I feel so empty.

I can't keep up with what is being teached to us in the mathematical courses. Everything else is fine. "Algorithm and data structures" aka Info A (Programming in C++) and "Computer engineering" aka Info C (details of how a CPU, RAM etc. works) is understandable, but when it comes to math I, completely, am lost.

2-4 hours drive to university and 2-4 hours drive back to my home each day. Two oral examinations each week in Info A and Info C. Three assignments in Info A, Info C and math.

I was so naive to believe that I would be more free and have more free time as a student haha.

Maybe I should switch to a university of applied sciences. The classical university is too theoretical for me, but in the same time I know that I can't keep up with the time when I have to build a circuit in the university of applied sciences.

I am able to design and build a circuit, but I am slow. Probably because I am checking many times if I did it properly before testing it.

To my fellow German devRanters who have studied or tried to study: You all just read my situation and my thoughts. Am I wrong about what I am thinking about a university of applied sciences? How are the mathematical courses there in terms of difficulty?

If mathematics is at the same difficulty, I will try to do something else that has nothing to do with college. It just won't get into my brain.

  • 7
    2-4 hour commute? That's insane. Not that there isn't something to the idea that some people are more cut out for theory and some for applied, but that long of a drive would make either pretty tough.
  • 13
    A couple of things.

    1) At uni, you are having math for the first time. At school, that was just counting, not math.

    2) At school, each lesson was 80% repetition and 20% new. At uni, it's the reverse.

    3) Hopefully, you had math as advanced course (Leistungskurs) in high-school. If not, that shortcut would now come to bite you.

    4) Ever more pupils pass through high school, and that was reached by lowering standards. The downside is that high schoolers often have a misadjusted view of their capabilities.

    5) And if you have been to high school in states like Berlin or Bremen, what you actually have is more like a junior high school (Realschulabschluß).

    When I was at uni, we had 50% loss within the first year, and that was normal.

    What you can do: cut down the commuting time, 4 hours per way is just insane. And you need to acquire efficient learning strategies because the school memorising way won't do. Ask for some uni counselling on that one, or a student body (Fachschaft).
  • 4
    I tried to study the applied sciences way, the math is the fucken same.

    But tbh I think living near the uni would help a whole lot in your case. 4-8 hours just being nowhere can't be good for your mental health.
  • 2
    Math is hard.
    Sorry to say it.

    My tip: If there are exercises, do them.


    I'm currently studying at an UAS and I can tell: You will have math, too. My university has reduces math to the least legal allowed amount: Two semesters normal math (Math I and Math II), one semester applied Math (Cryptography, as I study "IT-Security and Mobile Systems") and one semester theoretic CS (logic algebra etc.).

    The great thing is: As our lecturer for Math 1+2 is only responsible to IT students (50-100 /Semester), he intentionally teaches only relevant stuff. As he found out we could not keep up, he changed topic to teaching easier and more relevant.
    Maybe our professor is just extraordinary in his job, and other UAS' professors might be responsible for more students.
  • 0
    @sbiewald but applied you tangible examples don't you? Those are easier to visualize that their theorectical counterparts. Important for some people, less for others
  • 5
    @Fast-Nop Ah, politicians at their best. Don't solve the problem just readjust the criterias used to asses if there is a problem. An that from a country that thinks that they know better than anyone else, what the EU needs. "We destroyed our internet with ridiculous copyright policies, so should all of you. Article 13."
  • 2
    2-4 hours per commute? DB at its finest!
  • 2
    Damn and I thought my 45 min were agonizing. Not to mention the delays each time some dude was like:

    Let me just
    git commit -m "Die"
    git push origin master --force
    on the tracks.

    I dropped out of uni after 2 1/2 semesters because of maths and went into a apprenticeship. And thank God I did that. Best decision of my life.

    Well fuck you FAU TechFak. I miss your Leberkäsweckle though.
  • 2
    Math is a bitch, especially since most university profs see teaching just as a distraction from their research and half ass any lecture before the 4th or 5th semester. If you really dislike it I could recommend the university of applied science in Cologne for computer engineering. They moved most of the computer science courses to another campus and only left the profs who really couldn't care less, giving out top marks for at best mediocre shit. Their maths is pretty much Abi level (actually I think my Grundkurs Abi was a bit harder) but on the downside they require you to learn everything else on your own because, well, the profs (most at least) are as capable as mountain goats.
  • 1
    please remind me to give you an answer tonight
  • 3
    First off, get a flat nearby, such long commutes will only make your studies harder, due to being more tired and having less time. Especially if you drive on your own.

    Don't know if you're first year or not, but from my experience it's kind of normal to be overwhelmed 1st year of college. Since we're not from same country, take this with a grain of salt, but I'd suggest to try push trough at least to 2nd year.

    Writting down everything and understanting everything can also be hard to do. So if your proffesor offers print-outs, use them, so you can better follow the lecture.
  • 2
    It sucks how most high schools teach maths. It's not your fault, but sooner or later you'll have to come to terms that most maths you've had before uni was a total waste of time and you need someone to explain it properly before you can catch up. Your best bet is probably to find a tutor, though you have some great YouTube videos explaining various concepts (3brown1blue for example).
  • 1
    Can you help from a tutor? I got a D in High School Algebra only because I had a neighbour tutor me. I could only get to factoring, but the Algebra teacher understood that I made a good faith effort. The neighbour is now allowed one hour visits outside the strait jacket I put him into.
    Him: Explains a simple math problem he's just written out. Takes his time, is patient. "Do you follow?"
    Me: Nope
  • 1
    I recently dropped out of Uni thus not the best advisor but:
    I second FN advice to visit the student body. Get close to them and use their resources thats gonna make it a lot easier
    Also you might be right about the difference of general uni and applied science. I've heard a lot about uni just teaching theoretical stuff that no one needs outside of research. In the end choosing generel uni might just be choosing hard mode.
  • 1
    @M1sf3t I was searching for a flat in that city, but I am also thinking about dropping it.
    And yes. It is insane. Having to wake up at 5 am and having to come home at around 6 pm. It's not great. I can tell you that haha.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop wow the reverse part really got me haha.

