First week of grad school

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dukebound85, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #1
    And I already feel overwhelmed

    Don't know how to do over half the hw problems in one class and have no experience using programs like matlab in another....starting to stress out and think it was a mistake to even go....or are these common feelings
     
  2. SamIchi macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

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    Aug 1, 2004
    #2
    Not sure how Grad classes go, but shouldn't you know what the classes entail when you signed up? There's a difference between having the lack of knowledge to work, and too much work. If it's the first, then maybe you chose the wrong classes. If it's the later, then maybe you need to cut back on class load.
     
  3. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #3
    what are you majoring in?

    2nd question is how long as you been out of the school system?

    I ask because I really kick back in to full swing this summer and felt this way. One class was linear Algrabra and at first I felt a little lost but a large part of that was I had not touch upper level math in 4 years by that point so it took me a little while to get back into it.
    My other class was Java. 5 week course and first week I was complete lost and was panicking and debating about dropping it. I was lost in the terminology. I did not understand what he was talking about. I was trying to piece everything together. It did not help that I was missing a pre req of programing in C but at the same token I had been taking programing classes so it was not like I had not down it. I just was missing the bases of the language.

    Close to the end of the 2nd week it started clicking to me. I went from being completely loss to I was doing great in the class and was acing the programing assignments. I ended up with a B+. Got burned on some test but I could program very well.

    I think you just need to get over that hump and things will start clicking.

    Sorry for the little bit there. It just an example as I had been out of higher education for little while after I got my first degree. I am going back for a 2nd degree and I have a lot of the pre reqs from my first one but those skills have become rusty from non use. I have a feeling that your biggest struggle is a lot of your skills have become very rusty and it is really showing early on. I have talk with professors who said when they went back for their Master/ Doctorit in engineering they said that the hardest thing for them was getting back into the math part of it since it had been years since they had done a lot of it and their skills were REALLY rusty. I think you will be fine just takes some time to get those skills back.
    Another example is I have been threw Cal II, III and DefQ. I will tell you that I understand the basics of a lot of the stuff and would not be lost in terminology but I sure as hell could not do most of the work in those classes any more with out spending a fair amount of time with a book. But it is not like I would have to completely relearn everything just have to talk a little time looking at a book to start sharping the skill sets. My math skills I will say are only good to what I consider basic math which is Cal I. Cal II and beyond is a little beyond what I could do right now just since I have not had to use those skills for 4+ years now.
     
  4. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #4
    One class is atmospheric chemistry and I haven't taken chemistry for close to a decade with AP chem back in hs.

    As far as how long I have been out of school, it has been since spring 2008

    I think you are right though about just being rusty. Hopefully it will start getting easier
     
  5. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #5
    2 years is clearly long enough for a lot of education skills to grow rusty.
    What is your undergrad in.
    And what are you getting your masters in because that seems odd that you are taking atmospheric chemistry with out having at least Chem I and Chem II at the college level.
     
  6. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #6
    Yea, I guess it's close to 2.5 now

    My undergrad was mechanical engineering
    Doing grad in atmospheric science

    Didn't have to take chem in college due to AP credits and my major didn't really dive too much into it lol
     
  7. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #7
    true. I am surprised that the leveling work would not require it but meh atmospheric might only require Chem I.

    I had to take inorganic Chem I (AP Chem) and inorganic Chem II in college before I changed my major from CE to CTEC.

    That basic chemistry will come back to you.
    As for Matlab well you are just going to have to learn it. ME never really used it. I know a lot of EE who used it in school but the ME tend to use programs like Math Cad if they used anything.
     
  8. stonyc macrumors 65816

    stonyc

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    Feb 15, 2005
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    Michigan
    #8
    I can tell you I felt the same way when I started grad school last year.

    Almost every class I took (I'm in bioinformatics) used a different programming language, so when I finally got used to coding in R... then my next stats class only used SAS. Then I learned Python, but the lab I'm in now uses both Python and Perl.

    You decided to go back to school for a reason, just try to remember that. Were you happy where you were before? I know that I wasn't... so even though it was really hard at times and incredibly frustrating for me even more, I tried to remember the reasons why I was doing this. Just keep it up, don't be afraid to ask for help, and do your best. I've gotten A's in pretty much every class so far, but the proudest grade so far is the B that I got in Human Genetics. That class was insane and the level of detail they expected from us was bordering on unfair... but I worked my ass off for the final knowing that I needed to get a certain score on it to assure myself of a B, and when I opened up my online transcript and saw that B, I was more excited by that B than any of the A's I had gotten that semester.
     
  9. U88 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #9
    This thread caught my eye and I'd be happy to give you some insight. I am currently an undergrad student (2nd year) studying atmospheric sciences. After some research I don't really know what it's like to be IN grad school or to be taking the upper level courses you're taking, but from how my university's atmospheric science department works, atmospheric chemistry is a 400 level class. I'll be taking that either my Junior or Senior year! I have no background in chemistry from high school, so it'll be interesting to see how it turns out. My department doesn't require chemistry for that major, so I'm sure the class's requirements are very basic.

    All in all, it's all about your comfort level. Perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed in grad school. My TA last quarter told me grad school is more challenging because you're more "on your own" than when you study as an undergrad, where advisers can help you every step of the way and there's more time to devote to school rather than wind up working in a job and studying graduate work at the same time.

    Just a question for you though, what got you interested in studying atmospheric science? I plan on continuing my studies in it after I graduate with a Bachelors.
     
  10. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

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    #10
    If you have an iPhone or iPad check out the Kaplan book in the book app for MCAT General Chemistry. Great refresher and quick.
     
  11. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

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    #11
    Actually, it should feel easy in grad school. Bottom line: If you feel like you’re not going to get at least a B, drop the course and take something else. A C is pretty much a fail for grad school (at least where I went). Since you’ve been away for awhile, you might want to ease into it gradually. Talk to your advisor.
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #12
    A grad program is something you should have to do a lot of work to complete. It shouldn't be like undergrad, but harder. My friend just completed a Masters in Commerce degree, and he said he was "underwhelmed", as it didn't teach him a lot of things he didn't already know. I think your situation is better than my friend's, because you don't appear to be paying a lot of money for just a piece of paper. You're being forced to learn.


    And to be honest, I can't believe you didn't review chemistry prior to starting Atmospheric Chemistry. I know you probably need more than a quick review, but even a review would have helped you significantly in understanding the lectures. It would be like entering a maths subject and not remembering how to take a derivative or integral. Should have looked it up a few weeks before. ;)


    I'm really not trying to be harsh, buuuuut......welcome to grad school. :p
     
  13. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #13
    Haha well the class I was slated to take this fall was canceled by the dept and I had to have a filler and chemistry was it....this was a week and a half ago where I registered for it
     

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