Math classes are the worst.  The lessons are confusing, the equations are tedious, and it seems almost completely useless.  Rarely do you come across an individual who actually enjoys math.  So why are we practically forced to do it throughout our entire K-12 career?  Well, as pointless as it may seem, math actually does teach us skills that can have a lasting impact on our lives.  This week, we probably won’t make you suddenly love math, but perhaps we can explain the “why” behind why it’s required in many schools at all grade levels.

Understand the World Around You

Math has an influence on just about everything.  From shopping, to telling time, to sharing a cookie with friends, understanding math helps you be prepared.  By understanding percentages, you can know exactly how much 75% off a specific product actually is.  You can figure out how much of an ingredient you need when you only have a ¾ cup to work with.  By studying statistics, you can better understand information that will help you make political and personal life decisions.  Math enables you to approach life’s problems with a better view of how to fix them.

Helps Build Critical Thinking Skills

Math builds up the analytical thinking muscles in your brain.  By developing those skills you’ll be able to deal with the problems in life in a much more effective way.  Though you may not have to figure out what time a train will arrive at its destination when going 50 mph, you will need to frame problems, identify any unknowns, and find solutions that will effectively solve those problems. 

All Careers Use Math to Some Extent

Just about every career you could think of utilizes math to some extent.  Many careers involve statistics that need to be analyzed in order to know how best to apply them for better success.  Even being a writer involves understanding how many words equal how many pages, or how many sales equals what level of profit.  Dancers need to have some understanding of how to find the right balance or how to follow the pattern of the beats in a song.  Name a career and, upon reflection, you will recognize some way mathematics applies.

Math really is applicable in so many situations.  It may not be your favorite subject, but it will make you much more effective when taking part in those subjects you do enjoy.  Hopefully knowledge of the “why” will at least help you appreciate it more, even if it’s still a trial.