    Our vocational school didn't have that "Leistungskurs" system.

    I got the "Fachhochschulreife" degree with the "Staatlich geprüfter informationstechnischer Assistent (aka. ITA)".

    I'm not coming from Berlin or Bremen.

    Didn't know that the standards have been lowered. Guess that I'm not supposed to be studying at all lol.

    50% loss is insane, but also understandable.

    4 hours are indeed insane. I would be happy if it stayed at 4 hours, but often Deutsche Bahn surprises me and I come home at 8 pm.

    Thanks for the method advice. Hmmm... do you maybe know some method names that I can look up to right now?
  • 1
    @nitwhiz trust me it isn't good for my mental health. I realised that I get more and easily aggressive for no reason or because of simple reasons. I wasn't like this a few months ago.
  • 2
    @M1sf3t Partially. But unfortunately math remains math, and especially the first semesters are a bit... theoretic, even on an UAS (this is _regulated_, otherwise it is hard for the uni to get accreditation). Maths (the basics remains the same) is per se a theoretic subject and examples are mostly impossible to give. But still: It really depends on the professor. Our sometimes gave exersices about calculation in World of Warcraft. Funny to do, and nevertheless relevant.
    The previous professor was pretty old schooled and - as far I've heard - not like this one.

    Additionally the first semesters are - at some universities - intentionally hard to do, to filter students (so called "Siebesemester").

    Please don't give up, I'm sure you will find your way.
  • 0
    @shakur Reminder.
  • 0
    @sbiewald that's a cool professor. Thanks for the tip
  • 1
    @JFK422 yep. DB at it again. As always.
  • 0
    @fuckwit the "person decides to commit seppuku" part is relatable.
    I see that from time to time, too.
  • 0
    @Godisalie thanks for the advice. Will definitely check it out.
  • 0
  • 0
    @WildOrangutan it's my first semester.
  • 0
    @hitko will ask the Tutors and watch the YouTube channel's videos. I saw some PI videos already. He explains it very well.
  • 1
    @bols59 we have something called "Tutorium" in which Tutors show us how the professor did what he did.
    Do you mean just visiting such events? If that's what you mean, I'm already doing that.
  • 0
    @Jedidja gotcha. Thanks!
  • 2
    @-ANGRY-STUDENT- Dunno how methods are being called, so I'll try an analogy.

    The main point is that for uni math, you can't do rote learning anymore. You need to understand how and why that stuff is like it is - and then it becomes easier.

    Avoid learning formulae by heart - this isn't like learning a language and vocabulary. That's already an issue with school math, which is why girls often tend to struggle with math, but be good at languages. Wrong learning strategy for math.

    Let's compare it to getting from A to B. You could memorise how many steps, when to turn and stuff. That actually works within your own appartment. But when you go though the city, that method doesn't scale. Instead, you need to forget about the steps and instead understand your path in terms of "waypoints".

    All of a sudden, 2000 steps become a handful of waypoints, and that's easy enough again.
  • 2
    @-ANGRY-STUDENT- Also, math as language really sucks because it comes from times when paper was scarce. Look at it like at code, and all the hallmarks of bad code are there. Cryptic variable names, tons of indices lumped together - shit like that would fail in a code review.
  • 1
    @-ANGRY-STUDENT- I meant any help outside this class you can get and letting the professor know.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop as our mathematics class professor did say it:"You learn mathematics in college as a language". But he forgot that this language's quality is bad.
  • 1
    @bols59 I simply skipped the course rn. I will do it in the following semesters again.
  • 0
    @sbiewald I will tell you my experiences, because I want you to proceed, I couldn't make it.

    I started at an university, and realized that the system is awful, there were too many students, no real education, a mess in appointments for courses, practice lessons (if at all) and with the exams too. So I decided to start at an university of applied sciences, and realized that the system was well done, no mess with appointments and exam dates, but what I realized is, that the lessons did not teach me real stuff, it was much more about what the industry needs currently. I did not get enough of the stuff I liked, which was background information on how and why, things that I would need outside of the university as well. I decided to switch to another university of applied sciences, which had beginners math courses, and also was technical studies only, which proved to me, that it is possible to have all benefits and no negatives, sadly enough I am too burned out and can't finish it anymore.
  • 0
    @sbiewald my experiences showed to me:

    - moving to the city is good for time-saving
    - moving to the city is (usually) bad for health
    - switching to the right university is good at all
    - switching too many times is exhausting
    - working and studying is good for earning
    - working and studying is burn-out factor #1
  • 0
    @shakur My UAS is different to you university: In a course we are at most 35 / year. Also "the city" isn't much "a city" at all, rather a town (60'000 inhabitants), which still gives enough space.

    I agree that working and studying can be exhausting, and studies showed it significantly lowers grades on average.
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