Tampitump Posted April 30, 2016 Share Posted April 30, 2016 I'm 25 years old and starting back to college. I completely goofed off during pretty much all of my school years. From grade school on up until high school graduation, I barely squeaked by with everything and neglected my education. I always struggled with math especially because it intimidated me and caused me to distance myself from it. I decided to go to college at the last minute after high school and only got into a very non-selective school by the skin of my teeth. I spent three years there and never progressed towards a degree. I just never applied myself. I left college when I was 21. Long story short, I went through a drastic, 180-degree change in my attitude towards education between the time I quit college and now. I gained a new perspective on life in which I now value education and have decided that I want to achieve the highest possible education I can. I enrolled in college again this semester (which will be over next week). Of course, I was placed in the most remedial math course available due to my past short-comings in math. I thought that perhaps it would seem a lot easier to me now since I am more mature and I have learned a lot from a few years of avid reading and studying logic, rhetoric, science, etc. However, it is still proving to be difficult for me. I have heard from so many people and so many places that after a certain point, you just can't learn things anymore. If you don't learn them as a kid it's just impossible (or nearly impossible) to learn them now. I believe most of these people are referring heavily to maths, but I think they are suggesting that it applies to many other things too. Is this true? Is it true that, at my age, I can't learn these things? When people say this, it just instills this nearly unwavering discouragement and pessimism in my mind. It's hard to believe that- "Welp, guess that's it, can't learn anymore things now." I would laugh at the people who say this and think them absurd if it weren't for many prominent and distinguished individuals who agree with this position. I'm pretty sure Sam Harris and Steven Pinker (among many others) have spoken about this and have stated that this is the case. I so desperately want to move past where I am now and go to a top school. But there's almost this mentality that pervades our discourse that if you're not 18-22 years old and already sharp at these things, you can just never learn them. It's almost as if people state these things as absolutes, as if it is absolutely true in every case. If this is untrue or if I am utterly misunderstanding this, I would love to know about it. Before I really caught wind of these types of claims I had attributed my trouble with math to years of neglecting it and that it would only require me to go back over it, brush up on it, and that it would all be okay. But I hear these things said all the time it is starting to worry me. I'm sorry for the long post. I also wanted to state that I see a lot of people apologizing in advance for the possibility of posts like this being "inappropriate". I'm not sure what makes posts like this inappropriate, but if they are, I apologize. Thanks for all good answers! 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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