12 Things You Need To Know About Organic Chemistry

Flickr / Quinn Dombrowski
Flickr / Quinn Dombrowski
  • Spring 2014: D
  • Fall 2014: F
  • Spring 2015: D
  • Summer 2015: A

Well that is one hell of a trend, isn’t it? Two years in the making and I have finally passed the class that I spent hours slaving over, shedding tears of disappointment, and let flow plenty of thoughts of wanting to throw the towel in.

But if you are a student, do anything in addition to going to and from class every day, and have a heart and a mind and a soul, then you know very well that things going on in your real life can have a huge impact on your academic life.

Here is a compilation of what I really learned from Organic Chemistry.. and it truly has nothing to do with carbon atoms or chair conformations:

  1. It is all in your mindset. The second you doubt your abilities and start to believe you will fail, you most likely will. And that is exactly what I did. I doubted, and I flopped- three whole times. I finally believed, and I soared.
  2. Your surroundings are key. You’re with people who are just trying to get by, crawling to pass, or doing the minimum? Surround yourself with positive, hard working, and encouraging people and you will be amazed what changes in your performance and productivity.
  3. Find motivation. There are things we don’t give two cents about learning or having to do, but what it comes down to is we just have to do them. There will not always be money to go out to eat or to buy something new to celebrate a good grade or project completion. And sadly there often aren’t always people to cheer you on or to make sure you are actually doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Find ways to motivate yourself intrinsically and you will be set.
  4. Acknowledge that it sucks. It sucks, you hate it, and now you have felt it and know it as a fact.  So detach and move on because nothing can change it’s suckiness other than simply getting through it.
  5. There is always a solution. It may not be obvious, you may have to think about it a lot, turn the paper upside down, or look other places for ideas… but you can always figure it out and make it work.
  6. Success does not necessarily mean being the best. Is it ideal to take a class four times before one “succeeds” according to the letter grade system? Absolutely not. But is it more ideal to have been at the lows of wanting to give up, feeling inadequate, and failing only to rise up and prove to the world and yourself that you could do it? Absolutely. My GPA took a hit, grad schools will question me, and peers probably look at me like I am unintelligent… but I brought so much more to this fight and gained more from it than the kid sitting in front of me who cheated his way to a B.
  7. Tenacity. I got stuck. I struggled. But I. Never. Gave. Up. I had moments of letting go and of falling down, but I always got back up and tried again. Things in this world are rarely cut and dry like those algebra problems we had to solve in math. We must learn how to be goldfish who are asked to climb a tree. Sounds impossible? Maybe it is. But I would take anyone who has the heart to try over someone who “knows” it isn’t attainable any day.  (Because remember, there is always a solution…)
  8. Start believing and putting good vibes into the world and the world will reward you. Take that moment to help a classmate understand something, stop and say hello instead of passing by with a wave, and all those other little things you “don’t have time for”. Knowledge and love is meant to be shared- so share it. Somehow the energies of the universe will acknowledge the good you are doing and send the good back your way.
  9. Give things time. Put in the time necessary to get things done, let other things have the time they need to build and be created, and give yourself time to simply be. We are living in a culture of the most, the quickest, the better. Slow down. It is okay.
  10. Comparison is a deadly weapon. They only studied an hour and got a better grade than you when you’ve studied for two weeks… They just got promoted after working here for only a month and you’ve been busting your butt for a year… She looks amazing in that dress but you can’t even afford it or pull it off… It does not end. And you cannot live feeling inadequate. So stop. Stop comparing. You are you and this journey of life is yours. We were not made to be cookie cutters or to follow a pre-determined path. We spend so much  time and energy trying to be unique and figure out who we are as individuals yet we are pushed to constantly compare and critique.
  11. Your soul is not meant to bring you down… so let go of that deadly weapon and let your light shine just as it is, in this moment. It will all work out.
  12. Your happiness matters. You are more than your grades, classes, job, and accomplishments. Life happens- so let it happen. Sometimes things will come up that are so important you have to let other aspects of your current life dwindle, fall, or sink away… and that’s okay. Don’t forget to take care of yourself while you’re busy taking care of everything and everyone else.

You can, and you will, do it. So save yourself some time and start believing it. TC mark

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