I wasn’t much of a fan of Algebra freshman year. That all changed for me and all it took was a broken toe. 😛
Freshman year in high school was rough for me. I was doing okay in school but my grades took a bit of a tumble early in the year. It was a big scary change and I didn’t quite know how to handle it.
I was surrounded by new people. All of my friends were mixed around and I was starting to interact with all kinds of new people. The classes started to take some serious after school time that I really really didn’t want to give up.
That led to me getting a C (shudder) in Algebra for my first semester.
I was a little more than discouraged.
The Only Thing Worse Than Hating A Class Is Being Bad At It
I never was a big fan of math before that.
Math was just a little too step-by-step for my tastes. I could get away jumping from thought to thought in Language Arts classes but Math was strict at the time and I hated just sitting around and following directions.
I never really liked it but I always got A’s and B’s in the class up to that point. Getting a C made the problem painful. It stung for multiple reasons and I suddenly hated math even more than I had originally.
Being bad at the class just stacked onto my usual hatred of the class and it made me absolutely despise everything about math… for a little while…
I’m One Of The Lucky Ones
I know not everyone has the kind of luck I had in freshman year. I’m super thankful for it because it kind of turned everything around in the class.
It was an almost typical math class. The teacher was out. We were doing some practice problems out of the book. At the time, I assumed the substitute teacher had the good sense not to care about teaching algebra. The sub didn’t do any teaching so, to this day I wonder about that.
I was doing the problems (aka doodling on the side of my paper while I avoided a problem I didn’t want to do.) That’s when I let my eyes wander to the guy next to me’s paper. (It’s not cheating because we weren’t being graded.)
I noticed him looking directly at me and I realized I was being weird and borderline cheating.
In that moment of staring at his paper, I realized he probably knew what he was doing. He wasn’t zoning out doodling. I looked up at his peering eyes and I was pleasantly surprised he was smiling back at me.
To be completely honest, I wasn’t thinking about math when we were smiling at each other. 🙂
We struck up a conversation and by the end of the class we agree to meet up later to study together. (Again… I wasn’t really thinking about studying.)
“OH NO!” It Hit Me…
I was super excited after setting up the study session when I became completely convinced that I was going to look like an idiot.
Sure… studying with a cute guy would be fun. But looking like an idiot wouldn’t be very fun.
I picked up a textbook to try to catch up a little. That did more harm than good because, like any high pressure situation, studying became a bit difficult. And really… how much good could an extra 20 minutes of math studying really do?
I was tempted to try and get out of the study session but I’m super glad I didn’t.
The study session was going to take place at the nearby library after school. It was like a ten minute walk from the school. We agreed to meet up outside the school right after the bell rang.
I was pretty much distracted for the complete rest of the day because I’m a bit dorky like that.
The Bell Rang
I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was super thankful he was waiting right outside the school when I got there. I was half thinking he was going to totally forget or stand me up or something. Him standing there smiling was a huge relief. The worst of it was over.
We walked to the library and talked about random stuff. I almost didn’t want to make it to the library because I knew it would be a lot less fun. I was hoping we’d just keep talking instead of getting to the actual homework.
No… but unfortunately… I made the study session with the one boy that study session actually means study session. 😛
We pulled out our books and hopped on the rolling computer chairs. I slipped my shoes off because I’m the kind of person that slips her shoes off in public to get comfortable. Please don’t hate me for it.
At first, I was a little embarrassed because of exactly what I feared.
He was moving right along and I was trying to keep up. And my trying to keep up meant he saw that virtually none of my answers were lining up with his. Eeek…
Fortunately, he rolled his chair right up next to mine and walked me through some of the problems.
A good tutor is worth 100 good teachers because a tutor doesn’t have to teach a dozen students what to do. They just have to look at what you’re doing and help you do it right. I happened to find an amazing tutor that day!
He was telling jokes and making me laugh through the problems. He showed me some really basic (stupid) things I was screwing up and once I figured them out the pieces just seemed to come together. It’s was insanely fun for a math homework session.
It worked better than I could have ever imagined… Pretty much…
When we finished up the homework and he rolled away his chair, I can only imagine his surprise when he heard a crack and heard my squeal. I was on the verge of tears but I was totally convinced I wasn’t going to let anything screw up this study session so I smiled and tried to brush it off the rest of the afternoon.
Later that night I figured out he broke my toe. 🙂
Leave Procrastination In The Dust! Never EVER let it stop you again.
Doing stuff is easy – sometimes, right?
You only procrastinate the stuff that sucks. You don’t say, “Ahhh… I’ll read that text from my crush later.” Nope. Now… Any pause is intentional and coordinated to respond better.
Here is the problem with academics:
You probably think most academic stuff sucks – at least a little. (Especially compared to other things you could be doing.)
And the thing is:
FORCING YOURSELF TO STUDY JUST MAKES IT WORSE!
You’re slowly hardening your association of school and being miserable.
You need to create positive associations with academics. You want your brain to be getting hyped up and positive when you’re thinking about studying and giving into this internal oligarchical instinct to force yourself to studying – ain’t helpin’.
Chill the internal dictator for a moment…
A big secret: You need to STOP forcing yourself to study so much.
But, if you’re not forcing yourself then how are you going to see those killer straight-a’s that you’re always pining over?
It’s not difficult but it can sound weird to unfamiliar eyes.
Get your copy of my book about How To Get Happier Straight A’s.
It only costs $4.99 (and if these strategies don’t work like magic like it has for thousands of other students then you can get a full refund.)