Growing up, I dread the sound of the word ‘mathematics’. It was like the green-eyed monster we hear about, seen pictures of but never met, yet always hunting kids in their dreams. I see it as the worst nightmare every child have to face. It was a huge fear and I literally dread any exams that involves calculations of any kind.
But becoming an adult, it became a part of my life, only in its simple terms until I had to face it again, fully.
One thing I have come to realize in life is that when we don’t get to really put our heart into something, we’d never know the extent to wish we can succeed at it.
High School Experience
As a Junior Secondary student, I loved Business Studies and English Language. So I always told myself I was going to either be a journalist or a business manager.
And then I started hating Mathematics because nothing I was taught in Maths stick in my head. It was a struggle, I was always cramming the formulas to pass any examination. Despite this, I’d always pass with a narrow escape. I never understood what I was learning.
My love for business still persist, and I joined Commercial Class(not sure what it is called now) in Senior class. I had a best friend who was good with calculations, I understood the theory part and we made a good team. However, the practical part always came to bite me.
Making a Decision
When I had to make a decision of what I was going to spend 4 years of my life studying, I thought of a course that has less mathematics drama. And English Language came up. Before I made this choice, I had already started writing and keeping a journal. So, I felt this was enough to guard my decision plus I looked up to my English Language instructor and wished to be better than him.
I realized I wasn’t going to do well as an entrepreneur or business oriented person because my knowledge of mathematics is poor. Hence, there was no point deceiving myself.Do you have to deal with Arithmetic now and you are still scared of how to figure it out? Then you should read some lessons it has taught me. Click To Tweet
Today, I have learnt the basics I needed to excel as a grammarian but I thirst for more. Considering the fact that my present job requires more of accounting knowledge and more, I felt bad for allowing myself choose the easy way out.
However, I decided to pursue a course in personnel management instead. Only to find myself dealing with this mathematics life again.
Dealing with the Fear
The first diet was easy-peasy as I just needed to read and understand some theories. And then the second diet began.
At first, when the classes started. I just told myself I was going to need 2 diets to pass one of the courses- Operation Research. Meaning, I’d attempt it the first time and fail and then by the second class, I’d have picked up and successfully pass.
It was so bad I do not even know how to multiply the + and – signs. I find it really difficult to convert percentage into monetary values. It was really messy. Everything felt strange and I was really terrified. I will always tell anyone that cared to listen how scared I was.
And then I asked myself why I’d want to associate myself with failure at all? Why wouldn’t I want to learn and understand it? A friend who has successfully passed the exams told me it was quite easy and that if he could do it, I could do.
And that was the motivation I needed. I put all of my energy into that one course more than others. I started practicing and trying to understand why there’s an ‘x’ and ‘y’. Why some figures will never add up and how to handle projects using figures.
Before I knew it, it became part of my life and something I enjoyed learning. It became so much fun and I wonder if I wouldn’t have excelled as an engineer, doctor or accountant.
Lessons I Learnt From Mathematics
1. Whatever proved more difficult to you, put more energy into excelling at it.
2. Mathematics is fun. Albert Einstein said it is the ‘poetry of logical ideas’.Mathematics is the poetry of logical ideas - Albert Einstein Click To Tweet
3. It makes you more mentally active and make good judgement out of the worst situations.
4. Always be confident about yourself in every situation. It may sucks at first but with continuous practice, it would become a huge part of you, you’d come to appreciate.
Overall, nothing in life is hard if you believe it is not. If others can, then you can too. Believe in yourself and find the easiest way around it.
As a child, were you scared of Mathematics like me? Have you managed to conquer it? What would you wish you had known differently before now?
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