phys 201

I usually don’t respond to haters or trolls because it’s a waste of time (and that’s exactly what they want) but I wanted to bring up a point.

Yesterday I made a post talking about how I bombed a quiz in Quantum Mechanics. Yes, that’s right. We had a quiz on both the first and second days of class. My professor hinted at having a quiz but wasn’t clear about what would be on it. So I studied what ended up being the wrong topic (I wasn’t the only one to do so) and bombed it.

Someone commented,

“You should go into IT sciences instead 😂😂😂“

I should change my entire major because of one quiz? Really? Is that really what you’re suggesting to me? Anyone who changes their major over one quiz is an idiot. Seriously. If you give up at the first sign of struggle you will go nowhere in any part of your life. One quiz does not determine your ability to do well in a specific field.

Even more so, I would argue that one class shouldn’t make you change your major, either, and that’s the real point I want to make here. A lot of people freshman year switch from a major in the natural sciences to a major in either social sciences or business right after the first semester. Maybe they honestly just didn’t like it anymore. Or maybe they failed an important class or barely passed and thought that meant they should quit.

But it really doesn’t mean you should quit.

I had one really bad semester in my physics degree. In the PHY-201 class, Fields and Waves, I got a C-. But I really felt like I deserved to fail. It definitely made me question my ability as a physicist. So much. I was having a huge identity crisis because I was trying to go into physics instead of chemistry, but if I couldn’t get through the first sophomore class how would I get through the rest of it? I was in a head spin because I had no idea what to do with my future if it didn’t include physics. Physics was my plan.

Well, it’s good I stuck with it. Because you know what I got in the PHY-203 class, Modern Physics? An A. And the math classes after that? An A-.

I fumbled in Fields and Waves. I fumbled a lot. But I learned from my mistakes. I made mistakes. I did some things wrong. I didn’t prepare like I should have. I had three other hard lab science/math classes at the same time. And the professor was a lot harder than the professor I had for my previous two physics classes. I recognized that there were things with my situation, whether they were my fault or not, that led me to a poor grade. I realized it, then I made a change.

If you’re considering changing your major, give it some thought. Do you not like the field or did you just not like that specific class? Will you always be doomed to fail or is there a skill you can improve on to do better in the future? Do you need a flawless GPA or can you just manage with the degree?

Really think about these things. Because sometimes people give up on something they would have loved just because it was hard at first.

And honestly, I personally love that physics is hard. I hate studying for chemistry because, relatively speaking, it’s much easier (for me) than physics. So I’m not as interested in spending my time studying it. I really like the challenge that physics and math give me, so I enjoy studying for those classes.  I didn’t give up my chemistry major (obviously; I’m a double major) but I realized I don’t like chemistry. And it has nothing to do with my ability. I just don’t like it. I don’t like studying it or being in lab. Whether it’s class or research.

Physics on the other hand, yeah. I struggled a bit at first. But I’ve learned and improved. And I really enjoy the subject matter. That’s why I stick with it. Because I enjoy it and I know that the only thing standing between me and my success in physics is the work I put into it.

I may not always understand something at first, but I know that I can learn it and that I want to. That’s what’s important.

anonymous asked:

Prefrosh here starting to look at course offerings and pretty overwhelmed by choices. I'm not sure what I want to major in either. Any advice on how to start picking a tentative fall semester schedule? Thanks!

Response from Nick Carraway:

I’m going to tag this so that future people can easily find it (we’ve answered similar questions, but for this I’ll go through the whole process).

1) Are you AB or BSE? 

2) If BSE –> you need to take MAT201/202, PHY 103/104, CHM 201, COS 126 for BSE prerequisites. So freshman fall you’d definitely want to enroll in MAT 201 and PHY 103.

3) If AB –> do you have language credit? If not, I’d suggest starting your language (it becomes annoying after freshman/sophomore year to still be taking intro level language classes in order to fulfill a requirement).

4) When is your writing sem? If it’s in the fall, there’s a class for you.

5) Did you apply to frosh sems for the fall? If yes, there’s a potential class for you for the fall. Could be great to fulfill distribution requirements or take something interesting. If not, keep them in mind for the spring semester.

6) You say you don’t know what you want to major in. You have no ideas? Do you like the natural sciences? Are you more of a humanities person? Scroll through the majors offered at Princeton. Choose 2 or 3 that you think you might want to major in. Then make sure you enroll in the intro classes for those majors in your freshman fall or spring.

7) If you’re remotely interested in being premed, that’s another thing to consider (I can suggest classes if this is the case, but it doesn’t seem like it is for you).

8) Now that that’s all taken care of, if you still have a slot left in your schedule for the fall, I’d recommend just going for a distribution requirement. Choose any of them, go on the course offerings, check off that distribution requirement, and find a class that’s interesting to you that fits in your schedule. Repeat for each distribution requirement. Choose the one that you find most exciting.

General tips:

-Take 4 classes freshman fall (good to adjust and get used to Princeton before taking a 5 class semester).

-You don’t need to have your entire schedule set in stone this early, so don’t worry about being behind or anything. You meet with your advisor during frosh week to discuss potential classes and sign up; you should just have a list of 5 or 6 that you might be interested in taking.

Response from Bateman: can we sticky this ^ to the top of the tumblr