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I am a senior student doing a Computer Science degree. At the moment I have to be working on my advanced final project thus I have alot of software development concepts to grasp in short period. When I do research and I am looking at the multiple topics and systems that I have to learn and become acquainted with I become extremely stressed out instantly. I have no problem with learning these things because I do love Computer Science however I don't understand the reason I am feeling so stressed about it, what should I do?

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Did you start learning those topics, or are you just collecting them in your virtual "to do" list? Increasing your "to do" list without working on it can easily lead to anxiety. Start learning something right now, so you can also see items disappearing from the "to do" list. –  Viliam Búr Oct 10 '12 at 9:07
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3 Answers

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1) try to look at them one concept a time and intentionally forgetting about all the other topics at the moment

2) give every topic a time frame say you give link list 3 hours to study. not giving them time frame will increase stress and tension.

3) In 3 hours of linklist you lists down the topics you need to study for example what is link list? how it is implemented. different type of list and how are they implemented etc. don't try to go beyond those topics you have listed and 3 hours period.

4) while studing i think that making a weekly timetable is ideal of where you want to be a the end of each week.

5) lastly don't procastinate it will make things worse and remember you can't gobble all the topics in one night so just start working because slow and steady wins the race.

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When I do research and I am looking at the multiple topics and systems that I have to learn and become acquainted with I become extremely stressed out instantly

perhaps, knowing that you HAVE to do something takes some fun out of it? If I tell my son "you HAVE to eat this ice cream right now!" - guess what would be his response?

so, instead of taking this as a job to do, try a little re-framing - imagine this new thing as a new toy you just got; naturally you would be eager to explore it and play with it and so on

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Just separate between learning a new concept and memorizing a new concept.

Learning a new concept involves you understanding what it does and how to do it.

TL,DR: Read everything and try to understand but only memorize key facts.

Lets take the example linked list.

First read through your material (e.g. LinkedList). Then try to answer questions like:

  • Why do I need linked lists?
  • How can I implement a linked list in C (or any other language)?
  • What alternatives are there to linked lists?
  • ...

You do not have to memorize these.

Then you have to understand what you have to memorize. I think it is important to have a vivid image of the concept and a few key words like in Top Trumps.

enter image description here

In this example it would look something like this:

Linked List:

enter image description here

  • Indexing: O(n)
  • Insert/delete at beginning: O(1)
  • Insert/delete at end: O(1)
  • Insert/delete in middle: search time + O(1)
  • Wasted space: (average) O(n)
  • Alternatives: Array, Dynamic array, Balanced tree, Random access list

You should be able to remember the picture and all the keywords. Furthermore you should be able to remember every value for a given keyword.

The keywords and values depend on the typical questions you might get in tests.

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