That one word still strikes a moment of fear in my heart.
Math just wasn’t my thing in school. It wasn’t the whole “Math is for guys and not girls” thing either. I’m just naturally a writer, a words person. My favorite subjects were English and more English. Confession time. Due to a computer glitch in high school, I wasn’t given math on my eleventh-grade schedule. I had an extra study hall. Hmmm. Nobody was noticing, so I just continued on, la-la-la, hoping nobody would snag me.
Then senior year. You’re not going to believe this. My schedule again shows up with no math. And my guidance counselor never caught it. That was a lot of math I missed. Of course, I was ecstatic to be living a math-free existence.
But looking back . . . yeah, yeah. I should have taken math. (I also should have pointed out the computer glitch. Oh, the guilt!) Really, I’ve had a lot of catching up to do. Even a writer needs to work the numbers.
Where was Rachel Muir when I needed her? Rachel’s going to tell you how you can learn to love math. She was 26, when determined to empower girls in math, science, and technology-she launched her own business with $500 and a credit card. Now her organization is going strong; she even won an Oprah’s Use Your Life Award.
“The best things in life are the ones worth working for! And maybe you think ‘I can’t do math! Math is hard!'” says Rachel. “Nonsense! All it takes is a little patience, a little confidence and a whole lot of creativity to begin to not only ‘get it,’ but really LOVE math!”
Rachel’s four sure-fire ways to help you overcome your fear of a very cool subject are:
Make mistakes. Have you ever noticed how fearless boys can be when they are trying to learn something new? They’ll take apart computers, break delicate instruments, laugh and shout until they figure it out! Well, girls can do that, too! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes in the name of math and science. Experimentation and solving problems are exactly what math and science are all about. And don’t take “No” for an answer. If you’re having problems solving a difficult equation, don’t give up! Ask for help, bat around some ideas, and just have fun! You’ll get it.
Act now. Don’t wait until tomorrow to embrace something that may scare you! Don’t put off what you can do today. Taking that first step and telling yourself, “I can do math” is the first big step in conquering your fear of it. By the time girls get to high school, their confidence in math is way too low. Why? Well, sometimes they just don’t get the support they need. It’s up to you to begin your future today! So just start small. Take an online class. (There are some very cool online sites with free online classes!) Ask your friends and family for help with homework.
Try something new. So you think math can be kind of boring? Well, tell that to an astronaut, or a deep sea explorer, or a millionaire! Math has lots of applications in everyday life and it can help you pursue your wildest dreams. Find new passions, and you’ll find that math can help you achieve any goal!
Have fun. The best thing that you can do to foster your new love of math is to have fun! That’s right. . . this isn’t your grandpa’s math class anymore. From Web sites to starting your own business to finding your true passion in life, math is there to help you all along your merry way! One of the most fun things to do with math is to teach it to others! Sure, you can be a teacher for someone who is not quite as skilled as you are. This will not only help someone else learn and thrive, it will remind you that you are all that!