T Nation

I Am Frank Grimes


Maybe someone can offer me some input or cheer my whining ass up because shit has really hit the fan hear in college. It is only my freshman year and I am stressed out as hell. ALL I do is study. That is it. I watch zero hours of Tv, play zero video games, go to no parties, and yup you guessed it female interaction is the bare minmimum. Why am I such a social hermit you ask? Well, for starters, I am so dumb it is ridculous.

The only reason I have ever gotten any good grades was because my work ethic when it comes to school is outstanding. I am willing to do whatever it takes to succeed in an academic setting. But it is coming to the point where shear effort is not enough, and not having it up top is really starting to bite me in the ass. I study countless hours, seek help from professors and tutors, but am still hanging on by my fingernails. Some say I should study less, but why should I study less if I am not understanding the material. My study habits are fine, but info doesn't sink. What the hell is there left to do? Any thoughts?

I refuse to change majors or take less credits like some pussy communications major. The way I see it is this: why should some smart asshole who barely puts any effort in and has the natural intellegence to get by no matter what(like those who got low gpa's but high SAT's in high school) be entitled to more priviliges than I am? What did they do to deserve their success that I did not? Any thoughts?


As one of those who never had to study, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the world needs garbage men as much as it needs doctors. Your post is just as silly as me whining because Shaq makes more money than me, has more toys than me, and is more famous than me just because he is tall. What did he do to deserve all of that?


The difference is not being like shaq is the differnce between fame and a normal but yet probally still successful life. While my scenario is going to determine whether I become somewhat successful or transform into a complete nobody who could not make it through college and has to become some townie who works at Wal-Mart. Not being as tall as Shaq has little impact on your life, not being able to get through college will have a big impact on mine



Dude.. You are way better off than a smart person who has no work ethic. I know TONS of slackers out there with S.A.T's in the 1400's G.P.A.s over 4.0 and they have shitty 30K/ year jobs working in retail. or worse yet altogether unemployed.. (unless you count packing fat bowls in their parents basement as a job). The world belongs to GRINDERS. People who maybe haven't been dealt perfect hands but who refuse to give up. Give yourself a break.. You'll be just fine

(nice frank grimes reference btw.. )


As one of the naturally brilliant but terribly lazy who graduated high school with a 31 ACT comp and 3.2 GPA I think the world should bend to allow me to excel and express my genius without having to jump through the same hoops you dull but studious types have to.

Not really. What I really think is that there's no free lunch. Or, to use another cliche, the grass is always greener. Itm ight sound awesome to be brilliant and lazy and just skate by, but I'm sure it's no better then the opposite. Even if you aren't very "smart" you can probably excel if you really want to in whatever it is you want. You might have to work 100 times harder then me, but that's just the way it is. Life is a sumbitch.

Besides, it seems to me like the dumbass honors students I know who study their live's away do pretty damn well for themselves considering their lack of intellectual go-power.


Work hard, bro.

College is hard for me too, sucks having a real major...damn elementary ed. majors...

I'm reasonibly smart, but having to develop study skills sucked ass for me.

Now I realize that studying and working hard is the only way to do things.

If you really feel you're just not that bright then there's nothing wrong with moving to a major that clicks more with you.

You didn't specify what your major is, there's nothing wrong with majoring in something easier, you can get a pretty good job with a lot of the easier majors.

Maybe just re-evaluate your strengths, your major may not be one of them. I could study something all day but if it wasn't what I was naturally adept at figuring out it wouldn't sink in either.


I am a soon-to-be-graduated Communication Studies major and I take offense to your statement. In fact, I would argue that I am smarter than you, despite my choice of major, almost solely because I knew I would enjoy my life more as a Communication Studies student -- both during school and afterward.

Do not judge people by their majors. It is juvenile and shows poor reasoning skills. The courseload in a Communication Studies major may be lower than that of, say, an Engineering or Math major, but that doesn't preclude me from being more successful in business and happier in life than you ever will be after pursuing what you deem a more advanced and less "pussy" choice of studies.


So you refuse to change your major or lessen your courseload even though you are not able to grasp the material?...Need I remind you that typically much of what you study at university is involved in your profession?


From my experience, those who had difficult majors and succeeded well with relatively minimal studying fell into 1 of 2 categories:

  1. Accountacy majors, for example, had close relatives who were accountants were exposed to many concepts at a young age. If both parents were accountants there were probably countless conversations at the diner table about accounting. This kind of exposure is priceless. Even if you thought you werent paying attention - it sunk in.

  2. They're cheaters. When I started mingling AFTER my second year in college I realized that tons of students knew some TA that would give them the exam in advance or at least let them know what not to study etc..

Usually students study around the clock if they dont fit into the two above mentioned groups.

Of course there are the natural geniuses. They're usually on internet forums and easy to spot. They'll claim to bench 600lbs and squat 700lbs, have a 12 inch dick, and make at least half a million $ per year. :slight_smile:

Lastly, don't believe everything you hear. Many students claim not to study much when actually they do. Why do they do this? Maybe to seem cooler, or simply because they dont want to seem stupid if they get a bad grade and informed everyone that they studied like mad before the exam.


Hey man, I never questioned communication majors' intellegence or stated that they would have a lack of legitmate buisness opportunities. Hell, I would probaly even argue that your smarter than me. But the fact remains that your workload is nothing compared to that of a Health Science major. Your road to the degree is a alot easier, and you would have to agree with that.

And just to let you know, I do not view your major as more satisfying in the long run. So don't assume that you will be happier than me because your a communications major( unless I continue to stuggle and eventually have to leave school or something to that extreme, then of course you will be happier.)

