Discomfort. Out of your comfort zone. Not things I particularly wanted to participate in when all I wanted to do was curl up in my bed, drink some tea, and read my book that was very much targeted towards me (yay Asian American books!). Despite my sluggish movements and drooping eyes-all a result from consuming nothing but carbs today- I decided to venture onto the internet to find something I was not particularly excited to read. After literally inputting “non-fiction articles” into my search bar, I found an article on physics which reminded me that I have never taken a physics class nor do I need to in order to graduate. While I am very content on never having set my eyes on anything physics related, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to see what all the buzz was about.
The moment I dived into the very appealing “The Quantum Mechanical Three-Body Problem”, my eyes immediately glazed over as I was hit by concepts I had absolutely no clue about. This entire excerpt (which is apart of a book) was based on the three-body problem, but I didn’t even know what that was. The more I read, the more I became discouraged, with my attitude ultimately dissolving into “WHO CARES?” as my frustration mounted. There were also equations and signs in there that weren’t English, so I wasn’t able to google or research their meaning unlike the rest of the article. Knowing that even in my best efforts at the time I wouldn’t be able to understand it was discouraging to say the least. I would have to learn concept after concept if I wanted full understanding, leaving me without full understanding of the article, even after all my googling. It felt like there was a giant wall in front of me, and I could choose to try to scale it or look away.
I don’t know enough about physics to dislike it, and I’m sure it is an interesting subject, but I’ve never felt a sense of urgency to learn about it. These physics concepts are always going to be here, so when I have more time I could probably learn it if I want. I’ve also lived quite fine without understanding physics, with being ignorant having no glaring, negative impacts on my life. If anything, trying to read this excerpt that is clearly meant for someone who has a physics background lead me to overestimate the difficulty of this article and underestimate my ability to understand it. But even if I did believe I have the ability to believe it fully, I fall back into my lack of urgency. Especially when the homework and responsibilities I face now are so much more tangible, leading me to complete these tasks first, having the ability to comprehend something doesn’t seem to matter as much when I don’t have time I want to sacrifice to learn it.
While for some walls like physics, not knowing it now doesn’t seem imperative, so looking away may be okay. But for other subjects like taxes, stocks, and politics that are very much looming in front of me, my complacency in climbing them and decision to avoid them is concerning. I hope that despite the apathy and tiredness from the college life that feels like weighs on my legs, I would begin hoist myself up, one foot at a time (aka defy that gravity… see that physics connection?).They aren’t going to move on their own.