Hi everyone, hope you're having a good day! Sorry in advance for ranting. Just posting because I kind of needed to get this off my chest but can't say anything IRL.
I'm a first-year CS student. I enjoy programming/tech (which is why I went into CS), but I never liked math much. I knew that I would have to take a lot of math courses, but my initial thought was just to suck it up like I did in high school (to get the prereqs for uni), do my best, and try to take other courses I enjoy. I took two humanities courses (English + elective) which I do like, but my two math courses (MATH 135 and 137) have become really stressful.
I was enrolled in a specialized STEM program in high school and had an absolute blessing of a math teacher (with really lenient marking and great teaching) for all my 12th-grade math courses. All my classmates were also very chill and everyone would help each other out. As a result, I didn't do too badly despite being average at math and disliking the material (didn't want to disappoint my teacher lol). I don't think I fully appreciated what I had at the time. Even though a lot of my old classmates also went into CS here at UW, the camaraderie isn't really there anymore, between the Policy 71 horror stories and sense of competition. None of my closest friends are at UW either, and I don't want to bother them with my course material.
I do my best to keep up with the math material and watch the lectures. However, I never had an easy time concentrating, especially in courses I didn't like (more often than not, I just read the course/lecture notes or the textbook, and watch the lecture video - if it exists - at 2x speed for harder topics I'm having trouble with). I really don't feel motivated to do work outside of what I need to know for assignments/quizzes. It's even more frustrating because there are no part marks on the Mobius quizzes - it just feels bad when my thought process was right but I get the question wrong because of troll multiple-choice answers (yes, I know multiple-choice is often like this but it just feels so discouraging!).
I'm just feeling stressed and stuck. I was really looking forward to my first year of uni, but everything - especially my math courses - makes this feel like march break with a painful amount of homework. I'm still living at home with my parents. I've slept about two hours during the last 48 trying to stay on top of all my course work. I know I should sleep more, but the guilt eats at me when I go to sleep without finishing my work. I used to discord call with my friends and play games in the evening, but I'm usually just on call doing schoolwork now (sometimes I cave in and play a game of Among Us hahaha). Every time I click the LEARN link to one of my math courses I feel like I'm taking 2 years off my lifespan, and every time Mobius crashes and I have to log in again I just feel like closing my laptop and crying. I'm just trying to get through these first (hopefully only two) online terms while praying that it'll be better in person. I don't even want to try attending office hours/posting homework questions on Piazza because even thinking about math stresses me out.
I don't want to transfer out of CS. I console myself with the fact that any programming/tech job I get after I graduate probably won't need any high-level math, and I still really love coding. I'm just trying to do well in my math courses and get past these few years of mandatory math. I know that I can and probably will pass my math courses enough to graduate - it's just a matter of how much I kill myself mentally doing it. I don't expect the same marks I had in high school, but I'm still a perfectionist and want to do as well as possible. Or maybe I should ditch this mindset altogether and try for a 60%+. I don't know. Sometimes I wish I didn't go to high school with a program full of mathematically-gifted students where getting <95% was basically failing in the eyes of your peers. That mindset is really hard to get rid of now, even when I know it isn't realistic anymore. I'm just so tired.
Has anyone had a similar situation, or does anyone have any advice to help me survive math? Or difficult/disliked courses in general? Thanks for reading - writing this certainly helped me feel a bit better, though I have to go do a math quiz now. If anyone has any thoughts, please share :)
Tl;dr: I'm a first-year CS student who enjoys programming but hates math
Edit: Wow, thanks for all the responses and advice! I'll take a look at the resources that some of y'all have recommended and will get to answering DMs - thanks again for the kind words and help. MATH 137 is still tough, but I think 135 is growing on me a little after I tried thinking about the logic and how it's similar to the logic aspects I like about programming. Maybe I'm just particularly allergic to calculus though lol :) submitted by /u/throwaway-0621