Sunday, June 21, 2015


I've had this blog in my brainspace for a week or so now. But I wasn't intending on starting it until September.

That's when I start "real college", Brigham Young University - Idaho, as a declared physics major heading into my second year of undergraduate schooling. I haven't done much in the ways of STEM at junior college, so it didn't feel right to make this blog until I was really getting into my studies. I haven't even taken a physics class since junior year of high school.

But tonight, as I spent hours slaving over my calculus II material for my exam tomorrow, I realized that now's just as good a time as any.

I'm stressed. Majorly. As much as I want to deny that this is junior college and it's not the real deal, the professor I have for my 8-week calculus course is killer. Just killer. It seems as though half of my class is taking it after failing the same guy's class during the 16-week spring semester. And the way they talk about his exams just gets my blood pressure up there. I printed out the practice exam, and needless to say, I was not let down.

It took me over an hour to get through #1. Granted, it had parts (a) through (o). But still.
And the rest of these problems.... They are worded so complexly, it's a struggle to understand what he wants me to do with the functions. Once I get a hint from the solutions, I'm fine. But before that, I'm lost. I'm hoping it's just the fact that I've been working my brain for a few hours now.

It's so easy to get myself discouraged. It's so easy not to believe in myself, in my capabilities, and all those things. But when I participated in the discussion online about why everyone is taking the class, my professor responded saying that the math department at my junior college is super rigorous. They prepare you for universities; in fact, students often come back and say how overprepared they were. This is an echo of my high school physics teacher. Refusing to teach to the exams, he told us that he would better prepare us for college than any of the other guys. If we wanted proof, we needed to look no farther than the students who sent him emails or came back to visit.

This is a huge trial of my academic career. Calculus II is said to be the basis for all other math. If you can get through it, you can succeed beyond it. This is my first make-or-break test. 8 weeks of rigorous homework, little sleep, and the way my job is going, plenty of hours of work.

But just like any other trial, it will help me to see what I am capable of. It will stretch me and help me to see how far I can go with a prayerful mind and real intent to learn these things. Through God, nothing is impossible. This is not impossible. I can't get discouraged with myself; rather, I should have faith in myself and in the blessings I have been given. I have been promised that I would be able to gain an understanding of this material. I have been told that the things I learn will help me comprehend newer and more complex things. Why should I doubt? Why should I be in sorrow? Why should I fear that Heavenly Father will let me down? He never has before. And He never will. He'll probably give me plenty of lower grades to keep me humble and help me to recognize His hand. But He won't leave me in darkness. So long as I am trying hard and giving my best effort, He will help me and make things known. He'll help me make connections and bring things to my remembrance.

All of this requires such simple things: faith, trust, dedication, and obedience. Such simple tasks on our part brings such amazing and beautiful miracles. I have seen them in my life before, and by having faith now, I will see them again.

Alright, enough procrastinating. I have integrating to do.

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