Is Life Harder Than You Thought? Don’t Panic!

My son, Vid, will turn eighteen in April. He’s starting his second semester of college, studying engineering.

He did exceptionally well his first semester which was great because it gave him confidence. I’m just off the phone with him. He says this semester is much harder.

“Well, don’t panic,” I said.  “You know, math…it’s possible to lose your grip. You start to slip.  This is okay. It happens sometimes. Just keep a cool head and get on top it. Do what you have to do, but don’t panic. You’ve got the chops. You’re not in over your head. Just stay calm and grab until you catch.  Make calls if you have to,” I said, reminding him, his stepfather is an ace mathematician. “It’s going to be okay.”

This was my motherly advice to my nearly-adult son. I looked at the current sky when I hung up the phone. Moon (mother) conjunct Saturn (support) in Sagittarius (higher education).

It also reminded me, back when he was starting high school. He was really scared. His sun is conjunct Saturn.

“They don’t teach anything in that school that you can’t learn. You won’t get there and find, oh, this is too hard. I can’t learn this.  Just go and you’ll find out, I’m right.”

I watched the fear leave his face.

Do you feel you’re slipping? Don’t panic. Reach until you get a grip, pull up and you’ll be back on top.

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Is Life Harder Than You Thought? Don’t Panic! — 23 Comments

  1. The only time I feared my ability to pick up college material was when I wasn’t prepared. I learned years later sometimes it’s the professors inability to teach the material that creates that learning barrier (and not you). If your son takes the book home and doesn’t understand what he’s reading he can always get a tutor. Almost always the tutors are other students who explain the material better than the teacher (that is if the instructor isn’t already awesome). In college MANY of the professors are experts in their fields “paying off” their research grants by teaching undergraduate classes. Especially math teachers (usually involved in physics research). That means these teachers have no experience with how to teach and, though they understand the material, may not know how to dumb it down for a first time layman (which is a skill in itself) attending their classes. Point of all this is your son shouldn’t blame himself if this happens, and instead, immediately seek a tutor or different instructor if he can’t learn from studying the book. There’s no shame in it. Everybody does it if they’ve been in college long enough. I’ve had classes that I passed solely on studying the book because the instructor had a thick accent or something. lol You have to adjust to the instructor. I know it’s sad, but I sometimes look for an american sounding last name when signing up for math classes. There are awesome instructors of various foreign backgrounds but when it comes to the harder upper level math classes, like calculus, having someone who speaks english as their first language makes an already difficult subject to learn that much easier to assimilate.

    • SO TRUE. Happened to my niece, so she switched schools because her prep school math teacher was just there to earn a salary while working on private projects, and he could not teach at all, had no skills, the students were lost and he wasn’t interested. At a very $$$$$ school! She learned more in her first semester at her new school and with a tutor in the summer, than she had in two years. It was critical to her career choice, so she was so happy she switched (on the advice of four friends who’d made the same switch the semester before). I know four highly educated math professors in Europe; only one is a good teacher, the rest frustrate their students, and are just lost in their own heads in theory that they couldn’t explain. Nice, smart, but just absolutely not meant to be teaching.

  2. “I learned years later sometimes it’s the professors inability to teach the material that creates that learning barrier (and not you).”

    This. I recently started studying Business, as an adult. I was not worried at all about anything requiring mostly reading or writing. I studied highly conceptual subject matter at college in my late teens and early 20’s. But I had nearly flunked High School Math. I was so terrified by failing it at Final Exams that I studied an additional foreign language instead. As a 18-year-old, I knew it was partly my teachers fault. But it took Business Math to show me just how much it was my High School teacher’s fault. I realized I followed teaching, and actually was just two points away from an “intermediate” grade. I for sure learned more Maths in 6 hours there than 216 hours I sat through at High School.

  3. ❤aw! Your wonderful words of advice to him and your faith in him is so powerful.

    Yes. It’s is wise to remember to get a grip, be in the moment enough to calm down, and prayer works, too lol.

