Real-Life Lessons I Learned From My Math Classes

by Ain Montero for   |  Oct 25, 2019
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I enjoy daydreaming, especially during Math classes. The thoughts in my head are far more interesting than all the number-crunching exercises.

Just to make it clear again, I found it hard to like math. It was a constant struggle for me to memorize formulas, analyze problems, and solve equations. During my grade school entrance exam, I had to retake my logic class. I was never a Quiz Bee contestant. And I also failed a math class in college. Maybe because I just simply didn’t enjoy math lessons. Funny how it seemed like I was destined to fail every math subject I'd encounter.

But math has taught me lessons I never thought I would ever apply in real life. 

1) Add, subtract, multiply, and divide

In first grade, the class was already required to memorize the first five sets of the multiplication table. And I couldn’t even move on from my subtraction exercises. It all seemed like an additional burden for me.  


But it's easy for me now to apply these lessons in budgeting my savings and expenses. I don’t even need to count using my fingers. Here’s my #adulting math formula: income – savings = expenses. 

2) Problem-solving

I first encountered problem-solving equations in the second grade and the problems kept getting complicated as I reached high school. 

Little did I know there are far more complicated things in life that I'd need to solve. While it did not teach me any mathematical skills, I learned how to strategically face all challenges one problem at a time. Or sometimes run away from it. 

3) Angles, geometrical shapes and forms

This was a piece of cake for me, actually. But I always found it tedious to get the area and perimeter of the entire basketball court or three-dimensional shapes drawn on the blackboard.

Now, I understand how angles have a funny way of teaching you how to see pictures in a better view. Turn it 180 degrees and it will always give you a new perspective on how to live your life accordingly. It pays so much to reflect during these times to avoid narrowing down our beliefs or getting stuck with our own ego.  I mean we’re not always 90°. Pun intended. 

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4) Fractions

Fractions were also my weakness. I never saw the point and the need to solve fractions. But it taught me the value of friendship. A wholesale pie cannot be shared by everyone and certainly will not be enjoyed by everyone. So all throughout my entire life, I have met and lost friends. But I made sure to share a piece of the pie to the ones I treasure the most. 

5) X and Ys

I gave up when numbers married the letters. It was too much unknown information to me. Then, it takes minutes for me to solve x and y equations and I had to review again and again until I got it right. 

Well, this is not about an ex. But I learned that we don’t really have to figure out the unknown, especially the things that we don’t have control over. We just have to hope that somehow we’ll be able to figure out a way out of the troublesome situation. And trust the process. 


I may have failed my math subjects. But it never failed to teach me lessons. Funny, I thought I wouldn’t be able to apply a single lesson I learned in my classes. And these five are just among the many lessons I have familiarized myself with as I face every challenge through this #Adulting life. 

So, don’t put too much effort into hating the subject and learn how to value what it may teach you instead.

This article originally appeared on

Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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