Ask Jack(ie): Being Made Fun Of And Surviving In Organic Chemistry

This is the second edition of Ask Jack(ie) — where I respond to your questions! The following topics are not really related, but both deal with school, which I know can be stressful. Take a deep breath. Relax. You got this.

How can you deal with people making fun of you in a certain class? It's hard to shake that stuff off.

Hi There,

I am very sorry that you've had to experience being made fun of. People can be so inconsiderate. Just don't forget that there are great people like you still out there in this world. I am sure that you are awesome and doing great things.

I get the impression that you know that what they're making fun of you for has no actual meaning except that they keep bringing stuff up. If this is true, you just have one thing to do: ignore them. You know those times when you "Take things with a grain of salt?" This is one of those times. Just discount their opinions about you. What they're saying to you does not matter. They are spewing convoluted opinions out at you that you should not take seriously. Once you can realize that, you will be able to brush off what they're saying. Maybe mentally roll your eyes at them. It won't do any good to start being mean to them as well. Ignoring them is fine, though, if they're being rude. It doesn't mean that you should avoid eye contact and seem very unsocial to them, but ignore them as to not care what they think about you. It's hard to not let negative comments overshadow the good ones, but just try not to let them get you so down. It may be hard to shake off stuff now, but in time you'll learn to overcome it. Plus, you have better things that you can think about (I'm sure of it!). You are an amazing person. Don't let other people take that away from you by stressing you out and making you worry. Have confidence in yourself because you deserve to.

Let me know if you still need someone to talk to about this.

P.S. An instant way to feel better about life — listening to a great, upbeat song. And maybe accompanying that with some great food.

How do I not fail at OChem?

Dear Preventative Student,

I have only taken one test so far in organic chemistry, so I may not know very much about this topic, but it seems to follow the basic structure of a math class. There are concepts that you have to know, but you also have to apply these concepts to problems. My tip is to understand why things are occurring. If you know that you're pushing electrons for a resonance structure, you should recognize that there will be a positive charge where you pushed the electrons from because moving away electrons would normally result in a positive. If you know why you are doing things, you'll be able to know what is supposed to happen. Don't just memorize the steps. It might be hard to catch mistakes like that.

In regards to studying, read the book or Klein to get concepts down and go to Supplemental Instruction (SI). If those resources aren't making ochem click in your head, then Google your topic to get a different explanation of it. Kahn Academy has some great videos. And, while studying the concepts, practice problems until they get into your head. I hope your semester in organic chemistry goes well.

If you need an outside perspective on something, or just want to share something with me, feel free to use this link to submit a question or comment.

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