Fear of Failure

When I searched 'calculus' on Google images, this is what I found.
When I searched ‘calculus’ on Google images, this is what I found.

I have a silly confession to make: I’m sort of afraid of the masters degree program I am starting this summer. I will be doing lots of math while I’m in the program and for some reason, I’m afraid I won’t be up to it.

I had a not-so-great experience with calculus during my first year at university. Due to a combination of not knowing how to properly study, being stressed about other things, and being placed in a class that was slightly too advanced, I earned a grade I was not satisfied with.

I know it’s silly to think that I’ll have a repeat of this experience. After all, I:

  • did really, really well in high school calculus and received a 5 on the AP exam
  • did really well in the statistics class I took recently
  • scored in the 91st percentile on the math section of the GRE and the 81st percentile on GMAT math

I’m not trying to brag – just trying to reassure myself that everything will be fine.

The one thing that really does make me feel better is knowing I can get math help if I need it. Before I sent in my acceptance to the program, I talked to a student in the year ahead of me. He said he had some trouble with statistics, but still had a good grade in the class because he found a tutor. Worse comes to worst, I can always get a tutor.


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