I've never been a math whiz, and placed into a "remedial" math course my freshman year of college. I struggled through that class, while simultaneously getting an "A" in History. The truth is, I found the history class I was taken far more interesting. Thus, I put a great deal more effort into that (and other) classes than I did math.
The next semester, I decided I was going to give calculus the old "college try" I lucked out with a great professor, but still made a point of sitting in the front row, doing every last assigned exercise and regularly visiting with the TA during office hours. I made it through that class, and eventually all the way through a science PhD...and I'm still not that great at math!
Moral of the story: Yes, math skills are good. Yes, you need a basic understanding of common formulas/problems you will face in your fields. No, you do not need to be a math genius to do well in the biological sciences. Yes, calculating molarity, etc is a pain...but the good news is, there's an online calculator for just about everything these days!
"The plural of anecdote is not fact...except in the horse industry"
I have a BS in Bio and an MS in Environmental Engineering & Science and stink at math. Luckily my brother is a math geek and engineer and I put in several SOS calls him when I got really stuck (mainly eng. work). You can do it and don't be afraid to ask for help from TA or other resources
Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses
I'm a Bio BA and also sucktastic at math. Ask around about different profs, take math classes at the community college, get a tutor who is patient. And with a medical background, skip the lab stuff and head into clinical research. Either with a university hospital or go to industry. Good salaries and careers with lots of growth potential.
Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.
I was a biology major and am now a supervising forensic scientist in the DNA section of a crime lab so I am further specialized in genetics and molecular biology. To my recollection, I have never in 13 years in this field ever needed a quadratic equation. I don't believe I have ever divided a root unless you count chopping up a carrot for dinner! I have never used a single thing I learned(?) in calculus class. I also abhor physics (although I am reasonably competent at it) and chemistry (not so good at it). I am very good at certain types of statistics (thankfully, the ones that are actually important for my job!) and my passion is biology (hence the biology degree and career!). I took the minimum math, and physics classes while getting my degree (one year of each, I seem to recall), and I kept the chemistry to a minimum too (2 years). Get through the math as best you can (use the helpful resources others have mentioned) and follow your biology interest - you will be more successful in the long run doing something you enjoy rather than something you think is "in demand".
I loved biology in high school and thought that would be college major. After squeaking through one semester of chemistry, that was end of that idea.
Algebra was okay and then came a class with Phen diagrams...never figured that out and squeeked through. Geometry was okay...got an F at med-term and
guess the light came out and got a B for the semester. Was handy when learning to fly and navigate. Didn't take Physics but learned enough to not kill myself or others in an airplane.
DH likes to play the piano (I never figured out to read music) and said it's mathematical which he was good at. History was my favorite subject but majored in BA back in the day of no little calculators...the hours each night adding up columns of figures in your head was nuts.
Don't do it, OP! I am no human calculator, but I made it through the math courses required to get my BS in biology.
You need a tutor. A serious one. A good one. And you'd have to commit yourself to spending more time on homework and studying than (seemingly) everyone else. In fact, if I could go back and do it again, I'd force myself to make friends with the kids who were good at math and do homework together, AND I'd get a tutor.
It took me three tries to get through College Algebra. THREE. I did well in Stats and Precalc A, and then it took me two tries to get through Precalc B. Calculus I & II were fine, even fun (because they're about your imagination, whee!).
This is a big deal and it could affect your whole life. Make doing well in these classes a priority. Also, I would never have changed majors just to keep a certain GPA. I've never been asked for my GPA in a job interview. What's the point of having a great GPA if you don't have the information and skills necessary to do what you want, whether it's more schooling or in the work force?
Happy ending: I made it through math. It was rough. I'm not that disciplined and I was too silly to ask for help (don't be me!). But I seldom use my math skills in life, anyway. Mostly stats. On the other hand, I use what I learned in anatomy and physiology, genetics and microbiology every day. And the animal nutrition course was super helpful when it came to reading grain labels
Disclaimer: My mom told me that people might look at my name and think I had an addiction other than horses. I don't; his name was Bravado.
