Huffpost Teen

Hey, It's OK To Be Bad At Math

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BAD AT MATH
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High school can be really stressful -- to say the least. Our weekly "Hey, It's OK!" series is here to remind you of all things you SHOULDN'T be worried about, no matter who tells you otherwise!

Bad at math? Baby, you may have been born that way, according to recent research. Dyscalculia -- a disorder that makes it difficult to understand numbers -- is estimated to affect five to seven percent of the population. Although the importance of STEM education is indisputable, it seems that we weren't all blessed with the good-at-math gene.

So if crunching numbers isn't your strongest suit, fear not -- here are five reasons it's OK to be really terrible at math.

1. Lots of famous smart, people were horrible at math.

Inventor Thomas Edison was had trouble in school because he was said to be "too dumb," particularly when it came to math. But Edison went on to patent over 1,000 inventions, including the light bulb, making him one of the most famous inventors in American history.

2. You can get by just fine in life without knowing the quadratic equation.

While we certainly don't condone spacing out during first-period pre-calc, you can keep things in perspective by remembering that it won't hurt you too much in life to be bad at algebra or geometry. As long as you have the basic stuff down (and you don't plan to make a career in a technical or science-related field), you should be able to get by with subpar numerical skills.

3. Math only makes up one-third of the SAT.

Don't worry: You still have plenty of opportunity to bump up your score and show your stuff on the writing and verbal sections -- and if you're applying to a liberal arts college, they'll be paying most attention to those sections anyway.

5. You can appreciate how amazing math is without being good at it.

Look no further than these eight videos for proof of the awe-inspiring majesty of mathematics.

4. Science and math smarts are just one type of intelligence.

The world needs mathematicians and engineers, yes, but it also needs writers, artists, teachers, social workers, and individuals with varying types of intelligence. Although the argument that not enough students are going into math and sciences is a common one, at least one scholar actually argues that the "scientist shortage" is no more than a myth.

"We don’t need as many scientists as we can get just because they’re scientists," argues Derek Lowe in an op-ed on Slate.com. "Does a bowl of soup need all the salt it can get? We need all the excellent ones we can find, without shoveling in people who’d just as soon be doing something else."

The bottom line? Do what you love -- because that's probably what you'll excel at.

Tell us: Do you love math class, or does calculus make your skin crawl? Share your favorite (and least favorite) school subjects in the comments or tweet @HuffPostTeen!

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