ZERO Motivation for Gen Chem II

Hey, gang–I know I’m always Ms Positive, but I just have to say it… I officially have ZERO interest in GenChem II.

I’m jamming into a short summer session, and I can only attend about half of the classes (taking it over an extended lunch break, but my boss is only reasonable to a point–so I have to leave halfway through.) So the idea was that I would spend my evenings teaching myself the material that I missed. I’m a good student with great reading comp skills, so I figured this would be easy.

Having said that, I can feel myself falling behind. It’s not a priority. We’ve had several tragedies around us with friends and family, and summers are busy anyway for us… there’s so much going on, and I keep finding reasons NOT to crack the books at night.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m doing alright grade wise. I made an A on the first exam, and I’ve made A’s on all my labs. But I feel like I’m on borrowed time, and my lack of work WILL catch up with me if I’m not careful! (Action = Consequence)

The biggest problem, I guess, is that the material just doesn’t interest me. In biology, I was continually fascinated by the material. On a daily basis, I would come home and force my husband to listen to the new thing I just learned… but not so much with chemistry. Gen Chem II, thus far, feels like a bunch of plug-and-chug calculations and basic math. It is what it is… (Ok, increasing the temperature makes the reaction go faster. Next?)

It’s that kind of thing…Frankly, I just think it’s kind of boring. I knew that it would be risky to take this over the summer, but I really wanted to be able to move on to Organic Chem in the normal Fall/Spring sequence (WAY more class times to choose from, etc.)…so this is my bed, and I must get comfy in it. Just wanted to vent and see if anyone can relate.

This is my 3rd class into pre-reqs, and I’m disinterested. Should I be worried?

There’s always something you don’t want to study. And actually this is great practice for med school, which surprisingly will also contain stuff you don’t want to study. For me it wasn’t chemistry because it was such a race to get the problems done in time on the exams. Sure, sure, I understood everything, but I had to do the homework multiple times to get fast enough to get it all done on the exams. If you can find some way to turn the plug and chug into a game you might be able to get into it.

I hope that helps. I don’t have much else. Just take a deep breath and grind it out.

Ditto that. I had a similar experience taking Chem II in the summer. Fear factor was gone by then and so was the ambition. The only thing that made it fun was my lab partner who called me Momma, loved Springsteen music almost as much as me, and showed me how to operate the graphing functions on my calculator (which by the way I never needed again). It will be over soon enough; you can check it off the list and move on to more interesting stuff.

Haha, It’s hard to feel the same level of enthusiasm about every class. I try to study a little every day and review so MCAT prep won’t kill me, but some days an hour or so is all I can tolerate. I occasionally laugh and say to myself, “wow, I didn’t really enjoy this that much the first time I learned it!”

Pay attention to “Weak Acid Base Equilibria,” it will jump up and bite you if you’re not on your game!

Keep your eye on the prize!

Thanks, guys. I had a moment yesterday… but I know that this, too, shall pass.

“Take a breath, and just grind it out.” I like that!

I love being among such kindred spirits here–there are always people who can relate.

Have a wonderful day!

  • jmdmd Said:
Ditto that. I had a similar experience taking Chem II in the summer. Fear factor was gone by then and so was the ambition. The only thing that made it fun was my lab partner who called me Momma, loved Springsteen music almost as much as me, and showed me how to operate the graphing functions on my calculator (which by the way I never needed again). It will be over soon enough; you can check it off the list and move on to more interesting stuff.

You got to use your graphing calculators in Gen Chem? JEALOUS! It was TI-34s all the way for us >.<

And a ditto on the weak A/B titrations. What a pain in the arse.

sometimes just taking 1-2 days off to give your mind a rest will do wonders. From what you are describing, it sounds like burnout.

I hear everyone on this one! Burnout sounds about right. I am taking Physics this summer and finding my usual enthusiasm for school isn’t quite there. Not to mention, like you feel about Gen Chem II, just not interested, is exactly how I feel about physics. This is only physics “light”, too. I still need another year of this stuff and I know I will have to really get the ambition up for those two semesters. Bio-love it, but physics, just ugh. It’s not the math, either. I can plug and chug all day, though I find I do need to practice this, too. I make small errors that tick me off and then find myself putting hours and hours into studying. For me, it’s some of the conceptual stuff that gets my brain working in circles and that bothers me BIG TIME. I’m an A student and I usually don’t have to study tremendously, but physics is another story. I’m studying my tail off and still missing stuff. It’s super frustrating. I keep thinking, “there must be doc’s out there who didn’t love nor ace physics, too, and yet still got into med school, did well overall, and are great docs.” Right? Looking for reinforcement on this point. We’ve started discussing biological applications of physics including diffusion and osmosis and circulation so this is way more up my alley, but I’m tired of buoyant force and angular velocity, etc, etc. I’ll do fine, but I can totally relate to you carrieliz and I think Gabe may right in saying burnout could be a factor. Everyone’s brain needs a break, even premeds and meds and docs! G/L!

