Are you one of those students who just excel in math classes and maybe even skip certain math courses by testing out? If you are, you should highly consider joining your school’s math clubs and competitions.
But, why? Why should you “waste your afternoons with math?” It’s because you’ll gain so much through this. You’ll get to experience some amazing things that many of your peers will not get to. Even though they may seem or look boring, it’s not all that bad. You’re simply investing in your future–not just your math classes, but real life situations as well.
Joining math clubs makes wonderful memories. Some of my most favorite memories of the days back in middle school were through math club–MathCounts–and competitions. I remember being so excited to stay at the hotel with my friends, unable to sleep that first night because of the nervousness of competing the morning after.
Practice Makes Perfect
I learned this simple idea through all those Friday afternoons during middle school spent with my MathCounts team, practicing for two hours weekly. With the same goals in our minds–go to state and qualify for nationals–we practiced. And we practiced hard. And even after the practice, some students stayed around seeking solutions to the questions they had missed.
Don’t get us wrong though. Even though we were those “nerdy” kids who were simply good at math, we were just like all the other middle school kids when it came to having fun. We took breaks together going to the school vending machine to buy a bag of chips, running around in the hallway, kicking the soccer ball even when we weren’t supposed to. I remember the morning of the competition, we had a snowball fight (even though we weren’t supposed to), and my glasses got knocked off my face. Due to inches and inches of snow, it took 5 mins for 10 kids to find the pair of glasses.
Skills for the Future
So, why join math clubs? By doing so, you will gain confidence, learn from your mistakes, and know what it feels like to be pressured. Also, I’ve never had trouble in any of my math classes in high school because I gained the ability to learn and digest the new math skills very quickly.
This will help you throughout rest of your life as you go into taking the SAT, ACT, GRE, etc. And if you do decide to join math clubs and compete, practice! And practice diligently. All these things put together will make you stand out and put you among some of the best problem solvers in the world. All these experiences and memories have led me to where and who I am today.
One more thing to keep you interested in joining competitions like MathCounts–some of the recent years of MathCounts national competitions have been broadcasted LIVE on ESPN!