The world views math majors as an anomaly. How could you like something that the whole world seems to hate? How could you understand something so random and abstract? Maybe we are all just Einstein level geniuses. Maybe we have some mental illness that makes us the only people that know what the heck our math professors are talking about. The world may never understand us math majors, but there are some things that are universally understood in our major.
1. Using a basic scientific calculator.
I know I used to know how to use this thing back in like 3rd grade, but like, how do you even graph on this thing? Is it even doing real math? I'm not sure.
2. Telling people you are a math major.
You go from being a normal person to a super genius in their eyes. They immediately tell you the story of the time they decided math ruined their life (some test they failed, a mean teacher, etc.) and they expect you to just realize that they are right and change your major.
3. When you've been learning a concept for months and it suddenly makes sense.
Sometimes you spend months learning and doing a concept with absolutely no idea what you're doing or why. Then one day someone says one thing and it all clicks and you realize what you've been doing this whole time. Why was this so hard for you to get?
4. Your math family is stronger than your real family.
Math is hard and going through hell together brings you closer than ever. You probably spend finals week sleeping on each other's couch after trying to make your 3 am-self understand an abstract concept.
5. When someone doesn't understand basic math concepts.
A real conversation I had the other day:
Me: "Oh, you just take the average, right?"
Them: "No, you add up all the parts and then divide by the number of parts you added."
6. Trying to convince undecided students to be math majors.
Freshmen never think they want to be a math major. Who comes into college with plans to do math anyway? We're always just subtly pushing the babies into our amazing department.
7. Getting excited by seeing math in everyday life.
We spend hours in the classroom trying to understand what's happening in the real world and you almost never get the real world applications but when you actually see math happening you have a little fangirl moment to yourself because honestly, no one else understands what you're seeing.
8. When you see someone with a golden ratio tattoo.
This random stranger understands me! Please talk to me about math, please I'm begging you I'm stuck in a world of nonbelievers.
9. Your friends come to you for all their math help needs.
You're basically a celebrity or a superhero or a mom. Anyone who comes in to help the outsiders when they are struggling with their core curriculum math class.
10. Coming out of a test.
Math tests aren't easy for anyone. Math major or not your brain can not handle doing so much math under pressure. We get it but it's worth it in the end.
11. They think it's a boys club but the steminists are here!
Everyone thinks that math is a stereotypical man's world but women are changing the dynamic one degree at a time. Hidden Figures is showing a generation of women the amazing opportunities they can have in this field. We're still fighting but we're fighting to win.