I didn't take chemistry when I was in high school; I've never been very confident with anything math-related. Chemistry always seemed like some weird (and hard!) mad-scientist class, and clearly mad scientists need to know a little math, so I stuck to the "easy" sciences - biology, earth science, anatomy.

Then when it came time to map out my classes for my biology degree, there was the chemistry requirement staring me in the face. I couldn't escape it any longer.
Since I didn't have high school chemistry, I had to start out with the lowest, most basic level of college chemistry (which doesn't even count toward my major, but it's a prerequisite for the two other chemistry classes I do need). I started it this semester and was terrified. Reading (and understanding) the periodic table? Writing the electron configuration for elements? Balancing formulas?? I was really afraid my brain wasn't designed to do any of those things.

But I'm happy to report it hasn't been all that bad. I've had one exam in the lab portion of chemistry (I got a 92) and two exams in the lecture portion (a 95 and a 101). It's not so bad, but it doesn't come so easily, if that makes sense. I'm very good at memorizing things but not very good at applying formulas. Chemistry takes quite a bit of my effort, because it's not enough to memorize the rules for things, I also have to understand how to apply them (seems like a nobrainer, right? Except I hate it and have avoided it so far). It's mentally taxing sometimes but not impossible. I'm also lucky to have great instructors for both the lab and the lecture.

I don't mean to be all "look-at-me-and-how-awesome-I-am," I'm just really surprised and pleased that something I was terrified of turned out to not be so bad after all.

- Antiope



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