Calculus class: the time when you finally realize that “the limit does not exist” is not only a quote from Mean Girls, but a lifestyle.
There’s an untold rule that forbids talking about the grades on a Calculus quiz, or just about the class in general during break time. But what exactly is so bad about Calculus that has a lot of people looking at you as if you were Superman or the Wonder Woman when they see you obtained an A- on your midterm?
Why do people even take that class when they can go with Statistics? There are a lot of answers for these questions, and yet there’s not a concrete response that makes perfect sense. However, the challenges that this class can create are some of the things to live for, because at the end of the day, you might end up testing your limits…and your sanity. Don’t you believe me? Here are some reasons why Calculus is lovable:
1. Calculus can actually be useful.
“A rectangle has a perimeter of 20 meters. Express the area as a function of the length of one of the sides.” This is when your knowledge about algebra and geometry comes in handy. You will have to remember formulas and know how to substitute properly. Suddenly, your three years of math (Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry/Pre-calculus) will make sense and merge into a single subject: Calculus.
How can this be useful?
Well, using the rectangle problem example, if you are trying to build a fence around your backyard and the person who is going to build it makes random calculations and ends up charging more money, you could quickly set up a function and figure out what’s wrong with his numbers.
This is one of the first things you learn in Calculus, and this is what makes it really cool. You can relate the problems that are printed in paper to real life within the first week of taking the class. So, you should think it twice before saying Calculus is something you will “never use in real life.”
2. Calculus is challenging.
Let’s be honest, Calculus can be hard. There is a point where you don’t know what’s happening in the class and you completely space out. However, this can be amazing if you are one of those students who likes to be challenged on a daily basis, which brings me to another cool fact about Calculus: you can never completely take the subject for granted.
3. We’re all in this together.
Talking about challenges and intellectual engagement, we have to admit that not everything about Calculus is fun. In fact, I know people who would think I’m crazy when I say that the class can occasionally be fun. What makes it fun is that you’re not the only one who is struggling with Euler’s Theorem, and you know that you can always complain with the person next to you about how annoying differentiability is. You might even end up creating a new religion and adopting your graphing calculator as a god, because it tends save your life most of the time.
The point is, you can always find people willing to help each other, because they recognize that the class can be hard and can occasionally make you feel hopeless. The relationships that you establish thanks to Rolle’s Theorem will help you to study at the moment of taking midterms or final exams. My college Calculus I class’ grade policy was 95% quizzes and exams, and the remaining 5% was homework. This forced more than half of the class to interact with each other more than what some people would have otherwise. Quoting the lyrics of one of the High School Musical songs, “Together, we’re there for each other every time. Together, together, come on let’s do this right.”
4. YouTube parodies.
Okay, this might not be a legit reason, but surprisingly there is a high number of Calculus parodies that can be found on YouTube. These parodies are quite amazing, and it encourages you to understand what they are singing about.
Before taking my Calculus I class, I went on YouTube and randomly looked up for some videos and found “I Will Derive,” uploaded 5 years ago by the YouTube user MindofMatthew. After watching the video I wanted to understand the concepts he was singing about, and this sparked my interest even before sitting in the classroom for the first time.
If you aren’t convinced by my first three reasons, this one has to do it for you, because there’s nothing more hilarious than a guy making a parody of I Will Survive using derivatives.