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I Don't Want to Do Engineering But Feel Constantly Pressured to Do So

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Replies to: I Don't Want to Do Engineering But Feel Constantly Pressured to Do So

  • sensation723sensation723 559 replies1 threadsRegistered User Member
    First focus in on getting off probation. Your major won't matter if you get kicked out of school. Also you said 3 years later. Are you 3 years into the Major? You need to speak to an advisor to see what your options are before you talk to your parents. No sense in starting a fight of transfer to another major isn't a option.
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  • NCKrisNCKris 231 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited June 21
    @RolenOakenbow You should try to understand your parents perspective and then work out a compromise.
    Immigrants make a lot of sacrifices in order to come here, and work hard without any support systems in place.
    Back in their homeland, Engineering and Medicine probably were the only options for a secure future, but it is up to you to research your options here and educate them.

    Firstly, check your immigration status, if a change of major affects you in any way, and try to get your grades up. Engineering is hard work, for everyone, nobody breezes through the coursework.
    Secondly, talk to your adviser how to add subjects of your interest, as a minor or electives.
    Research for jobs and internships and make a concrete plan before you talk to your parents about changing your path.
    Lastly, all Engineering students do not end up working as Engineers, but parlay their education in other fields.

    Ultimately, all parents want to see their kids happy and successful, and do better than themselves.
    Count yourself as one of the lucky few whose parents are paying for your college education and make the most of it!
    Good luck !
    edited June 21
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  • wis75wis75 14059 replies62 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It does not matter what the parents did or sacrifices they made. Children should pay forward and not backwards to parents. They chose to come to the US and need to adjust, their children do not need to compromise their lives because their parents made the country change and cling to the old.

    This student definitely should NOT try to become an engineer and his parents need that reality check. Indians can make the adjustment- I know so many personally. The parents need to switch their thinking to the American way. They are recent immigrants who likely never had the choices we all have. Yes, this student is lucky to have parents who translated their skills into a US move and to have the money to afford college. The parents are also lucky their son shows initiative and does not just follow the path parents only know of.

    OP- as in post #21. You need to get off probation. Speak with your advisor. Use logic with your parents.
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  • bopperbopper 14067 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    My DH wanted to major in Poli Sci or History and then maybe go to law school. His dad strongly encouraged him to major in something he could get a job from. He switched to Accounting and now is working in that field.

    My roommate wanted to do pre-med...her dad wanted her to major in something she could get a job from. She majored in Biomedical Engineering and worked in that field.

    I do note that both father's were engineers :-) and therefor practical.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5273 replies77 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 21
    Great compromise.

    If you are serious about your interests, the best policy wonks, watch dog groups, real estate development companies and innovative new products need legal support. Or a law background is really respected in DC etc.

    Realistically to be a government or public policy major with big upside you should perhaps offer to go to law school.

    Perhaps a career that entails a prestigious and marketable (in environmental and govt policy world’s) degree would make your parents happier. And supportive.

    It will let you delve into your subject area.

    Heck you can be an English major and govt minor. Your advisors and the transfer process would be available to you. Even with your grades. They might be really supportive.

    When you start excelling it will make them happy and you will have time to see where you would like to go.

    Tell them you want to be lawyer focusing on environmental issues or part of the advocacy and govt world. Maybe the first Indian American governor of your state on an environmental platform. Who knows.

    Be creative and realistic. A BA in govt needs a little oomph to make it in the real world of environmental policy and politics. A law degree will open many doors and perhaps solve your dilemma.
    edited June 21
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5273 replies77 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited June 22
    The art of compromise and negotiation are about finding common ground. There is a lot of room between become an engineer with no intention of being an engineer and hating your college experience to I’m a govt major take or it leave it.

