So high school was easy. I didn't go to an elite high school like many people at my university, but senior year I took 8 ap credits and got by with minimal work. BC calc was easy. I thought it was interesting though...and I thought I was good at math. but I'm not. I found that out quickly in Honors Calc (my university's Spivak course). I've never had to work so rigorously before, and I'm just not used to it or prepared for it. Yesterday I studied Ch 1 of Spivak for 90 minutes and looked at the Ch 1 problems. I didn't know how to even begin half of them...I felt so defeated. It seems like up until now I have gotten by in all my classes through some level of inborn common sense rather than having to actually learn new things...and I think I'm smart at common sense but maybe not even smart at all at "actual" learning...I want to do well in Spivak so I can prove myself, and I want to find it interesting, but so far I can't! in theory I find it interesting, but in practice I just find it despairing and depressing how hard it is for me. Ideally I would like to be an economist (I know, not the most popular field here). If I could place into Honors Analysis next year and hold my own in the class I would be all but guaranteed a position at most respectable econ PhD programs. What is this?! and worst of all, there is the crushing sense of my own intellectual inferiority - the possibility that I might not be ABLE to do this...It's hard for me to conceptualize and really "think" about these things rather than right off the top of my head having the "intuition" to know it instantly. Anyone else understand my feelings here? I am honestly considering going on medication to help me out. I'm wondering if any other budding academics struggled until they noticed a great benefit from having an rX? Part of the problem is that I know I'm not really working THAT hard, but I feel like I am! In terms of hours, I haven't even spent that much time trying to learn Spivak. But after trying for an hour I get frustrated and give up, rather than encouraged to have new insights. My friend who is taking Honors Analysis has graciously tried to help me but it usually comes down to: "well, some things you just have to stare at the textbook for an hour until you understand it". and sometimes I "get" concepts but then forget them later, which is a horrible feeling... I don't know...I just feel very lost right now. and I want to make smart decisions while I still can, before my academic record is capable of barring me from ever excelling into a great PhD program - I would only consider being an academic if I could be accepted into a top program, otherwise I would pursue other interests. More specifically, anyone who REALLY STRUGGLED with spivak and has advice, I would really be grateful.