For me, I am doing what I want to do. And because I have to go through hell to get what I want, while you not so much, does not mean I will not love what I do. I was not judging what type of people you were, I was simply saying how much easier your path was.


Yes, thank you. I was aware of this. Let me be more specific to my struggles. I am a PT/AT major and am not struggling with PT/AT courses. What I am struggling with is the damn chemistry, Calculus, and probaly physics next year. (Though Physics pertains to PT and AT more than Calculus and chemistry).

Problem is I need to have a 3.0 before third year to stay in the program; failing chem and calc will prevent this. So I am frustrated that I may not be able to proceed with what I want to do, because the department feels that if I can't solve various quantative problems I will not be successful in the long run, which I disagree with.(though many argue against my opinion. )


well there's always the option of quitting,and being stuck in some screwed up job in some steel mill,that you hate every day(like me),you'll have lots of time to party and chase women later. grab yourself by the pair and study.


Sounds like you've decided what you're going to do, which is stick with this major.

Keep with it and work hard, and you'll do well. If you don't get outstanding grades, it sounds like youa re motivated and that will at least impress some professors. Treat them like humans, not just sources of information, and you'll make friends with some of them.

Ask them to help you land internships/jobs -- some professors do more of this sort of thing than others do, once you figure out who they are you should be set. If they like you, they'll help you out. Once you get into the business world, very little depends on your academic grades.

As for surviving college:
Don't panic. You got in. You can do this.

Pay careful attention to the way you study -- few college students pay much attention to study skills. I urge you to go check out the following book: "Handbook of College Reading & Study Strategy Research" edited by Flippo and Caverly. It should be at your school's library, if it's not ask for it on interlibrary loan. Chapters 4, 5, and 9 are worth careful consideration. They outline methods of study and test prep. Implement them.

Track the length of time you spend studying each chapter using different techniques. Treat this like a workout log. If you record this information diligently, you should be able to discern patterns that will show you what your best learning style is.

I find that reading a passage then explaining it in different words aloud to myself is the best way to learn. Then, I explain it to someone else later.

Good luck -- and chin up, this is America. Hard work counts for a lot.

PS -- I have two uncles. One of them is very smart, the other has a work ethic. One of them does high-level engineering for a defense contractor and has hti a ceiling in terms of how far his career can go. The other one started a construction and development company, has built several hundred homes over the last decade, was named entrepeneur of the year in his industry, has been written about in books, and I'm guessing has a few million dollars.

Like I said, this is America -- you have to work for it.


I never watched TV or plated video games in college.

WhenI saw Remember the 80's on VH1 I was stunned by hoow much I didn't know about TV or trends in the 80's.

Make the sacrifice. It is worth it. But you MUST make time for the ladies.


Hey eyver, try not to be so thin skinned. I'm sure that jimmyjames meant no personal attacks towards you or your major. However, from the perspective of an engineering student, I can assure you that besides course volume differences (generally about 15-20 credit hours greater for an engineering degree), an engineering cirriculum requires (on average) a greater amount to study time in order to learn material.

I'm not going to call Communication Studies a "pussy" major, but I believe that most people who have gone through any engineering course in their life will tell you that the differences between the two arenas of study are pretty severe.

Jimmyjames, being a freshman sucks, especially if you're in a tough major. You'll get in the groove eventually, but you can speed that process a whole helluv a lot by getting involved in clubs and getting out a little bit. Even though it may not seem like you have time, making time for yourself is one of the most important things. It's kind of like weight training. You'll begin to make negative progress if you overtrain.

Take time to do whatever it takes to get you relaxed for a little bit. Your sanity will thank you.


well i am one of those people that used to slide by. i got great grades in highschool and on my SAT and i never really had a problem with the material, just the busy work. now it seems like that is all catchin up to me. i am majoring in physics but i have absolutely no studying capabilities.

right now i am struggling b/c on top of all the bullshoot gen ed requirements, i have physics, diff eq, and lab work to do. the main problem with that is that i would rather be on here readin the forums than doin work for my classes- which shows on my subpar exams.

good luck with your work, if you push yourself you can get to where you want... somethin i now need to learn.


Drop your freaking course load. My cousin used to have problems in Cal.` I used to tutor him in that subject and he was by no means alone. I am giving you the same advice I would give anyone struggling like that. Quit trying to be something you are not and drop your load so that you can concentrate on one hard class at a time.

If that requires you to stay in school an extra year, that is much better than flunking the hell out of college because you were simply to proud to drop some classes. Those grades STAY on your permanent record and will be looked at by any job you apply for unless you go to grad or professional school (at which point, your performance there becomes the larger focus of interest).

As for free time, we all had to make sacrifices in school. I have a pretty good memory, but it still required me to find a quiet place so all of my focus could be driven into that one subject to get it all in. Distractions prevented that.

There were many nights where, instead of that party on campus, I was in the music building in an empty classroom memorizing chemical structures of carbohydrates and the steps of the Kreb Cycle. You do what you have to do for YOU to succeed. It doesn't matter what gifts anyone else has. We all have weaknesses that come along with those gifts. You simply need to learn where you are strong at and play your hand in that direction more than the others. No one can figure that out but you.


You're bitching about a health studies major? You shouldn't rag on com. studies majors when you're major isn't very rigorous if you remove the chemistry, calc and chem, basically all the stuff you're saying you're struggling with. Some would say it's not too rigorous that stuff included.


Awesome post.


Some of that could also be the simple fact that he doesn't really want to know those subjects.