I am a 17 year old Junior in High School. For most of my life I have completely slacked off in my education. I've always gotten by easily enough, but never really LEARNED anything, it seems. Sometime last year I realized what I wanted to do with my life. It started from something I saw on television. As I was watching the Science channel, it occurred to me how amazing our universe truly is. You see, I had never really thought of this before. I never saw the beauty in how things worked. Soon I found myself reading the encyclopedia, watching more shows, enrolling into my high school's physics class, and paying attention in school so I can start my quest for knowledge. As I've learned, I've become more fascinated every day. However, there are those moments of despair. I'm only in a Geometry class with Algebra I behind me. It's about the average route the student at my high school takes. When I read of many other people, they've done so much more with a deep understanding of the world around them. I get the feeling of inferiority. It's not that they may have taken more advanced classes at an earlier age, but I seemed to have missed out on the concepts. They don't seem to teach it at our schools. I try to work out these problems and why they work the way they do. It's hard to explain, but I feel as if I missed out on the complete understanding of even algebra. Understanding math is very important to me, because I realize it's the foundation of everything. It is the common language of describing the universe. Without a strong understanding of mathematics, I won't be able to reach my goal of reaching the level I would like. All I want is some consolation and guidance. I will continue to reach my dreams of learning the universe, and I feel almost certain I will reach them, however in this moment I also feel a little hopeless.