Why should I study Calculus when I will never use it?
This is a great question and one that I love to answer. When you ask this question it shows that you are thinking about your future and paying attention to the path you are on (or maybe you are just fed up and tired of math?). For whatever reason, I am going to give you my take on why you are not wasting your time learning calculus.
First of all, you are probably right. You will most likely never use the material you learn in calculus unless you are a math major. Even as an engineer, you may never directly use a lot of what you are learning in calculus, although you will probably use a lot more than other people.
To understand my logic, let me give you a little bit of background on how your mind works. As you go through life, you read things, learn things, hear things, see things and have experiences happen to you, each little in- put to your brain shapes your thinking, both what you think and how you think. Without going into too much detail, your brain is building patterns or structures. To do that, you have chemical changes in your brain.
Studying and learning calculus, changes the chemistry of your brain and shapes those structures which allows you to put other information into those structures that you will use. For example, if you want to drink water, you need a glass, cup, bottle or even your hands to get the water into your mouth. If you decide to bypass those options, you still need the pipes to get water to you. If you go directly to a river, you need the riverbank to move the ow of water to a location close to you. You need some kind of structure to get water to your mouth.
The same idea works with calculus. You need the structure of calculus to be able to understand other math, engineering, physics, chemistry, business and many other topics.
Now, let’s go back to the topic of structures. If you are struggling with calculus, listen to what you are telling yourself about it. Are you telling yourself that you can’t do it? Are you reminding yourself constantly how much you hate it? Do you think about how you will never use calculus so you are wasting your time? If so, you are building a set of concrete structures that makes learning the material more dicult, if not impossible. All of us
have to do things in our lives that we don’t want to do, that we don’t like to do and that we think are a waste of time. But successful people are the ones that stop saying those things to themselves, change what they are thinking, dig deep and do what they have to do regardless of how they feel.
Finally, if you don’t believe anything I’ve said above, there is another reason to study calculus. Everyone needs to learn persistence and how to deal with frustration. This could be the time for you.