  4. I feel like my life has been very hard especially relating to work and being able to earn a livable income. I spend a majority of my life doing something I hate in order to survive. It hardly seems worth it, frequently has me questioning the meaning/validity of it all. Worse still I can’t seem to release the notion that it can and will get better and that something will happen to make all of this hard life worth it. Elsa told me in a reading that I have a pretty fortunate chart and I thought to myself holy moly if this is fortunate I would be afraid of whats unfortunate. I’m not intending to sound like a downer I’m just being real. My life has been very hard by most anyone’s standards fortunate chart or not.

  5. This post sounds familiar, did you write about this before. I’m having issues with math also, I think I saw this sometime last year. I don’t know, but anyway I have the Sun about 7 degrees conjunct Saturn. I am kinda like a perfectionist.

  6. This post made me smile – – a lot!

    Yesterday, my 24yo son was panicked about the exam he sat last night. He is doing his MBA & the unit was financial management (a real grunt/groan subject for him), so we were working through some of the share & bond examples at the kitchen table. He drove into the exam centre in the evening, did his exam & came home about 10pm; quite brain dead.

    This morning he is up & about, all chipper & chirpy. He tells me he only has about 18mths to go to get this MBA! (I hope the next lot of subjects are better than this was). He’s a sag ascendant (same as me), Saturn’s just gone over his & his sun in 10th & rules his 9th. Partile conjunction of Venus/Jupiter in Leo in 9th & they’re both conjunct Mercury by less that 2*. His natal Saturn is 1* Aquarius, so in good condition.

    What amuses me is what I see you post. I used the exact same words, “Just keep a cool head & get on top it. Do what you have to do.” <>

  7. Math was a doable subject for me as started to get tutoring after the freshman or sophomore year. I did all math related assignments and others where some calculations were needed like physics in the tutorial center. This prepared me for exams and quizzes.

  8. It’s great to read about your son at this age, stage. Your advice and the comments here are encouraging and informative too. My experience is similar to Vid’s but on the other end of the spectrum: I began studying my native language (Hawaiian) earlier this month, at age 69. Thanks to the internet and a small group of parents passionate about revitalizing a dying language, I am in a self-paced journey designed to fill in the blanks of my cultural foundation. The technology was a little tricky at first, but, as you told Vid, I stayed calm, and read the instructions again and again. When things got a little dicey I emailed the site administrator and got clarification.

    The lessons online are well presented, and since they’re self-paced I create my own style of memorizing, have a text and podcasts to read and listen again and again with POST-IT notes everywhere. My mother was a fluent speaker of Hawaiian but as was the way with most of her generation she hid the language once it was forbidden by law in the late 1890’s. But now, a photograph of my mother sits in my study area. We do this together. Talk about ‘make calls.’ lol. We laugh and cry and I practice using the technology she could never have imagined.

    69 years isn’t too long to wait to fill in important holes. Is life harder than you thought? Sometimes! But when you live to tell the story in your own voice/own language there’s no turning back.

  9. My son got his acceptance letter today for the school we really wanted. YOU CANNOT IMAGINE THE RELIEF. I was mentally preparing for the backup school and felt so bad looking at the first choice college website the other week. His grades were inconsistent but great test scores and I’m so happy for him. He’s a 5 planet Aquarian and made for college and computers. You want your kid to be in an environment where he’ll grow and this is it. Freedom, studying stuff he loves, more independence. YES! Had to post, I knew Elsa would get this. ?

  10. Good advice haha. Going back to school right now. 🙂 Good luck to Vid. Being upfront about figuring out how to finish something correctly will help. For example, emailing the professor is key for clearing up what you’re unclear about. Study groups with good people saved me many times in (my second time at) college. It motivated me to keep going. My hope for others pushed me to study too. The adventure in college has been about learning about myself how I can find the courage to try again, motivate myself with my own humble hopes and maybe to become more capable to help others.

    One question that may help Vid: “How can I do this better?” Instead of what will that professor think? It will help immensely with staying true to himself and his own journey of learning and progressing and… the joy of learning about the world–without depending on the acceptance of professors or higher ups. Curiosity and figuring out the puzzle presented by the professor is a lot more fruitful sometimes.

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