For the past three years of my high school career, and now my fourth, I have made it an obligation to continually expand my horizons in regards to math; when I cannot fully grasp an idea or concept, rather than giving up, I relentlessly pursue the idea until it is understood. During freshman year, math did not come easily to me. I was forced to go in early some days because, simply, I did not comprehend the concepts. However, taking initiative with my school work, and constantly working through problems that were difficult can be deemed one of the best decisions I have made. Although my final grade may not have been an
For as long as I can remember learning has always intrigued me. I desired to be the best at learning to read in first grade, the best at learning multiplication facts in fourth grade, and the best at learning to titrate acids and bases in eleventh grade. Striving to learn the most has simply become a habit of mine. Throughout high school, my schedule was always filled with honors and AP classes allowing me to learn more and more everyday. After school and practice my nights were spent doing hours of homework to keep up my academic record. The amount of work I put in has paid off as evident by my transcript. I am ranked 6th out of a class of 296 with an over 4.0 gpa. Last year, I received a five on the AP Calculus AB exam and fours on AP Language and Composition and AP Chemistry exams making me an AP Scholar. Thankfully people were not exaggerating when they said hard work reaps rewards. My day in and day out diligence in school that stemmed from a love of learning led to my acceptance into Carnegie Mellon. The interactive intellectual environment draws me toward the prestigious school. I hope to one day graduate from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering and to then begin a successful and purposeful career ignited by my
My course load is jammed pack full of rigorous classes that will help me better and further understand complex topics. When I enjoyed my biology and chemistry, I was pulled towards the AP Environmental Science course, despite never taking an environmental class before. I also enjoy math and liked my physics class freshman year, wishing me to continue in honors multivariable calculus and AP physics. I want to push myself further; I work hard and study harder. This is especially apparent in my AP exam scores, where I spent months preparing for my best score. I frequently stayed after school or went into class during lunch to make sure I fully understood concepts before tests, striving to be my best. Furthermore, I continue to want to expand my knowledge by engaging in scientific extracurricular activities. I give up my free time (a rare and valuable treasure in high school) to expand on my interests in, most specifically, math. I tutor others to help them understand the complexities of this great art. I also wish to expand my ideas in math club, where we tackle more complex problems and even discuss how math manifests itself in certain activities, like solving a Rubik’s cube. All of these classes, activities, and growing interests culminate into an ever-changing body that represents me, someone who constantly wants to learn more and grow, not only as a mathematician or scientist, but a person as
I have always been capable of grasping new ideas quickly, and so my academic career has been relatively smooth sailing for me. At least, until Calculus BC. This class is unlike any other I have taken; the level of difficulty I have found myself presented with is so unbelievably overwhelming for a person who has not felt truly challenged in years. For me to go from the comfort of the soft stars to the harsh reality of failing an exam was inconceivable. I have never felt more out of my comfort zone, and yet, at the same time, I have never felt more compelled to succeed.
While in grade school, my teachers always asked what I wanted to become in future, and I always answered, “To be great person.” With the passage of time, I got knowledge and skill background. After that, some people around me posited that I would change my career goals due to the complexities in studies and academic frustrations; however, I did not break. Instead, I found strength and relevance in my objectives, leading to my accomplishments in advancing my education to university levels.
