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The madman's asylum

Is it good to have an idol?

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Contrary to what the title might suggest, I'm not going to talk about pop culture or great people of their own time. Not with my half-assed way to do research. Tl;dr on the bottom of the post.

Here's the problem. I'm on my second year in NSU (Novosibirsk State University), Physics Major. I had much easier options open for me (in Saint Petersburg, even), but I chose my university for myself - despite some disputes with parents, - so here I am. I unintentionally messed up with my other entries, though. ...Sometimes, I wonder just how much of it was unconsciously guided by my wish to continue studying here, but that's the topic for another session of self-derision.

Ugh, I hate off-tangents. Continuing from where I started blabbering off my backstory, I'm currently suffering from the lack of self-motivation. Drive, even. Nothing seems to fire me up enough to get serious about my studies. I stooped down to getting 'C's on my exams 'cause I just couldn't beat some sense in my thick skull in time. I mean, it's not like my grades are thought to be especially bad with obvious problems with the curriculum, yet... it kind of hurts.

On one hand, it's money. Getting a stipend is a nice bonus to filling up my brains with some knowledge. Even if it'd have been barely enough to keep me on water and bread, had I not lost it. Yet, I seem to be unable to get the value of money with rare moments of clarity when I just surprise myself with how I handle my expenses. All in all, money are not big enough of a factor to get me to work.

From the other side, it's my self-esteem. I'm used to getting all 'A's ever since going to middle school. It's stopped the very moment I changed schools, but whatever, till the graduation I quickly improved from 'C's to 'B's and 'A's. Real proud of that, with the big difference in the curriculum they had to offer. However, right now... I'm in deep slumps. I fuck up where I'm supposed to be good (except for English courses, but heck, even Advanced group requires nothing more than an ability to fire off some conherent enough sentences to get good marks).

My time management is shitty. By the end of semester, I was swamped, with my back up against the wall and a shitton of assignments threatening to fuck me over. I had to remind myself that free education is too much to lose to jumpstart myself for a week or so.

And so, I got you to the present time. It's a bit more than a day separating me from the next exam, and yet I'm not prepared enough. My lack of focus is killing me, and I cannot even force myself to give a shit about the exam. Even though it's going to weigh a hella lot on my average grades.

So, what kept me going back in the past? At first, it was my brilliant older sister who was like a shining star to me. Closer to the 8th grade I learnt that she didn't really do much of her homework, being able to grasp what little information she needed to ace any question sent her way on the fly. Since then, I stopped giving a damn, since my teachers couldn't afford to lose any of their aces. I did the minimum work required, mind you.

When I changed schools, I had another figure to look upon to. And that kept me going even when my initial adrenaline drive died off. And now... I've got no one. Those on my level are struggling to keep up, and those on the top are so far away from reach that it seems pointless to try and catch up with them. And yet another problem.

I can't find it in myself to strive to be like those guys on the top. They're smart and all, but they just mean nothing to me. I don't even keep in touch with them which is another problem. Oh well.

So here's the promised tl;dr:

1. I'm in the middle of my exam week, and I don't do shit.
2. My self-motivation's gone, and I've got no idea how to deal with it.
3. I usually strive to be better than I am, when I've got someone to look upon to.
4. I could have done away with just a tl;dr, but I needed to vent some.

And the question is, is it bad that I cannot improve without some 'idol'? That I'm so full of it that I'm satisfied with my current level even though it's so obviously lacking in my uni? Just what it is that I could do to try and better myself? This problem's not something I can keep to myself anymore.
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Comments

  1. Korburss's Avatar
    I wouldn't say it is bad to need an idol as it seems to have been effective to an extent from what you've said. Some people just need something to look up to, live for, or believe in and their really isn't anything wrong with that and could be said to be a part of human nature.

    Nor is it bad to be content with a level of ability. Enough is good enough in many cases, even if it isn't in the current one.

    I wonder if you really enjoy what you're studying? If you have become apathetic to it then you may just have lost any interest in it and be better off finding a new course or have you just become apathetic to everything? It wouldn't be too far of a stretch to say some of this may be caused by depression. You might even just need some time and it will all come back to you.
  2. gesalt's Avatar
    Sounds like me and half the physics department when I was an undergrad.

    Even if you've lost interest, muscle through it since a physics degree is quite nice and you can transition into almost any engineering, math or computer science related topic for a graduate program (basically whatever interests you most) or get a job or both.

    Fortunately, you do not need to excel unless you are looking for a phd program and most employers don't care about your grades after your first job (and even the first guy probably won't care too much).

    As long as you pass your classes there's nothing to worry about.
  3. Nuclear Consensus's Avatar
    I had this sort of problem as well during my first term. I was really hanging back, doing nothing important until it needed to be done. Now that I'm in the second term (the Philippine education system is weird), my strategy is to get to your work before laziness gets to you. Also, don't compare yourself to the "top dogs". The only person you're competing against is yourself. At least, that's my two cents on the matter.
  4. ratstsrub's Avatar
    Sounds like you need counseling.
  5. R.Lock's Avatar
    Thanks for the input, guys.

    I wouldn't say it is bad to need an idol as it seems to have been effective to an extent from what you've said. Some people just need something to look up to, live for, or believe in and their really isn't anything wrong with that and could be said to be a part of human nature.
    And it gets on my nerves somehow. I wanna be myself, and with my mimicking people I look up to... Well, let's just say the way I unconsciously change myself clashes with my views on how I should live. And yet, I can't improve without it. Damn dilemma.

    If you have become apathetic to it then you may just have lost any interest in it and be better off finding a new course or have you just become apathetic to everything? It wouldn't be too far of a stretch to say some of this may be caused by depression. You might even just need some time and it will all come back to you.
    Well... maybe.

    As long as you pass your classes there's nothing to worry about.
    I kind of want to graduate with something left in my head, though? NSU is heavy on theory and light on things that might help in the future, so... well.

    (the Philippine education system is weird)
    How so?

    Also, don't compare yourself to the "top dogs". The only person you're competing against is yourself.
    Yeah, it kills motivation and all, but if I don't, then I'm just going to stale. Or something. It doesn't help that my previous 'idols' were pretty much good in everything they put their mind to.

    Sounds like you need counseling.
    Thank you, starburst. Help me?