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Losing all of my intrinsic motivation right before I'm about to start college?

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Replies to: Losing all of my intrinsic motivation right before I'm about to start college?

  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP 16183 replies1 threads Senior Member
    " What you don't need from college is a perfect GPA. "
    - in some tracks, perfect or close to perfect GPA is a must or you are derailed. And this is the fact that some students are faced from day #1. There is no way that this group succeed if they do not have at least a goal of A in every single class. It may not happen, but the goal cannot be lower. So, while it is not for everybody, there are certain groups that have to strive for perfection or be out.
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  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    in some tracks, perfect or close to perfect GPA is a must or you are derailed.

    Premedical and preveterinary, yes, but is there anything else that fits this description?


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  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP 16183 replies1 threads Senior Member
    I knew only about pre-meds, I do not know anything else. However, why not to strive to do your best whatever you are doing? It is a great habit to have and it is extremely rewarding personally, so reward yourself in a way that nobody else can, be your best friend.
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  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    However, why not to strive to do your best whatever you are doing?

    Because you can't do your best at everything. You have to make choices and set priorities.

    And because "doing your best" can easily degenerate into "protecting your GPA" -- by which I mean avoiding taking courses that you might not do well in.

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  • compmomcompmom 11719 replies81 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2015
    I just reread your post and wanted to share that as a parent, reading about the curriculum and expectations at the schools where my kids were going, i felt anxiety so I can understand how you are feeling. It really is just pre-entry anxiety. Once on campus, you will be dealing with actual human beings not imagined ones, the classes will be stimulating, and things will be fine. If you continue to feel anxiety seek help early- people can both help and accommodate you if asked.

    When we went to an accepted students day at an Ivy, I would say half the kids we met said "I don't know why they accepted me." The other half was more confident and informed us of how they were choosing between MIT, HYP etc. I found the first group a lot more appealing :) They have all graduated by now.

    Again, you are a great writer and should do fine. Don't worry about grad school. Most don't expect A's in everything but look for true interest in the subject being studied. LIve in the present for awhile, explore, and thing of it as pleasantly challenging.
    edited June 2015
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  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP 16183 replies1 threads Senior Member
    "Because you can't do your best at everything. " - Why not?
    it is just a matter of choice. If you choose to do so, then of course, you can. If you choose not to do so, then you will not. Just saying in general that "you can't" is wrong, it is saying that there is no reason to try impossible. It is NOT impossible. Do not close this door automatically.
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  • JHSJHS 18503 replies72 threads Senior Member
    I don't think it's accurate at all to say that people who want to go to medical school or veterinary school (or law school, for that matter) need anything like a "perfect" GPA. They need good GPAs, yes, especially in core prerequisite courses. They need good MCAT or other relevant test scores. But a B+, or even two, in an important course is not a kiss of death. (Friends on medical school admissions committees insist that a C+ in Organic Chemistry is not fatal, either. I'm not sure about that, although I'm sure they are expressing what they would like to be true.
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  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    "Because you can't do your best at everything. " - Why not?

    Because there are only 24 hours in a day.
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  • Elizabeth1315Elizabeth1315 154 replies23 threads Junior Member
    edited June 2015
    As a rising college freshman entering an elite school, I feel the same in a lot of ways. One of the reasons I chose my school is that I felt many of the students shared my passion for learning. I come from a public school in one of the worst counties in terms of education in the state, my scores were just below the 25th percentile, and I often find myself feeling inadequate when I think about what some of my future classmates have already done. While I can't necessarily help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety because I'm not sure how to do it myself, I'd like to share with you some advice I've gotten from others.

    1.) After I was accepted into this school ED, I messaged a former classmate of mine who is now attending Duke. Including her and myself, only three people from my school in the last several years have attended a top 20 school, so I wanted her perspective on how well-prepared she was. She said that while the work was hard, it was by no means impossible. As she said, there is a prevalent notion at top schools that some students are effortlessly perfect, meaning they get A's without studying too much. This is simply not true. While there may be some students who are able to do this, the vast majority (nearly all) who are successful, must work very hard. One thing that is important to recognize is that it's okay that you're struggling or feeling inadequate because everyone, seriously everyone, struggles at some point. However, you must not let it define you. As others on this thread have mentioned, you must be confident in your abilities.

    2.) Another thing she shared with me was something I hadn't heard many (if anyone) say before. During your first semester, don't join too many extracurricular activities. Join one or two, but you want to focus primarily on making the academic and emotional transitions first. College is a big change, one that we can't necessarily prepare ourselves for. There's no need to do everything in your first semester and make it even more overwhelming.

    3.) I talked about my fears with one of my teachers, as well. My teacher stressed the importance of going in with my eyes open, meaning recognizing the challenge ahead of me, which is something I think you're doing. It's important that we are aware that, yes, college will be harder and we will have to work hard, maybe even harder than some others. There will be people who are smarter than you, but it is always that way in life. And knowing this going in is beneficial because now we can focus on making the transition and being "our best," rather than worrying about being "the best." It's important not to compare yourself too much to others, especially in college. Be competitive primarily with yourself, not others.

    4.) Finally, my teacher also wanted to be sure that I talk with my professors. I often went into this teacher's classroom to discuss an assignment or ask for help in improving my writing, and I can't tell you enough how much that helped me. My teacher reassured me that it is no different in college. Your professors have office hours- use them.

