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Need some serious advice with my engineering goals

  1. Apr 11, 2012 #1
    I am 20 years old. I goofed off in my first two years at school and didnt accomplish much, didnt know what I wanted to do. I have always been very hands on/love creating/taking apart/ wondering about everything. I started working for an airline and fell into aviation, I recently moved to Jacksonville, and am just about done with my pilots license. I got a job with Airtran (about to be southwest airlines) and enrolled in the local school up here, it wasnt until about a month ago it really clicked in my head on what I want to do. Engineer, mechanical/aerospace/structural I really just want to ENGINEER. Well the 42 credits I have now are towards a general AA, they not going to do me anygood transfering somewhere. My other problem is math, and I beat myself over this but I know I am not stupid, I just know for a fact I have what it takes, but the whole time I have been in school I havent had enough focus to really just study and do what it takes to be a success, and I'm worried I will flunk out. But I just KNOW somewhere deep down I can man up and do what it takes. So heres my problem, I love working with the airline I fly free make great money, but from what I have heard there is no way I can do a degree in engineering and hope to work full time, so my question is.. I have been thinking about just saving some money, and in the next 6-12 months moving to a university (UF,FIT,UCF undecided) and making school my 100% full time job. No job to worry about, just school and back and putting everything I have into it, because not having a full time job at southwest wont really matter because I will be able to advance anyways when I'm done with school (or be rehired after for a short time) because my ultimate goal is to enlist in the navy OCS and fight my *** off for a flight slot (and other branches)--I guess what I'm saying is I'm at the point where I'm done screwing around and I REALLY want to do this, but I need more confidence. I need to know that it IS possible to succeed in calc 1,2,3 and physics if I have the time and effort to put forth to these classes. Sorry for the long post, tried to explain it all... any advice is appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 12, 2012 #2
    I was in a similar position. What happened to me was I barely made it out of high school because I had no desire to learn anything and I took the easiest classes I could. I went to a CC after and took general classes that meant nothing to engineering and honestly didn't even try or learn anything I feel but still made good grades and finally last spring I decided I wanted to be an engineer and work at an aviation company. I transferred to the nearest university with an abet engineering program and started with calculus 1. My highest previous math was college algebra at the CC and I can't say I learned much so I was extremely concerned about trying to be an engineer. I ended up acing the class and now have one of the highest grades in my calculus 2 class.

    Last semester while doing well in all my classes, I still would have thought I didn't have what it takes to be an engineer. Now I have all the confidence in the world that I will eventually graduate and hopefully after that obtain a masters.

    What I believe the difference is, is that I want it more than anything. I think that is what'll make you do well as well since you seem to also want it badly. If you're very interested in learning to be an engineer, then you have the capability to do it.
  4. Apr 15, 2012 #3
    I'm just concerned about where I would be starting though, realistically its going to take me 4 years minimum from where I stand now, and in my head I feel like I would be too old for anything by then even though I know its not true.
  5. Apr 15, 2012 #4
    20 is in no way too old to start engineering... There's a significant portion of my classes (just finishing 2nd year) that consist of people in their mid to late twenties. I'd say you're still well on the young end of things.

    As far as difficulty goes, if you want it, you should be able to do it. I've found that what makes engineering difficult is not necessarily difficult concepts, but the sheer volume of ideas that are thrown at you in a short amount of time. Add a massive amount of homework, and you'll find that hard work and good study habits will get you a lot further than just being a genius.
  6. Apr 15, 2012 #5
    exactly, but I have been taking online classes, 1 or 2 classes in actual school here and there, no study habits, no homework... the idea of moving to a university and basically secluding myself so that I CAN develop good study habits and have time for homework actually excites me.
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