Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A cry for help.

At this moment in time, I have to inform you that I have been seriously contemplating taking a year out. A lot has happened for me to be wanting to make this decision.

For the first time in my life I don't want to start school/college/university. Previously you would have been found me annoyed at the length of the holidays and itching to get back. However today I'm singing to a different tune. The main reason for this is that I don't think I can do third year maths. There is this expectation of me and I let myself down in my second year (hence no review!). I just haven't been able to shrug my second year madness you see. My mathematical struggles had been overwhelming, but that was I believe, due the The Galois Group (TGG) too.

Here we come to our second problem. My heart has been crippling towards TGG. In my heart I know that I cannot cope with both my studies and TGG, but I also know that TGG is coming first in every battle that's been happening. That's the reason why I had an anguished second year. My priorities were wrong and they still are. Most people have been telling me to drop TGG and concentrate on my third and final year.

Wow - we're getting through this post pretty quickly, for that's another dilemma I'm in. I have to choose my next year modules by the end of this week (preferably) and I don't want to choose any module. I want to do second year maths all over again, but this time properly and with my maths head on.

I completed my first year "in control" and apart from stats, I gave it my all. Come my second year, I am no longer in control but running after my studies. Chasing deadlines and then falling apart when I can't make them - giving second rate coursework in and then fluking exams. (Well I passed them all but in my opinion I'm lucky to have got what I did).

Do I still want to do a fourth year? Or was TGG the only reason why I was pushing myself to do four years? My head is a mess at the moment and I have no idea as to what I want to do. Teaching is ultimately my goal. I truly enjoy it and it feels great.

My current reasoning had been (to convince everyone else...): do four years and then do the Graduate Teacher training course. This means that I won't have to do the PGCE but I will be working at a school to get my teacher qualifications. Even that I'm not so sure about... (A PGCE is better in my opinion, but I think money was the issue in this discussion).

At this moment I am having a heart ache because of the fourth year, because if I do it then I have to choose different modules in my third year. Do I choose my third year modules, with a fourth year in mind? Or do I just do three years? I have until December 2008 to make my final decision about doing four years. Technically speaking I should transfer onto it and then tell the Student Loan company, and if I don't do it, transfer of it. (The route out is easier...)

I bet you have never met anyone with this many questions and problems? No wonder I find it difficult to sleep at night!

If I choose my modules with a fourth year in mind, then in my third year I am thinking of studying:
1) Coding Theory (10)
1) Intro to Topology (15)
1) Linear Analysis (15)
1) Group Theory (15)

2)Number Theory (15)
2)Hyperbolic Geometry (15)
2)Commutative Algebra (10)

4th Year
1) Measure Theory (15)
1) Towards Toric Toplogy (15)

2) Galois Theory (15)
2) Egrodic Theory (15)
2) Differentiable Geometry (15)
Project (20).

The numbers in the brackets denote the credits of the course and I will end up doing fourth year courses in my third year. I feel that I can't handle that. Honestly speaking, I don't feel up to any of the course above which is another reason for opting out of four years. I am not "mathematically able" to study four years.

You might have gathered that my module credits do not add up. I need to study 240 credits in my third and fourth year, from the following list. I don't know which to study and how to choose them, so there's no problem in my timetable for my remaining years. All the darn options seem to be related to Algebra! (Well apart from Galois Theory which I'm choosing because of PS!)

I can't really explain what is wrong with me, but for the past four weeks I have been feeling quite "unhappy". Sleep evades me at night for thoughts of university and maths give rise to panic attacks. My holidays should not be spent like this. And then there is this whole other mess not related to university, but about that I can do nothing.

As I said - people sometimes expect too much of me. Do this and do that and then do this and then do this. Oh have you done this yet? But I want it done now. GAH. I don't mind helping people but it's when people put a burden of stress on my head which then causes me to mess up. What if I don't want to do a certain something? What if I think that you should do your own laundry? I am lazy (a fact I no longer deny) however my laziness only ever affects my mother (I think). So why should this concern anyone else? How I survive in four years time is my concern. If anyone else is concerned for me, then by continuously having a go at me about my future, you are NOT HELPING.

This is a very unhappy beans writing this post. I don't want to go back to university. I don't want to study some silly impossible modules. What bothers me is that I have failed in some sense. I can't see a way out of this mess because there is no end to this long and dark tunnel.

Nuno had his first day at secondary school today. I wish that had been me. The youthful innocence. Not a care in the world. The exciting prospect of discovering a new world with new people. Being unable to sleep with nerves. Ah.

