Am I just not meant to be good at writing proofs? (Feeling defeated).

I’m really fascinated by mathematical proofs. I love seeing the ways in which they were constructed and how some people could be so clever as to figure that out. However, I’m really bad at writing them myself. I’ve been feeling really defeated lately when it comes to proofs because it feels like I’ll never be good at writing them. I’ll see a proof and a light bulb will go off in my head like, “Oh, that makes so much sense! That’s so cool how that was done,” but then when I’m presented with a statement to prove myself (such as a theorem), it’s extremely difficult to impossible for me to recreate that logic.

I’ve had professors tell me to just keep practicing writing proofs, to read them all the time, and watch other people prove things. I’ve been doing that for almost a year now and I don’t see a lot of improvement in my skills. I do truly have a desire to become proficient (at the very least) though. I know it would take longer than a year to truly get good, but the fact that I really haven’t improved at all is what bothers me. Will I just never be good? Has anyone else here gone through the same thing? How did you overcome it (if you did)?

I should add that I’m very good at math when it comes to the computational side of it. I’ll be a junior in college next year (in the U.S.) and I really want to continue my mathematical education, but I’m worried that I won’t be able to succeed in upper division math courses due to their increasing level of abstractness. There just seems to be a block there for me when it comes to writing proofs.

TL;DR: I really struggle with writing proofs. I’ve been trying to strengthen my logical skills for almost a year now but I don’t see much (if any) improvement. Am I just not cut out to be good at proofs?

submitted by /u/schoolguru
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Nevin Manimala

Nevin Manimala is interested in blogging and finding new blogs

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