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Help me sort out my deep seated issues with my father.

QuickTwist

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#1
I will start with something that happened today.

I, as an INTP, am very prone to misplacing things with my absent mindedness. I lose my keys somewhat frequently. I have stretches where I always know where they are for weeks, sometimes months tho. I had misplaced the keys to my Van some weeks ago and I couldn't find them. Well, its not actually my Van, it's my fathers. It's a rundown beater with the passenger window stuck about an inch below it being all the way up and it's cold af where I live in the winter (it's currently 2 degrees fahrenheit outside). I lost my keys. We have 5 vehicles between 4 people in the house (mom, dad, brother, me). My brother has his own car that I could only use if there was absolutely no other choice. We have a relatively new accord and a 2004(?) buick that is is great condition and another ford van that is a lot nicer than the one I drive on a regular basis. I don't even care that much that I am driving this junker; I rarely need to drive that far and if I do the heater works fine. I lost my keys about a week and a half to two weeks ago. My father pressured me to find my keys and I wasn't really motivated to find them (which you will find out later why this is). My father wanted to get rid of my car by the new year so he was pressuring me pretty hard to find them (typically with guilt trip like maneuvers). I had looked for my keys and searched every place I thought they could conceivably be more times than I care to count. Today, My father says "you have to find those keys today". He was going to junk the junker and then I would be able to upgrade to the new (to me) van (that is prolly a 2002 that is in great shape). I was really not looking forward to looking for these keys, because I already knew what was going to happen - the same fucking thing that happens every damn time. We set a deadline of looking for the keys at 6PM. I hadn't slept at all last night so the last thing I want to do is look for something I have no idea if I am going to find or not. Now you might be thinking "this loser doesn't even want to look for his keys? wtf is wrong with him?" Well, here's the thing. This type of thing happens ALL THE TIME when I "lose" something. What happens is that just before I have to put a whole ton of effort into finding whatever it is that I need to find, my father miraculously finds them in the most obvious place ever. This time it was the ignition of the van the keys belonged to. I could have sworn I check the ignition at some point (not that I am at all in the habit of leaving them there).

I just don't know if I actually left them in the ignition or if my father knew where they were all along and then springs this "I found them, isn't that amazing?" before I actually have to do any work to find them. My father and I were suppose to look for the keys together, but a holiday miracle happened and it turns out I don't actually need to put effort into looking for them. Oh joy.

This happens all the time, like I said. I can never prove that my father actually knows where whatever it is I am looking for knows where they are, because like I covered earlier, I am really really absent minded. How on earth can I know for sure that I checked the ignition or not? That is such a minor detail that I could never remember doing that after how much time has passed before I just give up looking for whatever it is.

I remember one time I had a friend over and I bought a 2 liter of soda. I could not find it anywhere. checked the fridge, thoroughly. I even said to them "see look, the soda is nowhere to be found in the fridge, now watch my soda magically appear there." I told my dad I couldn't find my soda and I prolly asked him if he had seen it (though tbh, asking him is pointless, I've been down that road so many times). So then about an hour later my father says "I found you soda" I say (like always) where was it? "In the fridge on the lower rack under the whatever" -.- I then later told my friend "see, I told you! We looked there and it wasn't there. How did it get there?!?!" I always have some doubt that I didn't actually check well enough or something though. *sigh* this is suck a minor insignificant thing and it bugs me so fucking much.

What are your thoughts on this? I don't expect anything that I haven't really thought of or any kind of good advice how to deal with my father with this, but asking anyways.
 
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#2
Re: Help me sort out my deep seeded issues with my father.

When I read the title, I was expecting a much more serious issue than missing a set of car keys.

But, if your dad is fucking with you over such petty shit, it's time to have a talk with that little asshole. Either you are horrible with placing your stuff, or he's a dick about fucking with you.
 

Jennywocky

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#3
It's hard to give advice when we don't know whether your dad is being a shit or whether you are just having remarkable amounts of trouble keeping track of things in your environment.

As it is, you're an adult living with your parents, so at this stage your recourse would be to move out and live on your own and self-support, or find someone else to live with, just like you would do if this was a random person you lived with who was doing shit to you that you did not appreciate... if you firmly believe you are not misplacing things.

