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Monday, January 27, 2014

Lessons from Orientation Continued (Math) by Kelli Turpin

picture by Galaksiafervojo

Lessons from orientation continued: 

Math is one of those subjects that most people either love or hate. If you love it, definitely take it your first semester. Consider majoring in something that requires lots of math – engineering, economics, computer science, physical sciences – because those are majors that are connected with jobs that tend to grow.

If you hate math, you have a couple of choices:

a.       Take it your first semester and plow through until you’re done – once you’ve started, don’t stop. Math builds on itself, so keep building.

b.      Wait a semester. There’ll be flak for this one. Here’s my logic. If you think that you’re going to struggle in math and this is going to be your first semester in college, waiting for a semester to start math will give you the opportunity to succeed in college courses. Once you’ve succeeded, you know you have the study skills and ability to do well in college. At that point, you know that any issues you have with math are with math specifically and not with college generally. Waiting also gives you the opportunity to figure out how much time classes will take without math, so you have a better idea of how much time to budget for math – or how many other classes you can take with math.

Keep in mind that you can’t earn an associate degree without finishing Math 96 (or its equivalent) and you can’t transfer without a class that has Math 96 as a prerequisite. So don’t put it off too long.

Also know that all the baggage you carry around in regards to math is probably from some moment or series of moments in elementary school. You’re not 10 years old anymore – chances are, with the right professor (use ratemyprofessors.com), you’ll actually get it now.

If you need help in math, there is free tutoring available in our tutorial center (room L-205), and you can always arrange to meet with your math instructor during office hours to make sure you are on track.  

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