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Is Two Design Clubs Too Many For a Freshman?

MechanicalEEMechanicalEE 2 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
I am an entering freshman mechanical engineering student who will be starting university this fall. My university offers several student-run design teams, and I am very interested in joining one of them in particular (the rocket design team), however I am also interested in starting my own team, for a different subject, which I would lead and work with concurrently with my work in the the rocket design team.

I'm wondering if being in two design teams (being a member of one and the leader of another) would be too much work for a freshman. I'm used to working hard, and plan on continuing to do so through university, but if this goal is impossibly hard to do while still achieving a good GPA in my mechanical engineering classes, I'd prefer to focus on academics instead and join one design team only. If anyone has been part of multiple design teams before or has any advice on the topic, I'd appreciate hearing it.
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Replies to: Is Two Design Clubs Too Many For a Freshman?

  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6996 replies50 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It depends on the team. There are some at my D’s school where kids spend every spare minute outside of class working on the team. Others are much more low key.

    My advice is to not overcommit first semester until you get a better sense of your work load. It’s a big jump from HS.
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  • eyemgheyemgh 5571 replies121 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My son was on a team and worked 12-20 hours per week. He started in earnest second year. I'd follow @momofsenior1's advice and take the first half of the year at least to find your sealegs. The transition is rough for even the strongest students. It won't be apparent until the first round of tests. They tend to be longer and more complex than in HS. Remember your priorities. Hands on experience is very valuable, but not at the expense of knowledge acquisition and academic success.

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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8912 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I agree with the above. Join the rocket design team and see how you like it. That experience will be helpful in the future, if you decide down the road that you still want to start your own club.
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  • Gator88NEGator88NE 6435 replies201 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    As a general rule, one design team is more than enough. You're better spending any extra time on other activities, from school work to just having fun.
    It depends on the team. There are some at my D’s school where kids spend every spare minute outside of class working on the team. Others are much more low key.
    This is spot on. Work load can vary by project team, and by your role on that team. Time commitment for Freshman tend to be less than for sophomores, juniors and seniors who tend to be system leads. The teams also very in sizes, so that can impact workload. I would recommend you check out a few different design teams, before committing to one. Sometimes it's the members of the team, that's more important than the actual team project.

    Finally, a year or two on an established design team, will better prepare you for starting a new one.

    Good Luck!
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  • MechanicalEEMechanicalEE 2 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks for your advice everyone. I will look around at the different teams, although I'm pretty confident I will end up joining the rocket team, and then consider starting my own the following year or the year after that, when I have more experience with how teams are set up, etc.

    I might even choose to just run for a leadership position at the Rocket team instead of starting my own (design teams at my school are run by a 'government' where people need to be voted in).
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8912 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It sounds like you have a reasonable plan. Enjoy your classes and enjoy your design teams! (I have fond memories of Mini Baja , back in college 30+ years ago.)
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  • boneh3adboneh3ad 7463 replies130 threadsForum Champion Engineering Forum Champion
    Not all design teams are created equal in terms of commitment, and really, any student can spend as little or as much time as they want on a given club.
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