    I gave you an example of finding a path that works for both. Find one for yourself. It can be done.
    edited June 22
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8963 replies79 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It would be great if you could talk your parents/bill-payers to switch majors. But... is there any way you can tough it our? (I can't tell if your low grades are due to lack of aptitude, lack of motivation or both). An engineering degree can open many doors, perhaps even including fields that will interest you. At your age, 4 years looks like a LONG time, but it's a short time compared to your full career. I know you like political / writing topics, but that is more easily self-learned than engineering.
    Note - If you are totally overwhelmed with engineering courses, beyond recovery point, ignore my above advise.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4218 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
  • TheodenTheoden 197 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 17
    You are getting excellent advice here.

    I appreciate that your parents want to see you become a successful professional. Perhaps they need to see beyond medicine and engineering as possibilities for you. If it's any encouragement my son is attending a small liberal arts college (Knox) in the Fall, and one of their well-known graduates is Vir Das, the Indian comedian and movie star. ;-) He may have started in Economics/Finance, but one theater class is all it took to change his path. He majored in Economics AND Theater. Perhaps this may encourage you. https://www.knox.edu/news/commencement-2018/das-speech

    1. It would seem to me you that would want to talk to a college advisor soon, and see about not flunking, and then, perhaps, the possibility of transferring to the school of arts and sciences. Simply put, you won't have much to work with if you fail out of school. Is the coursework currently too hard, or is it you like Engineering so little that you cannot apply yourself to even do moderately well in it? You won't be a successful engineer if you HATE it.

    2. Think through the possibility of minoring in Public Policy or Environmental Studies which you can translate into a fruitful career should you go to Law School or go to work right after school.

    3. Do you have to major in *Mechanical* Engineering? Other disciplines like Chemical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Engineering or Computer Science might be more interesting to you and can, in some cases, be more lucrative, provided you are interested in these fields and can handle the coursework.

    4. Environmental Engineering is not really policy oriented. It's usually a BS Degree with heavy STEM focus (calculus, statistics, chemistry, physics, organic chem) with some life sciences (Biology) and, perhaps, Geology/Hydrology thrown in. You end up working for municipal water systems, the government, consulting firms or even large companies to help with compliance re: water table damage, ecosystem maintenance, etc. These are, generally well-paying jobs and it's a broad field. It's not policy, but if you minored in poli sci/govt., you might then be able to get a job in your area of interest. Of course, you can always go to law school after. Might this be a way to compromise with you parents regarding Engineering and also get you into the policy end through a minor?

    5. It sounds like the ideal scenario for you is to Major in Environmental Studies (not Environmental Science) with double-major or minor in Poli Sci./Govt/Public Policy. Or vice-versa. You can then move on to law school and then practice environmental law. @privatebanker has given you some excellent advice. You might need to package this in light of a *legal career* I know medicine and engineering may be the ideals for your parents, but a legal career is also prestigious.

    Best of luck to you.



    edited July 17
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 12870 replies241 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    dustypig wrote: »
    If your parents won't pay for any degree other than an engineering degree, then get a degree in engineering. That doesn't mean you have to become an engineer. And if you're truly passionate about environmental policy and civic engagement, you will have a career in that field.

    This is basically what I was going to say, it's the path of least resistance if OP can get the grades up enough to continue and not flunk out.
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2433 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 23
    "The parents need to switch their thinking to the American way. "
    That's not going to happen, they're ingrained in their thinking.

    OP- at the risk of throwing a curve to the discussion, I'd consider telling them you've changed your plans to be a lawyer, unless you've already done this. That is a profession that Indian parents born in India will acknowledge has money, influence and prestige in the US (lawyer jokes aside). I'd also change major to poly sci (a lot of overlap with govt) and mention that in these times, that could be a good degree on its own. And emphasize the science part of poly sci, the courses in theory, models etc.. Consider a minor in stats if you want to show you're going to have some analytical skills. If they agree to all this, you may have to give up on the environmental stuff as part of the compromise, Or you'll have to do as a "silent" minor, as others have suggested, almost in stealth mode, don't bring that up. Then see what happens in three years. Good luck.
    edited July 23
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