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Brain Drain, summer jobs, advice

  1. May 27, 2012 #1
    "Brain Drain," summer jobs, advice

    Hi everyone. School is coming to a close, and I'll be graduating from HS next month. I thought that I should make a little post about my summer plans.

    I will be attending college this August, and I will be moving out from home (definitely a new experience for me, but given that my family is not in the best situation economically, it may be best to leave the terrible environment). Of course, college is expensive, but I am glad that I will not get in debt because of tuition costs.

    I originally planned to find a summer job, but after the anxiety from college admissions and school work, I started my search very late. Suffice to say, I do not have anything planned. I applied to about 13 jobs, and received one offer, which I could not accept (they wanted me to work until Aug. 31st, but schools starts Aug. 17th). Quite an enlightening experience with the job application process.

    I was invited back to my professor's laboratory to do research in a civil-engineering based field. I am definitely interested in the research, as it is one of my potential majors (other possibilities are AEP and MechE), but there is no money involved. I like it more than the potential jobs (e.g. tour guide at a museum, summer camp counselor), but alas, money is pretty important. I suppose that since I really do not have many options the laboratory is not a bad thing to do. It is kind of unfortunate that I could not find a summer job. Perhaps someone knows where I can look.

    My parents say that it is not a big deal if I can't find a job. My friends say that I should "take the summer off," since the break is so short anyway (a month and a half). But I am afraid of falling behind from my peers, academically. (hence, "brain drain.")

    Many of my classmates in HS have already taken Multivariable Calculus, and Linear Algebra, among other classes. I have not. I know that many people at College will have already taken these classes. Besides, it is nice to learn these things anyway, and they should not be so difficult.

    Does anyone know any good books for learning multi and linear algebra? Are there any other topics that I should learn to prepare for the engineering curriculum?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2012 #2
    Re: "Brain Drain," summer jobs, advice

    Why don't you volunteer somewhere? It is very late to find a job now, why not hone in on those people skills? You'd be surprised how much it helps out for landing internships and jobs later on if you have good skills working with others. Besides it beats sitting on the internet all day with nothing to do.
  4. May 30, 2012 #3
    Re: "Brain Drain," summer jobs, advice

    Hi. This is very good advice! It is always good to improve people-skills.

    I think some places are always looking for volunteers. However, I will have to be careful as to what I will be doing. I volunteered somewhere once, and they had me holding doors/standing in front of doors and greeting people. And making hundreds of phone calls (with a phone script). Not my idea of volunteering my time.

    My professor did get back to me regarding an internship, so that may be fruitful.
  5. May 31, 2012 #4
    Re: "Brain Drain," summer jobs, advice

    Volunteering is a great idea. Let me know how things pan out for you!

    I also think that the "who's done what before who" game is a stupid one to play. You'll always lose. Now, some people like to lose... (maybe)

    You'll always find people who've taken a course or two before you or people who at your age, had a few degrees more. Heck, Terry Tao got his PhD before turning 22. As did Noam Elkies. (20-21, I think) There's also people who're starting much later than you. Educating yourself need not be a race. It'll only make things more painful than they have to be. Instead, maybe thinking of it as a marathon would be a good idea. It's hard but you should also try finding a suitable pace for you.

    That's what I'm doing now and it takes a while...
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