I have been lost a few times in my life prior to entering engineering but I can’t recount how many times I’ve been lost when I was an engineering freshman.
Engineering hit me like I’m a pedestrian swept by a double decker on a busy street. Upon my first step, I wasn’t prepared at all that something this big will smash me and get me stumbled. I entered college prematurely without the thought of what engineering will have to offer me. I thought I prepared myself into the world of engineering, but I thought wrong.
My entire freshman year was a period of adjustments. For one, it was my first time being away from my family for a long time. I had to adjust to being just alone.
The environment in an engineering college is nothing like high school. In college, especially in engineering, you face diverse people with excellent skills. The pace of learning is also very fast, despite the topics are already focused on math and sciences.
Probably my most important adjustment is dealing with a lot of mathematics. For someone who did an average performance in high school math, the engineering math is a thousand-fold more complicated, hence difficult. It struck me that the math I did before is but a chunk of what is needed to become an engineer.
My journey as an engineering student newbie placed me in a position of accepting what there was and what there will be. It was a phase of discovering myself more and putting myself into the downward spiral that is the adult life.
I have not really thought that my path in this chosen career will start in shaky ground. But then I realized: buildings, to really test its structural stability, have to be exposed to an earthquake. If the building falls, it only means that the foundation of that building is not strong enough. Something must be wrong with how the building held to the ground. But if the building survived that test, the building still stands tall. Cracks may appear but the damage is almost negligible.
That’s how you should perceive your engineering freshman life. It is a test. If you think engineering is hard only upon your first year and you are susceptible to failure, maybe engineering isn’t really for you. But if you know upon yourself that you have what it takes no matter what engineering life throws you, you will survive them all no matter how strong the earthquakes rattle you.
You may not notice it times flies fast. One day you will wake up to your graduation day. So for now, if you’re going through a difficult time with your first year in engineering, just think that it is part of the process. Take it easy, one step at a time. You will get there.