There's also the dynamic of it being a parental figure, and if he's actually trolling you, then you'd have to have it out with him again like any parent/child relationship where an abuse is occurring. The thing is, you are compromised because you are living with him and thus dependent on him.

What's your brother say? What's your mom say? Is there any way you can find outside corroboration of who is at fault here?
 

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#4
Moving out is difficult because I don't feel I have the skills or confidence to live on my own. I think that is prolly the best solution, but I just don't know how to do it exactly.
 

Yellow

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#5
It looks like you think your father is gas lighting you.

Does he display any other emotionally abusive behaviors toward you or others?
-Humiliation
-Making you feel guilty
-Putting you down
-Back-handed compliments
-Denying/minimizing your triumphs
-Making you feel crazy

There are obviously many other types of abuse, but I just can't imagine someone jumping straight to gas lighting as the only form of emotional abuse.

Edit: as far as alternative placement goes, are there any decent transitional housing options for men in your area? Or do you have access to targeted/intensive case management services to help foster independent living?
 

QuickTwist

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#6
It looks like you think your father is gas lighting you.

Does he display any other emotionally abusive behaviors toward you or others?
-Humiliation
-Making you feel guilty
-Putting you down
-Back-handed compliments
-Denying/minimizing your triumphs
-Making you feel crazy

There are obviously many other types of abuse, but I just can't imagine someone jumping straight to gas lighting as the only form of emotional abuse.

Edit: as far as alternative placement goes, are there any decent transitional housing options for men in your area? Or do you have access to targeted/intensive case management services to help foster independent living?
Humiliation: check
Making me feel guilty: check
Putting me down: check
Backhanded compliments: not really
Denying/minimizing my triumphs: He used to all the time. He doesn't do this as much now that I have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness.
Making me feel crazy: I am not sure.

My father is what you could call a fire and brimstone christian. He's also a bigot.

I've looked into public housing several times and I have yet to win a lottery to get on a waitlist. My father also doesn't like the idea of me "taking from the government" because of his conservative beliefs. I tried to get on food stamps and he said he and my mother would make sure I have food I want to eat so I wouldn't have to get food stamps. I am not in danger of not eating, but I would like to be able to buy the food I want. If I want food I like I have to keep reminding my parents to get food I want or to just give me money so I can get what I want. How much money do you think I should be able to live on for food per week? I often look to get fast food when I am really hungry because it's fast and cheap and I like it. Fast food comes out of my own pocket, obviously. I am on SSI. To be fair, I get enough to last me the week. That is with paying off my debt which is $125 a month. That leaves me with ~$50 a week and I have to buy everything with that ex. gas, toiletries, clothing, smokes, gym membership ect. I have no idea what other people live on so I don't know how this compares to others. I have really tried to no eat fast food so much because it's so damn expensive compared to buying things at the grocery store.
 

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#7
I have been in a similar -- not quite the same -- situation with parents.

I ended up using the time I had free to learn an area where I knew there was a lot of demand for jobs and saved up enough money for a few months rent doing occasional gardening, cleaning and removals jobs. I was lucky to get a place on an internship and have been able to support myself independently since. It felt like fighting a heavy current getting out of it but every aspect of my life is better overall than being dependent on them.

It's hard to pick up self-confidence when you're isolated if you have a strong self-critic as there's not much opportunity for outward reinforcement. But I think that kind of situation, in my personal experience, is a downward spiral and it's better to do anything you can -- pulling up weeds, stacking shelves, etc -- if it allows you to begin making a break from it. It's a lot easier to build yourself up when you know you can sustain yourself and you're no longer in a toxic environment.
 

QuickTwist

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#8
The weird part is that IDK if I am just being a baby at this point.

Like I look at other people who have had it much worse than I have and I can't help thinking to myself "You don't actually have it that bad. They were able to get their shit together, you should be able to as well." but at the same time I just feel helpless. IDK how to change my behavior in a positive way. IDK if it is that in some way my poor habits have been enabled by my parents. Sometimes I ask myself if I actually even care. Maybe I am content doing what I am doing??? If that's the case I set the bar awfully low for myself. What if I am just putting these judgements on me of what I think I should be doing but they are not actually things I want to do? IDK, I am a mess.
 

