After I finished high school, I was the happiest person ever; not because I had completed such an important phase of my life but because I thought that never again would I have to undergo the torture of studying mathematics. I absolutely detest maths. However, luck was not to favor me as it turned out I had to take three compulsory mathematics courses during my first year at university. That was when it dawned upon me that mathematics is here to stay. The only chance we stand against it is to understand the simple things that can help an individual make it through these mathematics courses alive. However, this is as tough as lectures on how to get your ex back can be! So hold on while you read this post that!

Don’t miss classes:

Even if you don’t get anything the instructor says, just don’t miss classes. Chances are, if you continue attending classes regularly, your instructor will see that you are at least trying to make an effort to study and to grasp the concepts. That way, you might end up getting some bonus marks. However, instructors can be unpredictable and this approach can be as risky as a PPI claim.

Practice makes a man perfect!

We have heard this claim several times before. However, I did not fully understand the true wisdom behind it till I took the mathematics courses in university! No matter how attentive you are in class, if you don’t practice when you come back home, you will not be able to get a grade in this course. Practice as much as you can. That question about US Fast Cash calculations that you could never do is bound to come in your exam and the only way to get it done there is to do it now here. You see, when you write things down, your brain tends to remember them more efficiently. Therefore, if you attempt a question several times on a piece of paper, the process is bound to remain in your head for a good period of time. If you only read through the concepts, believe me you will not be able to do well, no matter how good your concepts are. Practice as hard as you possibly can!

Sleep before the exam:

It is absolutely essential that you sleep not just before a mathematics exam but before any exam in general. You see, a sleep deprived body and mind simply cannot function properly. You will end up making mistakes that will make you want to kill you later! Ask anyone in the world from a carpenter in Cairo to an Emergency Dentist in Glasgow and they will tell you that it is simply not possible for anyone to work without an adequate amount of sleep. Sleep well and consume less caffeine before the exam so that your mind does not go blank.

These tips, along with hard work and dedication can get anyone through the tough mathematics courses in university that so many people dread.

Currently, I am working on my diploma thesis in social psychology (a diploma in Germany equals a master’s degree, and meanwhile degrees have switched to BSc and MSc here as well, but I’m still doing the old one), which means that I work at home a lot, doing research and writing things together.

A little while ago, I used to do all the working at my kitchen table, but recently, I have shifted my working place to the living room.

Why that? Well, the main reason is that I wanted to disentangle my activity spheres. I used to do everything at my kitchen table – writing, researching, eating, reading blogs, watching movies, phoning – and I did not even realize that I did not feel overly comfortable there. I was sitting on a wooden chair all day long, and the rest of my apartment remain almost unused.

However, I have decided to change that. If I have to work anyways, I can at least feel comfortable doing so, right? And what does it help me to live in an apartment which I do not use for the most part?

I think a lot of this habitual self-denial goes hand-in-hand with my eating disorder background, and while I have always been perfectionist and ascetic by nature and feel an inner occasion to go on being that way, I know how detrimental it will turn out if this disposition prevails. So, I am actively going against it.

~ this is much more comfortable than an unupholstered chair ~

I have dragged all my equipment to the sofa bed in the living room, and this is where I do most of the work now. It felt so much better at once! My laptop sits on a tray with a cushion attached to the bottom so I can easily balance it on my knees and it does not run hot.

And finally, I have enough space to spread all my files and articles around me without turning my kitchen table into a mess.

~ fortuatnely, the rest of the literature comes as pdf ~

Another thing I found very helpful with this arrangement is that it takes me away from a space – my kitchen – that is loaded with associations of food, or rather, eating and not eating. My kitchen is not at all a negatively connoted room for me (anymore), but currently it is still easier for me to keep spheres separate: The kitchen is for eating, and everything else is done elsewhere. After making this change, I was astonished what a difference it made, and how much better I can work now, with less distractions. I had severely underestimated the power of a cue-loaded environment.

Have you made similar experiences? Do you have everything in one place at home, or do you keep things separate? Which option do you like better?