How I overcome the cramming!

How does it feel when you start doing something new? When you found out that you are standing in a place where you can realize you are starting from scratch. Have you felt that pressure as if you have to climb a mountain everyday just to catch up with everyone else? That kind of feeling had eaten me up when I had my first day as chemistry major. I was once a chemical engineering student, but it did not work that well for me. So, with God’s leading, the shipwreck thrown me off at Chemistry Department. Never had come into my mind that I would become a chemistry major but because this course is a little bit closer to my first course then I had no choice but to jump myself into the bandwagon.

I remember my first day as a chemistry major. As I entered the room, I just felt that there is a gap between me and my classmates. Literally, I could sense the age gap. I am 4 years ahead of them and the nature and substance of their conversation I could not easily jive in. During the class, I could really feel that I am so behind. When I was in chemical engineering, I did not deal my chemistry class seriously but now, with this circumstance, I have to catch up.

So what I did in order for me to catch up the lessons with my classmate is to spend my time in reading. The only thing that I have is my passion for reading. I love reading. I love books. I may not good in calculations or analysis but one thing I know, I can read. I believe that by reading I can fill the empty jars of my brain for chemistry concepts. Then this will pave a way for me to love the subject. Spending quality reading helps me to integrate what I’ve read. I love making connections of what I’ve learned and generates thoughts that will enable me to rationalize better conclusions. But I tell you, you may find gems in your reading but not everyone may able to know it and appreciate just as what you have realized. During my study hours, I went to the library and scout many books speaking of the same topic. Then I have found out that there are variation of presentation on every book and I have discovered that though they speak of the same topic but only few were friendly to the readers. When I found the best book for me it feels like the whole heaven opens with its glorious light shining on me. Being a keen reader helps me to select which book is better. But of course, those quality time of reading affects my time for other things. Even though I have a quality understanding of this certain topic, but to the other subjects I was left behind. I was good at one subject but may not good with the others. And what frustrate me is that what goes out in the exam was not from those books which I’ve read but solely lean on the resources given by the instructor. If I’ve just followed my classmate in the way they study the resources, I could have better grades. That could be easily done, study the resources the night prior to the exam and let the midnight oil be burned till dawn. But I did not choose that way. I did not choose just to memorize and ace the exam and forget the day thereafter. I wanted to know more and be able to rationalize things better.  So I’ve chose to spend time more on  reading and let the concepts solidify in my mind.

So during my undergraduate, I often found myself reading in the hallway or studying in the library with a book in my hand. The blessing that I have received is that even though I may not have a good GPA, but I understand what I am studying. I realized that even the hard topics like thermodynamics could be easily summarize in few things. As the time goes, those difficulty was slowly fading off and realized that those hard things before were not that complicated as I used to see it. By the grace and mercy of God, I grow more  when I have put  all my heart, mind and soul to what I pursue. So I realize that everyone has potential. No one is really dumb.  We just need time and dedication in order for us to grow and learn.

Those “wasted” moments I have for reading of diverse authors of different chemistry books have help me a lot until now. I remember during our review for organic chemistry, I did not study. I just scan the pages of the reference book and let those pictographic memories be activated. What amazes me, with the grace of God, I  received a good grade in that review class. Ironically right?, I did not study that hard but I received a good grade.

I thank God for everything. Sometimes I murmured because I received so little when I put all my efforts. I did not understand His training for me but now, I understand faintly of His dealing toward me. His ways are perfect.

Now Im in my graduate studies, those efforts I have before had help me now so that the pressure and burden became lighter. I have so many things to share to you but that is all as of now.

You may forget what I’ve tell you but please don’t forget this main point. “It does not matter if you are not smart. Everyone has potential. If the only thing you have is you can read, then use it for it is the most effective vehicle for you to explore, grow and learn more. Just be patient with the result. God will bless your efforts at the right time. So set your heart to love reading with comprehension! And the rest will be extraordinary.”


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