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#9
My father and I, we've just kinda gotten to this point where we just do very surface level interactions. We talk about the weather and he makes jokes about petty things and I play along. There is nothing deep about our relationship. Part of that is just based on what my father is like. He's an ESFJ. He doesn't have a whole lot of deep thoughts. I can talk to my brother and sometimes my mother about things that go a bit deeper, but I really don't and never had anyone I could talk about things that have any kind of depth to them. I have a friend who is an ENFJ. I have kinda cut him out of my life because, again, there is just no depth with that relationship. I am not saying I am the deepest person in the world (tho my mother would prolly contest this [not literally]), but I do have thoughts that go deeper than the weather or a video game that was made 5 years ago. I just imagine that a lot of the people on this site have parents who are more interesting than being a bus driver for 30 years (my fathers occupation [now retired]). Really the only thing I can look up to my father about is that he is a very observant person; he's not intelligent, but he has a very good understanding of what is in his environment. This reminds me a lot of AK's recent video on intelligence. My father seems to be stuck trying to memorize everything in his environment, while I get bored really easy and am always looking for something new or novel. I don't have the stick-to-it nature to really be able to specialize in anything because I can't go over old things - I suck at studying. This has been a great hindrance to me, and prolly the biggest reason I don't fit in on this site - because most people here, their curiosity is enough to push them through to doing some of the boring stuff to get to have a more in depth understanding of things. Self improvement is generally a good thing, but I don't have a whole lot in me to want to change things about myself - my urges and lack of ambition keep me from really being able to change my situation for the better. At this point I am just venting I think, because there are not really solutions to my predicament unless I actually want to change.
 

Serac

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#10
The weird part is that IDK if I am just being a baby at this point.

Like I look at other people who have had it much worse than I have and I can't help thinking to myself "You don't actually have it that bad. They were able to get their shit together, you should be able to as well." but at the same time I just feel helpless. IDK how to change my behavior in a positive way. IDK if it is that in some way my poor habits have been enabled by my parents. Sometimes I ask myself if I actually even care. Maybe I am content doing what I am doing??? If that's the case I set the bar awfully low for myself. What if I am just putting these judgements on me of what I think I should be doing but they are not actually things I want to do? IDK, I am a mess.
Eliminating poor habits, improving one's behavior, etc. These are very vague terms. Exactly what is it that you don't like about your situation? What do you want do do? If someone put a gun to your head and said "achieve your goals within a year", how would you proceed?

I can guarantee you one thing. If you don't figure those things out, you will continue in this current trajectory for the rest of your life.
 

QuickTwist

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#11
Eliminating poor habits, improving one's behavior, etc. These are very vague terms. Exactly what is it that you don't like about your situation? What do you want do do? If someone put a gun to your head and said "achieve your goals within a year", how would you proceed?

I can guarantee you one thing. If you don't figure those things out, you will continue in this current trajectory for the rest of your life.
I want to go to college. IDK what I want to study. I do really really bad without any structure, but I excel when I do have it.
 

Serac

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#12
I want to go to college. IDK what I want to study. I do really really bad without any structure, but I excel when I do have it.
- what subjects do you hold in high regard
- what subjects were studied by people whom you hold in high regard
- in what subjects have you been sort of successful so far, or have been consistently interested in
- what subjects could you do that have a potential to generate an income for you (this shouldn't be the main factor but is nevertheless a factor)
 

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#13
- what subjects do you hold in high regard
- what subjects were studied by people whom you hold in high regard
- in what subjects have you been sort of successful so far, or have been consistently interested in
- what subjects could you do that have a potential to generate an income for you (this shouldn't be the main factor but is nevertheless a factor)
1. Psychology, Science, Math, Philosophy
2. I don't really have any heros/mentors. I like Jean Paul Sartre, from what I have read.
3. I have been best in science in my academic career ex. chemistry, general science, NOT anatomy (I am terrible at memorizing). I also was good at math growing up. I've continued to view things through the lens of psychology. The theory behind what philosophy represents appeals to me a lot, but I don't have much practical knowledge of philosophy theories.
4. All of the ones I am interested in and also what I am good at.

Not sure if I would rather go into hard or soft sciences.
 

