Despite the few hours of studying today, I’m happy with my accomplishments.
- Biology: Mitosis
- Biochemistry: Enzymes + Amino Acids Memorization
It was all about reading. But I understood all the new concepts and I think I got the big picture of these topics.
To get the big picture is crucial to me. Whenever I go into the deeper layers of a certain topic, I need to come back to the bigger picture every once in a while. Otherwise, things get mixed up and eventually I feel lost. Pretty much like when you’re looking at a picture. You zoom in for a while to be able to see things in detail and then you zoom out again to get the bigger perspective.
There is nothing wrong about being honest with ourselves when we do not understand something. As easy as things can seem. Perhaps they are not that simple after all. I am writing about this because I felt kinda stupid today when I was reading the biochemistry chapter that covers enzymes.
You find the sentence ‘(…) enzymes lower the activation energy of a chemical reaction (…)’ several times in chemistry/biology books. I read it so many times before that I’ve accepted it. Somehow it made sense. However, today, after reading several times a certain paragraph, I was amazed by the fact that I have never truly understood a thing of that sentence.
Only today I got the whole point: the enzyme binds to the substrate and changes it to a very unstable form (called the transition state) that once released, it is converted either into substrate (again) or product (of a certain chemical reaction) almost instantaneously. Which of the two accumulates depends on the Free Gibbs Energy change for the same reaction.
Well, well, well… All this time and the real ‘click’ happened today. I’m quite sure this happened to me today because I dared to admit that I didn’t get it completely. That something was missing in my thinking process. And that I didn’t move on until I made sure I was understanding it.
So when studying be honest with yourself. Whenever you don’t quite understand, keep looking for that single piece of information that will link it all together in your brain. Don’t just read and memorise. Anyone can do that. Go the extra mile and master it. Once you’ve done, no question will trick you.