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Why You Should Study Engineering for Yourself, Not for Others

You’ll be surprised to know the effect of having this mindset.

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Study engineering for yourself… Mic drop!

Numerous times in college I have tried telling my parents that I already wanted to give up and change courses. In my freshman year, I was skeptical about my civil engineering course, because I thought that it will be exactly what I thought it would be.  I was totally afraid of failing and disappointing people around me especially those who expect highly, like my parents. I eventually convinced myself to give it a shot and proceed with what I have started. I managed to survive with that little hope.

Study engineering for yourself (Source: Stanford University, College of Engineering)

Came sophomore year where times are tougher, I had the struggle to keep myself on the seemingly wrong track. My motivation was lower then, really wanting to call it quits with engineering. Still, I was able to survive and met expectations, but hanging by a thread.

Study engineering for yourself (Source: UCLA, College of Engineering)

Junior year happened, and I had lost it. At one point I was crying because I could no longer contain all the requirements and exams because I didn’t want to fail at all. I was at my lowest that time, the rare times that it has happened in my entire life. But I guess the total breakdown was necessary because it brought upon important realizations.

Since that day, I was able to get a grasp with what is happening with me as an engineering student. I realized that I liked civil engineering after all, it’s just that I was doing it for the wrong reason: I did it to satisfy everyone around me, except me. I was so pressured to succeed that I forgot that I should be doing it for myself first and only secondary for others.

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That’s where all of my frustrations were coming from. My aim was not to fail because I didn’t want to disappoint other people, which is wrong. There is a fine line that separates between “not failing” and “learning,” and every engineering student should learn that.

Study engineering for yourself (Source: Brandeis University)

After that emotional stage of my engineering life, I got to become more relaxed with my studying. It comes with the occasional failures of course, but I know I’m already learning.

When I got myself loosened from the chains of studying engineering for others, that’s when I felt that I really want to be an engineer. That’s also when I had a better time dealing with the struggles. And most of all, that’s when I realized I need to study engineering mostly for my own sake.

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Hina Sapra

Content Writer, South Asia. Hina is a former news correspondent at Times of India


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