Serac

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#14
1. Psychology, Science, Math, Philosophy
2. I don't really have any heros/mentors. I like Jean Paul Sartre, from what I have read.
3. I have been best in science in my academic career ex. chemistry, general science, NOT anatomy (I am terrible at memorizing). I also was good at math growing up. I've continued to view things through the lens of psychology. The theory behind what philosophy represents appeals to me a lot, but I don't have much practical knowledge of philosophy theories.
4. All of the ones I am interested in and also what I am good at.

Not sure if I would rather go into hard or soft sciences.
I think the thing with psychology and philosophy is that they are subjects that appeal to anyone who likes to think. In fact, they are subjects that should be practiced by everyone. For me, my main subject is applied math, but I have spent considerable amount of time studying both psychology and philosophy because they are indispensable tools on a personal level. If one considers them as vocations, the question is: what exactly can you achieve out there in the world by, say, being exclusively an expert in philosophy? At best, you get to sit in some cramped room at a philosophy department at some university, writing papers that are read by other philosophy academics and nobody else.

If you see it likely that you can succeed in math or hard science, I would absolutely recommend that. I am particularly biased towards math, since that is my main subject, but math is extremely versatile. If you have a psychology degree from US and come to Europe, that degree is useless. With math, you can go anywhere and it will always be the same. It also gives you insight into just about any subject you can imagine. For example, I don't have any expertise within physics, but since I know math I can start reading physics and immediately have a good idea of what they are doing. I can even read psychology papers and critique their application of statistics and infer whether their results are sound or not . Also, nowadays, people with knowledge within math and computer science are becoming increasingly in demand, as the use of machine-learning, mathematical modeling and data analysis is proliferating into all conceivable parts of society.

Also, don't fall into the trap of thinking that one has to be something special in order to succeed within math, computer science of similar fields. Yes, they are different from soft-science subjects because they are more about learning skills, as opposed to rote-memorizing a bunch of stuff. But these skills are learned just like any other skill, and anyone with an average intelligence can get a math degree, as long as they put in the necessary work.
 

QuickTwist

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#15
I think the thing with psychology and philosophy is that they are subjects that appeal to anyone who likes to think. In fact, they are subjects that should be practiced by everyone. For me, my main subject is applied math, but I have spent considerable amount of time studying both psychology and philosophy because they are indispensable tools on a personal level. If one considers them as vocations, the question is: what exactly can you achieve out there in the world by, say, being exclusively an expert in philosophy? At best, you get to sit in some cramped room at a philosophy department at some university, writing papers that are read by other philosophy academics and nobody else.

If you see it likely that you can succeed in math or hard science, I would absolutely recommend that. I am particularly biased towards math, since that is my main subject, but math is extremely versatile. If you have a psychology degree from US and come to Europe, that degree is useless. With math, you can go anywhere and it will always be the same. It also gives you insight into just about any subject you can imagine. For example, I don't have any expertise within physics, but since I know math I can start reading physics and immediately have a good idea of what they are doing. I can even read psychology papers and critique their application of statistics and infer whether their results are sound or not . Also, nowadays, people with knowledge within math and computer science are becoming increasingly in demand, as the use of machine-learning, mathematical modeling and data analysis is proliferating into all conceivable parts of society.
When I took the ACT, my math scores were about average. My science score was much much higher than average, and my english and reading scores were below average. IDK that I can understand things so well insofar as how abstract math is, tbh. Ofc, i haven't gotten to a calculus class yet. The furthest I got in math is pre-calc in HS and trig at ITT Tech. I am just going based on what I have heard about people talking about math and how hard it gets if you choose that as a degree. I do know that I have taken a lot of test that tell me I should be an engineer of some sort. IDK anything about what being an engineer is about tho.
 

Serac

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#16
When I took the ACT, my math scores were about average. My science score was much much higher than average, and my english and reading scores were below average. IDK that I can understand things so well insofar as how abstract math is, tbh. Ofc, i haven't gotten to a calculus class yet. The furthest I got in math is pre-calc in HS and trig at ITT Tech. I am just going based on what I have heard about people talking about math and how hard it gets if you choose that as a degree. I do know that I have taken a lot of test that tell me I should be an engineer of some sort. IDK anything about what being an engineer is about tho.
Well, I can tell you already now that based on this information, there is nothing that should stop you from getting a math degree. Also, there's not too much in the way of abstractness about applied math – which, as mentioned, is my main subject. It's actually mostly common sense and intuitive, practical stuff.

