Finding the Keys to Achieve Math Proficiency

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Tulin Babbitt
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Math has always been my least favorite subject. I always had the most difficult time understanding the concepts. Algebra was rough, calculus was worse, and trigonometry felt like torture. In high school my inability to properly understand math felt like my defining weakness, especially when I compared myself to my numerous straight-A friends. When I was thinking of my future major, I only looked at concentrations that wouldn’t require math. But something happened when I got to college that would help me overcome my weakness so that I could achieve math proficiency.

In college I met one of the greatest professors I ever had. For the first time in my life, I had a math teacher who taught me math – and I understood it! For the first time, I was able to earn good grades in the subject. Was it my perception? Was it the professor? What did he do differently? Honestly, I’m really not quite sure. However, one thing is certain – he changed how I felt about the subject and how I perceived my abilities. After taking that class, my self-confidence was boosted. I am insanely proud of how I overcame that weakness and turned it into a strength. Here are a few things I learned through this experience.

Strive for improvement

Don’t worry so much about what you’re bad at, because with more practice or in the right setting, you could get better. Don’t focus on your flaws or imperfections, but rather strive to make improvements on all aspects of your life.

Teaching others helps you learn

Offer to help other students who don’t understand the topic. You were once in their position, and it’s great practice for yourself as well! We learn better when we have to explain a concept to another person –  so it’s win win! Not to mention, working in your campus tutor lab is a great way to meet new people, or earn some extra cash.

Thank your teacher

If you get that professor who changes the entire subject for you, let them know! Every teacher wants to change lives, and compliments go a long way. Show them that you are a driven student, and that their explanations encouraged you to reach your highest potential. That is the greatest gift to give an educator.

College is not only a time of education, but also personal growth. I was astonished at what I could accomplish in the math courses I took in the following semesters. One professor was able to open my eyes and allow me to realize that I was not “bad at math” but rather never had the right resources or knowledge to effectively solve equations. I am proud to say with hard work and dedication to the subject, I completed the course with an A. Something I would have never thought possible before taking this course. I encourage you to always keep your chin up and approach things with confidence. Rather than shying away from math classes, I now know I can pursue ANY major, regardless of the math requirements.

Pearson Students, What your weakness? How are you going to conquer it? Share when you retweet my blog!