As I sat in my biology class today feeling smaller and smaller, virtually shrinking in size with each obscure concept delivered in the lecture, I had a choice to make… walk out and quit, wait it out and cry in the car, or listen intently and ask questions. Which did I choose? You are probably guessing I was brave and asked a million questions, but truth be told, I listened, waited, and cried in the car. I have to admit, that going back to school in my mid 40’s has been a bit daunting, definitely scary, but oh so worthwhile. The knowledge I have gained about myself has been life changing in many ways, but fear still has a nasty way of penetrating over and over again, just to test my mettle.
Back to biology…it has been a few years (ok, maybe a few decades) since I have even considered an atom, or molecule or anything that may be related to such things so I am a little fuzzy, or better yet, befuddled. As my head spins, I fight the urge to scream and run and try to excerpt something from the lecture that will help me with my inevitable lab report. A few short meditative breaths later, I do pick up some of the lecture and scribble furious notes that may be of use later if I am able to decipher the chicken scratch.
What have I learned?
That it is extremely difficult to overcome old fears (math and science).
That it is ok to admit you are overwhelmed.
That it is ok to not get an “A” in every class.
That speaking to the professor and explaining your conundrum is wise (usually).
That fear is often irrational (unless you are being chased by a bear, or the like)
and a way to excuse yourself from trying.
That if you just get a goodnight sleep, tomorrow will look brighter and science will still be hard, but doable.