February 9, 2023

When I was in Grade 8, I hated Math because it was difficult and complicated. I told myself that this is not for me.
When we had a seatwork in Algebra, I was really confused and I did not know how to start. I asked for help from my classmate. He was like six years older than I that time. I really hoped he could teach me during that time. I slowly walked towards him with my trembling voice and asked, “Could you please teach me to do Math?” But he said, “You know what, you should have studied so that you will know how to answer. Please go away.” Those rude words I heard were painful for a 13-year-old like me. I felt humiliated.
That situation during my childhood challenged me to surpass my classmate in the future. After that encounter, I tried my best to review, practice problem solving and listen intently to the teacher. However, at the end, it did not change anything. I still had low scores in Math.
When I was about to lose hope, our Math teacher came. With a big smile on his face, he said, “Who among you wants to be good in Math?” We all raised our hands. Then, he said, “If you want to be good in Math, you should love it. You should love doing problem solving though it is difficult.” At that moment, we laughed without realizing what he really meant. As for me, it resulted to barely passing Math for two years just for survival, then, something happened when I was in Grade 10, which I considered the turning point of my appreciation in Math.
We were solving many Mathematical problems for more than an hour already when I felt the joy while solving. Then I came to realize what our teacher told us two years ago. This was the feeling he wanted us to understand. I had discovered that I do not need to be the best to love Math, and I do not need to be a genius like my classmate in high school just to enjoy Math. The only thing that I need to have is the joy for doing. I found the happiness, peace of mind, and growth in what I am doing. I found out that in real life, we will be experiencing similar problems and difficulties, but the key is to have the joy and the wisdom in coming up with solutions.
In my college, I chose Engineering. Everyday, we are solving Math problems but I always remember to put the joy in it no matter how rigid the solutions could take. This joy gave me less stress which made me go home with the smile on my face. As a future engineer, I will be using Math to build infrastructures, buildings, bridges, highways, and even create innovations – these shall all start in the joy of doing things.
In life, I know that I will be in different stages of life. Some situations might be considered as the most painful and difficult yet I need to remember what I learned from Math – the joy of the process to find out the answer. Each day, I am learning to enjoy the process and the joy of looking for the solution which will someday help me become a better person. It is just so amazing to realize how joy could change the turn of events.