Took my final today in my summer school class and am I glad it is over. I was getting deep in the burnout the last three days. It really didn’t help that I had locked in a good grade early, but boy anotther week would have killed. Now for fun stuff, shadowing, volunteering and vacation.

I must say, carrieliz, that I thought of you (and this post) the other day when I was in the lab. Why? Because I actually had to put chem concepts to use! Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. I had to make a bunch of solutions and dilutions prior to doing this DNA/RNA extraction, and totally had to think back to chemistry concepts such as molarity, molar mass, unit conversions, etc. to do them.

I even wrote a short blog post about it, I was so excited: Gen Chem Comes To Life

I know you aren’t working in a research lab, but you never know …

Shannon, even though it’s not the math, I would still put more energy into practicing the problems than into other studying for the physics. Cranking through the problems (figuring out WHAT you’re plugging and chugging into WHAT) will force the concepts to make more sense to you. You’ll also get a lot faster and have time to go back and catch those little mistakes. You know you’re going to make them, so just set yourself up to have time to find them.

It’ll be okay. You’ll find a way of learning physics that will work for you and that’s part of the point. Hang in there!


Thanks for the tip, Denise! I will keep plugging and chugging away. I think you nailed it on the head there. Plugging and chugging will help drive the concepts into my brain.

Maybe it will help to know what you need for the job you want. Acid-Base equilibria and the associated concepts come up in almost every chapter in organic. As you learned in bio the body has a very sensitive pH range. Certain drugs have to act as an acid in some parts of the body and a base in others to accomplish their task. A firm understanding of the acid/base stuff will be huge for organic. The next thing you’ll need is all the kinetic stuff: rate law, catalysts, etc. This is how reactions are explained in my text and if you can understand it, it makes your life easier. Finally, entropy, enthalpy and delta G are all used to explain reactions in Orgo.

As for physics:

“All science is either physics or stamp collecting.”

-Ernest Rutherford

It does help, actually.

I wish there was a way to take these classes with an emphasis on how they relate to the human body–it would all seem so much more worthwhile.

My GenChem text makes a few references here and there, but it has a general focus…and I get why that’s the case. But any time the example or the problem has a biological foundation, it’s just a lot more interesting.

Sucking it up, though, friends. I took the holiday weekend off, and I’m jumping back in full force today. Just 5 more weeks, and the class is finished anyway.

Thanks for all the encouragement… sometimes it simply helps to know that you’re not the only one. As an aspiring physician, I’d love to be able to claim that all science fascinates me…but I have to be honest–that’s just not the case. I am confident that I’ll earn an A–I just wish I could say that it was due to a more involved and active learning experience on my part, instead of just simply doing what it takes to get by. But in the context of this summer and this particular class, that’s all I have right now!

Ah well, onward and upward…

I can understand the lack of interest in gen chem 11 and I used the cram and splurge method of studying. I did fine in the class but am now in my first week of med school. Guess what? The first lecture was on PH and using buffers including the henderson-hassalbach equation. AHHH now I have to re-learn it all.

HA! Oh, that is hysterical… well, hopefully it will all come back to you easily enough!! I’m seeing ICE tables in my sleep right now.

Have fun!

I don’t know if there is a one for Chem but there is a “Schuam’s Outline” for physics that uses medical stuff. I’ve never opened it but I’ve seen it at a few different book stores.

I felt unmotivated for Gen Chem II also. So I hired a private tutor for Gen Chem II and it forced me to be prepared for the weekly sessions. If nothing else my pride and ego were at stake LOL!!


I’m studying O-chem right now and I’m pretty surprised how little gen chem we have needed to know. Obv get a good grade but I’m not sure why its such a strict requirement.

I wouldn’t be worried. It does kinda sound like burnout. I think as long as the fundamental reasons why you want to be a Doctor have not changed you are in good shape.

I think gen chem is only important for being a Doctor if you want it to be.

Thanks! I’m actually up studying for an exam right now… the good thing about doing it during the summer, though, is that I only have 3 more weeks to get through! 94 average so far… It’s not my best, but it’s an A and I’ll take it.

It’s become the class I just like to whine about. But I’m actually tired of hearing myself do that, so now I’m in “suck it up and get through it” mode.

Hope everyone has a great week! Back to titrations…