Anyone can be successful in STEM classes

Graphic by Shivani Mudhol

Graphic by Shivani Mudhol

Whether students like it or not, everyone has to take STEM classes and courses in order to graduate high school. Maybe you hate math or find yourself stumped by the nuances of scientific concepts. Maybe you just find these subjects boring and overly technical. However, the reality is, anyone can excel in STEM. You do not need to be a “STEM” person to succeed in these subjects. With some effort, curiosity and a willingness to learn, you can unlock a realm of exciting opportunities in STEM and beyond. Let us explore some practical tips and strategies to help you get started on your own STEM journey, no matter what your background or experience level may be. You may even find that STEM is not as scary as it may seem to be. 

Students believe that STEM is reserved only for those with natural abilities, or people who are just plain “smart.” This is a harmful mindset that deters people from pursuing their interests in these fields, many of whom could succeed in STEM with perseverance and the right support. Based on research by the National Library of Medicine, adopting a growth mindset — the belief that talent can be acquired through effort and practice — is crucial to success, which also includes success in STEM. Anyone can overcome self-doubt and realize their full potential in STEM by adopting a growth mindset and emphasizing hard work over natural talent. Furthermore, even these “STEM people” who seem like everything comes naturally to them often struggle. Every student, regardless of natural talent or not, needs grit and constant growth in order to become successful.  

One of the best ways to receive support and guidance in STEM is by reaching out to teachers who can provide additional resources and support. While talking to teachers can be scary at times, they are meant to help guide students when they are struggling. Do not be afraid to ask questions or seek extra clarification on any concept. More often than not, teachers are willing to offer extra support outside of class time, and since they are the people who ultimately decide your grade, getting help straight from the source can be even more advantageous at times. Additionally, forming or joining study groups with peers who share your interests and goals can aid your success in STEM. Collaboration not only helps you stay motivated and engaged but also provides opportunities to learn from others’ approaches to problem-solving. 

Remember, the key to success in STEM is not just about mastering individual concepts but also building a community of support and resources that can help you achieve your goals, and possibly reinforce the goals of others too.