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Noob here. Wanted to ask

  1. Apr 25, 2010 #1
    Hey gang.

    I'm going to start college this fall. My major's Bio but I want to take up a minor in engineering as my fall back plan for med school. Is it easy to get a job with just 4 year of college with engineering?? I hear it's a really tough field, can I handle the challenge of pre-med classes on top of engineering?? I like electronics and it's really cool. Even if engineering is too tough what about computer programming?? can you get a job with that??

    Second, I have the desire to just say "f it" to everything and everyone and just read books and study. It's what I "want" to do. I like to learn but I don't like the school system. It's all competiton based and no learning actually takes place. But I lack motivation and will power. The desire is there but just lacking motivation. Ne suggestions??? How do you break the shackles of lazyness and devote all your time to studying?? Before I registered, I read some post from a forumer who goes by the name Mathboy, man, that guy's the man :approve:.

    I'm hoping to get a really good reading speed and build a solid foundation of Algebra and Geomtry and Trig 'cause those are the concepts to most maths. The majority of the math's build on them. I don't think I'm a naturally smart kid, I"m the type that gotta study (I could be wrong). but math and science are not my best fields. And to become a doc, they are crucial. Help??
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2010 #2
    You might enjoy college once you're actually in it. I can't speak for bio majors or engineering... or other schools for that matter. But at my university in the physics department, the focus is more on learning and collaboration rather than competition.

    I go to a large state university with a tiny physics department. Perhaps the relative size of our department brings us closer together, but it's a very good atmosphere.
  4. Apr 25, 2010 #3
    Coming from someone who was, since she was like, 3, was going to be a surgeon. (Got shaky hands bad- a genetic condition, so I couldn't) Now I'm gonna go for computer and software engineering.
    Having both of those courses piled together will be extremely tough. Especially if you're the kind that has to study. (I'm the kind that never studies and still knows more than everyone else in class)
    And I also lack motivation. I hear ya. :frown:
  5. Apr 25, 2010 #4
    It's just that in high school everything's all competition based(atleast my school in particular and how I see it). Who gets the highets grades who gets this who gets that. I don't really like competition. School would be so much better if you weren't doing things for the sake of getting some grade(s). I really do look forward to college though. I do think I'll have a great time.

    @GreatEscapist - I do plan on spending quite a great deal of time studying. I don't really got nothing else better to do with my time.

    Also for those of you who teach yourselves, I have a Psychology, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry and Biology textbook(s). How do I study these (I'm studying on my own **no teacher(s)). Should I do it one book at a time or for instance Psychology & Algebra then Biology & Trigonometry?? (not that the order matters) but I want to know should I study this book 3 days then the other the following 3 days and do that 'til I'm done with the books?? Or today spend this amount of hours on this book then this amount of hours on that book. And do that for the whole week??
  6. Apr 25, 2010 #5
    You'd have to be extremely dedicated in order to make it work.

    Okay, wait. How far in math have you gotten?
  7. Apr 25, 2010 #6
    Just an FYI, math is not crucial to become a medical doctor. My sister, who finished med school a year or so ago, said taking an intro stats class would have fulfilled her math requirement as an undergrad, although I believe she did have credit for Calc I from high school. Being good at science is critical though...

    If you work hard at it, a weakness can become a strength.

    Regarding motivation, you might want to consider seeing a doctor in case your lack of motivation is a symptom of another problem. Also, adderall will increase your motivation... are you ADHD?
  8. Apr 25, 2010 #7
    Regarding an engineering minor I don't think you having a minor in engineering you would really get too much. So much of engineering is those first 2 years of prerequisite, Calc 1,2,3, DiffEqu, Chem 1 & 2, Physics 1 & 2. After that you could take Statics or Circuits or Thermodynamics, etc. If that stuff really interests you go for it but I don't think you could sell yourself to an employer as an engineer. I know at my university only engineering students can get a minor in engineering field (computer, electrical, materials, nuclear) because so my prerequisites are required.
  9. Apr 25, 2010 #8


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    If your goal is to make it into medical school, I've got some news for you. Competition is the name of the game. Unfortunately, that's what it comes down to.

    Also, minoring in engineering, if you can do it at all, is generally not going to prepare you to work as an engineer, although it may help you to work with engineers, if that's something that you want to do.

    There's no great secret to curing laziness. It all comes down to self-discipline.
  10. Apr 25, 2010 #9
    MCATs are awful tests...
  11. Apr 26, 2010 #10
    I'm just going to do it as if it's not a competition at all. Ex, just focus on the material. I wont go around asking people about their grades and I wont tell 'em about mine. Don't really see the competitional aspect of it though. Just meet the standards the school you want to go to has. No biggie. There are plenty of ways to shine (GPA, MCAT, volunteer stuff and the interview). I just don't want to do it to say "I got higher than you" I want to just focus on working and take my mind of the grades and competition.

