“I Hate Engineering, But Why the Hell Am I Still Here?”

What would you do if you were in Richard's position?


Hi! I’m Richard, a third year engineering student from Manila, Philippines. And I have realized that I hate engineering and yet I am still in engineering school. Let me tell you my story.

When I was about to graduate in high school, I was looking forward to take the Accountancy course in college. Mostly because I have been told that I am good with numbers, which I recognize. Numbers excite my mind more than anything else.

I asked around colleagues who are accountancy students to know if it is the best fit for me considering my math skills. They agree. I also searched about the career I was going to pursue and I envisioned myself successful in that path. I was already convinced that I will become an accountant.

Until my mom and my dad suggested that I take a course in engineering instead. Both wanted to have a son that is a chemical engineer.

While my parents think that I am most inclined in math, what they fail to realize is that science is one of my weak subjects. Almost all of my science subjects in high school – especially chemistry, oh god – just confused me.

I admit I am not best in setting ambitions so I usually just go with the flow. And I have a problem communicating with my mom and my dad. All those factors led to my parents dictating me to take chemical engineering instead of accountancy.

So I enrolled, with a heavy heart, for a chemical engineering course in one of the premier engineering schools in Manila. My first semester in engineering school shocked me.

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Source: Tumblr

Having the least interest in sciences and getting science subjects that early, I knew that I was doomed to fail. I got physics and chemistry classes in my first semester. I felt the world’s weight on my shoulders with these subjects – I can’t emphasize it enough that I do not like science. And yet I am here, a chemical engineering student. Oh, life.

But I was trained to survive in my academics. Back in high school, I learned how to pass subjects even when I despise the subjects. I have used that skill until now. No matter how I say that I do not like science, I make sure that I pass, to the very least, the science subjects that I take.

I have only recently gathered upon myself that I can take any course and finish it. But the question stays, “Is this what I really want to do for the rest of my life?”

Time flew fast for me in engineering school. I did not notice that I was already on my way finishing my third year this semester. It was a difficult journey for me but damn, even I could not believe that I made it this far.

Now I have become mature enough and reached this stage in engineering school to question if I am made for this course, or if I want to become a chemical engineer. My answer is no, and I’m just living with it. That answer begs, “Then why am I still here?”


Source: Tumblr

Recently I was in a class, my mind wandered from the teacher’s discussion. I looked at my classmates and thought about what keeps them to stay there. We’ve already lost a few who gave up and shifted courses, but I really wondered how we made it this far.

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Perhaps they really want to become chemical engineers. They will do whatever it takes to get to the finish line. But I don’t – I actually never ambitioned to finish this course anyway because I was just forced into it.

I already want out before I could no longer reverse the damage, even when I thought it’s already too late.

However, I’m thinking about how big of a disappointment I will become to my parents for not fulfilling their dream. I love them and I never want to fail them. I have not discussed this matter with them as of writing as I am yet to be sure about making the shift.

Plus, I am going to start all the way from the beginning if I do make the jump. Damn. I’m not sure I want that.

So… should I just keep going? Help.

