Right now, I am currently double majoring in communication and math. I never pictured myself as a math major. But back in the beginning of my freshman year of college, I met with an adviser who spent all of 10 minutes convincing me to pick up a math major. (Note: this is exhibit A of how I might just be the most easily swayed person ever.) Sometimes, I still don't really see myself as a "math person." Sometimes, I get stressed out when I have to spend hours on just one problem or constantly go to as many office hours and tutoring sessions as possible. Despite the stress and frustration (and loads of homework) that comes with every math course, I really and truly enjoy studying math.
Like I mentioned before, my math classes do take up a good amount of my time and tend to frustrate me. I've definitely thought of how much easier it would be to drop all my math classes. But every time I think I'm done, I decide that my math classes are worth the lengthy homework assignments, the hours spent in the library, and the late-night frustration when solving a difficult problem. Studying math has taught me what it means to really love something. What it means to do something because I really want to, not just because I'm good at it or because I have to. What it means to decide that the hard work is truly worth it.
Last semester, I took a vector calc problem session class where we would do very challenging problems in groups. Now, I know that vector calc problems aren't really relevant to the general public. But in this course, I did not just learn more integration techniques or how to find volumes of weird-shaped figures using multiple integrals at once. I mean, I did learn these things (or at least I tried to), but more importantly, I realized why it can pay off to trust in a crazy idea and to go as far as to see it through. When trying to solve a problem, my group members would always come up with some method that I doubted because I assumed it would be too complex and far-fetched to work. But honestly, their crazy methods were right about 90 percent of the time. In the beginning of the course, I was skeptical whenever someone would throw out an idea that seemed too long or too complicated to give the right solution. But as the course progressed and as I noticed how taking a risk and doing something not according to the rules paid off, I decided to embrace their suggestions and ideas. Taking this course made me realize a lesson that applies to more than just math: it's important to take a risk and not be stuck on this idea of having only one set method of doing things.
Another life lesson that I've learned from studying math is that it is perfectly okay to ask for help. Math is hard. Like, really hard. Sometimes, it's easy to get so caught up in how difficult the work is that you forget that there's always a way to get help. All the professors and TAs I've had are intent on helping the students as much as they can. Sometimes I get caught up in my pride, finding it hard to admit that I am struggling to understand a concept or keep up with the homework. And sometimes, it seems intimidating to go to office hours and talk to your professor one on one. But every time I've gone to ask for help it has paid off. Studying math reminds me of a truth that I tend to forget: You can ask others for help.
Now, I'm not saying that everyone should go and pick up a math major right now. (You all probably aren't as easily persuaded as I am so you would need more than 10 minutes worth of convincing.) But I think everyone should try to study a subject that really challenges them and sometimes even frustrates them. A subject that they may not be naturally talented in but allows them to realize how hard they can work. A subject that actually makes them grow as a person and a student. Because as difficult and frustrating as it can be at times, studying something that you love is truly rewarding in every sense of the word.
I love Math.
However, majority of the students whether in elementary, high school or college don’t have the same feeling as mine.
A great number of students nowadays consider this subject as the most difficult one for no good reasons. Unlike other disciplines, Mathematics requires a different level of thinking and this the reason why many students hate it.
However, they do not know that taking the challenge to love Math brings you to a higher level of learning. It has offered a lot of benefits.
In this post, we will explore 3 good reasons why do I love Math and why you should love it too.
Reason # 1: Math enables you to become a problem solver in this world plagued with problems.
Problems are everywhere – at home, work, school, relationships, finances, and all around us we always encountered problems in life. And what does it entail? This means that we need to be a problem solver. But before we can solve these problems, we need to understand them so we can weigh the consequences and come up with for its best solution. We need to prioritize things, order them from least to greatest and focus on the greatest need and solve it first rather than focusing on others that are not so important.
Now, is there something that Math can do for this? Direcly, nothing. But indirectly, it does. The mathematical problems we always encountered at the classroom, the exercises and the assignments that our teacher has given – these are all directed to exercise our mental powers, preparing it for bigger and more challenging problems in real life.
Reason # 2: Math is really fun.
Now think about your language class where you memorize all the rules for the subject and verb agreement in sentences. Or maybe in a literature class where you analyze Shakespearean plays, noting its every details and even performing it as well. And think about a Math class where you are dealing where you are given problems in real life like buying and selling. Which has more fun? Undeniably, Math classes has more fun compared to any other classes in school. I remember the song my Grade 3 teacher taught us.
Learning Math is really fun. New ideas every time. There is joy for everyone. Solving problems satisfies. I am glad, you are glad when our answers are all right. We may feel that we are bright. Mathematics makes us wise.
And my teacher is right. Mathematics is really fun to be with and it can make us wise. The problem is just our mind set. Change your mind set and it will change the way you react. It is not difficult to love it because its ideas are useful and fun to be with.
Reason # 3: Mathematics is life.
Maybe you may wonder why I said this statement. But try to think of the things you’ve always done everyday. Though we are not using formulas and we are not using variables like x and y, but we always face situations like we need to make decisions, analyze and weigh things regarding its relevance. All of these things are related to Mathematics.
So how could you say that you don’t love Math?
Mathematics is life, so how could you say you hate it? If you don’t love math, it’s tantamount that you don’t love life itself.