I'm very serious. Make Kahn Academy your friend. And expect to spend twice as much time on your math class as any other class. Do all your homework, do extra problems until you get it. Ask around for the best math professors and make sure you take their classes (they may not be the easiest teachers, but you're not looking for easy, you're looking for good).
I hated math and loved music. Once I discovered, like music, math is all about patterns, it all changed. Put math to music and it becomes entertainment, at least for me.
I wish it had worked that way for me! I've been reading and playing music since I was 5. However my brain has always had issues understanding math.
In college I took Music Theory for what I thought was an easy A. I'd been studying it all my life! Surprise for me when I ended up with a C - that stuff is HARD! I found it too much like math, which is why I struggled.
Funny story: Back when I was applying to grad school (late 90's) the GRE had 3 sections and you were scored as a percentile in each one. I knew I would have trouble with the math part, so I had a friend of mine tutor me. She agreed that I am hopeless when it comes to math.
My score went something like this - English 95th percentile, Analytical 98th percentile, and Math 30th percentile. Luckily I was applying to a MA program and they were willing to overlook that, but sheesh - that's awful!
I loved math until I hit calculus in high school... liked basic stats until I ended up in the wrong sequence in graduate school... hindsight is 20-20 and all that, but really, it was about the person teaching it and the way the class was structured. Some brilliant people are not good teachers and you need to find the one who's a really great TEACHER of MATH. How do you go about that? are there reliable student evaluations available? does the math department have an advisor-type person you can go to, explain the situation, and ask whose section you should try to get into? can you talk to other students and find out who loves their instructor? The other piece is to be willing to ask questions, either in class when appropriate or of your tutor. Learning to get help and make the most of it is probably a more important skill than what you learn in the class! and sadly I never learned to do that as a student, and it would have helped a lot. I was the type who just pounded my head against the table because I thought I should have been smart enough to get it on my own and was embarrassed to admit I wasn't getting it.
I went through something similar my first year of college. I intended to be a biochem major, but my math grades and standardized test scores always lagged behind my grades in history, lit and other such subjects (even though my science scores were high). I was pretty smart and worked hard so my math grades/scores were still decent, but my freshman-year advisor noticed how they compared to my humanities grades. He basically told me my natural aptitudes were not in the sciences and doubted my ability to pursue my intended major. I waffled for a few semesters and then switched to an English major.
Today, I enjoy my job and feel satisfied with my line of work, but still I frequently regret not rolling up my sleeves and pushing forward with the science degree. If I could do it all over again, I would have forced myself to develop better study habits, get tutors, and pursue the degree I really wanted. I studied what came naturally to me, rather than pushing myself to get better at what challenged and inspired me, and I regret having chosen that path.
If math is hard for you, I second the tutor suggestion or go talk to your professor for help. I never had a problem with math, but couldn't make sense of Organic Chemistry (shudder as we speak) for anything: I spent as much time in the prof's office getting help as I did in the classroom and had a great lab partner. I still didn't ace the class, but it helped me understand enough to get a decent grade, and believe me I wouldn't have without them.
If it's just that you hate math, I'm not sure what to tell you. It looks to me like all those degrees are gonna have math involved...
"Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"
Most people who think they are "horrible at math", or "hate math", usually just have had really bad math teachers. Math is probably the worst-taught subject EVER.
And most people think they will never "use" math, beyond being able to work a caculator, so they aren't motivated to try to learn it. However, basic algebra is endlessly useful in daily life, and even though very few people will ever use the "higher maths" like calculus, being exposed to the theory behind such maths does affect how you think about the world.
You can "get through" basic biology without really grasping math at all, but math is so useful in biology. You can't understand biology at all without deeply understanding chemistry, and you can't understand chemistry unless you have a working knowledge of maths.
So I urge you to look for help beyond the classroom- you might have to look around until you find a method of teaching math that speaks to the way you think.