Understanding My Passions and Making It Through College Classes
My transition into college has been difficult. I knew that I am feel disconnected to the campus life because I was commuting but I never thought that academics would be very hard. I was a great student in high school and most topics came naturally to me, other then writing and English. I thought my classes would be easy and enjoyable. The first weeks of schools were academically easy, the pace of the class was manage and I already knew some of the material. However, after the first few weeks of school I started to feel unconnected to some of the curriculum and felt as if I didn’t belong in the subjects I once enjoyed.
This feeling was strongest for my Physics class. The first few chapters of material was review from my high school Physics class and the class was very easy. However, the course quickly moved to topics I was unfamiliar was. I was unprepared for the complexity of the topics and started to lose interest in the material and my grade started to slip. I felt unmotivated to complete homework assignments to the best of my ability and even skipped a few lectures. I knew that I needed to try harder but need still needed that spark of interest and passion.
This spark came after a few amazing demonstrations by my Physics professor. In the video above my professor Jesse Martin is demonstrating how two identical balls can reach the end of a ramp at different times, given different paths. This is because the ball that has a dip in it’s path has more of it’s energy convents to kinetic during the dip and therefore has a greater overall velocity on the path. This was just one of many demonstrations that related the Physics I was learning to a real life event. This was the spark I needed. I was interested in physics again because I understood what I was solving and the concepts suddenly felt less foreign. Currently, I am working hard to rise my grade in Physics and understand all the material by asking questions and studying more. I now stay after class to clarify any confusing ideas and I review the textbook more often in order to improve my understanding of topics.
This experience allowed me to realize that I do belong in Math and Physics, because I enjoy critical thinking and problem solving. I also realized that just because I enjoy something doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be confused by a topic or feel burned out sometimes. When I start to feel burned out or confused, I need to take extra steps to completely understand the concepts. Overall I am happy that I had this stressful experience because I now have the skills to overcome difficult class topics. Also I reconfirmed my passion for Math, Physics and Engineering. I can look to my future knowing that I still exploring my future career but I already know that my future will involve STEM, and focus particularly on my love of Math.