Comments 15

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  1. Hey man I feel you the same way, I also experiencing what you’re going through although I’m not the smart guy back in high school until now , I just want also share my story, back then when I I was a first year high school my big brother always telling me go study hard so that you can take Engineering when you go to college. Honestly back then I want to become a soldier and enroll in PMA , that is my ambition in life in that time. I told my parents while they are still alive back then and they told me it’s really risky and dangerous and I said to them back then I’m ready to die fighting for my country, “WOW HOW NOBLE I AM BACK THEN” hahahaha just sharing. Then as years goes by we’re having financial crisis ,my dad died unexpectedly when I was third year high school and then my mom died a month after I graduated from high school. It was feeling world upside down when your loved ones has to go up to the heavens , and leave you here on earth. The feeling you want to give them back with love and all the things they deserve because of their unconditonal love and sacrifices. At that time I don’t want to go to college, why?, What’s the point of having your dreams to pursue when you don’t have the reason why you’re pursuing it? . If you got confused well I’m sorry for that. Then going back to the story college life. Remembering when I was a fresh man General Engineering?, got confused back then why so General Engineering, I thought it be like Mechanical or Industrial Engineering and other major. It was a policy in my University that I enrolled for two years taking all general engineering subjects like algebra, plane and spherical trigonometry where my first subject failed , and minors like humanities and so on. After that for two years in G.E taking up Qualifying Exam where you gonna chose what major you’re taking up and if you’re qualified enough for that particular field. Then after so begins I’m now taking major Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering. Remember my big brother always telling me about this major. You know honestly I’m not so called academic achiever got all the rewards, the quizzer type person, I’m just an ordinary guy who barely can’t imagine how I survived got this so far. Currently I am now Fourth year student irregular which have many subjects to catch up. I asked myself is this really I want to become?, I realized every time I go back in my hometown, I saw my siblings my Big bro and my beautiful sister getting tired in their toxic jobs, depress but still they go to work hard just to provide me my allowance for needs in college and also my uncle and my aunt who I considered my second parents providing my tuition fees in college. I saw them how hard they earned money, working long hours a day just to support my college studies. And then I decided to pursue it and finish it because I told myself ” I came to this far so why quit now? ” . I want to give them back what they deserve to have a better life financial freedom , go travel around the world with them and that is my ambition in life. I want to finish what I started as a future Petroleum Engineer. So to answer you question in my point of view is absolutely a big “YES” go for it and keep going and get finish what you started why? I know I’m not in the right position to say and humbly suggest to you to keep going but as I mentioned I realized about my siblings and my second parents about all their sacrifices just to provide my studies just for the sake of my future even though until now I don’t know what I really want in life. As I remember my sister’s advice “After you graduate and found a job your first job will be critical , why because that will determine for you if you really meant for engineering world or not, based on my experience”. So she told me that after I graduate and find a job that will answer to my questions. And then she added up “If you feel you’re not really meant for that and found what you really want and passionate about then take up the program you really want in college, go study again but in your own expenses hahaha” and I said of course and I told her but before that I want to give you back, to my big bro and to my second parents the things that you deserve I will buy a house for us because we don’t have actually called “home” we just live there. After all I provide them the needs and wants to them then I will go what I really want. Just like Steve Jobs said always a great reminder to me he said “If you haven’t founded yet, keep looking and don’t settle, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become” Hey man I know you’re just waiting to answer simple if it is YES or NO and not reading about some drama but I just want you to share my story and experience in life. Just go for it, keep going , finish what you started even If you don’t like Engineering always remind yourself you came to far now why quit? and just like in Gineersnow quoted “You’ve worked to hard to quit now”. Remember your parents sacrifices for you to be able to go to college always remind yourself. And always show your love and compassion to them. Never be ashamed to show and afraid to say I love you to them. Treasure the moments spending time with them because you will never know what will happen. We can’t control time and circumstances so just show them how much you love them. And then after all you graduated and give them what they deserved then pursue your accountancy. That’s all there is I hope I answered your questions because I’ve been there also man. God Bless to you and to your family. Looking forward to meet you in the Engineering world in the future man and to have grab some beer hahahaha

    1. I love your story! Very interesting.. I’m proud of you as well for what you’ve come so far. Goodluck on future!

  2. Hi, you were just me and the difference is just that I was so lost in my 3rd and 4th year that I don’t even know what I wanted even until now. I took up chemical engineering not because it was forced on me, I took it up because they said its going to give me many opportunities after college, its a good course, blah, blah, blah and it’s cool to be called engr. So I just went with the flow, tried my best to passed every subjects even though I failed several times. I even waited for the time that I would just failed everything so that I could change courses but at that time I don’t know what should I be shifting to. And still took chemical engineering. I even envy you because you really know right from the start what you really want. Now, I’m already a registered chemical engineer, not that I hate it but I sometimes wish that I could turn back time and be brave enough to tell my parents what I really wanted, because right now I regretted I didn’t pursue culinary. It was my first choice I wanted to take up before entering college yet I didn’t because they said it was just cooking, I can learn it without taking classes. But I’m still dreaming that I wish I did take it up instead of chemical engineering. So right now I’m still going with the flow, but I wish I did make my own flow.

    1. Hi,Ruch i hope you see my reply cause i have the same issue you have, even the same interest of cooking & i know my reply is too late but i thought maybe we could help each other ,and if you have been graduated Congrats, sorry for my english it’s not mother language.

