Astronomy was just a filler course. I had one more science requirement and I picked astronomy to fill in the gap. “I like planets; I think space is interesting,” I thought to myself as I examined all of the fascinating options (okay, chemistry 2 and biology 2 weren’t the most exciting alternatives). Astronomy, I decided, would be the perfect course to fulfill my requirements.
Yeah, I was wrong.
There were pop quizzes every week, the reading might as well have been written in German (you guessed it, I took Spanish in high school), and my professor didn’t seem to care that his assignment made about as much sense as a kindergarteners finger painting. And then there was the math.
Why, why didn’t anyone warn me there would be math involved?
I am not horrible at math, (I can balance my check book just fine, thank you), but I chose not to be a mathematician for a reason. Math is unrewarding; I can spend hours learning to understand a problem or memorizing a formula, but what do I get for all that work? The satisfaction of knowing I completed a problem? Please.
Anyway, the math in astronomy was impossible. It still doesn’t make any sense to me. I would spend more time studying for an astronomy quiz than I did for all of my other classes combined. And I did not have a light course schedule that semester.
Obviously, it wasn’t working.
I considered withdrawing from the class, but I didn’t want to put a withdrawal from a basic science course on my permanent transcript. However, I was worried about my grades. If I didn’t invest more time in my other classes I was not guaranteed an A, but if I took any study time away from Astronomy I was doomed to fail. I needed to find a balance.
So I set up a schedule. Every day I would spend only 2 hours studying astronomy. Then I would pick one of my other classes and focus on that for at least 1 hour before returning to astronomy. I put my head down and motored through my courses. I found people to study with who understood the problems and could help explain them to me. I made myself focus.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but the final A that I received was worth it.