    As someone who shares your love of learning, I want to express that I sincerely hope you don't let yourself lose that part of you because of pre - college fears. I've talked with some of my future college classmates who feel the same way as you and me. Everyone experiences this fear, but you were admitted to this school because they believe you can succeed there, and you can. Relax for now, enjoy your summer, and get excited for the next four years!
    edited June 2015
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  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP 16183 replies1 threads Senior Member
    "
    "Because you can't do your best at everything. " - Why not?
    Because there are only 24 hours in a day.
    - Amount of time spent on something does not quarantine it to be done in the worst or best possible way. Everybody knows that. 24 hours in a day has nothing to do with the goal of being best at everything. this goal is just a matter of choice and nothing else and setting artificial limitations for yourself is NOT a good way to start anything, let alone such important thing as college. Nope, you have to have a fire within yourself instead of putting yourself in a box. Thank goodness that many thousands of college students do have this fire and achieve at their very best and not only academically.
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  • MarianMarian 13230 replies83 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2015
    24 hours in a day has nothing to do with the goal of being best at everything.

    @MiamiDAP, let me give you an example of the kind of thing I'm talking about.

    My daughter was in an IB program in high school, which was very time-consuming. She was also involved in many instrumental music activities, some of them at a very high level (such as all-county and all-state honors bands), and some of them very time-consuming (such as marching band). And she played soccer. She had been playing on organized soccer teams for many years.

    At the beginning of high school, she realized that she couldn't do her best at everything, so she decided to deemphasize soccer. Rather than trying out for her school team or playing in a high-level outside league, she only played in a low-level recreational league, and she only played during the spring seasons, not the fall seasons, because she was too busy with marching band in the fall.

    I don't think this is "setting artificial limitations for yourself." I think it's being realistic. People need to make choices and set priorities for themselves. You can't give your best possible effort to everything.
    edited June 2015
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  • wis75wis75 14383 replies65 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2015
    You can do your best at everything but still not be the best. All of the time in the world may still not be enough to "get it" all in every subject. There will always be some students with more ability and there will always be courses you take that are reaches for you. Getting a B in something out of your comfort zone- bravo for taking that course instead of only fields you excel at. Straight A HS students will hopefully find a peer group in college where they won't be the top student. A good fit college will offer challenges. We all have limits. Knowing where to prioritize is a skill worth learning.
    edited June 2015
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  • DrGoogleDrGoogle 11022 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Even straight As students found they are no longer straight As students. Even the ones were in top 1% of admit pool for a non inflated GPA school. At least you know way ahead, I think you have an edge over the cocky over inflated type. But it will be an adjustment.
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14500 replies106 threads Forum Champion
    Having a good work ethic will help you immensely! I don't think calculus came as easily to my suitemate as it did me, but she would work at it and end with a good grade.

    Also, make use of all tools your Univ. provides. Professor office hours, TAs, writing/math center, Tutors, study groups, etc.
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  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP 16183 replies1 threads Senior Member
    " 24 hours in a day has nothing to do with the goal of being best at everything.
    @MiamiDAP, let me give you an example of the kind of thing I'm talking about."
    -Marian, I appreciate your personal example. However, it is just one example.
    I did not want to offer my personal example, as everybody is saying that I am such a brag. But you kind of forcing me to do so. This is NOT only my kid example, this is example of MANY who were around her.
    My D. was not in any special program. She just graduated from the #2 private HS in our state. She also graduated #1 from this school. School did not allow many AP, the max was 6, but classes (as D. discovered at college) were taught at higher level than APs at other schools, there were also few college classes there and D. decided to take one of them - her hardest class - college US History while still in HS, she wanted to get rid of it, she knew that her college schedule would be much more challenging and time consuming than her HS (and it was!)
    She also played piano, not at any high levels, but for many years she was the one who played the last at recitals (and you know what that means, it is a goal for any kid who performs at recitals). She also was in sport that required 3 hours / day, 6 days / week practices with many meets, many out of town. Of course, practices were 2 / day during summers. God forbid for her to skip a single practice. Her team records (about 15 of them) are still there. She also was taking private art lessons outside of school. She also was an editor of school Newspaper and participated in some tutoring of younger kids (school was k - 12). Of course, during summers, in addition to 2/day sport practices, she worked at Med. Research Lab and volunteered at the hospitals. Sometime, before she started driving, I had to hire a personal driver to drive her to some of these if they were during day time, as they are hard to come by in our hometown, so she cherished all opportunities to work and volunteer and did not want to loose her positions.
    Now with all of that, I had only 2 rules in my house. While one rule is irrelevant to this discussion, the second rule for her was to be in bed by 10pm. And she was simply because after her sport practice she was not able to stay up, she simply collapsed in bed and slept really well.
    However, when you mentioned 24 hours, I did not even realized that you were talking about HS, I thought you were talking about college. D's life at college was much busier than in HS and, yes, she had to give up her sport after trying to be part of the club team for her freshman year, but still graduated with Music minor. She remained very busy simply because that was her life, the life that SHE choose for herself at the tender age of 5. We did not push her to participate in anything, I had to drive her around after work every day, but it was great fun, great memories for the rest of our lives. She is also very outgoing and tried not to miss those HS parties.
    Time management is a key, you can do a lot in 24 hours, including a good long sleep every night, which actually ensures that ALL that you do next day, you do very WELL.
    As I said many kids around us were doing the same and more, participating in many un-related sports....etc.
    You have all rights to call me a brag and say that my post is nothing but a big lie. I am used to it!
    Never have a low goal for yourself, do not put yourself in a box, reach for the stars! Having all As is a very realistic goal in HS and college, the goal that many have and achieve, many who do not call themselves genius, but rather think of themselves as hard workers who always strive to live a balanced life no matter what!
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  • DrGoogleDrGoogle 11022 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Post #35, somehow that doesn't seem to be your usual writing. Is your daughter posting it? Not a snarky intention, just wondering.
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  • Ruthie58Ruthie58 85 replies5 threads Junior Member
    As a few other posters have told you, your writing is very good; way above average for even academically accomplished kids of your age, in my humble opinion. Good luck to you! Take a deep breath.
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