Many students don’t like math. Even some of those going into STEM are wary of it. However, if you are going into a STEM field, it is more likely than not that you’re going to have to take a high level math class such as calculus and beyond. On the flip side, some students hate biology, chemistry, and/or physics, and their many variations and subtypes. Going into a STEM field means you might find yourself taking a science course that you aren’t as fond of in order to fulfill major requirements, general education (GE) requirements, or even just pass high school.
Therefore, this is my advice to not dread taking certain subjects in whatever STEM field you’re going into!
1) Have an open mind.
As soon as one becomes close minded about what a class or subject will be about, they are setting themselves up for disappointment or failure. If someone says that calculus is extremely difficult, do not assume that calculus is now an impossible class full of danger and difficulties. Yes, there will be times where one will struggle, but going in thinking that the only outcome is a dreadful experience and failure will only make it worse. This is similar to how in volleyball the match is not over until the ball hits the ground; no matter how hard the ball is spiked, there is still a chance to recover and make a point.
2) Prepare for failure.
In the same light, do not go in with an inflated head. Confidence is good, as long as you know to control your pride and ego. If one hears that calculus is the easiest A they’ve ever received, and you go in with that preconception and then don’t find yourself performing well, you will develop a stigma against that subject. Everyone fails, whether that be in class on a test or out of a sports field. It is not something to be ashamed of! Not preparing for failure leads to a massive heartbreak and loss in morale when eventually one does fail.
3) Shake it off! Recover!
If failure is normal, that means that learning to cope with it will become a common practice in your academic career! Finding a way to recover from a failed exam or a lost opportunity will help you grow into a stronger scholar. STEM is a competitive subject, and it is easy to feel dejected when we see that we aren’t doing as well as those around us. Truth be told, everyone is struggling in their own way, they just cope in different ways! Finding an effective way to let yourself recover, whether that be meditation, venting, seaking support or help, or even just crying, will make you stronger. Women in STEM are strong, so never underestimate your ability!
So what’s the take? If I do all these things, will I no longer hate my neurobiology class? There are going to be subjects that you just won’t click with. The takeaway from these pointers is that you can make your academic experience more manageable. Use your strength and ability to adapt to your advantage and you might pave yourself a clearer path to walk down.