The immense difference in the math courses we had taken, and our testing experiences were apparent. A history of taking Calculus BC or Calculus AB didn’t exist in my transcript - let alone Pre-Calculus. Additionally, my brain short circuited from the test’s
Getting a five on an AP exam is not exactly the pinnacle of accomplishment in the world, and yet in that moment, I was euphoric. That night has been the only time I fell asleep with a smile. My motives as to why I put so much effort forth would surely take several letters, so I will spare the detail. With that being said, I cannot help but feel like I alienate you when we talk about calculus. I am almost certain calculus means different things to both of us. You know best what calculus means to you. In the end, you were the one willing to take a class many are too afraid of taking, so do not act like you have achieved nothing. Simply taking the class says more about you as a person than a score of a math test. You have already
Toward the end of the year we continued learning more foreign topics like polar coordinates and equations and calculus topics like limits. Today, I do not remember how to do polar equations and I remember a little about finding limits. Thankfully I remembered enough to take the final exam because those were the topics covered in that exam. I studied and reviewed over and again for that exam which paid off in the end—I aced the final with a 98/A! I was beyond shocked. I had never passed a test with that high of a score. I was ecstatic. It was the most satisfying feeling in the
Last semester, I encountered a personal experience of one’s self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. Looking to accomplish one more mathematics pre-requisite for my chosen major, I decided to proceed by undertaking a course in 1411 pre-calculus, before moving on to statistics in the fall. However, I regularly struggled through each new math class with much determination, I have always accepted that mathematics has always been my kryptonite, packed with anxiety. More importantly, this least favorite subject and one I often battled long hours to comprehend, was just another subject level I wanted in the rearview. Either way, I felt somewhat confident as I started the spring semester that I would get a handle on pre-calculus and obtain a passing
The confidence drained from me in an instant when my test was placed in front of me. In my teacher’s barely legible handwriting read the words, “72% Come see me after class”. Long story short, I was soon holding in tears as I shuffled out of the classroom.
I find it interesting that out of all the things that may determine failure or success, it comes down to hard work and attitude. I really enjoyed reading the math anxiety articles and they definitely shine light on some of my exact thoughts. I was once decent in math, but when you take a 12 year break, my teachers in high school would sum it up by the saying, "if you don't use it, you lose it." I can honestly say that I forgot almost all but the basics when it come to math. I definitely found myself doubting if taking this class was the right decision in the midst of adding more credits to graduate earlier, but after reading these article and I know I have what it takes if I stay focused and positive. I laughed when I read the myths and misconceptions
Going back to school and learning new things is both exciting and terrifying. I am excited about the subject matter, but I don’t want to fail. I have a directive to finish this class, and I feel like I have a good attitude.
I kept thinking that I was going to fail the class and the geometry EOC. And as a result, I would have to take that class all over again. I was all ready to throw in the towel until I finally realized towards the last half of the year, that just because I don’t understand geometry, doesn’t mean that im dumb. All you can do is try your best. And as long as im trying to understand and making an effort, that’s all I can really do. I knew that I wasn’t the best in the class and that I probably would never be, but at least I knew that I gave it my all. I felt determined to finish out the year strong. So I worked really hard to make my last few test grades count and then focused all of my attention on the EOC. It was a challenging exam but in the end I passed and got a C in the class. Of course that wasn’t the grade I wanted, but I had discovered that sometimes things don’t always go to the way you wanted them to. Every once in a while life hits you a curveball and you just have to learn from it and use that experience to make you a better person. And I think geometry allowed me to do just
For the past twenty years of my life, I have traveled down a lonely road for a vast majority of my time on this planet. When I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of eight, making friends in grade school and high school was a very different thing for me to do. I learned differently than other people and during my high school years and I was unfairly bullied and harassed by my peers because of it. However, their teases and insults only made me academically stronger, as it only made me strive to be a better student and a better person overall. There were only a handful of students who I really interacted with in high school, however I never hung out with them outside of school. Other than my family and these select few individuals in high school, I felt all alone in this world.
As my junior year of high school progressed another obstacle approached this time it was the AP exam. I was taking Calc AB and the lessons were hard and confusing. As the day of the exam approached I felt like I wasn’t going to get the 5. My teacher made us come on a Saturday and take a mock exam, I got a 3 and my teacher told me that was not bad I still felt like I could have done way better. My teacher set a optional mock date and I decided to go and see if I could get my 5. I thought back to the times that I had been studying for the SAT and how I realized how much dedication I really put into studying. I felt like I was enjoying everything I was doing and I felt like everything around me was getting more and more pleasurable. As I worked hard and put in effort at school I started to feel more energetic and jovial due to all the A’s and B’s I was getting on the tests. Finally when the scores for the AP exam came out I logged on and noticed that I had gotten the top score: 5.