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Dear Missy: I really want to drop down to OL Maths but my parent’s won’t let me

Dear Missy: I really want to drop down to OL Maths but my parent’s won’t let me

Team Missy

Dear Missy,

I’m in 2nd Year and I’m really struggling with my Maths class. I just cannot keep up with the rest of the people in my Higher Level Math class. I’ve been scraping by with around 50% for most of the year, but in my last test I only got 23% – and that was after I put a ton of effort in. Studying for summer exams has been so stressful. II just can’t cope with the stress anymore. My teacher thinks I would do really well in Ordinary, but they’ve told me that they will try support me as much as possible if I choose to stay in HL – but I want to drop down. The problem is my parents, specifically my dad, he’s insisting that I stay in Higher Level and work harder to improve, but I really just don’t think that I have it in me. I feel like crying most days in class from the stress.

I know parents can have high expectations and sometimes they know our ability more than we do and it’s their job to try motivate us to do our best, but sometimes they get things wrong.

It sounds like you are really struggling mentally with this and that’s not good at all. It also sounds like you are putting in a lot of effort in to try improve, but you’re not seeing the results that you need mark wise or mentally. Some people adore and thrive with maths and numbers, some people just can’t get their head around it, and that’s ok. Math is obviously a core subject in school the whole way up to Leaving Cert, but it shouldn’t be causing you so much stress and anxiety in only 2nd year. And having to put so much into it is only going to distract you from other subjects

Have you any idea what you would like to do after school? Do you actually need HL Math for college? Most colleges require that you do at least OL Math for Leaving Cert, so you should be covered unless its a science field that you’d like to go into and even so, in most causes they accept a good OL result – check this out.

Secondly, you really need to sit down and talk to your parent and let them know how much this is really stressing you out. Dropping down is not a failure and OL Math is still challenging, but it’s good that your teacher thinks that you will do well in it. In the long term it’s better to excel at OL than struggle and possibly fail HL. If your parents are still a bit sceptical make a deal that you’ll stick out HL until the Halloween midterm in 3rd year – if you’re still struggling then tell them you will drop down.

And lastly, speak to your teacher. Let them know that there’s a bit of pushback at home and ask for their advice on what they think. They know you best when it comes to how you are in the classroom and if they really feel that you should be in OL ask them to speak to your parents about the issue.

Good luck!

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