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Undergrad and I'm already stressed!

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Be careful. Sociology, Political science, and other "subjective" programs are not as easy as they appear. Having incredible writing skills and being able to manipulate your papers to your TA and prof's likings will be a big factor. If you dont put in the time at some places, it just will not happen.

 

That being said, if the program has an easy rep then maybe you are onto something.

Hmmm, I have no idea of what is considered an easy program at the University of Ottawa. Currently I'm in political science and it hasn't been posing many problems for me. However, it's also not something I can see myself getting an A in. This is mainly because the course for this semester is focused on many different assignments rather than a large chunk of your grade being determined by an exam. I really don't know what to do.

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Man, this thread is so laced with dangerous as well as good advice that I barely know where to start. But here are the highlights:

 

1. For fuck's sake, put the LSAT books down and concentrate on the classes you are actually in. Stop feeding yourself some bullshit about how you're working hard in advance. You aren't. You are dicking around with something that allows you to dream and to procrastinate when you should be doing your schoolwork. DO NOT worry about the LSAT again until mid third year at earliest.

 

2. Stop trying to maneuver into some program or class that is objectively easier and simply take a subject that genuinely interests you and plays to your strengths. See point one above. If you are more interested in practicing for the LSAT than in learning the material in first year political science (which is actually pretty interesting, if you give a damn about it) then something is wrong. Don't ask us or anyone else what's "easy." That's idiotic. The things I find easy may not be easy for you. What you enjoy and are naturally good at - that's what's easy. Do that.

 

3. Don't accept mediocre performance so lightly. You're acting like your grades are just things that happen to you. Here's a blunter version of what was said before. You are in a general arts program at a not particularly competitive university. Your classes, based on the competition of your classmates, are already pretty easy. If you aren't doing well now, you won't do better just by wanting to improve. You have to figure out why you aren't getting A's and fast.

 

That's about it. Good luck.

 

Edit: In reply to your post above. You're saying it isn't hard but you can't get A's because ... why? What's easy? If you're saying it isn't hard to coast to a passing grade it never will be. Every idiot can do that. And I don't know why you feel uncomfortable with assignments and papers, but get used to it. You won't see classes where your whole grade is based on some memorization questions again. Maybe a very few of them, but that's it. From here on in it's writing and reasoning and papers. Get used to it, and figure out why you aren't doing as well as you need to.

Edited by Diplock
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Aren't all courses graded on a curve? If the course is easy for you, it's probably easy for most other people and vice versa for difficult subjects. In the end it's all a wash.

 

Pick a subject you enjoy but that will separate you from others in marks since you'll be better able to learn the material.

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Man, this thread is so laced with dangerous as well as good advice that I barely know where to start. But here are the highlights:

 

1. For fuck's sake, put the LSAT books down and concentrate on the classes you are actually in. Stop feeding yourself some bullshit about how you're working hard in advance. You aren't. You are dicking around with something that allows you to dream and to procrastinate when you should be doing your schoolwork. DO NOT worry about the LSAT again until mid third year at earliest.

 

2. Stop trying to maneuver into some program or class that is objectively easier and simply take a subject that genuinely interests you and plays to your strengths. See point one above. If you are more interested in practicing for the LSAT than in learning the material in first year political science (which is actually pretty interesting, if you give a damn about it) then something is wrong. Don't ask us or anyone else what's "easy." That's idiotic. The things I find easy may not be easy for you. What you enjoy and are naturally good at - that's what's easy. Do that.

 

3. Don't accept mediocre performance so lightly. You're acting like your grades are just things that happen to you. Here's a blunter version of what was said before. You are in a general arts program at a not particularly competitive university. Your classes, based on the competition of your classmates, are already pretty easy. If you aren't doing well now, you won't do better just by wanting to improve. You have to figure out why you aren't getting A's and fast.

 

That's about it. Good luck.

 

Edit: In reply to your post above. You're saying it isn't hard but you can't get A's because ... why? What's easy? If you're saying it isn't hard to coast to a passing grade it never will be. Every idiot can do that. And I don't know why you feel uncomfortable with assignments and papers, but get used to it. You won't see classes where your whole grade is based on some memorization questions again. Maybe a very few of them, but that's it. From here on in it's writing and reasoning and papers. Get used to it, and figure out why you aren't doing as well as you need to.

I appreciate your lengthy response but you do tend to make a lot of assumptions. But, I do agree with you on some parts. I realize I need to improve on my ability to properly write essays because I find that I lose marks based on structuring. I looked online for ways in which I can improve but there aren't many useful links I can find. Any advice as to how I can improve my essay writing? I've spoken to my profs and they agree that my ideas and supporting arguments are on point, I just need to improve the way I present them through my written work.

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Every university I've every been aware of has a writing centre. Yours is hardly a unique problem. So ... radical suggestion ... but perhaps use the resources available to you? Here, I googled it for you:

 

http://www.sass.uottawa.ca/welcome.php

I was aware of that resource, thank you though. I was looking for some more personal tips, yknow, like any methods you've found in your writing to help you succeed, etc. Since I do assume you are older than I.

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You do not have to take political science to prepare yourself for Law School.

