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I wasn't really aware of how stressed I am, but I like what I am studying and I want to enjoy that success again. I know that the grading system in university is different than in High school, so I'm aiming much lower which is to at least get 70 or above. Before I was aiming for an 80, but I never achieved that grade so I let go of it and decreased my goal aim. Most of my biology courses are pre-requisites for next term courses, so if I don't get above 63 I can't get into my next courses so I won't have anything to take next term at university.
If I get one more mark below 63, I will be on academic probation. I just want to make sure I'm in the average range. I know it's okay to fail sometimes and that the world isn't going to end. But I feel happy when I'm not in the failing range, so I can't convince myself to be happy with letting go and failing an exam or two. I want to give it my best so I won't have any regrets, and that I will be happy with my effort.
I guess I just can't understand why my studying methods in high school don't work anymore. I guess I just don't understand the university system and maybe that's why I don't have control.
However, I don't live with my family. They are overseas. So it was a bit of a shock to see my mother in my dream and that she was there for me when I tried to explain to her how I got cheated out of the situation. She's the kind of person who hates seeing me stressed, and always tells me to quit when things are too hard on me. But I'm not a quitter when it comes to things I enjoy, except for calculus. I did so well at it in High school, but the fact that I failed it in university doesn't bother me one bit. I'm just upset that I have to take it again to graduate.
I also don't understand why the mother of those two kids took their sides when she knew the truth, and she tried to change my values to the point that it made me cry. Because I felt that an authoritative figure like her agrees with what her children did, rather than to justify her children's actions. I guess I just felt cheated from the rules of authority.
Yes, when it comes to calculus, I do require more than one textbook to understand the concept rather than just memorize it. I have a 4 year high school background in getting good grades for biology and mathematics/calculus, so it's really hard to figure out what skill I missed earlier in order to help me progress now. But I will take your advice for calculus, since I am not very happy with my textbook by Thomas. I am taking Calculus for the Life Sciences, where the material is much more condensed compared to other calculus courses offered.
As for biology, especially for genetics, it requires more than just reading and understanding, because there is a lot of information to process, and such details that dig deep into the core of DNA. Even the naming is based on codes that can overlap with other DNA processes, so if I'm not paying attention I could misread a gene transcription code, etc... It is a very competitive field, and I have to choose my words carefully for the short answer questions because they are compared with everyone else's answers to see whether we understand or if we're using the wrong word choice. So we can't always re-phrase or put the definitions in our own words. It almost feels like I'm studying how to write my answer, rather than actually writing down how I really understand something.
But anyway, I have been writing down questions formulated after reading a slide in the powerpoint lecture, or a page in the textbook just so I can tackle the answer in more than 1 way. I also stick with my T.As rather than the professors, since they are more experienced with common mistakes that students make. They are also more familiar with the kind of questions that will be asked, so I do depend on their advice. All this has only lead me to scoring between 65 and 70s, and I do see some slight improvements, but it's been two years, and no 80's yet.
I will keep trying different methods, so I'll see where it gets me, because I have no problem in understanding the material, it's just a matter of knowing how to present it. Maybe that's why I stress out a lot, because I feel like my effort and understanding is not being reflected in my marks. When I get a bad mark, I don't feel depressed or doubt myself for not knowing any better, I just get upset with how future employers, and other people will look at the marks and not feel the same. I have enough hands-on experience in the field, I just need to prove myself through my marks and that is what I am still trying to figure out.
I decided to only take three courses this term but each course comes with a 3 hour tutorial and 2 hour practical. So it filled up my entire schedule. Next term I have 4 courses, but no tutorials or practicals, So I would only have to concentrate on lecture material and the textbook. Hopefully the content will be much more condensed.
Thank you for your help, and time.