I don't know too much about engineering, apart from that I think you have to specialize in something within engineering quite early on. But ultimately, I think engineering is mostly applied math, and personality tests that recommend engineering are actually recommending applied math but categorize it as "engineering" because that is an old-school, well-known field where mathematical methods and problem solving meet practical application.
 

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#17
Sometimes I ask myself if I actually even care. Maybe I am content doing what I am doing??? If that's the case I set the bar awfully low for myself. What if I am just putting these judgements on me of what I think I should be doing but they are not actually things I want to do? IDK, I am a mess.
That sounds along the lines of what I'd want to work out. To what extent is it a prison, or could you walk out if you desired to? What barriers do you need to overcome to leave, and what would you do if you could? Would your family or friends provide you any support in doing so?

Just an observation, but you sound like you're not content with the situation but don't like the alternatives, maybe as they feel overwhelming. You likely don't have enough information or exposure yet to decide what you're ideally suited to and so anything you do now is an experiment in enabling yourself to discover those things. If you've been mulling it over for a while you'll likely get no closer without trying some things out.

The big goals become less overwhelming if you can focus on small steps to achieving them. If you want to study, for example, you'll likely need a job to support you. If a job feels too big a step, maybe it'd be better to aim towards getting a weekend job or something part-time. You get to become more accustomed to social exposure with relief of breaks, and have more money and areas of your life that are yours to look after that are independent from family.
 

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Well, I can tell you already now that based on this information, there is nothing that should stop you from getting a math degree. Also, there's not too much in the way of abstractness about applied math – which, as mentioned, is my main subject. It's actually mostly common sense and intuitive, practical stuff.

I don't know too much about engineering, apart from that I think you have to specialize in something within engineering quite early on. But ultimately, I think engineering is mostly applied math, and personality tests that recommend engineering are actually recommending applied math but categorize it as "engineering" because that is an old-school, well-known field where mathematical methods and problem solving meet practical application.
I was thinking of a specific test at the time. That test said I should be one of a variety of different engineering jobs.

Can you tell me a little bit more about what the classes were like that you took to get your applied math degree?
 

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That sounds along the lines of what I'd want to work out. To what extent is it a prison, or could you walk out if you desired to? What barriers do you need to overcome to leave, and what would you do if you could? Would your family or friends provide you any support in doing so?

Just an observation, but you sound like you're not content with the situation but don't like the alternatives, maybe as they feel overwhelming. You likely don't have enough information or exposure yet to decide what you're ideally suited to and so anything you do now is an experiment in enabling yourself to discover those things. If you've been mulling it over for a while you'll likely get no closer without trying some things out.

The big goals become less overwhelming if you can focus on small steps to achieving them. If you want to study, for example, you'll likely need a job to support you. If a job feels too big a step, maybe it'd be better to aim towards getting a weekend job or something part-time. You get to become more accustomed to social exposure with relief of breaks, and have more money and areas of your life that are yours to look after that are independent from family.
Re: is it a prison? I am not sure. I feel I use avoidance an awful lot to deal with things.

Overanalyzing has always been a problem for me. It may not seem like it from what you have seen of me here, however. And you're right, I don't really try things out enough. I usually think I know how something is going to go without actually trying it.

This is practical advice. Thanks.
 

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#20
Can you tell me a little bit more about what the classes were like that you took to get your applied math degree?
Well, they were divided between math, statistics, computer science, and programming, but they all followed a similar pattern: you learn a bunch of techniques, mostly by doing exercises and assignments, and then you get similar problems on exams where you apply these techniques. Not sure which aspect of the classes you were thinking of?

This is useful to know, though: I think about 60% of the people who started on that undergraduate program ended up dropping out the very first semester. These were all students who were pretty good at math in school, but it's important to understand that it simply takes more work to make it in university, no matter how well one did in school. I'm sure many of them thought "I'm just not made for math". But it's not about that, it's just that one has to put in more hours.
 

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Well, they were divided between math, statistics, computer science, and programming, but they all followed a similar pattern: you learn a bunch of techniques, mostly by doing exercises and assignments, and then you get similar problems on exams where you apply these techniques. Not sure which aspect of the classes you were thinking of?

