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  1. #1

    High-Level Thinker, Low-Level Student

    I'm sure plenty of you can either relate or have a friend who fits this description: possesses above-average intelligence with high aptitude for critical thinking, discourse, and comprehension; yet earns mediocre grades, is easily distracted, and is a habitual procrastinator.

    This would be me. I'm not going to get up on a podium and tout whatever intelligence I think I have. I'm currently very frustrated by anyone who comes at me "but you're so smart! You can do it!" because if that was a solution, I would be beyond fine.

    What I'm asking for is help. A furry forum may not be the best place to do it, but I thought I'd try.

    What's wrong with me? How do I break this cycle and force myself to develop the needed discipline to produce work to my full potential?

    Has anyone else been struggling with this in their lives? How did/do you find success?

    Note: I've tried medication and sanctioned assignment deadline extensions. Neither drugs nor additional time seem to help me get things done, though I plan to restart my perscription soon for another stint.

  2. #2
    Drugs aren't the answer.

    Scratch that, legal drugs aren't the answer.

    Your problem is motivation. People do what they want when they want to. When you've got something due, you're not thinking about doing it, you're thinking about what it will cost you in terms of free time. You need to turn that thought process around and look at it the other way, what will happen if you DON'T do well?

    I'll tell you, nothing put a fire under my ass like having to retake a class.
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  3. #3
    That's me! Hewge's Avatar

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    You could just lack stimulation, causing you to be unmotivated with a lot of things. You should try to find something to grab your interest and inspire you a bit, maybe?

    Idk why you're taking drugs unless it's for a legit illness.

  4. #4
    Senior Zeitzbach's Avatar
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    Something is wrong if critical thinking and common sense led you to believe using medication will help you earn better grade.

    Here's a trick to doing most things better. WORK OFF SOLUTIONS. It's the easiest and laziest method ever to be able to understand something in an hour or so. Most professors love to use popular textbooks. Go ahead and download the solution manual, read the solution and write it in your own language. Oh, it's a homework? Congrat. Turn that in for max point because it's correct and they can't detect it for plagiarizing because it is written in a student-ish way now assuming you aren't lending it to anyone else.

    This solves pretty much any subjects with calculation involved. You can get a C+ or a B only studying a day before the exam depending on the mean, which is already good enough unless you're aiming for the scholarship.

    To fix the rest, find the most enjoyable way or the easiest way to work on it. Easiest way helps you manage time so you know the amount of time you can procrastinate on and estimate how long a certain level of task require. The enjoyable way allow you to keep on working. THrow in a random cake reward for completion and tada.

  5. #5
    Premium User Krespo's Avatar


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    Intelligence can only get you so far in school, you need to work hard too. The problem with a lot of smart-types is they never learned to study correctly because usually they'd just fly through everything no problem. Without proper study habits you have no chance of getting high grades.

    Decide how important this is to you, and either sort it out or be content with 'mediocre'.

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    Didn't try, Succeeded Fay V's Avatar



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    Do you mean drugs like ADD and ADHD meds? I know that path OP, it's a pretty prevalent study aid in graduate school and I know a few people that use it to get focused on one thing, or give them a boost to do well on an assignment. If you have a diagnosis from a doctor and you trust it then yes, the prescriptions will help. I have a dear friend that's highly intelligent but suffers from ADHD and when they are off their meds it's like trying to direct an 8 year old. Even when they are on their meds it's just bringing them to normal functioning levels.

    I've done this most of my life, scrapping through highschool because I didn't give a shit, almost entirely fucking up my college GPA the first two years. What helped me is two things. 1. Focusing on purpose and the requirements. There's a difference between a paper that will get an A and the paper of your full potential, the A is easier. Focusing on what you have to do and what is required just makes it a bit easier and you can break it into more palatable chucks. If it's a four page paper it's easier to just sit down and write a thesis, then a couple points you want to address, then expand that out. Starting small to get into it really helped.
    2. "Double-thought" for many assignments I told myself I'd have such and such day to complete it by which was about 2 weeks before the actual paper is due. Even if I failed I'd have some time. The trick is convincing yourself that that is the deadline and to sit down to actually start.
    3. A "study buddy" if I'm having trouble I found it helps to just hang out with a friend, then when I start veering off they point me toward work again.

  7. #7
    Heretic! FlynnCoyote's Avatar


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    Hahaa, I am the same.

    I say am because I never bothered to fix the issue. It only seemed to start with... hmm, late high school?

    I was Dux in grade school, but gave no fucks by the time I was going for my school certificate. I do know the feel, but I don't have a solution for it. I pretty much just do whatever I need to do at work until I get to come home and draw furry porn or paint wargame minis.

