• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products Here!

Entering a slight panic mode about my major 0.o

  • Programs
  • Thread starter ppod86
  • Start date
  • #1
3
0

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi everyone!
I'm trying to figure out my major and have run out of time. Here's some quick background on me.
I've finished all my gen. ed. classes and only have my major classes to take now. I have to decide by this summer. I'm currently a History major, but have no idea what I would do with that degree. I've thought about transferring to be a Mechanical Engineer major. However, math has never been my strong point, I've gotten A's in it when I tried, lol, I just haven't tried very often. But, I'm getting older and need to get serious about school, not just what comes easy to me. Oh, not sure how relavent this is, but I got a B in astronomy without studying much, I know i should have studied (why get a B when I can get an A right? I've just been lazy....but no more!! :) ). I don't mind hard work and I love figuring things out (kind of like getting that, "ah ha!" moment). I love learning how things work and taking things apart and analyzing them. I particularly love love love weapons. I would love to get a job working with them. Military however is out of the question for me, just to squelch those suggestions, I've had asthma past the age of 12. I thought that weapons development would be a great place for me. The only thing is, that I'm a little, well . . . quite a bit intimidated by the whole ME degree. Is it a ridiculous amount of math? Would it be an insurmountable task for someone who isn't naturally gifted in math? I'm just afraid of failing. :(

Thank you for your help :)
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Mechanical engineering isn't a ridiculous amount of math. How much math have you taken so far? ME typically only goes to ordinary differential equations and linear algebra (a step above calculus III). I'm not 'naturally gifted at math', and I'm doing a double major in aerospace engineering and mathematics.
 
  • #3
3,003
2
I'll be honest with you, I go to a decent enough school and I am not impressed with the math that is required by us MEs. If you are worried about your math, then you will be fine. Just the fact that you are concerned about it and are willing to stay on top of the math is more than I can say for a lot of MEs. I am finishing the last semester of my masters courses in ME and some of the math related questions I hear from other students make me cringe.

Stay on top of your game, don't party too much, ask lots of questions, go for extra help when you need it, and come to PhysicsForums when you need help with your HW and you will be fine. Just remember that though the math isn't that hard, the work load generally is high. You will be working a lot harder than your History major friends, but the payoff (not just monetarily speaking) should be worth it.
 
  • #4
3
0
Thank you :)
But I was very serious about my math skills not being up to par. Haha, I think the highest math I've taken was geometry and algebra. I'm not sure how I got through high school without taking higher than that ( I guess my high school was an "artsy" school, lol, I got an award for art though!). I didn't take all of the science most people take either... no chemisty, only intro to biology. I took Chemistry in college though.
I spoke to my neighbor tonight, she's a civil engineer. From what I've read so far, those are different in their course work. She said there is a ton of math and that you have to love math, otherwise it will be hell. She made it seem like it was crazy for me to go into ME because I have a natural aversion to math.
Reading your responses were encouraging, but after the talk with her, I was rather discouraged.
 
  • #5
231
0
There is no reason you shouldn't be able to learn the math required.

However, look at the curriculum for your school. My school has us take Calc I in the fall semester of our freshman year which is required to take Physics I. It's hard for people who start out in pre-Calc to catch up with the sequence of classes required to graduate in four years. If you are diligent and take summer classes though, you should be able to do it.

Think about what you would be doing with a history major. Then think about what life would be like as a mechanical engineer. There's a big difference. What attracted you to ME in the first place? The money? If that's more than 50% of it, then be a history major.
 
  • #6
3,003
2
Thank you :)
But I was very serious about my math skills not being up to par. Haha, I think the highest math I've taken was geometry and algebra. I'm not sure how I got through high school without taking higher than that ( I guess my high school was an "artsy" school, lol, I got an award for art though!). I didn't take all of the science most people take either... no chemisty, only intro to biology. I took Chemistry in college though.
I spoke to my neighbor tonight, she's a civil engineer. From what I've read so far, those are different in their course work. She said there is a ton of math and that you have to love math, otherwise it will be hell. She made it seem like it was crazy for me to go into ME because I have a natural aversion to math.
Reading your responses were encouraging, but after the talk with her, I was rather discouraged.
Screw your neighbor. If you want something, go for it. I failed high school geometry and then a year later I dropped out of high school. 6 years later, I started off at a community college when I decided I had enough of life without a degree. I worked my a** off and have done quite well in my academic pursuit. The math has been difficult for me since I did not have a strong foundation, but like I said, I just had to work even harder. I have gone so far as to take additional math course beyond what is required of me. When I find that I am not good a particular subject, I take it as a personal challenge to better myself. You are perfectly capable of doing the same.

Long story short, no one can tell you what you should be afraid to do. You will always be nervous to try something new and afraid to fail, but that is what makes it worth pursuing. If you pick a major simply because it is easy, then what is the point? Why shell out hand over fist in cash to a school for a degree that does not challenge you?

~Good Luck
 
  • #7
3
0
Screw your neighbor. If you want something, go for it. I failed high school geometry and then a year later I dropped out of high school. 6 years later, I started off at a community college when I decided I had enough of life without a degree. I worked my a** off and have done quite well in my academic pursuit. The math has been difficult for me since I did not have a strong foundation, but like I said, I just had to work even harder. I have gone so far as to take additional math course beyond what is required of me. When I find that I am not good a particular subject, I take it as a personal challenge to better myself. You are perfectly capable of doing the same.

Long story short, no one can tell you what you should be afraid to do. You will always be nervous to try something new and afraid to fail, but that is what makes it worth pursuing. If you pick a major simply because it is easy, then what is the point? Why shell out hand over fist in cash to a school for a degree that does not challenge you?

~Good Luck
Thank you!! Very true, why bother if its not challenging :)
 

Related Threads on Entering a slight panic mode about my major 0.o

Replies
16
Views
940
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
Replies
4
Views
528
Replies
11
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
449
Replies
26
Views
8K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
Top