What I Actually Learned in O-Chem



*Everyone welcome back Megan as she re-enters the blogging world after the hardest semester ever which left her barely any time to write :(*

Here is what I learned in Organic Chemistry that actually has nothing to do with Organic Chemistry…

Failure is healthy

I thought everything was sailing by quite smoothly in my o-chem lecture, and I studied pretty hard and felt really good going in to my first exam. I felt even better after walking out of it. I felt like sinking into a giant black hole when I got my grade back: D+. The worst grade I have ever received on any exam in any class in my entire life. I don’t get D’s. I don’t get C’s. And I really try to stay away from the B’s. However, there I sat with a D+ on my first organic exam that I thought I did pretty well on. I went home that day and completely lost my sh*t. I went through the entire undergraduate catalog and searched for my new major. I was done with science. Sound dramatic? Absolutely. But I didn’t know what to do. I had never felt like more of a failure. I even went to the extent that I decided I really was going to change my major, until my wonderful mother talked some sense back in to me. She told me that I can’t give up on what I really want to do in life just because one class is going to be extremely difficult for me. She was right, of course, so I didn’t change my major. I changed my attitude (and my studying habits). I put in so much more work and going into my next exam I was nervous. I knew I had to perform well if I didn’t want to drop the class. Receiving my B+ was the best feeling ever – even if it was a B. I jumped 20 points from the last exam! From there I knew what I had to do and got another B+ on the third exam. I took my final yesterday, so I’m not sure what I’m finishing the class with, but things are definitely looking positive.

So what did I actually learn from my organic chemistry lecture? Was it how to synthesize a tri-substituted benzene? Sort of (never really fully grasped that concept). Was it that I absolutely need coffee to stay awake at 8AM? Well, yes… But what I really learned was that sometimes we all need a kick in the butt to get us going again. You’ve heard it a million times, but we all need a wake up call. Something to refocus our goals and dreams and reorganize our plans of how we want to get there. Failure is healthy. That’s really the take home message, and although it was a real pain in the you know what, I’m thankful for organic chemistry. I wouldn’t say I’m excited for the next semester of it, but I will say that I’m feeling a whole lot better about it than I was on that dreadful day I received my dreadful grade.

I’m excited to hopefully crank out a few blog posts over the holidays while I can enjoy my much needed break from the craziness that comes with being a science major!

Love always,

Megan LouAnn



One thought on “What I Actually Learned in O-Chem

  1. frankwmcarr says:

    Hey Megan!
    I’m glad you are trying your hardest. Organic chem is notorious for being hard, and many students detest it. Yet, as you said, as many things in life, you won’t like everything you do, but you still have to do them! Failure can show you what you are good at and what you aren’t.

    Again, I really enjoy science, and am pursuing a Biology degree myself. As for organic, a required part of most biology curricula, I should do fine. But again, God has gifted me with a scientific mind that many don’t have.

    And your “street-smart” take-home message from Organic I is excellent. Chances are, throughout your adult life to come, specialized knowledge (especially if unused) tends to fade, and while you could review it if necessary (and may come back pretty easily), it’s not worth replenishing on a regular basis. It typically suffices to get a general “gist” of the subjects, and move on. Besides, college is meant to be a foundation, and in a given profession, the periodicals, training, etc. are sufficient. So whether or not you get good grades, your college years will have some impact in one way or another.

    Keep up the good work! God bless.


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