All of you Biology and Chem majors

<p>I'm wondering if you guys feel the burn I do.</p>

<p>I'm taking Fundamental Chem, Precalc, and Bio, 13 units with 3 hour labs. I work 25 hours a week (quitting soon). I find my self getting 87-98%(who knows take I could easily gotten a 85%) on all tests but get extremely stressed out ALLL THE TIME. And I always go home after a test and think for hours about what I did wrong or etc.. This is beginning stuff and I am feeling burned out. I do have pretty bad teachers. Does anyone experience this or experienced it and got over it? Any advice? I'm worried that a science major isnt my cake because I stress out so much and I get exhausted so easily.</p>

<p>I guess part of the reason I stress out so much is because I have it stuck in my head if I dont get a 4.0 this semester and a 3.8 for the rest of college pretty much wont get into med school. (this will average my gpa to a 3.7).</p>

<p>This is coming from a physics major, but the idea should hold true for all majors:</p>

<p>Being nervous and worried are natural reactions. Setting high expectations is only natural for most people. However, you cannot let yourself beat yourself. Essentially, your mind can be your best friend and worst enemy all at the same time. </p>

<p>When you finish your exams, go do something fun. Get your mind off of what you just put yourself through. You are coming off of a highly stressful situation, and worrying about the outcome immediately afterwards will only eat away at your head. You will almost always believe that you did worse than you really did.</p>

<p>To me it sounds like you are doing well, and you are beating yourself up for no good reason. In many classes in the sciences, 85% + is deemed a very good grade. Most of your peers will be scoring in the 60's/low 70's on the average. So that means you definitely are understanding the material and have a very competitive grade against the rest of the class. You may or may not also find that you are not as concerned about the gpa as you are understanding the material and enjoying it. Almost all the physics majors at my school have this mentality. You may reach a point where you enjoy what you are doing so much that worrying about an A or a B is trivial.</p>

<p>I am not looking into med school, but if I were, I would follow one mindset: Do the best that you can. If your absolute best is not good enough to get you into med school, then it is not meant to happen, and there's another field you are meant to be in. So keep doing what you have been doing as far as your academics go, but try to find some time to get your mind off of the hard grind. Go work out. Join a club. Hang out with friends. Whatever makes you keep your sanity.</p>

<p>Possibly some of the best advice I've ever received! thank you so much Aggie!</p>

<p>As a chem major I was a complete ball of nerves my freshman year. My hands would be shaking walking to REVIEW sessions for my honors genchem classes. I was ridiculous, I lived on a steady diet of caffeine, caffeine, and more caffeine. I can definitely understand the feeling of being STRESSED all the time. Aggie already gave some great advice and I doubt I can top it but I'll throw in my two cents. </p>

<p>I'm currently a chem/math double major, I'm in class 27 hours a week, and I am a totally saner person than I was taking 15 hours english, calc 1, and genchem as a freshman. These are some things that have helped me keep my life together:</p>

<li><p>MAKE FRIENDS in your most stressful classes! My analytical chemistry class is my LEAST favorite class by far, but I now have 6 good friends in that class, and quite a few more acquaintance friends. It really helps you feel better when you have someone to joke around about the class with, freak out and unfreak out about the class with, vent to, and do homework/study with! If I had to do our 10 hour lab reports on my own I would probably have had a heart attack by now, but you'd be surprised how much more enjoyable it is to be crammed in someones dorm/study room with good friends doing a lab report, it just makes the whole process a little easier. </p></li>
<li><p>Make a schedule! Get a big planner and write down all the days your midterms are, homework is due, quizzes are, exams are, everything. Getting surprised by an exam or quiz in a couple days is always scary, and while I'm sure that doesn't happen to you, I've always found its easier to write down all the days exams are at the beginning of the quarter so then I know (in my case, I have a midterm ever week of this quarter except the week before finals, but know that in the beginning helps me know what weeks I need to be more focused on various subjects.) </p></li>

<p>2.5 After you make a schedule of quizzes and exams make a schedule of what you should be doing each day to spread out your studying. For example: in my third quarter of GenChem I realized if I do two homework problems everyday till its due, I'll get them all done, have time to ask questions, and will never get overwhelmed. I also decide at the beginning of the quarter how much of a textbook I need to be reading everyday to stay with the lecture. This quarter its 10 pages of each of my two chem books, and my math chapters the day before lecture (3 sections a week). That way I never feel like I have to cram in a bunch of reading before a midterm (though not everyone reads, but I find it helps me understand concepts, especially if profs. are bad). </p>

<li><p>Get to know your professors/TAs. Sometimes the worst professors can become infinitely better in office hours. I have had multiple math professors (usually the younger ones) who can get a little caught up when they're lecturing, but when I go to office hours and ask questions about problems, or specific questions about concepts it becomes easier for them to explain it. Sometimes you just have to work it out of them to make them decent professors. And if your professors are completely unbearable get to know your TAs, if you have a tutor room for a subject, get to know the tutors, look around for a place on campus (student centers) to get a tutor. Experienced TAs/tutors are great at explaining things simply and concisely so that you can do them. Also they have seen all the midterms/exams before so they are the best and showing you how to do the things you will probably have to do. Even if they aren't helpful its good for them to know you're trying, maybe they'll get the hint and realize they aren't doing a good enough job. </p></li>
<li><p>Like aggie said GET OTHER HOBBIES! Something other than studying, is the best way to take your mind off of studying. Accept the feeling of the after exam high. Go and play a sport, going to the movies, talking about anything else will help de-stress you. Don't be afraid that you won't have time to study if you go out with friends! You probably aren't going to study on a friday night, no matter how much you tell yourself you will! Your brain can't handle that, give it at least a night on the weekend to unwind. </p></li>
<li><p>Don't get a caffeine addiction. Everything will freak you out all the time. </p></li>

<p>Also, I'm not interested in getting into med school, but I'm sure they will take into account whether or not you are applying as a former science major or a something else major. A 3.8 as a science major is gonna look better than a 4.0 as a communication major, its just the way different things weigh out when you are going to grad school. Lots of things go into account in getting into graduate programs and I'm sure you'll be fine if you're working hard.</p>

<p>GOOD LUCK!</p>

<p>If you think it is hard getting the degree wait until you try getting a career afterwards with the the degree. It will make quantum mechanics seem like a blowoff course.</p>

<p>It's not that it's hard it's more of a mental game. I guess I just need to figure out a way to cope with the stress. I'm sure I'll get use to it this is my first semester of actually really really caring to a point of extreme perfectionism.</p>

<p>Thank you all for you advice and insight.</p>

<p>I'm a 1st year Biology major, taking 17 units, and I find it much easier than high school. The homework load is significantly lower (I'm doing about 10% of the practice problems for general chemistry and calculus II as I would if I were in high school, I haven't done any homework problems for my Bio class), so I can focus more time on studying and less time on stupid creative projects and repetitive homework.</p>

<p>Some days in high school I would get only 3 hours of sleep (or less) but now I can sleep a lot more (at least 7 hours each day).</p>

<p>But then, I'm not working and this is only my first year.</p>

<p>Which school are you in? I want to major in biology too!! And i'm a senior in high school. You said you can get MORE SLEEP!! I WANT TOO! Are you taking all regular classes? Is that why you can get that much sleep?</p>

<p>UC Irvine. My schedule only consists of classes that start later than 12 pm. It's not like high school where there are standards vs. honors classes (exception: there is an honors chemistry sequence here), there's just one class for a particular subject. I don't have "busy work" (making posters, flipbooks, creative projects, etc) so I have much more free time.</p>