How to Survive Math Class When All You Do is English

Do you avoid mathematics and sciences like the plague? Maybe you’re not particularly bad at math and science; you just would much rather be studying literature (which is completely understandable). The reality is that at some point during your educational pursuits, you’re going to have to cross over to the dark side of numbers and fact memorization. Here are some tips on how to survive a math or science class when all you want to do is English.

Try looking at math and science as a foundation to better understand literature.

It can be hard finding the motivation to study subjects in which you have no immediate interest. You might be asking yourself what in the world you’re going to use mitosis for in your English major. Well, remember that fiction, non-fiction, poems, comic books—all literature, really—is based on reality. Even the most imaginative of books have references to the real world. Increasing your understanding of how the world works through different disciplines will help you better understand literature as a culmination of these disciplines. It can also clarify the allusions made to science and math made in literary texts. And if you’re a writer, increasing your bank of knowledge can always stimulate inspiration!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Sometimes it may not seem like it, but teachers are really there to help! If you’re feeling behind because you have been avoiding math class for two years and you forget fundamental formulas necessary for success, set up a meeting with your professor after class or drop in during office hours! Not only will this one-on-one time help your understanding, it will also show initiative. If your schedule doesn’t match up with your teacher’s availability, ask a counselor about free tutoring options on campus.

When studying: write, write, write, and… rewrite.

A^2+B^2=C can easily lose its meaning if you repetitively write it without understanding its meaning. If you’re a kinesthetic learner or just generally grab on to words more than equations, write out what you’re doing to sharpen your understanding. Make notes in the margins of your workbook explaining in your own words exactly what each letter represents and what the formula is trying to achieve. When studying for a science class, write and rewrite your original class notes using full sentences and words that you hadn’t originally used. Draw out maps and diagrams to help conceptualize how different scientific phenomena feed into each other. Whatever you do, don’t stop writing.

And if you feel like you’re going to explode memorizing the same facts and equations, take a study break and READ A BOOK!