I get quite a number of asks from people who have strong passions for specific and general scientific fields, that they are considering majoring in and/or going into career-wise.
But the overly-common downsides to these asks, are the prevailing fears of failing due to a not-quite-outstanding understanding of mathematics. So they ask if maybe they should just do something else, because of the possibility of failing, or making mistakes. I always reply to peruse it anyway, if the passion is strong enough, and that nothing worth having and/or achieving is easy. I really want to push it into all of my reader’s minds that if it’s hard, but mutually exciting, then it’s probably worth doing.
Especially when it comes to a life choice as large as your ‘career’, or at least what you want to do with your life. I mean, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it won’t be hard, or there won’t be mistakes, and sometimes a changing of paths. But I will tell you that when you’re on your deathbed, or having a mid-life crisis, or what have you - you won’t regret the way you lived your life, because you did what you were passionate about. Even if it was scary, even if it was the hardest thing you’ve ever done, and especially even if it didn’t fit into what society, or perhaps other people had ‘planned’ for you.
Anyway, I just came across this article “Don’t Let the Math Scare You, E.O. Wilson Tells Would-Be Science Students.”, concerning exactly what the main point of this tangent was. You may not be the top mathematics genius, but don’t let that scare you away from the wondrous world of science, and all the great opportunities it has to offer.
“He also encourages students to seek out “sparsely inhabited” areas of science where existing information seems “skimpy” and difficult to connect to other specialties. Then, look for a way to “break out.”
“Every problem is an opportunity,” he says. “The harder it is, the more important it is.” “