 

Take whatever you think you can an easy A and if possible, change to any university that

 

give you an A with little effort.

 

I know many with disagree with me. The truth of the matter is an A from a lowest ranking

university will beat a B from any top ranking university every day.

 

Do not take this advice.  This is incredibly short sighted thinking and will end up burning you in the long run.

 

Forget about all the advice you get that boils down to ways to game the system.  Getting into law school is not the end goal.  Being an effective lawyer is.  Do you think that a practicing lawyer can switch to easier files?

 

This is the situation you want to be in:

 

Work hard in your undergrad.  Do what you love because this will make it more fun and makes you a more rounded and interesting person.

 

Learn study techniques, discipline, focus and time management.  Do not be afraid to ask questions in class if you do not understand something or to seek extra help.  

 

Learn how to learn.  You do not want to end up in law school and not know how to study/take notes effectively or not be able to focus on reading for hours.  These are skills you should be learning in undergrad.  Learn through doing now instead of your first semester of law school when you're being thrown into the fire.  

 

You want to be one of the people in law school that worked their butts off in undergrad and just have to continue those same habits in 1L and into articling and then practice.  Then your life will be fun and easy.

 

My $0.02

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Do not take this advice.  This is incredibly short sighted thinking and will end up burning you in the long run.

 

Forget about all the advice you get that boils down to ways to game the system.  Getting into law school is not the end goal.  Being an effective lawyer is.  Do you think that a practicing lawyer can switch to easier files?

 

This is the situation you want to be in:

 

Work hard in your undergrad.  Do what you love because this will make it more fun and makes you a more rounded and interesting person.

 

Learn study techniques, discipline, focus and time management.  Do not be afraid to ask questions in class if you do not understand something or to seek extra help.  

 

Learn how to learn.  You do not want to end up in law school and not know how to study/take notes effectively or not be able to focus on reading for hours.  These are skills you should be learning in undergrad.  Learn through doing now instead of your first semester of law school when you're being thrown into the fire.  

 

You want to be one of the people in law school that worked their butts off in undergrad and just have to continue those same habits in 1L and into articling and then practice.  Then your life will be fun and easy.

 

My $0.02

 

 

Do not take this advice

 

You need a high GPA if you want to go to law school

 

Ottawa area has more than one university

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I got a B+ average my first year at university,  I am now at an A average, and I will briefly tell you how I got there.

 

-Tests: Read the book, read the pdf/powerpoint, take notes, listen to or go to all lectures, and before exams I usually put in 1-2 12 hour study days (study groups help ask classmates or if class has a discussion online), as I have gotten further along, I try and put in more (8-12hr) days before tests if I can. A+'s are much harder to get than A's and need this type of dedication if you want them for the most part (at least for me).

 

-Assignments: If you get below 90% go and talk to the prof and the TA or both and ask them what you can do better, also ask them before the assignment is due and implement that into the assignment.

 

As far as law school goes, you are not ready for it right out of highschool, so there is no point on speculating if you are smart enough or dedicated enough or posess any other attribute "enough" just focus on grades right now, poli sci shouldnt be hard.

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I was aware of that resource, thank you though. I was looking for some more personal tips, yknow, like any methods you've found in your writing to help you succeed, etc. Since I do assume you are older than I.

 

I honestly don't know what you're looking for. If you have attended the workshops, got all the usual advice, and it still isn't working for you then I'd almost suggest you start a new topic asking about that. But until I learn otherwise (and yes, I'm about to make another assumption) I tend to imagine you've decided that getting good grades is all a game, that you only need the right tricks, and you'll have it solved. When students think this way (and yes, I've talked with more than a few) they want to dismiss the usual advice as being a smokescreen for suckers, and they want the real advice. This attitude never stops, btw. These are the same students who'll ask in a few years how to get a job, and by that they mean who they should be playing golf with. They don't want to hear that their shitty grades and minimal qualifications are a problem.

 

So, get the normal advice first. And actually try following it. Until you do, I can't imagine why you'd think that a few throwaway lines on an Internet forum are what you need to improve your writing. What you need is to suck up your pride, go to the damn workshops, and learn.

 

Those workshops are generally filled by good students, btw, and not bad ones. The good students attend because they want all the help they can get, and they don't care what anyone thinks of them. The poor students don't attend, because they are reluctant to admit to themselves they are poor, and they don't want to associate with "losers." Instead, they look for five second tips to improve their work.

 

The irony is not lost on anyone in university administration, that it's usually the good students using the resources intended to help weaker students. But what can you do? Good students are good because they want to work, and weaker students stay weak because they don't want to. Skill, talent, and other factors play a role, sure. But a lot comes down to effort. The only good advice I can give you is to put in the effort. Because enough of your classmates will make the effort that if you don't, unless you are phenomenally talented, they'll always push you out of the top grades.

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OP, this thread might be of interest you. I suspect the problems we have with essays are not the same, but a lot of the advice concerning the essay-writing process may be of real help to you.

 

Good luck.

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OP, this thread might be of interest you. I suspect the problems we have with essays are not the same, but a lot of the advice concerning the essay-writing process may be of real help to you.

 

Good luck.

That thread was very helpful, some great tips for improving essay writing. Thanks for sharing!

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