Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How I Survived Chemistry

Now that I've received my final grade, I need to discuss what has been the worst semester thus far. I purposefully waited until I passed the class because even though I received an A, I had to do a lot of self study to earn it.

Additionally, when someone doesn't do well in class, there's the perception that the student didn't try hard enough. The professor's voice frequently overshadows the student and that's not always fair. Professors are experts in their field of study but some lack the ability to teach well.

Our class was set up with one Professor teaching Lab and another Professor teaching Lecture. It was apparent the two did not communicate with each other which created lots of confusion for the class.

The Lab guy would discuss chapter 7 on Monday, while the Lecture guy discussed chapter 4 on Wednesday. Each Professor used different methods to solve chemical equations making it difficult to kept track of everything.

We started out with 21 students and at the final exam, there was only 11 of us left. This is how I survived and what I learned in the process.

I stopped expecting the Professor to teach the topic with full clarity

I only needed them to introduce an idea to me. Once I got home, I utilized YouTube tutorials and various chemistry websites to teach the material to myself. It's so easy to be overwhelmed with frustration but at the end of the day, it's up to me to figure this out. I simply had no time to be overwhelmed with frustration. I'm trying to get into Nursing school and its very competitive so I've gotta do what I've gotta do.

Do the practice problems multiple times

At the end of each chapter, our Professor assigned lots of homework although he never checked it. It's not enough to do the homework one time. I did the problems over and over until I was able do them quickly and with ease.

Take online chemistry quizzes

I did a specific search for each area of focus. My searches included: Stoichiometry, Grams to Moles, Lewis Structures, etc., followed by "Practice Quiz" or "Practice Problems". This is so important because you'll find questions are asked in a different way forcing you to evaluate questions with more scrutiny.

Understand how to use your scientific calculator

There's a lot of math involved in Chemistry but it's important to keep in mind that the math should support the concepts. After plugging away at your calculator, you have to know if the answer makes sense to the chemistry. It should go without saying, use the same calculator all semester. Each one is different so do yourself a favor by familiarizing yourself with the one you'll be using for the semester.


  1. Great post! Congrats on the grade. I would be SO intimidated by a Chemistry class. I like how you took the initiative - that's the kind of thing returning students are more likely to do.

    1. Thanks. I was also very intimidated by Chemistry because of all the horror stories I've heard about the high drop rate. Thankfully, it wasn't as bad as I thought.

  2. Congratulations CandidAnn
    Good for you. You have proven that, unfortunately, many colleges and advanced schooling don't have good teaching manners. Many students get frustrated with the how subjects are taught and give up all together on higher education. The same thing happens in undergraduate and high school education. The lesson I take from hearing experiences like you've experienced is that education truly comes from within. If you want it bad enough, you can and will find a way to get the lessons. I can remember going back to the "basics" to learn about many subjects; even if the basics meant studying books way below my grade level.

    Also, some you tubers are in nursing school now; Felipe on Naptural85 channel and a couple of others. It could be helpful to reach out to some of your fellow social media connections to get the skivvy on what to do for certain aspects of nursing study.

    Look forward to hearing more of your saga with education and also whoever gets you for a nurse will be in fine hands. You've always struck me as someone who listens and respects getting to the bottom of things: I'd like to have more medical professionals like you in my corner.

    1. Thanks. You are so right about teaching manners, not everyone has them. One student told me that although she's an A student, that class made her feel stupid. She was in tears and ended up dropping the course. I totally agree with you about going back to the basics. Some of the Chemistry websites I learned from were made for High School students. You really have to put your pride to the side and be relentless.

      I watch all Naptural85's channels. Her and Felipe are awesome. I've mainly been on the allnurses website when searching for the nitty gritty in terms of nursing.

      Thanks again for the encouragement. I'm not always 100% sure I'm making the right decision, but so far I'm really enjoying this journey. I plan on getting my Masters in nursing so I've got a long way to go and believe it or not, I'm excited about wherever this is going to takes me.

  3. Can you pass on some of the resources you DID end up using? YouTube channels, resource books, etc?
    I am starting into Chemistry in 2 weeks - having finished A/P and loved it..but Chemistry scares me to death. I had a GREAT source for A/P (Wendy Riggs on YouTube), but she's not a chemistry professor. Any insight would be truly appreciated. Thanks!

  4. Hi I'm Yaa Pokua Ofei and I will be doing A/P and Chemistry next semester. What tips could you provide me with in order to get an A in both of these classes, Thank you.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...