Every semester I have a few students that have put themselves in a really tough situation. Dreading math and being convinced they’re no good at it, they put off taking any math requirement to their last couple of semesters. The moment I hear this, I imagine jumping in a time machine, finding them in their first semester – just as they are registering and saying:
Sign up for a math class now! Take your math courses in your first year! Please! Not only will you do better, you will be so happy you got it done!
Math is a skill and like any other skill, it gets rusty over time. Even if your major only requires one or two math courses, you want to do well right? The idea is – take it while the math from high school is still fresh. Even if it has been a couple of years, that will be easier than when it has been four or even six years!
If you already have a math phobia, then making it the one thing that is keeping you from graduating in your last semester isn’t exactly helpful. If you are taking it in your first year, you can be more relaxed (knowing that you can drop if you must). Being more relaxed will make learning easier and probably help you do better than if you had all kinds of “my last semester” stress.
If you are a college or high school student, do me a favor. Right now, look at your schedule for next semester. Have you taken your math requirements yet? If not, make sure you are signed up for a math class next semester. Get it done.