As I'm entering the last year (Finally! Woohoo!) of my undergrad degree in mathematics, I'm thinking more and more of the people I know who have tried to convince me that there was never any hope for them in math - these are some of the most creative and brilliant people I know, but instead of seeing mathematics as something they could master, they see it as a curse.
This makes me sad.
I mean that. It makes me sad. Because many of these people have given up on their childhood dreams of working in robotics or space sciences or design because they had been convinced that they just didn't have the "gift" of understanding math. Because some of these people are still children, and it breaks my heart to see them defeated unnecessarily.
Because I was almost defeated by these attitudes myself.
Because I believe that STEM fields benefit from the inclusion of people with "non-traditional" backgrounds, and I cringe when I see people justify keeping them out. And I cringe when I see people justify keeping themselves out.
And I know (boy, do I know) that feeling like a failure in math does not mean you are a failure in math.
You just don't understand it yet . (Yet!)
And so these are my rambling words of encouragement. There will be more.