To be specific, it’s the first day of school after a long and difficult autumn semester, one which freaked me out so much I dropped all my honors classes except one in exchange for regular classes. I’m in Jennings Hall for a 9 a.m. Math 1172 class. The next class in my calculus series after the one I skated through and disappointed myself in last semester.
I wasn’t going to do that this semester. I wasn’t going to skip class, I wasn’t going to slack off, and I wasn’t…going to learn anything?
It took me three days to discover that the class wasn’t right for me. It was too slow, and it covered things I had learned not only last semester in my honors calc, but in high school, as well. And taking a math class that was too easy/too much review worked out
so well for me last semester, right? I knew that only the first month was going to be review, and that the Calc 3 material covered is the hardest and most difficult to grasp. But I still couldn’t do it. I knew that doing 80 problems (80 problems?!?!?) a week on something I learned once and cast aside as dull was only going to result in a worse grade than the B+ I got last semester.
So, I switched up.
2162 is the honors version of the same class, but I had heard
nightmare rumors. I knew it would be hard. In fact, the first quiz I took in the class I got a 40%. A solid 4 out of 10. But I wasn’t bored; I was challenged. And that’s the difference. For the first time there was compelling reason to put in the effort; if I wouldn’t, I would be eaten alive. It’s like people in zombie movies; they run because they really really have no other choice.
A visual representation of me trying to stay ahead. (
So I studied. I drove myself crazy with extra problems, put myself on a schedule, worked through everything early, and got 100% on every quiz. All semester. (To be fair, the class is so hard that an 80% or higher on quizzes and homework was considered an A. But hey, it counts.)
After seven whole days of studying, I headed into the final with a class grade of 88%, hoping to keep it that way. The final, of course, was written upside down and backwards in a different language, so it took me a few read-throughs and about five minutes of breathing exercises before I could even began. (It was really, really hard. I kept flipping the page expecting to find something I knew how to do and being disappointed.)
Going into the final was like this–waking up on the ground surrounded by the undead. It was hopeless! I was doomed to become a part of the mindless herd! I was being eaten alive! (
I thought I was doomed; a whole semester of hard work, down the drain. The class did eat me alive. I wasn’t smart enough to escape the zombie.
Two nights ago, I got the test grade back.
This morning, my grade in the class was finalized.
way better than I ever expected, especially after that nasty final. So naturally, I had a tiny, amazing party. I was excited! I was home alone, dancing around the house, repeating incredulities over and over.
So, yeah. Hard work pays off, I guess. I just think that my decision to switch up in math reflects that I’ve learned something about myself in this first year at college, so at least I’ve learned
(JK, I learned some math, too.)