Many of my friends wouldn’t believe me if I say I’m a total failure when it comes to mathematics most especially those who have personally witnessed my math prowess (naks!) in doing large amount mental calculations in a jiffy. I know many would even doubt if I tell them I failed Algebra 3 times in a row that nearly cost me my college degree. Looking back at it now makes me smile a little and even if I still have unanswered questions in my mind why I failed mathematics over and over again; at least I’m beginning to unearth the mystery behind it now. Was it something I did not understand or was it something that I simply did not want to understand?
I graduated as a Computer Science major, specializing in systems and software engineering to be exact. My academic background would seem to tell you a lot of things about me and my reputation in school would prove that, but it’s all basically a part of the design I consciously fabricated. One of my most memorable days in college is when I became a script kiddie, if you don’t know what it is, try to research about hacking. I successfully infiltrated our school’s systems and compromised valuable data to an extent. I was so good at what I do that I even moved further to masking my own identity while I ARP poisoned the local network. Obtaining passwords from different users logging in to their accounts through our school’s network was an easy thing to do. It really didn’t interest me at all because back in those days, I felt like it was too basic and not something I can really be proud of in the long run. I felt powerful and indestructible.There’s nothing sweeter than doing a crime that you know would never get you caught.
I was at the peak of my career or so I thought that I became apathetic of my surroundings. I failed mathematics left and right simply because I was on the mindset that it won’t do me any good in the future and I have many other things to do with my valuable time rather than attending my classes and solving problems that wouldn’t change the world anyway. I mean, c’mon, who the hell would waste time finding the value of x? MATHEMATICS IS SOMETHING I DO NOT LOVE AND DIDN’T DESERVE MY ATTENTION BACK THEN.
SO WHY DID I GO FOR COMPUTER SCIENCE IF I DIDN’T LOVE MATH IN THE FIRST PLACE?
1. I didn’t know there was so much Math involved. (this sounds stupid, but seriously, I didn’t know.)
2. I loved the name of the degree! Bachelor of Computer Science and Information Technology specializing in Systems and Software Engineering! Beat that!
3. I had the “Imposter Syndrome” (which I feel like I still have until now, sometimes.)
Okay, I know this may sound a little crazy, but right now, everything fell into its proper place.
Currently, I am an entrepreneur, writer, and an actor. Neither one role is heavier than the other. If I didn’t take Computer Science as my degree back then, I wouldn’t be able to pull off a nice work-life balance everyone’s been dreaming about. I failed mathematics simply because I didn’t take up to the challenge, but it didn’t mean I was a total failure. When I finally decided to take it seriously, my grades dramatically improved and failing it several time didn’t matter anymore. I succeeded and passed the subject just because I have learned ‘not’ to love it, but accept it as is because it’s one card I am dealt with.
Life is a series of ups and downs and it’s up to us on how we enjoy ourselves on several occasions we have no control over. At some point in time I have lived a pretentious life, but it was my own simple way of experiencing it while growing with the circumstance. I wanted to believe that I can do anything and everything people expects me to and I can be good at it, but over time I have realized that it’s not about living up to the expectations of anyone, but rather owning your life and finding your purpose. When the time comes that you finally realize you’re tired of living the pretentious life, you become mature enough to say that you’ve had a good ride exploring different aspects of yourself. It’s okay to get lost in the process because it’s the only way that you can truly find yourself.
Just like how we were all taught in mathematics, there are different ways of finding the value of x. Not all formula would make us feel comfortable so we move on to find our own. The fun in the journey is what matters most and it is where we slowly see the value of every effort that we put into it. I failed mathematics several times to find my passion, at least that is one thing I console myself with now. My heart and mind is synchronously functioning, not overlapping the role of the other, giving me total control of the decisions I make here forth. At times I may still fail because one formula might not work, but at least now I know that I have many other options to derive the results that I want. There is no perfect formula in everything, but there will always be a perfect mathematician brave enough to disregard failure in his search for success.