I'd like to think that I have always been a pretty good student. I love writing, I annotate texts and passages until the page is full of pen marks and highlight strokes. I looked forward to in-class essays in high school because to me, writing under pressure was the only way I could get all of my ideas out (as well as earn a solid grade on an assignment for a difficult class). No matter how hard I tried in high school, I never fully understood how mathematics worked past an eighth grade level. If we are being real, I write, read, and speak Spanish better than I do long division.
When I was in the third grade, I could not do multiplication problems without a times table for the life of me. I have vivid memories of spending recess with my teacher, who would guide me through a worksheet with a dozen problems or so. I would eventually have a completed assignment in front of me, but it took a lot out of me to complete. Well, as much frustration as a nine-year-old could possibly feel in one situation.
Fast forward to sophomore year of high school. I miraculously placed into Honors Geometry, which was quite possibly the hardest math class I have ever taken. I spent seemingly endless hours we spent in after-school tutoring practicing my protractor skills. Yes, I was probably the only student in that class who had legitimate issues measuring angles with a tool that is made for exactly that. Do not even get me started on two-column proofs. I much rather would have written out an extended paragraph to explain why line A is parallel to line B. I couldn't tell you how to do that now, but I do remember how 'not fun' it was. All I can say is that I worked very, very hard for the not-so-great grade that I earned. In the moment, I feared that one sub-par grade would impact my college admissions process. I worried that colleges would look down upon the fact that I did fairly well in all of my classes but math; after all, I knew that it would only get harder after high school. For the most part, it did not do that, but to this day I dread doing any sort of math that has lots of catches and long processes that are hard to remember.
I am a Psychology major with a concentration in neuroscience, which means that I will be taking a lot of math and science courses for the next four years or so. Sure, that can be daunting to think about, but the only thing I can do from here on out is work toward improvement. Just because the subjects I am passionate about requires courses that I would never choose to take does not mean that I should settle to study something else. It is not going to be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.