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I'm taking math courses at my university right now, and I've been self studying math for about a year and a bit more now ( in highschool, I only took math up to grade 10.. and it was "essentials" math, I was a bad kid back then ). I've been doing well so far, taking a first year honours "calculus" spivak style course and I've been getting 100% on my problem sets, I got 89% on the midterm but only got 64% on another test because I suck at computing integrals ( although I did get perfect on the proof questions ).

I'm also taking second year algebra courses, I scored a 90% in my first linear algebra course, it's a theoretical one, not a matrix computational one and now I've come to some road blocks.. I'm in the second term of the linear algebra series, the course now is on spectral theory ( normal, unitary , self-adjoint operators et c ) and I love it, but I just took the midterm for that class and I think I bombed it.

The sad thing is that I thought I was ready for it, but a couple of questions came up and I just couldn't think of solutions in time and I just spaced out.. I couldn't come up with the "trick" needed to solve the question. I'll probably get a 50-60% on this midterm, which isn't so bad because the test is only worth 20%.. but I'm currently taking it as a slap in the face: I don't really know how far I can go to realistically become wanna-be prospective mathematican.

I love the material and I love mathematics ( especially algebra ), it's a big part of my life and I'm constantly thinking about definitions and trying to think about how things work together (when I'm at work , walking around.. et c ) .. but I'll be honest, I haven't spent much time at all just sitting down with a book and some paper to do problems ( especially how I have to hold a job ) . So, if I have any hope, I could possibly blame my shortcomings on bad habits.. But maybe it isn't that, I don't know what to think.. especially how people I've seen and read about always seem to have been good at this stuff from the getgo, where I'm getting a crappy 50-60% on my midterm.. Anybody want to share any "failure" stories? Zero to hero stories? Should I rethink some life choices?

Thank you for reading