When am I Ever Going to Use This?

An answer to the question, ‘When am I ever going to use this?’

Every math teacher on the planet has heard their students ask this question, and it’s a valid question. I loved math when I was a student, yet I asked this question as well. So, it is clear to me why a student that doesn’t like math would be focused on this question. Whether you love or hate math, it is pertinent to answer this question. 

The reality is that you may never use the math you are learning. But that doesn’t mean the process is a wasted process or lacks value; quite the contrary in fact. Learning mathematics opens up pathways in your brain that no other subject can open up and for that reason it is very valuable. I’d like to give you an analogy.  

Everyone knows that if an athlete wants to reach the peak in their sport, they will need to spend some time cross-training. Cross-training allows the athlete to develop muscles, movement, endurance, and flexibility in different ways than the development they get from the sport that they specialize in. The end result is improved performance in their sport. 

Learning math is cross-training for your brain. It develops new neuronal pathways that can only be opened and developed through learning a problem-solving-based subject. It stretches your mind and forces you into a pattern of thinking that may not be comfortable or familiar. But when you are done with the process, the end result is an improved ability to think, reason, and problem-solve.

So, the fact that you may never use the specific mathematics that you are learning right now is actually irrelevant. What is important is that you will have access to an expanded capacity in the functioning of your brain. That is why learning mathematics is so important and valuable, regardless of your career path.