Oh, class registration, how I haven't missed you. Welcome to the most stressful time of year. Your registration time probably isn't ideal, you probably have no idea what classes you should even be taking, and any class you think you may want to take is already full and you don't register for a few more days. Sound familiar? Here's a step by step guide to what it's actually like to register for classes.
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College is cool and all, but we all have those weeks where it just seems like the world is going to implode upon us. A million tests suddenly appear even though you're only enrolled in 5 classes, the plague has descended upon your dorm, and all you want to do is sleep. You know the drill.
1. How you sleep on Sunday night even though you've got a storm coming your way
2. And then the first class on Monday comes out of absolutely nowhere
3. You realize that you actually have things to accomplish
4. And deciding to take a 30-minute nap anyway
5. Regretting your 30-minute nap because it turned into a three-hour nap and you still have a paper to write
6. When someone says that they're actually "not stressed out this week"
7. Seeing high schoolers complaining on social media about how their schoolwork is so hard
8. When you wake up thinking that it's Friday but it's actually only Wednesday
9. And your friends try to give you a pep talk to get through the rest of the week
10. Your favorite form of procrastination becomes eating everything in sight
11. You try and keep it together just to make it to the end of the week
12. And when Friday finally hits, you're living your best life
13. Big. Mood.
Math isn’t the most popular academic subject. In fact, more people than not dread the complexity of it. Unless you’re majoring in a STEM field, it’s easy to blow off college math classes because you don’t see the application of math in your daily life.
You’re not going to do algebra to decide how many avocados you can afford on your next grocery trip.
You won’t rely on physics to determine your workout schedule, unless you’re an Olympic figure skater, trying to perfect a triple axel.
Even though you may feel math isn’t useful in your everyday life, it is — more than you realize.
There’s a reason most majors require you to earn at least one math credit. Yes, even if you’re an English major, you’ll have to take math.
There’s no way around it. So instead of complaining that you have to register for “useless” math classes, take advantage of your math courses in college.
Here are five things I wish I’d known about math in college.
1. You will probably need to use it later
Most students either love math or hate it — there’s rarely any in-between. Even if you detest the subject, it’s important to take it seriously, especially if you are a science or engineering major.
Actually, if you’ve chosen either of those majors, you’d better jump for joy at the mere mention of math, because you’ll be dealing with it for the rest of your career.
Either way, there are many benefits to math — you will develop the ability to think, sharpen your analytical skills and quicken your mind.
Learn how to reach conclusions and solve problems on your own — skills you’ll undoubtedly use throughout your life in a variety of different scenarios, like buying a house, negotiating for a promotion, calculating product values for business customers, etc.
2. It's better if you find the right course for you.
Many people think they can just skate by subjects that pose more of a challenge. I know I did. This is certainly not the case — especially with math. Math takes hard work, repetition and time. It won’t happen overnight, and isn’t a skill you’re just born with.
When it comes to math, it can be difficult to decide which route to take in school. Don’t just do what your peers do — do what’s right for you.
It was easy for me to fall into the same stride as my friends when it came to math, just because I was afraid to do it on my own. So I got stuck in a class I had to retake because I wasn’t fit for it.
If you excel in geometry, sign up for classes that focus on that. If algebra clicks easily for you, take algebra classes.
Whatever your major calls for, meet the requirements with classes you know you can succeed in and use in your future career.
3. Tutors are a thing
Lots of universities offer tutoring labs on campus now, but if yours doesn’t, tutors are still always available — you just need to look.
Ask your professors, classmates and friends if they can recommend potential tutors. Then, reach out to them for pricing and hours, because those will vary. You can even try a couple of them out until you find the right fit for you and your learning style.
If you’re unsuccessful in this approach, try out a math tutor app — easily accessible via your smartphone, tablet or other devices. They are super-convenient, engaging and offer immediate feedback.
Having an app also makes it easier for you to practice math on your own time, anywhere, at an affordable price.
4. You can get better at it if you practice
It takes practice to really learn math and for it to stick with you. Similar to learning a new language, you’ll need to study it daily to incorporate different methods and types of math into your skillset.
The more you practice what you’re learning, the more second-nature it will become for you. While you may not be good at all types of math, studies show practice really does make perfect.
So if algebra is your strong suit, but geometry is not, spend more time practicing geometry so you can perfect it.
5. It's okay to ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if your math teacher intimidates you or your classmates seem way smarter than you are.
I know from experience that being lost in math class is one of the worst feelings in the world because you’re constantly trying to catch up, but can’t.
I always handled it the wrong way and waited too long to ask questions, therefore becoming even more confused than I was initially.
Get help as soon as you don’t understand something, and reach out to your professor for help. Don’t be afraid to stop the class discussion and ask questions until you’re ready to move forward.
If you feel uncomfortable doing that, reach out to a classmate. Sometimes students understand better from one another.
Even if you won’t use math often in your chosen career path, there are many instances in your daily life that will require you to use math — some of which you’ve probably never even thought of.
Can you figure out the correct tip to leave at a restaurant? Do you know how to create and modify a household budget?
So take time to carefully select your college-level math courses, then pay attention, ask questions and practice, because you’ll use it in your life, at one time or another.