At a Glance: Identify how you crunch numbers every single day to help reduce anxiety surrounding your college-level math coursework.
Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes, 19 seconds

Yes, it's a thing: "Math anxiety" is a feeling of fear or worry that affects your math performance. If you suffer from math anxiety, the idea of taking a class to brush up on your geometry or algebra probably terrifies you. And calculus? Or statistics? Forget it.

Believe it or not, you're likely already somewhat of a math whiz — you just don’t know it. We all use math in our daily lives, from the moment we wake up until our heads hit the pillow at night. Check out how:

1

You use math when cooking a meal

Cupcakes, pancakes, grilled steak and fries: Whatever you're making, you're probably measuring ingredients; converting measurements from metric to U.S.; doubling ingredients to make an extra to freeze; figuring out how much rice to make for four people if it expands to three times its size when cooked; calculating how many fat grams are in two servings of yogurt; and deciding when to start cooking each dish so they're all ready at the same time.

2

You use math when shopping

Would it be cheaper per ounce to buy the giant jar of peanut butter for \$10 or the small jar for \$3? Which brand of granola bars has the least amount of carbs per serving? If the bill for those jeans comes to \$45.23, what amount should you give the cashier to get back the smallest number of annoying coins? Would it be worth it for you to spring for a \$20 loyalty card, judging by how much you spend at that store?

3

You use math when playing games

During game night, or on the field or court, you're using even more advanced math.

For example: when you're trying to, say, figure out whether to go for a full house or a straight in Yahtzee, you're calculating probability. When you hit a three-pointer in basketball, you're intuitively using abstract and difficult concepts like trajectory, air resistance and force.

4

You use math when dining out

A meal is full of math: how much to tip your server for a plate of \$8 wings; whether it's more calorie conscious to order an appetizer or to split a plate of pasta; and how to divide the check among five people.

5

You use math when redecorating your living room

You're tired of that white-on-white look and decide to give your living room a makeover. You figure out what size rug you'll need, how much paint to buy for an 18' x 12' room and how far apart to space the pictures on the walls. Wait, isn't that a lot of math that you just did without freaking out?