While I was in undergrad, I steered clear of statistics courses. Math was not my favourite subject in high school and anything that had to do with numbers in a learning (i.e., grading) environment made me anxious.
However, I have come to appreciate that statistics can be a helpful, convenient way of describing important aspects of the world. Without fully realizing it at the time, I’ve used statistics to help me make some major decisions. Perhaps the best example was my decision to stop pursuing a career in acting. Past the age of fourteen, every drama teacher, agent, and professional in the industry I spoke to described how difficult it was to achieve success. I vividly recall my first day at a drama school in New York. My On-Camera acting teacher listed the sobering percentage of actors living under the poverty line. It affected me – and my fellow drama school peers – much more than the usual “acting is really hard to get into” speech. Statistics made us comprehend fully, quickly, the challenges we were up against. A couple of years later, I decided to change career paths!