff. That shit don’t matter, especially after achieving your goals and then looking back on it.

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Profile photo of Syn.Ther. Syn.Ther. (@luna) 3 years, 11 months ago ago

Go as far as you can see, you will learn, when you get there you can see even further ;)

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Profile photo of marthamena95 marthamena95 (@marthamena95) 2 years, 1 month ago ago

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