Fellow Gentlemen,

I am not sure how well some may answer this question. But I ask you do the best you can. So during this semester I feel a lot less motivated than I was at the start of the fall, and I fee like it is affecting my performance as far as studying goes. I do like what I am doing and I am trying to keep that going but It's an uphill battle. I know Brett did an article about study habits but I think he tailored to much towards a non technical major. A penny for your thoughts.

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I'm in the spring of my second year. we are about week 3 into the semester. I know what I want to happen in the future, like I have a whole master schedule it includes my classes, plus the time Ialot to study do home work and review for each of them.

One other thing I did was map all my courses and check them off in big bold colors.  It helped me see the path both ahead and behind.

   My advice to you is to make sure you get what you pay for. I had a good buddy in college in the same major, and about midway through junior year, he was struck with an awful malaise.  He was a smart kid, and very insightful, but he just suddenly allowed himself to stop caring.  Pride kept him going, barely, squeaking by with late papers and bad exams,  he didn't enjoy his last year or two at all, and had to work hard to graduate late.

   Take care of business, and I believe things will fall into place for you. Best of luck.

I feel like I don't have time to ask questions. It's not that I don't want to ask them it's just that when I get a chance like I have to run to the next class. I just feel more and more like it's a time thing.

It would be helpful to know what exactly you're studying, and what your immediate and long terms career goals are.  What's the end game here?  What is your MAIN motivation, so that you can garner motivation from that to apply to your day to day efforts?

I'm studying electrical Engineering. If I had to have an immediate career goal it would be to land a job in the MA NH area, in PLC programming, Defense, or Utilities. on a personal level my goal is to achieve what I se tout to achieve and be able to start building up my household. Just to be able to go to work work really hard master my craft and trade and raise a family. I'm disappointing in myself because even after all this motivation I still find my self slipping of my schedule I made and pushing assignments around. it's fatiguing and I let it get the best of me.

Well, that's great news, isn't it?  You have the entire world opened up before you, if you decide to stick with it and get good grades.  Engineers are in serious demand.  You would be doing yourself a disservice by shirking your classwork now, and really, you have to learn it all for your profession anyway, so you may as well pull out all the stops.

But I relate to you, to an extent.  During my middle years in college, I felt very much the same as you; unmotivated, with mediocre effort, and no end to the busywork they gave us in sight.  However, one must remember why one is doing the work in the first place.  The very fact that you're feeling the hardships that are associated with higher learning means that you've already reached a point that most people never get to.  You are experiencing the requirements one must meet in order to be counted among the social elite.  

I hold engineers in the highest respect; their vast technical knowledge, as well as their ability to keep systems efficient and machines in top working condition, are of extreme importance not only to the companies they work for, but for society's needs in this technologically advanced era.  But you need to earn that respect, for it will not be freely given to you.  Your hard work now WILL be noticed five, ten, even twenty years from now.  It is up to you to make that happen.  

You will do your duty.  You will be better for it, and you will fulfill a need for the greater good that is very much in demand.  If you decide otherwise, then you must accept the consequences like a man.

I know I will be better for it. That's really what this thread is mostly about. I'm the guy that always stays behind at social events really. I have no trouble giving things up, and I know that my time at Merrimack is making me better. Really the only things that bothers me is having the time necessary to put the effort into. Last semester I was able to do it a little better, because I only had 2 labs, now I have three and it is a huge difference. I also have been going over the summer to stay in stride with my other sophomore fellows.  It's also not my first college rodeo. I have an A.E degree in Electrical Tech, an A.S in recording arts and a B.S in Music business. There is no deciding otherwise. I don't quit what I start. You know what grinds my gears, is that I feel absolutely blessed with the opportunity to do this, to finish my quest, but it's about not only letting those that gave me the chance down, to make my professors, my family proud, but to not let myself down. I'm better at math than I ever thought I could be, so when I feel lazy or unmotivated it erkes the daylights out of me.

I'm beginning to think that you're not actually as lazy as you claim you are.  For instance, the very fact that you're on this website trying to get advice on how to be more academically efficient tells me that you care very much about doing well.  Furthermore, you mentioned people you don't want to disappoint, which also tells me that you have great empathy for others and more than enough reason to do well.  Lastly, the fact that you've had previous college experience means you already know how to analyze and implement data, so you have an advantage over first timers in college.

It's not laziness. It sounds more like a lack of sleep.  Remember, you don't have to be the best in your class; you just have to be better than most others. 

Very insightful, Sean--- +1 on that.  I'm a high school teacher---once in a while, I'll have a "lazy" student (supposedly lazy) who comes to work in his boots (I live in Oklahoma), works for money, can obviously think clearly----but who falls asleep in class.  Not lazy, not unintelligent--just tired, and possibly needing a priorities re-assessment.

And, this, people, is what happens when kids are pressured into getting a degree that will get them a job; they turn into wage slaves at 19. Isn't 50 years enough?

1. To get a professor to talk to you outside of class:

Check the syllabus. Does the prof have office hours?

Email the prof for an appointment.

Totally aloof, luddite prof? Call the department secretary and ask for an appointment.

2. To keep studying:

You sound like you're got a tight personal schedule that's not working for you. Shake it up. First, figure out how long you can productively study:

a. Start studying. Note the time. Study until you're thoroughly distracted. For most people, this is 30-45 minutes. Study each subject in blocks about as long as you've calculated. Depending on your course load, it may be enough to switch classes after each block. Or you may need to take a short break, like checking email or getting a glass of water, after each block. Another tactic is to change study areas after each block.

b. Instead of having a schedule for the whole semester, re-do it every week. Some weeks, some class will be tougher, or there'll be a mid-term in one class but not another. Divide your study time accordingly. Same goes with personal obligations.

3. Get a peek at the big picture. Ask your career counseling office if there's an EE you can shadow for a day or part of a day. If you don't have a career counseling office, ask the alumni office or the office of engagement for an EE to contact. If you're at some tiny school that can't help, get a list of recent alumni and cross-check it against local EEs. Usually you can look up who has an engineering license online. Or, work other channels.

And, this, people, is what happens when kids are pressured into getting a degree that will get them a job

+1

I was actively encouraged NOT to go into the arts. In junior high and high school I was pretty darn good with pencil, paint and so on. I also loved to write. After 24 years of careers I was anything but passionate about, I am trying to reinvent myself one last time and do what I want. It don't get easier as you get older!

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