1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

An internal struggle I'd like information on

  1. Nov 29, 2013 #1
    I'm having some trouble with my majors for college as an incoming freshmen. I love physics as a course, conceptually. However, mathematics has always been a subject of terror for me, leaving me destitute in the department of understanding. But as interested as I am, I'm willing to force myself to learn the mathematics, and contort to understand the concepts.
    However, I'd like to hear of actual experiences with having a physics background. I understand that physics is a huge topic, and that considering that if I do take it, there is a lot of specialization that I can't account for a this moment. But taking that into account, I still think that it would be valuable.
    Any info is much appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    What math classes have you taken in high school?
  4. Nov 29, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    If you're a US student you don't need to declare a major until somewhere around the end of your second year.

    Lower division math is easy, most students however, invent mental road blocks for themselves by believing they'll never be able to get it. Physics isn’t about math; they aren’t one in the same. Math is a tool you use.

    I'm not sure what else you want to hear, it's a lot of work, a lot of studying, but very rewarding. If you can't overcome your math phobia, I don't know what to tell you.

    Make sure you understand algebra and trig back and forth, upside down, in your dreams. Until you recognize conics when you're walking around in the mall or you start to see the unit circle in everyday objects, there is always more you can learn. The hardest part about calculus is algebra. It’s completely fundamental, and many students while doing calculus do poorly because of poor algebra skills.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook