All through my formal education in Physics I have seen a lot of people, including myself at one point, embarking on a mission to self-study physics. It is indeed a mission and a strenuous one at that. Physics is one of the fastest developing fields today, and because it is the oldest and has been the fastest developing field all through history, the amount of knowledge a student of physics has to learn to be able to justifiably comprehend the frontiers of research is greater than in any other field. This, on the one hand makes learning physics quite an enjoyment and accomplishment, and on the other it makes the task daunting and, almost certainly at some point down the road, discouraging.
Longtime Physics Forums member, micromass, about a week ago, wrote an “insight” article on the forum about self-studying physics/mathematics. Since I am about to begin rigorous self-studying sessions myself for the rest of this year, I decided to compile everything of note mentioned in the article as well as the ensuing discussion elsewhere on the Forum for future reference and ease for everyone who finds themselves in this position. By the time I compiled the discussions, I had poked around the rest of the Forum as well as leafed through older resources I had saved years ago and here they are in one tidy package.