7 Things Only People Who Struggle With Math Understand

We’re not all math wizards. Each student absorbs information in different ways at different paces; if you have ever run into a wall in the subject of math, you can probably relate to the following struggles. 

Taking notes in a different language

Your teacher/professor is flipping through the slides at the speed of light, spewing off explanations of theorems, postulates, formulas and equations. Much too fast to observe, you make an attempt to preserve at least some of the lesson plan for later in your notes. At some point the sea of variables turn into an incoherent jumble, and you’re just jotting down notes without actually having time to absorb the material.


Then when you revisit them later, it might as well be in Arabic (does not apply to those of you who can read and write in Arabic).

“Time is up, please put your pencils down”

You’re deep into the first word problem of the test, working out every little piece equation and finding out exactly how Suzie can use the distance formula to get to the airport on time (clearly she doesn’t have Uber).

After crushing the problem and checking your work, you look up at the clock and realize you have five minutes left. With the entire rest of the exam ahead of you. Bring on the sweating.

Constant Catch-Up

Speaking of not having enough time… Because you spent weeks toiling away at mastering one concept, you slowly fell behind the pace of the class as the rest moved on to the next chapter. The setbacks can build up, making you feel like you’re running on a treadmill that’s speeding out of control.

To make up some momentum, you become…

The After-School MVP

Staying after class to receive extra assistance isn’t a new occasion. When everyone goes home after classes, eager to kick back and maximize their time at home before the next day, you know where you’re headed: straight to your usual seat in office hours/after-school study session.

“I totally get it now! I think…”

Once the light bulb goes off and you’ve pretty much mastered at a concept, one part of the problem set comes up that completely derails everything you ever knew about Algebra or Calculus or Geometry.


Back to the drawing board.

When class becomes an arm workout

You’re always the one with your hand up; not because you have the answer, but because you’re desperately searching for one.


“Maybe this isn’t for me…”

After constant trial and error, or after a particularly rough exam, this thought definitely crosses our minds. Actually, we feel that way after failing anything. You may think of dropping the class or taking easier classes next semester. In college, I’ve seen would-be doctors change their majors after failing Organic Chemistry. One class — derailing an entire career!

Persistence breeds winners, and there’s always a way to work and study smarter. Keep chipping away and finding solutions, no matter the pace, and you will get through the class. Good luck!

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