Withdraw from Physics?

I took my first Physics class this week. The lecture was ok and I was able to follow no problem but I looked at the homework and cannot figure out a single problem. Should I withdraw ? Getting a C would not be very useful for my GPA.And I don’t have time/ money for tutors.

I am very sad about this Physics but I hate it so much. It’s hard to find motivation in something you have no interest in.

I sat through Neurobiology class that was taught by Harvard Medical School professor and I already new 90% of what he was teaching in the lecture without even taking any prior Bio class.

So Confusing - do I have to give up on MD rout because of Physics???

Woah. Slow down, and take a breather. No need to give up on your dreams just yet. Have you tried watching some of the Physics videos on Khan academy? What aspects of Physics is getting to you?

Seriously, hang in there. You got this.

I am not giving up, and I am NOT withdrawing. I have my first quiz tomorrow and will be lucky if I get a 50% on it because I have yet to tutor myself enough trigonometry to be able to have a command of how to set up the problem. 25 hours on Saturday and Sunday and another 17 hours in the evenings this week while working. The Disability Resource Center has yet to find me a tutor, I am searching on Craigslist ( wow - expensive), and in between, I just do it myself as best as I can and PRAY. I KNOW in my heart I am giving this my best. I DO NOT believe that the God of my understanding would bring me to THIS point to quit. They say “Don’t leave 5 minutes before the miracle happens!” I am going to walk in there tomorrow, head held high, bomb my quiz, heave a sigh, and have at it again on Saturday. At some point, SOMETHING will give - either my brain will “get it” or the tutor of my dreams will arrive. BUT I WILL NOT QUIT!!! My big piece of hope is that I fully understood the lecture on Kinetics and was one of the first 8 in the class to get the answer to problem he put on the board - just using good ol’fashioned common sense and basic arithmatic. If I can grasp that this quickly, then I will HAVE to grasp the rest of this to some degree at some point. Note: DO NOT give up on self!!!My goal is to master the equations I have struggled with BY midterm. That gives me some time to figure it all out. Damn the quizzes - FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!Read, write, study, read, watch Khan, read some more, struggle, and just keep going. I don’t know the final act until the curtain closes!!!

Decide what’s important to you. Physics is awful - I know, because I had to take the 2nd semester twice.

When you get to med school there is no time to “feel motivated” - you just have GET STUFF DONE. So, heave to, sailor

Trade tutoring in physics with someone who needs help in something you’re strong in. Or suck it up and pay (I did, it was the best spent money of all of undergrad).

Use Khan Academy if math is your issue. But get it done. Missing out on med schoool because of how crappy physics is, well, that’s crazy.

VickieV -

You might try this web site : http://www.mathsisfun.com/algebra/trigonometry.htm…

Just down thru the “Sine, Cosine and Tangent” section. Try to see how the relationships between the sides of the triangle could help you find the length of a side that was not given, or the angle that was not given, in a physics problem. If you knew the angle and ONE of the sides of a right triangle, you could calculate the other two from the known values of sine, cosine and tangent of that angle. Know any two sides and you can calculate the angle.

Don’t know if that will help at all, but honestly, that’s all I remember reviewing from trigonometry to solve physics problems…oh, and maybe vector addition.

Hope that’s helpful.


No don’t quit. I felt lost my first 2-3 weeks of physics. It’s really hard to START thinking like that. It takes a lot of muscle as an OPM to get into that class. But once you get moving it gets a little easier. I ended up with an A in the hardest professor for phy 1&2. About 2/3 of the way through physics1 the algebra and trig aren’t a big deal anymore. Also, they usually break up kinematics and 2 dimensional motion into 3 chapters. The same with forces/energy. It eventually gets a little familiar and repetitious.

Summary: I went from having an ulcer because physics 1 was my first class after returning to school and I was lost to getting a 13PS on the MCAT and an A in both courses. You just have to be willing to pay tutors, watch videos, stay up late, do problems 3 times etc. I’d honestly say it’s normal to feel like that as an OPM or anyone who didn’t take physics in high school.

I loved physics all through high school and started my college physics course last week. My professor is horrible, but it is the only physics class offered at night in 50 mile radius from where I work.

I feel for you.

Do not give up. Does your university offer a tutoring/ science lab? Mine does and this is where I will be this year Saturdays and Sundays working through physics problems.

I am gonna jump on this band wagon and say don’t give up yet! and Im going to back it up with my own Physics story.

I too was completely and totally overwhelmed the first 3 weeks, I swear I spent hours and hours working on homework and it just didn’t click. First test I got a 59…

I was devastated but after going to the Prof and asking for advice I decided not to drop and instead threw myself into a total overhaul of my studying methods. I went to tutoring 3x a week, camped out in the Prof. office when she held office hours, and did hundreds of problems over and over until I dreamed in physics (literally) basically I decided to make physics my own little everest that I was hell bent on conquering.

I ended up with a B+ that semester and even better I got an A the second semester, I 100% agree with Matt when he says it starts to get easier, because I didn’t have to work nearly as hard for that grade as I did for the B

When all was said and done I was even sad to be finished with that class because I came to like it.

So hang in there, If I can do it I believe you can!!

I’ll leave you with my favorite line from the song I listened to over and over that first semester that really helped me dig deep.

“Get the rox in the box, get the water right down to your socks” ~The Decemberists

You can do it! If medicine is your dream keep plugging away. Just think of it as good practice to getting acclimated to new, difficult, information. If you’re worried about spending money on tutoring the best thing to do is to set up time with TA’s or the professor to get some extra help.

Thank you everybody for your words of support and kindness. I did withdraw from physics just in time so I am not going to have a “withdrawal” on my record…I guess it was not only physics but a combination of things: my brother got seriously injured the first week of classes; I have never taken courses in the United States before; I am taking General Chemistry and English this year; and of course a close-to-full time job. I did the physics homework though right before I dropped it just to prove myself I could do it.:))

I decided to focus on Gen Chem this semester and Gen Chem II and English next semester. It made more sense since one year of Gen Chem is a recommended prerequisite for Bio in our program. I think now I have more time to figure out the style of teaching in an american college and how much time it takes me to process and retain science information in a foreign language. We had weekly homework, lab homework and weekly discussion session problem sets due for both Chem and Physics and that was just overwhelming considering my circumstances.

Not giving up on Physics though just taking it separately.:)) By the end of the first set of homework I actually developed quite a bit of interest in it. I guess all I was stressing out was the lack of time to develop solid problem solving skills and not a subject itself after all.

Thank you all again.