Whether you are an engineering freshman, a senior, or a working engineer, you know that engineering school is not for the disheartened and the weak. There will be many in that first day of class who are full of aspirations to become an engineer, with the rest in doubt. You start with your classmates in your first semester expecting that you will be fighting the battle together until graduation.
Almost always that isn’t really the case. As the semesters pass by, you will lose some of the people you were acquainted with in your general engineering subjects, and perhaps find them in other buildings taking other courses in the semesters that follow. You will observe in your core and major subjects later on that there are actually few who will be able to make it on time, with some just a little behind.
Regardless, the situation presents that harsh truth in any engineering school that persists: only the fittest will be able to survive.
That’s how engineering school works. If you don’t know how to fight for a spot in a class, you don’t get to proceed. It’s not literally fighting, like a brawl, to enlist yourself in the subjects, but to persevere in every subject no matter what the circumstances are. It’s about deserving that next step of your curriculum ladder by learning what is required for you to learn. But that is not always easy.
This is your ambition and career – your future – at stake. Your mind should be set at trusting the process. All of your headaches and sacrifices will bear fruit later.
There are no shortcuts in studying engineering. You have to deal with the long nights of studying, the terrible exam hangovers, and the failed exam results. All the projects, laboratory reports, plates and thesis are all expected of you to accomplish if you want to become an engineer because they mold your potentials and prepare what will be will once you step out of college. You need to trust the process of learning, which may or may not involve failures and disappointments. It can be as difficult as not appreciating how much blood, sweat and tears you pour into trying. In such cases, the attitude should always be “get over it because it is done.” There’s nothing you can do anymore about the past but use them as opportunities of growth.
Worse is that while on the process of studying engineering, you are also becoming an adult. Your emotional and mental capacities are being tested by inner demons and external forces. That so-called quarter-life crisis starts to creep in your heart and mind that you have to conquer. The odds are that you won’t be able to figure it all out while in college, but recognize that what you’re feeling is completely normal.
Engineering school provides that same challenges and struggles in the people in the class. The difference in the survival rate will only lie on how engineering students deal with the difficulties. What separates those who move forward from those who get left behind the course is that the former has focus: they know what they want – become an engineer – and understand what they needed to do or overcome to make that happen. So they deliver. They falter at times but they don’t make it a reason not to rise up. They show to the world that they are capable regardless of background and identities.