Warning! Rant ahead.
When I look back at my days in high-school, I can’t not feel like I was cheated.
Can someone tell me why, on earth, did I spend so many years trying to master Algebra?
I wasn’t gently introduced to the topic. It wan’t given to me as a nice option to pick if I’m interested in expanding my horizons.
I was forced to study this subject for years, all while being convinced that math is the most important subject I could ever learn, and that the repercussions of failing it will be catastrophic.
Not accounting, website building, entrepreneurial skills, the concepts of starting a business, programming or anything similar.
Algebra! And Trigonometry and other useless skills were shoved down my throat in a disguise of crucially important information, without which my life would be almost impossible to handle.
Guess when was the next time I ever touched anything remotely similar to Algebra or Trigonometry in my day-to-day? Never.
My experience with math
Math was extremely hard for me. When I finally managed to somehow pass my final year with less than decent, but not a failing, grade in math, I was breathing heavily as if I just ran a half marathon.
I looked around me, wondering “Ok, I did it! Now what?” And the world was like “Oh, don’ t worry about it. We didn’t really need you to know these things, just wanted to stress you out for 4 years. Have fun!”
What I could have been doing instead
Can you imagine what I could have accomplished if I spend my time and energy studying something that is not only interesting to me personally, but also relevant in the real world?
Can you imagine what would it be like if I studied email marketing instead of Algebra? Animation instead of Trigonometry? Examining marketing strategies instead of solving equations?
The school system seem to have been doing anything in their power to narrow my world view instead of expanding it, and for that I resent it.
Luckily, I learned an important lesson: It’s up to me to learn the important things in life.
This is true for whatever you’re studying in college too. If I only restricted my education to what was taught in my classroom, my animation skills would have been lacking, and I would have never built a business around it.
It’s not math’s fault, by the way
If the things I said upset you, I want to make my point clear:
I’m not saying that studying math is unnecessary. I’m not even saying studying advanced math is unnecessary.
I’m saying that these advanced subjects should be given as a choice for those interested in perhaps pursuing that subject as a career, instead of blindly pushing it to every student, regardless of their natural inclination. Just like art, film or biology are usually electives.
If you are going through what I described here, I hope these words come with some comfort. I wish I knew better back then.