  3. Me too. I also questioned myself last christmas of why am I still here…. taking up BSEE even though I knew in the first place that I don’t like math and physics (but I don’t hate them…it’s just that I don’t have a feeling of liking these subjects when I was in high school)…And I really wasn’t planning of taking up engineering it’s just that, this is the course suggested to me when I took up and passed the entrance exam in our institute. Then, I go with the flow because back then I was still unsure what I really want to took up in college. And now, I came to the point when I asked God if I am supposed to be here because looking back, just last sem make my sem this year to be my edge …for failing one of my major subjects, for the first time…. And failing that subject will require a 1 year of extension in my course. Yet, I still enrolled last january and retake that subject… Then I came up with the conclusion that at some point, maybe I don’t even realize that somehow I grew love for this course… ’cause I struggle my way up and pass those subjects I thought I couldn’t for the last two years and a half of being an engineering student… and now, I’m retaking my major subject even though I know that there will still a great possibility of failing it this sem. And, I realize it myself that I am still here because I want to test my self and my faith… aside from knowing that I came to love this course in the long run.

    And for you bro, just pray for it and ask Him those questions you wanted to find out because He will make it all clear to you just like what He did to me. Just be faithful and have patience, then He will make you realize what you really need to know and do.

  4. Hi! I feel you. When I Was 17 years old, stepping the college life, I don’t really know what I really want. I shifted 3 times. My first course was Information Technology but I couldn’t see myself in that field. I actually hate math. Then I shifted psychology bec I got really interested studying the the behavior of human. But I decided to transfer school in Quezon City (New Era University) then when I took psychology in New Era, I thought that is what I really want. So I just finished the 1st semester. Then i have this roommate in my dorm who’s studying electronic and communication engineering. I saw her doing Autocad. Then I was so curious what’s her doing. I asked her, then she told me about the engineering and it’s major. Ever since when I was a kid I always watch my dad doing Construction (but he’s not a Construction worker or what) but he knows how to work in construction. Then I decided to shift in Civil engineering. My family actually thought that I will not graduate cos I really don’t know what I really want. Then I still shifted in Civil Engineering. I was very interested in my subject the engineering drawing. I really enjoyed it. Then while Im studying Engineering, something’s came up. My parents told me they cant support my studies so I started working when I was 19yrs old. My work is night time so It’s really hard to attend schools in the morning. So I failed, 3 subjects. Then they kicked me out in Engineering. They wanted me to shift in other course. Knowing that, i decided to stop in 1 semester. After 1 semester and after I have save my money. I went to my coordinator and talked to him. I said I want to go back in Engineering. But he didn’t allowed me. So I tried my best to allow me to go back In engineering. Then I made many letters saying that I promise that i will pass all my subjects and I will never fail. So they gave me a chance. I was so happy that time. After that, I studied and focus in School cos I really want to make my dreams come true. Then after 2 yrs, I never failed. I’ve become more hardworking in my studies. I can say that This is what I really want. Engineering is for me. Now, Iam 5th yr student. Currently intern at Megawide, one of the biggest construction firm in Philippines. Im so happy and grateful for what I have and what Im now. I’ve change alot cos I decided to change for the better. I’m now member of astronomy and engineers club in school and currently public relation officer in ASsociation of Civil Engineering students in our school. Right now, iam looking forward for more challenges and lessons to come. I know it’s for my own good. I’ve met alot of people, CEO Of company, engineers, architects and many more and I learned alot from them. Im proud to say that Im civil engineering student and my goals is to become registered engineer in November 2018. I read alot of motivational quotes, i watch motivational video in YouTube and it helps me alot. We, as Engineering students, we must pursue our dreams and don’t give up on what you teally want. Because someday, all your sacrifices will worth it. If you dream to have your own Construction firm, go for it, plan for it and do it with all your heart. There’s more to come and I cant wait to have my diploma, standing in front of the people, and I say that, I’m an engineer!! I believe in that. I will pass my board exam but of course you have to make actions. Listen to your heart, don’t give up and always look at the brighter side. I believe in you, in each of everyone of you that you will become an engineer and you will reach your dreams and goals. Im always excited for every morning, every opportunity that comes and I never forget of course to pray to God. He will guide and listen to our prayer. So, whatever you’re doing now, make sure that you do all your best because later you will realize that you should have done it before. Study hard amd make your family, loved ones proud of you. Im sure they will be happy and proud of you. Goodluck to the future, Engineers!!

