Coming to college was nerve-wrecking. Well. . . At least it was for me. I’m in a new environment, I’m meeting new people, I’m away from home, and on top of all of that I’m taking some classes that I find extremely difficult at times. Chemistry is one in particular, which I unfortunately never got to take in high school. Imagine how it was for me to come from high school with my highest level of education in science being 11th grade marine biology, to an intro to chemistry class where more than 90 percent of my peers were already familiar with the topic. I was hit with a wave of discouragement on numerous occasions. Questions that would take me more than 10 minutes to answer were being answered in under 5 minutes by my peers.
At times, it seemed impossible for me to learn topics at such a fast rate, but with time and dedication I found a way for myself. I quickly learned that I had to self-teach myself. In class, if I didn’t understand a topic I simply wrote it down on a piece of paper and I searched it up on YouTube to see if I understood it the way someone else taught it. In doing so, I realized that YouTube would be my best friend. There were tons of videos that not only strengthened my understanding of a certain topic, but they also gave me practice problems at the same time to ensure that I would acquire all of the information and be able to apply problem solving strategies when needed. As, you can see I found a way to avoid the hurtle set before me. If I can do this then, so can you.
There were times that I’ve felt like I just wasn’t smart enough to learn the information and do as good as the other students, but this is not the case. According to the article “You Can Grow Your Intelligence” written by Mindset Works, Inc, they compare the way our brain functions to the way our muscles function. They state that when we begin lifting weights we start with a small amount and over time we will be able to lift more and more pounds if we constantly lift weights. They also state that if we don’t continuously challenge ourselves then we can in fact become weak again.
The brain works the same way. If we study and practice at a constant rate then our brain can adjust, and in result learn quicker and obtain information at faster rates. If we don’t keep fresh information for ourselves to learn then our brains may become lazy again, and we won’t be able to learn as easily as we once did. So, don’t ever think you’re not as smart as others, or you’re dumb. Just remember to think of your brain as the muscle that you have to gain strength in. Challenge it, test it, and teach it as much as you can! Just don’t forget to take breaks every now and then, or else you might cause strain on your brain.
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