I won't ever say that "had I done such a such differently, I wouldn't be in this mess". That would be futile. Decisions that were made were always going to be made. Now I have to hack my way out of this predicament. I should start by halving the load on my plate, but there is a reason as to why some people call me the human dustbin.... Instead what I do is take photographs and avoid the issues - allowing them to build up.

Will I go back next year, even though taking a year out is the most ridiculous thing I can suggest in terms of my education? Well TGG is the only thing that I'm thinking of going back to next year, but tomorrow will decide everything. Why? Well tomorrow I'm going back to home base. Unsurprisingly, my previous enthusiasm is no longer present.

To end, I found a quote by John Nash which will amuse me to the end of my days:

"I consider myself to be well-rounded person because I have a chip on both shoulders."

PS: I'm not quite well rounded at the moment, hence this post...


Steph said...

My first words would be: do not, whatever you do, take a year out now.

Yes, things seem rubbish now. You're just having a crisis when everything is massively overwhelming. I had them. I have them. And I got to the end of my degree in tact.

I don't think you need to drop TGG completely. But perhaps there are ways for you to delegate? So that you do not feel as if it is taking up so much of your time.

With regards to feeling like you're putting "in your all" with your modules- I imagine this is more a battle with yourself, and what you expect of yourself. In short, don't beat yourself up unnecessarily. In term time I always found that there were weeks when I'd do nothing and then weeks when I would do quite alot. It is all about balance. I suppose you just need to find a balance that works for you. However, I think that you do not need to work like a slave to be successful and have done your best.

I know that sometimes when you are trying to go to sleep you can dwell on things, but if this happens just get up and read or watch some comedy like "Friends."

I can't really say what to do about a fourth year, but I really enjoyed mine. Doing a project is great fun, and it is only an extra year. You may be noticing that these years are rolling by quite quickly :-)

Anyway, sorry for all this dribble. In a day or two everything will not seem so bad. And I imagine that once you actually get back to university you'll be wondering what you were worrying about.

KTC said...

Go and find your director of studies / supervisor (whatever they're call there) and speak to them, now. They will be able to give you advice, and discuss the options, and pro & cons of it better than anyone on here can.

Beans said...

Hi Steph,

Thanks for your dribble. :) That makes it four people who are telling me not to take a year out now. (And one person who has advised me to do so).

I think one of the problems is, as you mentioned, that the years are flying by. This is reality and also the reason why I want to do my second year all over again! The thought that this might be my last year at University is strangely frightening. Hence why I further question, as to whether it is wise for me to do a fourth year because I'm not ready to grow up yet?

The project actually seems quite scary to me, which is why I wanted to a do a mini one in my third year first; however due to work and other excuses which are failing me at this moment in time (!), I did no reading over the summer so no project.

I wish I could delegate with TGG but that was part of my plan for next year: find someone "like me". Other students are more wiser than me. They foresee the impact that TGG will have on their studies, so run a mile before offering a hand or two. All I ever hear is people telling me to "concentrate on studies and forget TGG if I can't cope". Sigh. If I was to take a year out I could spend more time working on TGG, thus I could work more efficiently on the plans I have for it.

Once again, thanks Steph. I hope that I can get to the end of my degree in tact too! In my case I have to work like a slave (eg my first year!) to do well. If I don't work like a slave I struggle (eg 2nd year!).

PS: You got it spot on about being overwhelmed, but it's weird because University hasn't even started yet. Oh and I tried the reading and actually finished the Big Bad Wolf! I've got this Tom Clancy book now as well.

Beans said...


Thanks and that is what the plan is for tomorrow! For a change I'm not really looking forward to seeing Dr. C... (Now I understand how he feels all the time!) I just hope it's a painless procedure.

I actually want to do as many modules with the Tweenies as possible (which is unlike me!). In the modules that they weren't with me, I didn't do too good.

egm said...

Have to agree with Steph and KTC. Don't take a year off, and go see the director. He might have advice that will make this seem like nothing after you discuss it with him. Also, do delegate the TGG. Try and get enough people to spread the load so that it's not overwhelming for any one person. Then you can focus on your studies, but at the same time be sure that TGG is running as it should.

All the best!

Beans said...

Hi egm,

Thanks for your comment. :) Today I realised that TGG was the real reason as to why I am unable to get excited about getting back to the maths (more in my new post)! I did get advice of a few people today, but I now need to see either Dr. Eccles or Dr. Thomas.

Life was so much easier in my first year when they decided which modules we should do!