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Mechanical Engineering

  1. Jun 9, 2008 #1
    OK, well I am just about to finish my first year of college. I'm so happy, but I have several more years ahead of me. I love it so much, but I am very intimidated.....

    I go to a small college, where I know alot of the people in my classes, but I am the only girl, and I feel I have alot of stress put on me to try to keep up. I mean, yes, I can keep up, but they sometimes tend to look down upon me, so I freak out, probably even more than I need to. I see some of the guys struggle, which, can then make me feel like I can't get it, but when I do get it, alot of the times, they are suppried that I can get it.

    So, I guess my question is...Is there a way that I can, like fit in, without some of the guys making an issue of my gender, and not to be stressed as well?

    Does anyone have any advise to help me to cope with it all?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 10, 2008 #2


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    Not really in a position to give advice but -
    You can either ignore it, or enjoy being special and the centre of attention!

    Remember most of what you are feeling is standard freshman agnst - away from home for the first time, suddenly not the smartest kid in school, very small fish in a very big pond sort of stuff.

    Enjoy it and don't worry is rather glib but honest advice. Remember that you are likely to be in a minority in most areas of engineering and a lot of people in the 'real' world aren't going to be as nice as the shy awkward young engineering guys in your class.
  4. Jun 10, 2008 #3
    I'm an ME undergrad who just finished his freshman year. Take my advice--don't worry about how others are doing. As an engineering undergraduate, many of your courses will become group-based in a matter of a semester or two. The best way to 'fit in' in an engineering community is to know your stuff, and to be on top of your curriculum. Certainly, it's great to make friends with people in your discipline, but the way you get to earn respect in that environment is being the one in a group that steps up, and tries to get things done.

    Everyone is going to struggle with material at one point or another--in engineering..most likely more than one point or another. Just pick yourself up and get things done. Keep your endgame in mind.

    I would recommend a book by Stephen Covey--"The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" that can probably dictate a lot of the assertiveness I'm trying to convey a little better.
  5. Jun 10, 2008 #4


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    I'll throw my two cents worth in as well...

    I can't even fathom what it must be like from your side of the fence. All I can say is that, like has already been mentioned, you are not the only one feeling this way. You are in a competitive environment. The way I handled it was two ways: 1) I put my head down and plowed through. I kept reminding myself that I was in charge of my scholastic destiny and to not get caught up in anything other trying to do well for myself. 2) Keep reminding yourself to not freak out, no matter what. You are going to be stressed. That's part of the game. You need to learn how to handle it because, guess what...it doesn't get any easier after college in some respects. Now is a time that you need to make the decision if you are going to toughen up a bit and learn to not let your emotions get in the way. Sometimes they will win out. No doubt. Just remember, if you have a problem, stop and understand the problem and then formulate a plan to fix or minimize the problem. That mantra works for more than homework problems.

    If you can start to rely on yourself more and not get caught up in what other people think, you will enjoy yourself a lot more.

    OK. Maybe that's about 1.25 cents worth...
  6. Jun 10, 2008 #5
    I am actually less stressed than some, for the fact of the matter is, I live at home, so I don't have all the bills and stuff to worry about, though, I will have more this year....I was informed I am not elligible for financial aide:frown:

    I was never really the smartest kid in my classes, but I was up there. So, I guess I will just start enjoying myself more then, and go with the flow. I can't wait 'til I'm out in the real world :biggrin:
  7. Jun 10, 2008 #6
    I know I will be struggling alot, but I'll have to just do it, and pick myself with, and hope for some help of others, too.

    I have to get that book, so I can read it, it might help me and show me better how to be, as well.

    Thanks Cvan
  8. Jun 10, 2008 #7
    I promise you by next year a good majority of these people are going to be weeded out in your weedout courses, whatever they happen to be at your school.

    Its usually physics and dynamics that weeds out a good majority of 'would be' engineers that have to find a new major.
  9. Jun 11, 2008 #8
    I have already watched about 75% of the students, either switch majors, or totally drop college all the way around. That kind of scares me even more, because I don't want to be the one to drop, but I am trying my hardest to keep up and stay focused. I just found out today that I passed my CAD and Intro to Management classes, tomorrow I have to take my Physics final, which is the one I am super worried about. I have struggled in there, I think mainly because we don't have any labs, but that will change in the fall :biggrin:
  10. Jun 11, 2008 #9


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    Be careful what you wish for. Two of my hardest classes were lab based.
  11. Jun 11, 2008 #10
    Oh no, that's not good. They just changed the Physics' classes to 5 cr. hr. so we have labe every week now, I hope it won't be that hard, but I go to a small community college, so that might be to my advantage. Well, I hope anyways :biggrin:
  12. Jun 12, 2008 #11
    OK, so I have my Physics final today at noon...I just got done making my formula sheet, so that's a big help. I hope all the concepts make sense and click to me, too. I'm a little worried, that I will freak, and forget it all....Oh no, that would majorly suck, but I'm going in confidently and pray that I pass :biggrin:
  13. Jun 12, 2008 #12
    I have at least one lab everyday(2 on Wednesday)
  14. Jun 12, 2008 #13
    i guess ill throw in my advice... i am an electromechanical engineer and i really dont fit in... ive always been a jock in high school and kind of a slacker... all my fellow nerds looked down on me just waiting for me to drop out because i didnt fit in with the glasses wearing pocket protecting stereotype. after my first year i really thought i didnt fit in and after almost failing my physics class i thought i was done for... it really worried me doing bad in physics seeing as alot of engineering is physics based... the trick is to just stick with it... freshman year is just the beginning... im sure the guys in your class look at you differently because you are a minority but as you get deeper into your studies it fades away and you will become a fellow equal... you all start to realize that you each have your strong points and weak points and as a team you shine your brightest. as you survive another year or two and work with your classmates they start to respect what you say because youve all stuggled and survived that long and accomplished alot... i stuck with it and i am going into my fifth year and working with my fellow nerds because i am no longer a jock haha im just another math maniac. the further you go in your studies the more it all makes sense as well... i just took my dynamics course which is heavily physics based and i got a B+ because as you take it all in as a whole it is very confusing but after seeing more of it over and over again it becomes more clear. stick with it and just deal with it as it comes. dont get disgruntled if you do poorly in a certain subject because that just means it is a weak point for you AT THAT TIME... as an engineer you see that your weak point is a PROBLEM... so what do engineers do? they FIX PROBLEMS! GOOD LUCK!
  15. Jun 12, 2008 #14
    Does anyone know if I am too look at the total, or the weighted total to find my over all grade??????????????
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