  5. Man, we’re on the same boat. Although I wasn’t forced by my parents, but my family expects a lot from me since I’m an achiever in high school. I’ve thought of shifting to other courses which really is my passion, but never even made a move to do it. I’ve already invested a lot of money and time to be here. Now, I’m failing a lot fo Chemical Engineering subjects but I’m still fighting. I really wanted to pursue creative writing, but I started to love ChE, and decided to pursue it. Surround yourself with great people who you will spend the rest of your college with, I’m sure it will help. I hope you, too, will learn to love ChE. Good luck!

  6. Hey man, I feel you, When I was in my first year in College of Electronics engineeing is like, why did I say yes to my parents to take this course. Like I hate math and science, but I failed so many times in my other subjects my classmates are graduated last semester and I’m still here in college. But don’t give up man, I didn’t give up because I know things are going to be fine and I pray to God that He will help me with everything. And, now, I’m already in my last semester and I’m going to graduate this October ???????? I tell myself that I will do whatever it takes. But for you, I know you cam do that keep fighting no matter what ????

  7. Just finish now? Grit your teeth and do it. Having a degree – particularly an engineering degree – is never a bad thing. You’ve come this far. And try to find a job that would allow you to study part-time. An accounting-engineering qualification is an extremely good, highly sought after qualification. You may be onto something great.

  8. Hey Brother what if you finish first that course and then take the course that you desire its so that you didnt disappoint your parents and you didnt disappoint your passion ?? just sharing my ideas.. God Bless Brother ?

  9. Heyyy Richard 🙂

    My story is exactly the same. I am taking Civil Engineering but I wanted to study biology. I will be finishing my third year on May but I just quitted last Tuesday. Somebody said “Stop living others’ dreams, start living yours.” And that’s exactly what I’ll do.
    I fell into depression some time around my first year, second semester. I kept it to myself. I keep on fighting until last Tuesday I couldn’t bear anymore. What makes it worse on my side is that, I am the first grandchild on my father’s side. That’s why the expectations are really high. We’re not that fortunate too. My parents already spent a lot for me already. This is what stops me from shifting since then but recently I just found out that I am already having a trauma. I keep on getting absenton my classes. At first I thought it’s just I am lazy but lately, it’s just not being lazy anymore. I keep getting absent because of the thought of failing again. If it continues ti be like that, you’re just slowly killing yourself. That’s why Tuesday morning, instead of attending my class, I went to the Guidance Office and asked for a counsel. There, I broke down, all the pain I’ve been holding for so long, I actually managed to let it all out. And that’s when I said “I want to quit.”
    This time, the counsellor said if it will make me happy then I should chase what my heart wants and that’s studying Biology. She called my parents and talked to them. Of course, they were shocked but I’m still lucky coz they understood me which I thought they won’t if I will talk to them. As of now, I can’t assure you that the result is good. But at least I took courage and I know it’s gonna be worth it. Have a good day!

  10. Hi I’m an ex-Mapúan student who’s now in TIP Quiapo taking the same program. To be honest, I have the same experience. Back in high school I was good in numbers and communication. I never really had a dream so I just followed what my parents suggested. I too am not very good with science. Actually I suck. I just realized I would want to be a teacher after my 2nd year (though I am still 1st year standing). But I decided that all my hardworks and efforts would be a waste if I don’t finish what I started. So as for you, I do think we can just end this engineering stuff quick since you’re already a 3rd year student, and after graduating, you can tell your parents that you would want to work temporarily just to save tuition to enroll yourself in Accounting.

  11. I would suggest that you finish what you have started. In the meantime learn to set aside your dreams just a little bit nlang then go for your dream na after mo mag engineer. I’ll be praying for you. I hope you made the right decision. God Bless you!!!

  12. Electrical Engr here..
    Get out while you still can & its not really too late…lyk what u said…its what youll be doing for the rest of your life..you wouldnt want to be doing something you didnt like n the first place..
    Or be a good son..finish it since you can academically always survive..then after fulfilling your parents dream…study accountancy…never too late..?gudluck..bless u

“I Hate Engineering, But Why the Hell Am I Still Here?”

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