Clearly I’m a math major based on the title of this post and I chose this discipline before I started college (I’m currently a first year). Since I am still a freshmen, I am still learning what it means to be a math major. So I thought I would share what I learned about being a math major at Rutgers. Here are the 7 things that I learned minus all the math.
- Wolfram Alpha is my life
I literally rely on Wolfram Alpha, Online Integral Calculator, and even Symbolab to help me finish my homework. And there are so many other online tools to help me with my assignments. I require it on a near daily basis — when I get a Webassign or textbook question wrong and I have no idea what I am doing, it’s helpful to use these tools to figure out how I messed up.
2. The relief that I get when I get a Webassign question right.
In Webassign (depending on the course and professor), you only get a certain number of tries on a problem and obviously I don’t want to plug in every single answer I get, unless I am confident that I did it right. So when I press the button that says SUBMIT ANSWER, it takes a second to reload the page. That second literally takes forever because I don’t want to do the problem again so when I get it right, I feel so relieved.
3. Even though I love math, I question my major every single day.
Obviously math is a very hard subject and I often get problems wrong. Often times, when I get too many homework questions, I start wondering how I will do on a test and I question whether math is for me. Then I have to remember that I love math and there is a reason why I chose this major.
4. I get way too excited and suspicious when the number is a simple integer.
I learned that a problem will never be too easy. I always struggle with a problem and the answer is always something with a million decimal points. So the fact that a problem is so simple with such a simple answer makes me so suspicious.
5. That people struggle with math.
Whenever I tell people that I am a math major, they either tell me that I must be very smart (which I am not) and that they are so glad that they don’t have to take math in college. Then I would say that math just comes easily to me. Then they would argue with me about how math does not come so easy to them. So for me that fact that math is not easy for everyone always astounds me.
6. Sometimes I multiply 5×5 and get 10.
I can understand complicated problems but sometimes I can’t do simple addition. I often ask my friends what 5×5 is or what 20+15 is. I can easily do them in my head but those are the questions that I get wrong. And if I don’t have another person around me, then I use my calculator.
7. That I rely on a curve to get a A in the course.
In high school getting an A wasn’t easy but it was possible. But at Rutgers, the difficulty is on another level. Taking a math class or any STEM class is very difficult and and I literally need the curve to get an A in the class.
I hope you enjoyed learning about my math experiences so far.