Monday, May 9, 2011

figuring out what's important

Hey guys! Sorry for the prolonged absence. I'm not even going to go into it, i'm a second semester junior and it's just craaaaaaaaazy! (I also haven't been using my camera very much, which is what usually inspires my posts in the first place) so theere you have it. let's begin.

I'm coming to realize that life really is all about what you value. Leading a good life means making decisions that prioritize what your values are, and following through with things that will help you achieve your most important goals.
This applies to so many things.
Last week,  I was having a bit of a dilemma (and still kind of am) about what math class I should take next year: Calculus or Statistics. Both are AP classes, but Calculus is often viewed (by college admissions officers) as more rigorous and thus, more "commendable".

this is basically how I always want to answer math questions...
Let's get this straight for a second: I am NOT good at math. In fact, I am more than not good at math, my brain and math basically just don't mix. period.
So, lucky me, when I find myself in a dilemma where my First Choice College is one of the few selective colleges that "prefers" applicants who have taken Calculus, rather than Statistics.
What's a girl to do?
After lots of talking and thinking and talking some more about this issue, I realized it's really about what I value in life. Do I value this college so highly that I am willing to take a risk in taking Calculus, even if that might mean that I struggle consistently all year? Or, do I forget about what First Choice U wants and take Statistics, hoping that perhaps, a less "mathy" math will jive with my brain cells?
It's not an easy decision, but it's one that I am capable of thinking about rationally and making thoughtfully.
When it comes down to it, it is also a decision about how hard I want to push myself.
When I reflect on past times when I have pushed myself before, I know that it has backfired, that i have resented it. Example? Bulimia.
push myself not to eat and to exercise and to deny myself of all things good until, finally, my inner-self rebels and all hell breaks loose and I am left back where I started, except a little more flattened out and a lot less okay.
Every day those of us in recovery have to make a decision: what is more important to us: being "thin" and "perfect" or being happy and alive? Recently, I've been choosing the latter, and that works out a little bit better.
So what will it be: Calc or Stat?
To be perfectly honest, when I sat down to write  this post ten minutes ago, I was pretty sure I was going to "suck it up" and take Calc. Now I'm not so sure.
See, this is why I need you guys! You help me make the right decisions.
Oh, and  now I remember why I love blogging.

What is a decision that you have had to make recently that really brought your values into light? How did you choose?

Happy Monday! (kinda?) 
xo, Rose


  1. I know how you feel about math! A month into Math B (on a scale from C to A) I gave up. It was simply too hard and I switched to Films instead. I know it's not quite the same situation you're in, but I just thought of it while reading your post.
    I chose what I wanted most rather than what is needed for some things. But maybe it'll turn out to be an unwise choice? I don't know.

    Good luck with whatever you choose :)

  2. It's so wonderful to hear your writing again-have missed it for a while, but I completely understand about the business of school and homework and life! I'm so glad that lately you've been choosing the latter-it's such a good feeling to choose that one as opposed to the other. Sometimes, though, these decisions are so tough to make even when we know they are the right ones. I like what you said about pushing yourself and how sometimes it backfires. However, sometimes it does work out. I know that for school work and courses, personally if I push myself, I feel a lot stronger than if I do what I feel is comfortable. However, for me as well, it has backfired in other aspects of life, especially ones pertaining to ed. When it comes down to the bottom of the barrel, though, to make some of these choices, I think about how I will feel in the future-say twelve months from now. (I like months rather than years-somehow it feels closer) And if I do see myself sticking to that decision and liking it, then that is the one that I will choose. I can't think too far ahead, though, because life always throws us into another thorn bush here and there and who knows what we would be doing years down the road.

    From personal experience, statistics is much easier than calculus because it wasn't as abstract as calc. Statistics has more to do with problem solving and every day life scenarios whereas calc is so numerical and strict. However, I do like the fact that calc has rules and logic and even though it's rigid, it allows you to understand physics, chem, biology a lot more than statistics. I had to take both, so I didn't have this particular dilemma :P. The good thing about calc is that later on, if you decide to take more science courses, then that is a pre-requesite and even if it isn't, it's a good fundamental to have with you throughout life. So I'd say take calc :)

    And yes, blogging is so lovely as is reading your posts :)


  3. girlspinsmadlyonMay 9, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    Andrea, thank you so much for this! And for reading, of course. Your advice is super helpful, I still have lots more thinking to do! Hope you've been well!

  4. I think the bigger question is, is your first choice school worth taking Calc? Because going to your first choice school is really the bigger picture, whereas Calc is just a semester in your life. Sure it'll suck but knowing that you are taking it to make yourself happier in the long run should get you through it. I say "suck it up" and you won't regret it.

  5. girlspinsmadlyonMay 10, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    i think that's a good idea. def going on my pro con list (which is how the
    real neuoritics in us make decisions, right?) how are you? miss you!

  6. welcome back! i missed reading your blog.

    even really good colleges will see AP statistics as commendable. I never took calculus and pretty much walked into UCLA- i'm like you, math is just an annoyance to be borne. now, i don't know that statistics is much easier (I staggered through on a steady run of C+'s and a prayer), so you may want to talk to the mathematically inclined peoples on that one. colleges look at A LOT more than statistics vs. calculus (i'm willing to guess you're going to nail the entrance essay), so i wouldn't consider that choice as really having that much weight on getting into your college of choice. don't beat yourself up about it. <3, bailey.

  7. girlspinsmadlyonMay 11, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    Thanks bailey, missed you too! How are you? Now that I've started actually writing again its time for me to start catching up on other peoples blogs!

  8. Hello,
    I realize that it's been a few weeks since you posted this, but hopefully this sits well with you.  Colleges don't really care unless you are thinking of going into the sciences (in which case calc would be better), but statistics is potentially more applicable (I have a hard time saying this after an intro course, but statistics is the backbone of research papers - biology, sociology, psychology... - in non math subjects).  Taking stats in high school may give you the leg up that you need if you take stats again later, and at least you'll be able to understand the tables in such if you do come across them later on. 
    As far as calculus course, taking derivatives doesn't matter, you don't take that many derivatives in the real world.  It's just thinking abstractly, working meticulously, problem solving, those sort of skills.  That's why calculus has the slight upper edge as a college admissions, because it requires that hard thinking. 
    So, really it's a win win. Oh,  I'm a math major who does a LOT of tutoring of kids in both stats and calculus (although they're freshmen in college, so a year older).  Take whatever you want: try to keep the statistics in the long term memory as much as you can, calculus just look as it as an exercise in focus and really just figuring through hard problems.  Hey, even math dorks thought calculus was hard the first time they learned it, and if not calculus, I practically guarantee they have taking a course in math that has knocked them flat on their face.  Math isn't supposed to be easy, so just run with it. 
    With care,