This is useful to know, though: I think about 60% of the people who started on that undergraduate program ended up dropping out the very first semester. These were all students who were pretty good at math in school, but it's important to understand that it simply takes more work to make it in university, no matter how well one did in school. I'm sure many of them thought "I'm just not made for math". But it's not about that, it's just that one has to put in more hours.
I was going to take a class for the winter semester. It didn't work out, but I was thinking of taking a statistics class for selfish reasons.

But more of what I was wondering is what was the actual process like?

I should say I know a tiny bit about how circuits work because as I said earlier, I was going to ITT Tech. What I didn't say is that I was going for electrical engineering. I dropped out intentionally from that school because I saw the kind of job offers that graduating students were getting and I didn't feel a degree that cost a lot of money was worth a job that pays $15/hour for something that had nothing to do with the field I was putting so much work into. When I was going there, I was one of the most dedicated students the school had (but there were prolly only around 150 students so it doesn't say too much) and I was getting A's in classes almost no one gets an A in. Very ironically, one of these classes was an English class. The other was AC DC Electronics. I actually enjoyed the material. I was not very good about reading the textbooks, but I did all the homework and labs and got good grades on them. Electrical engineering is still a job I don't think I would mind.
 

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Serac

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I was going to take a class for the winter semester. It didn't work out, but I was thinking of taking a statistics class for selfish reasons.

But more of what I was wondering is what was the actual process like?

I should say I know a tiny bit about how circuits work because as I said earlier, I was going to ITT Tech. What I didn't say is that I was going for electrical engineering. I dropped out intentionally from that school because I saw the kind of job offers that graduating students were getting and I didn't feel a degree that cost a lot of money was worth a job that pays $15/hour for something that had nothing to do with the field I was putting so much work into. When I was going there, I was one of the most dedicated students the school had (but there were prolly only around 150 students so it doesn't say too much) and I was getting A's in classes almost no one gets an A in. Very ironically, one of these classes was an English class. The other was AC DC Electronics. I actually enjoyed the material. I was not very good about reading the textbooks, but I did all the homework and labs and got good grades on them. Electrical engineering is still a job I don't think I would mind.
Sounds like you have the potential to be an excellent student. Much more so than myself.

The process was quite standard, I would imagine. Daily lectures (which I very rarely attended), group sessions (which I usually attended) and an exam at the end of semester which accounted for 100% of the mark. But the bulk of the studies was just me and co-students studying on our own, sometimes contacting professors with questions etc.

I studied in Scandinavia and UK though. I know it works somewhat differently in US, where there is much more interaction with the professors, and the mark being based on assignments in addition to the exam, etc.
 

QuickTwist

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#24
Sounds like you have the potential to be an excellent student. Much more so than myself.

The process was quite standard, I would imagine. Daily lectures (which I very rarely attended), group sessions (which I usually attended) and an exam at the end of semester which accounted for 100% of the mark. But the bulk of the studies was just me and co-students studying on our own, sometimes contacting professors with questions etc.

I studied in Scandinavia and UK though. I know it works somewhat differently in US, where there is much more interaction with the professors, and the mark being based on assignments in addition to the exam, etc.
I don't think I have more potential to be an excellent student than yourself. Reason for this is while I do try very hard when I do something, it's a fast burning light. I end up quitting. I have problems sticking with things.

Thanks for explaining that.
 

Serac

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#25
I don't think I have more potential to be an excellent student than yourself. Reason for this is while I do try very hard when I do something, it's a fast burning light. I end up quitting. I have problems sticking with things.

Thanks for explaining that.
You need a vision for yourself, man. If one is just going through the motions then yes, it will work in the short term but in the end one will either fail or just barely scrape by. No amount of self-discipline can make up for a lack of vision.
 

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You need a vision for yourself, man. If one is just going through the motions then yes, it will work in the short term but in the end one will either fail or just barely scrape by. No amount of self-discipline can make up for a lack of vision.
Oddly enough, I think it's more that I do have a vision for myself, but my lack of self-discipline is what I have more problems with.
 

QuickTwist

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I took the test seen here. The results were not good. I am not sure if I want to share them or not so I won't.
 
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