    I guess it is a case of getting something that holds your focus. :/
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  8. #8
    Senior SirCoffeecup's Avatar
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    OP lacks motivation, plain and simple.

    I think I'm pretty much the same as you, flew through the lower grades and got good grades without much of an effort, but suddenly they dropped as age caught on. I just never arsed to study because I never had to before.
    I've never heard of anyone taking meds to boost their focus/motivation here in my country, so that's not exactly a solution I'd consider. It sounds like cheating anyway.

    If you like vidya, try HabitRPG. Might help you pick up those books and read/do homework

    PS: Afaik Weasyl is an art forum, not a furry forum. There's just a lot of furfags here.

  9. #9
    Senior Ruggy's Avatar
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    This is exactly why I hate it when we tell kids "you're so smart!" as if some intrinsic quality in them is worth praising. If being "smart" is truly something inborn, that's like praising people for being tall or having green eyes. ("That was a smart way to solve that problem!" at least rewards an action, not something inherent.) Makes it easy to fall into the trap of thinking, "bler, I'm smart, just unmotivated." (Or thinking, "oh god, I don't understand this, but I'm supposed to be smart, but I can't fail, WHAT DO I DO" and finding challenges unnecessarily stressful.) All it leads to is complacency. Complacency doesn't do anyone any good, particularly when it leads to a sense of having disappointed everyone and feeling baffled as to why all that potential everyone said you had went unfulfilled.

    A less "talented" hard worker will beat out an unmotivated whiz-kid any day.

    Quote Originally Posted by SirCoffeecup View Post
    I've never heard of anyone taking meds to boost their focus/motivation here in my country, so that's not exactly a solution I'd consider. It sounds like cheating anyway.

    If you like vidya, try HabitRPG. Might help you pick up those books and read/do homework
    Meds, eh. It seems like they're over-prescribed, and they were certainly abused in my circles. But I'm nobody's doctor, can't presume to make that claim. What I would ask is if anything else is being done beyond medication, assuming there's some attention deficit disorder involved.

    If it's something legitimately disruptive in your life, medication probably shouldn't be the only thing you've got going on. What happens if you're too broke to go to the doctor to get your prescription refilled? What if your meds are lost? Any medication for ADD/ADHD is, as far as I'm aware, a controlled substance, and they only prescribe so many of those per person per month.

    Learning coping skills for whatever you've got going on will make you feel less dependent on external factors; less helpless in the face of whatever disorder. (I'm not speaking from the point of view of someone with ADD, here, just someone with bucketloads of anxiety and obsessive thought patterns.) How you do this will probably depend on the severity of what you've got going on. Maybe it'll be with HabitRPG (that looks really cool, btw) and/or ColdTurkey (which blocks websites/programs of your choosing for whatever amount of time you need.) Maybe it's disruptive enough that counseling could help you build a toolkit of ways to deal with whatever's going on in your brains. I don't know, I'm not you and I can't judge.

    Are grades actually important to you? Do they serve a purpose to you that furthers a life goal that you hold dear? It seems like you think they ought to be important, and if that's the case, whatever solution you find is going to involve changes on your end somehow. (I've always found "just go do it, jeeze" to be relatively unhelpful advice, but taking steps to reduce distractions and perhaps setting a schedule and sticking to it may help. Hell, get someone who'll hold you accountable to bug you about studying and homework, and don't lie to them and say you've done it.)

    At some point you've got to stop saying "I should probably do this" or "I wanna do ___ someday" and find a way to make it happen. Goes for grades, just like it goes for anything in life. There's only so long you can feel like you're at the mercy of whatever circumstances you're in before you start to feel like you've missed out on life.
    Formerly gorgonops. I do art-type stuff.

  10.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #10
    Rattlesnake Flavored RedSavage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macchabee View Post
    I'm sure plenty of you can either relate or have a friend who fits this description: possesses above-average intelligence with high aptitude for critical thinking, discourse, and comprehension; yet earns mediocre grades, is easily distracted, and is a habitual procrastinator.
    What is it that drives you creatively or intellectually? In what ways are you able to push yourself?

    You need to find something and push yourself. You have to WANT it. Medicine won't do that. There's no magic trick or advice to it. You just DO. This is a subtle concept that people either discover and use or discover when it's too late. It's up to you do figure out which one it will be.

    Basically---find a passion. If you have intellectual thought and ideas that qualify you as "above average intelligence" then you have to channel it. CHANNEL it into a passion or dream or it's nothing. It's kind of useless and hanging around on its own with nothing too attach it too. It's no way to operate.

    Oh---and if what you want to do requires schooling or going to college? Guess what you need to learn to dedicate yourself to? That's right, getting the grade. If you want it bad enough, then you'll do exactly that.
    Last edited by RedSavage; 05-27-2014 at 11:36 PM.

 

 

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