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Should I not be an Engineer?

babz123babz123 Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
So, I read this thread: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/engineering-majors/1645998-do-not-major-in-engineering.html

Of course, this thread wasn't the cause of my doubts. Actually, I found it as a result of my doubts. For weeks, I've been looking up things such as "should I be an Engineer," "the life of an engineer," "how hard is engineering," "engineer that sucks at physics," etc.


I only recently decided to major in Engineering (when I did my college applications I had to decide) because I love creativity and the idea of being able to make things/ know how things work.
I was more and more sure about my major choice until I took a look at the curriculum and realized.....wait a second, I absolutely suck at physics.

I've taken two years of high school physics (pre-AP and year long AP Physics C course), and I STILL don't understand basic problems such as pulleys/pushing a box up incline, etc. For instance, from an AP practice test our teacher gave us, I only knew how to do 2-4 of the 35 questions (without help).

Why is it so difficult for me? Well, I'm not very good at "visualizing" the problems or with conceptual thinking. When I look at a problem, I almost never know where to begin or even what formulas to use (or even what formulas there are to use).

So, now I'm extremely conflicted because....to be a Mechanical Engineer, I must understand the fundamentals of Mechanics and what not.....which I clearly don't.

How the heck am I going to get through a college Physics class (or any Engineering class for that matter) if I can't even do/understand a simple AP Physics problem?

I looked at the typical schedule for MEs ( http://www.engr.utexas.edu/attachments/ME2014-2016_SAC.pdf ) and all semesters are full of these "conceptual" classes, which makes me think...well, wait a minute, what am I about to put myself through?

Maybe it's true what the person from the thread above says....why work 10x as hard as all the other kids on campus for a lower gpa (except of course if you're naturally gifted at math/physics stuff)?

What other majors require creativity? Market & Advertising maybe??

P.S. My dream job would be a 'busy' but relaxing one....the kind where you work in a big, busy building and are usually moving around, office to office.....but are 'relaxed' in the sense that you feel in control of your situation/work. This probably doesn't make sense, but it's just the vision I have of an ideal job. You know, going to work in my professional wear, with my suitcase or whatever, and having meetings and constantly going from place to place or office to office and actively engaging with colleagues, etc.

I don't know.
Any advice from past MEs?

I guess I'm just scared of jumping into something that I'm not naturally gifted in (at all), and therefore having to work extremely hard all the time.....and missing out on having a social life.....
Basically I don't want to repeat my high school experience (I studied pretty much ALL the time for four years...most high school memories I have are about me stressing/studying for classes/AP tests). I ended up being Valedictorian, but I would never want to go through the experience again. I want to feel relaxed, overall, with only very little pressure/stress. (I will work hard, of course, but I would prefer a major that wouldn't require all my time and energy...if that makes any sense).


Replies to: Should I not be an Engineer?

  • babz123babz123 Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    I haven't slept well in about 2 weeks....sometimes I just stay up at night thinking things like "what If Engineering isn't for me?" "What if I miss out on more memories again?" (because I will have to spend most of my time studying/working to keep a good GPA, at least a 3.5) "What if I spend most of my time working hard while other friends of mine (most majoring in business) end up having a relaxed, fun year while still maintaining a higher GPA than mine?" "What If I repeat my high school experience all over again?"

    Also.....I guess wanting to be an Engineer not only stems from the fact that I want to do something creative, but that I want to be someone successful. I just felt Engineers have better job opportunities after college than do business majors (after a bit of researching).....

    I just want to succeed in life. But how am I going to do that if I don't know who/what I should be?
  • bodanglesbodangles Registered User Posts: 9,185 Senior Member
    Do you have to do mechanical? Maybe another discipline fits your strengths better. There's all kinds.
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Forum Champion Engineering Posts: 7,393 Forum Champion
    Is there a reason you made this thread that is nearly the same as your previous thread? If you keep asking the same question, you'll keep getting the same answers (or no answers).

    I'd say you should take a look at your study methods because they are likely the culprit.
  • babz123babz123 Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    Because I still don't know what to do, and I want some advice as to what I should do since college is only a few months away (and I need to make my decision in less than a month).
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Forum Champion Engineering Posts: 7,393 Forum Champion
    Just keep using the same thread, though. Don't keep restarting new ones with the same basic question.
  • babz123babz123 Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    But how do I "re-new" a thread....? Say nobody replies...what do I do?
  • babz123babz123 Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    You know what, never mind. You're right. I should stop.
    I'll just major in Engineering, and if I fail freshman year then so be it, I'll change my major.
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Forum Champion Engineering Posts: 7,393 Forum Champion
    You "renew" it by just posting in it again. That makes it bump up to the top of the page again and it has the benefit of allowing future posters to respond in the context of what has already been said to you.

    For what it's worth, I figure it is your dream to be an engineer so instead of sitting there fretting about whether you can hack it, stop focusing on that, give it your best shot, and spend your effort instead on learning how better to learn the physics material.
  • babz123babz123 Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    I'm doing that right now, actually...looking up "how to understand/learn physics" on Google.
    Thanks by the way. Sorry for the annoying posts.
  • babz123babz123 Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    I'm just stressed, that's all. Life decisions are only months away and that scares me, as I'm sure it scares a lot of other people.
    I guess putting my worries out there in the Internet helps relieve my stress.
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Forum Champion Engineering Posts: 7,393 Forum Champion
    I am aware. I just think you are wasting so much energy wondering if you should be an engineer when you could just decide that (a) you are going to follow your dream to study engineering, and (b) you are going to redirect that nervous energy toward making sure you achieve that goal.

    Believe me, I'm no stranger to stress and anxiety over major life changes and events. I haven't had a good night's sleep in weeks due to certain upcoming events. You just have to try to redirect yourself onto something productive.
  • babz123babz123 Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    Thank you again!! I really appreciate your responses.
  • cosgirlcosgirl Registered User Posts: 88 Junior Member
    Since u r so doubtful regarding engineering and don't consider math/physics your strong suit, I don't think u should pursue engineering, as u'll probably end up switching majors after spending precious time and money. This is just my opinion of course. Another thing you can do just to test out the waters before jumping in, is take a general physics or calculus class in first year of college and see if u r still interested as in most colleges, u don't have to decide your major the first year. If u like the classes and do good in them, declare engineering as your major, or else they can always just count as gen ed. Also, your success does not depend on your major all the time. There are unemployed engineers as well as business majors.
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Forum Champion Engineering Posts: 7,393 Forum Champion
    I was recently given a copy of Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by a Dean of Engineering. It's basically about the modern understanding of the cognitive science behind learning. I haven't yet finished it but so far it's pretty good. It may be worth a look.
  • babz123babz123 Registered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    I will definitely take a look at it!! Thank you. I genuinely appreciate your time and advice. It's nice to have someone else at least read my issues and even better to give advice.
This discussion has been closed.