Don’t Be That Guy

So I’m a business student, right?

Right.

One thing I’ve learned in business school is that other business students don’t really think very highly of math. Or science. It’s not that they don’t think these are valid fields, they just think they are too hard and it takes really really smart people to do well in these fields.

Well, I will tell you one thing. That is not really true.

You can teach yourself to be good at math. You can teach yourself to be good at science. I mean, yeah, it helps if you are smart, or if you have a brain that can handle math or science, or if you like math and science, but you don’t have to be smart to do well.

Right? Follow me? OK. Good.

Another thing I have learned in business school, well about the type of people who go to business school, is that business students can be a little condescending. They tend to hold the view that anything that isn’t business is inferior.  I’m sure there are plenty of business students who don’t fall into this category, but in my experience, a lot of my classmates do fall into this category.  They also tend to think that business isn’t really too difficult, and that anything else is probably impossible.

Especially science and math.

If I had a piece of gum for every time a classmate has told me that they aren’t good at math or they don’t have a math brain or they don’t understand or they don’t see how anything outside of statistics can be used in the outside world, I would never have to buy gum ever again. For the rest of my life. Yeah.

But the unfortunate thing is that every time this happens to me, I am still irked to no end. You’d think that I would be able to ignore their opinions, but they still irritate me. Math is difficult, but not impossible. Science isn’t easy, but isn’t that the point?

(And we all know my thoughts about physics. Heh.)

So, when I was at school today working on a group project, it probably won’t surprise you that this conversation happened. First, I’ll set it up. I was working with another girl who is in my 4 person group for a class project. We were sitting at the end of a table. There were two other people (friends of the girl I was working with) at the table as well. We were sitting in a small room with two windows for walls: one looking outside and one looking inside the building (so anyone can see who is in the room). We were all sitting there, working on our own work, when a boy we have class walked in. I don’t really like this boy, but that’s beside the point. After some conversation that I wasn’t really listening to (I think it was probably about whether or not we are actually learning anything in this semester’s classes), this happened:

Boy: Well, I don’t really see how anything outside of business is really applicable in the real world. Like calculus. I am never going to use that. Ever.

(Ok, sidenote here. Why do people hate on calculus so much? Yes it is hard. But it just takes patience. Once you learn how, you never really forget. I enjoyed calculus in high school and in college. I had fun in calculus. But I digress. Sorry.)

The other two people in the room kinda just looked at him and mumbled some sort of agreement. I just stared at him. So did the girl I was working with.

Then she said: Actually, I disagree with you.

One of her friends then interjected: Well, you are talking to someone who was an engineering student for a while.

Boy: Ohhhhh, that explains it. (His tone annoyed me.)

Me: Yeah, and I seriously considered studying physics before I came to the business school. (This, amusingly, got a couple of looks of a mixture of both horror and admiration from the others in the room.)

Boy: Well, I was studying biomedical engineering for a while, but it’s impossible!

Girl I was working with: It’s only really hard for the first two years.

Me: Yeah!

Boy: Yeah and the year after that and the year after that and the year after that and the year you maybe graduate.

OK. Now he’s just being ridiculous.

Me: Well, maybe I just have a math brain. Because I didn’t really have a hard time with calculus.

Boy: Well, I’m glad someone does, because I sure don’t! (Again. Tone. Ugh.)

He then kept talking. I stopped listening. He’s definitely a lost cause, but others are not. PEOPLE. DO NOT THINK THAT MATH AND SCIENCE ARE HARD. THEY ARE HARD BECAUSE THERE IS A LOT TO LEARN. ENJOY THE PROCESS BECAUSE IT IS HOW YOU WILL LEARN.

Whoa. That was deep.

Conclusion: I have learned a lot about business in business school. But I have also learned in college that there is more to the world than business. I’ve learned that learning never really ends. And that is awesome.

(Also, in case anyone was wondering, we have my parents to thank for my ‘math brain’. Math and science were always very important when I was growing up. I’m grateful for that. Thanks mom and dad!)

Second conclusion: Don’t be the boy in my story. Be better than that. That sounds rude, but what I mean is that you shouldn’t discredit a field just because you don’t understand it.

And remember, learning never stops.

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