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High school senior who needs help

  1. Jan 28, 2008 #1
    I have already been accepted to a school and have decided to study Chemical Engineering, but I'm wondered if I will be prepared enough to succeed. The farthest that I've gone into math and science courses in high school is;

    Physics 1, AP Physics B, Calc 1, and AP Physics C, and only chem 1.

    Any current engineering students in general or even someone who has already graduated who could give some input as to whether or not I've prepared myself well enough to do well in a ChemE schedule?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2008 #2
    The first time through an introductory college chemistry class is a bit rough, but with since you've seen first two classes in physics (assuming you took both mech and e&m) trust me when I say it shouldn't be that difficult (in fact, I spent the majority of the time in class just doing work for other classes and still passed with an A). Calc I is a good intro for college math (however it'll probably be a bit more rigorous). Over all I'd say you're fairly prepared for the introductory classes.
  4. Jan 29, 2008 #3
    Speaking as a physics major, (and not an engineer of course), I would say that your physics background is more than sufficient. You will have a leg up in that respect. Your math background, however, may be a bit lacking (but not that much necessarily). What do you mean by Calc I? Have you done integration?
  5. Jan 29, 2008 #4
    A typical engineering curriculum begins at Calc 1. Consequently, no calculus background is necessary to succeed. All you need is sufficient algebra and trig background. Therefore, his math background is adequate.

    You will be fine. Your preparation is adequate in all areas.
  6. Jan 29, 2008 #5
    thanks guys

    Thank you for your input, I feel a bit more confident for college now.

    As for my calculus, I spent most of the time simply working with derivatives and my last grading period was spent on mostly integrals.

    And again, thank you everyone!
  7. Jan 29, 2008 #6
    If the university accepted you then they feel you have adequate preparation to succeed. Also, have you looked at the curriculum for chemical engineering? Typically, the first physics course you take is a calculus based mechanics course, the first math course is a calculus 1 course, and the first chemistry course is a chemistry 1 course. Was there something else that you saw on the curriculum that gave you the impression that you weren't adequately prepared?

    I am just wondering because I see a lot of people come to this forum with this same question. Maybe they know something I don't.....
  8. Jan 29, 2008 #7
    well...no not really

    I saw the course listing for all four years and nothing really scared me too much. You are right though, calc 1, chem 1, and calc based physics are all first semester courses. I suppose it's just a confidence thing. I feel like theses classes are going to be impossible to pass even though I have a great work ethic and adequate prep in high school.

    Maybe i should just stop logging on to "rate my prof" web sites and reading about professors who dock students 25-30 percent for a minor miscalculation.
  9. Jan 29, 2008 #8
    What makes you feel they will be impossible to pass? Do you always start new things assuming you will fail, even though there's no logical reason for such assumptions? If you go in with that kind of attitude you will just increase your chance of failing. The difference between college and hs is nobody is there to force you to study. You aren't in school all day like in hs, and when you go home you will need to motivate yourself to open your books and study. However, if you want to be in school to learn (which you do), and not to simply get a piece of paper in order to get a job (like most people these days) then you will do fine.

    Also, quit reading rate my professor. 90% of the time, when a prof gets a bad review it means the student was lazy and received a bad grade in the course....not because the prof did a bad job.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2008
  10. Jan 29, 2008 #9
    while it can be helpful, I would encourage you not to put too much faith in sites like rate my professor, you tend to get reviews form the extreme ends of the spectrum such as "worst proffesor ever on the face of the earth" (this person probably never went to class and the professor gave them a C) or "easiest class ever, don't go just take tests, I slept through each class" while that may be true its not really good advice to give.
  11. Jan 29, 2008 #10
    my history

    I know, I have stopped going on those sites, it's doing way more harm than good.

    Well, actually, I think to understand how I feel you might need to know my history. My freshman year I did horrible, not because I'm stupid, I just was uninterested. Since then, I've worked my ass off twice as hard, but my lackadaisical attitude from my freshman year keeps on coming back to haunt me( lower cumm. GPA, class rank, etc.) The only good news is that my hard work has paid off and I've been able to raise my GPA and things of that nature by doing amazingly well. I guess what I'm getting at is that I still feel brought down by my past, and consequently, its lowering my confidence.

    I'm usually really optimistic(but not cocky) about how I will handle a new challenge, but I'm worried that college may just be a touch over my head. I don't know why. I completely understand basic calculus, AP physics,, and the other classes I've taken in high school, I just feel like I may be "weeded out" in one of my freshman courses.

    I'm sure I'll do fine, I have an extreme love for chemistry and mathematics, and I think that I care more about most of my studies than any sane individual should.

    I think all I really need is a good first semester at my university to boost my confidence in college, nothing more, nothing less.

    Thank you so much for listening! I'm not the type of person to just talk about this kind of stuff with anyone in person, so it's nice to let it all out.
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