    I don't really go outside I'm inside most of the time and I have the desire to study just need that little push. I'm not really far in math. I think I lack the basics which slows me down a bit. Currently as a high school senior I'm taking honors pre-calc. I had an 85 'til I recently adapted a lifestyle of eat, sleep, repeat. So I've been slacking off. But even before when I had the 85, I wasn't really studying. And I don't find the material difficult it's just annoying. Generally I understand the work....when I pay attention. But I don't review outside of class.
    I did really bad on my SAT's 'cause I'm not that solid with basic math. Things like decimals to percents and vice versa. I suck real bad at Geometry. I need to study.

    So based on what you guys are saying, engineering as a minor isn't a good idea? I'll have to go on to graduate school in order to make anything serious of it?? I was hoping for something in engineering that I could do for 4 years of college and make close or more to the wages of a nursing degree. Just as a fall back plan for med school.
  12. Apr 26, 2010 #11
    Isn't there a huge middle-ground you're missing?
  13. Apr 26, 2010 #12
    I don't really know.
  14. Apr 26, 2010 #13
    To answer what I think is your question, engineering as a minor might not get you a job as an engineer. Particularly if you were focused on bio and med-school throughout your undergrad and don't have any engineering internships or research. However, having an engineering minor might help you get a job elsewhere, I suppose is shows that you have some expertise outside of your degree field.

    Also, you asked if 4 years of college with engineering will get you a good job. If you're planning on studyiong both bio and engineering, you'll probably be in school for more than 4 years. I realize you just want a minor in engineering, but its still a lot of additional work on top of an already difficult degree.

    As an afterthought, maybe you could do engineering and med school. Have you ever considered majoring in Chemical, Biomechanical, or biosystems engineering and then going on to med school after that? I have a friend whose a ChemE and he's planning on going to med school. That way, if the med school thing doesn't work out, you major is still in engineering.
  15. Apr 26, 2010 #14
    The prob is, when I was doing my college apps I put down Bio as my major. Then I found out you can get into med school with ANY major you just need to take the pre-reqs. So that was a bummer. Now I'm in a situation where I'm looking for a minor that I can use as a fall back plan for med. I'm not a fan of the whole "enjoy what you do for a living" thing. So long as it's not illegal or violating you in anyway(physical, religious and so on) as long as it put foods on the table, pays rent, clothes on your back and offers free time for you to chill out with friends outside of work, I don't mind. And the demand for workers has to be high 'cause I'm a minority. Some fields it's not easy to get a job.


    About the studying thing. I sat down and tried to study today but I after about 2 mins of reading I couldn't really keep my mind on the material I was reading and I couldn't focus. But I guess it's 'cause I'm not used to doing it often. If I keep it up things will get better. Also another thing that got in the way was I kept thinking maybe I should be working on the math 'cause it's my weak area. So I guess I need a study plan. Ne tips?? help??
  16. Apr 26, 2010 #15


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    About that - medical school (and graduate school and other professional schools) have a competative applications process. It's not just a case of meed the standards. The schools have only a limited number of positions, and far more people apply (who meet the standards) than get in. Unfortunately it becomes a very competative game - to the point where smart people will enroll in basket weaving degrees just to have the highest GPAs possible.

    The other thing is that just because you've enrolled in a particular major doesn't mean you can't change. It might take some work, but if you don't like the direction you're moving in, it's not that difficult to change it - especially at your stage where you haven't even finished high school yet.

    With respect to studying, I find that what helps for learning on your own is not to try to plow your way through course material. Rather, find some problems or projects that interest you, and learn what you need to pursue those.
  17. Apr 27, 2010 #16
    Many students change their major multiple times during their undergrad. Trust me, at your age, there's no reason why you can't change your major.

    What are you a fan of then? Doing something you hate for a living? I will admit, sometimes people just need a job that will pay the bills, but this is not the proper thinking when selecting a career field.

    I can't study by just reading material either, I can never remember anything straight from the book. Particularly in math and sciences, I learn a lot better by doing example problems. So my advice, don't just read, do problems, find the info you need in the book that relate to the problems. And back to the whole enjoy what you do thing. I realize you can't always pick what you have to learn, but its a heck of a lot easier to study something that you're interested in learning.

    Hope all that helps at least a little. Good luck!
  18. Apr 27, 2010 #17
    Not to be naive or anything but, even if you don't enjoy what you do for a living atleast it pays your bills and gives you your necessities. It's not like you're going to live at work. Just go for a few ours make your cash and go home. Think about people who get fixed in arranged marriages. They may not love each other but they still live together and make the marriage work. As time goes on they can develop feelings for each other. Plus it's really just a back up plan. My main goal is med school. I just want a back up outside the medical field.

    As for the studying thing, I wasn't studying math. I was studying Psychology. I want to build my vocab, increase my reading speed and even improve my writing. Also in the process I'll learn about the mind and hopefully find a cure for my motivation issue. I'm aware that for math you have to practice problems over and over. I wasn't working on the math though.
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