General Question

yankeetooter's avatar

Has anyone gone back to school after a really long time and felt like a complete idiot (not literally) because you've forgotten so much stuff?

Asked by yankeetooter (9651points) March 28th, 2011

I’m currently taken Differential Equations, but I took Calculus I, II, and III some twenty-two years ago, and boy am I rusty!

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25 Answers

cockswain's avatar

That sounds incredibly difficult. I wouldn’t feel like an idiot for not remembering calculus after all those years. What such things usually make me feel are the limitations of the human brain, and I don’t fault myself for not remembering everything I’ve ever learned. I don’t know how the hell you can do diff eq while rusty on calculus. Good luck.

yankeetooter's avatar

@cockswain : Thanks! Hopefully I’ll be fine…I’ve got myself a Calculus textbook so I can review. It’s just frustrating to think of all the things I’ve forgotten…

cockswain's avatar

That’s life. It’s always quicker to relearn, but still takes a lot of time. That’s why we need nano-enhanced brains.

nir17's avatar

Kudos to you for going back to school, especially to take Diff EQ. I once knew calculus… two years ago… I’m currently in college, and I feel like an idiot even when I come back from a week long spring break. I can only imagine how hard it is to go back after twenty years. Don’t feel bad or be discouraged, I’m sure it’ll eventually come back to you!

yankeetooter's avatar

@nir17 : Thanks for your encouragement! I’m going to be spending a lot of time studying, lol!

Mariah's avatar

Gee, I’m worried I’ll have forgotten all my calculus after just ¾ of a year off from school! 22 years, yikes! Good luck!

yankeetooter's avatar

@Mariah : Thanks, and lol!

susanc's avatar

I went back to school at 35 in a field I’d never paid any attention to before. It was hell for awhile.
I didn’t have any of the groundrules, I didn’t have any of the concepts, I didn’t have the worldview. I thought either I was an idiot or my teachers were nuts. But it evened out.

Bellatrix's avatar

Yes. I think most mature aged students feel like fish out of water and that everyone knows more than they do. They don’t. And the young people who look so confident? They aren’t. My experience has been once mature aged students get past their nerves and get those first assignmenets back they thrive and do brilliantly. Pat yourself on the back for taking the step and good luck.

Nullo's avatar

Your brain starts to gum up fairly soon after you’ve stopped stretching it that direction.

john65pennington's avatar

I was halfway through my police academy, before I realized that the whole criminal code had been rewritten for the State of Tennessee.

This was a no-brainer. I had to clear the cobwebs out and rethink the criminal code.

elhaha1001's avatar

I don’t even dare to miss a specific class for a day because once I miss I would just go blank in class..

yankeetooter's avatar

@elhaha1001 : I had this problem in Physics the last two semesters. I had to be constantly studying or I would forget the material. I don’t know…too many margaritas? I never used to have this problem…

elhaha1001's avatar

@yankeetooter nah, nothing to do with margaritas.. i myself have been doing very bad in Physics class this semester :(

maybe it’s just not our strength or our interest (i used to get good grades in physics)

Just pick a day to relax, and i mean by going crazy (let it all out)
then after that back to studying again (it worked for me, don’t know for other people :P)

yankeetooter's avatar

@elhaha1001 : I actually gave two weeks notice at my second job, and this weekend will be my first weekend off-hurray! I ended up doing fairly well at Physics, but I had a really good professor. It helped that he reviewed any past Calculus as needed…The teacher I have now is not much of a teacher. The first two classes he hasn’t “taught” anything…both classes we read out of the textbook (yawn) and then worked through examples already in the book. He wants us to a Matlab project, but doesn’t seem to know enough about Matlab to teach us the program…it doesn’t seem fair…sorry if I’m whining…

elhaha1001's avatar

@yankeetooter well different lecturers different ways of teaching.

You are in college?

Usually we should also try to depend on someone else, like your best friend or someone else who is also clever and you should try to ask what you need, borrow their notes, copy them.

yankeetooter's avatar

@elhaha1001 Well, I take my own notes, but there is a classmate from my Physics class in there and we try to look out for each other. Of course, he’s super smart, so he helps me more than I help him, lol! I have a test in a week, so wish me luck!

mattbrowne's avatar

I attend seminars regularly. And I don’t have the feeling that I’ve forgotten so much stuff.

yankeetooter's avatar

@mattbrowne…but perhaps your secret is that you attend them regularly. Before I returned to school, I did not use my calculus for some 20 years.

Nullo's avatar

Heck, I’m trying to put together a cover letter right now, an activity that I haven’t done in a year, and it’s just not coming to me.

mattbrowne's avatar

@yankeetooter – It can be reactivated. It’s still buried somewhere in your long-term memory if you were passionate about it at the time.

yankeetooter's avatar

Yeah @mattbrowne , and I’m finding that out as I’m studying more. Some stuff really clicked last night, which is good because I have a test on Tuesday-Yikes!

mattbrowne's avatar

Good luck :-)

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