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Other Passion/Interest vs Talent

  1. Jul 2, 2016 #1
    So here i am, in 12th grade
    I want to become an engineer but my classmates say i should rather become a footballer(because i am exceptional at it,even my coach says that i should become a footballer aka soccer player)

    but the thing is i really don't want to become a footballer!!!!

    I want to become a good mechanical engineer.I don't care how much hard work i have to do....i will do it,i don't care for sleepless nights i have to spend just studying...i will study.Its just whenever i wake up and see those machines...air conditioners,cars,planes,the physics of these stuffs interest me(the sound of engines,those heavy cranes,ships all these look amazing to me).I am fascinated by all these things

    but i have an iq around 80 to 90.My percentage in school (for physics and maths) are 67/100 and 64/100 basically B- or C+.BY THIS THEY(classmates and teachers) SAY TO ME

    "Jab aukaat aur dimag nahi hai Engineering ke liye to karne ki kyo soch ta hai,ja footballer ban ja" (When you don't have the acumen and a brain for doing Engineering, ..then why do you even want to do that .. you should better become a footballer

    I am willing to work hard even day and nights i don't care about failures....if i fail i will get back up and up and up until i get to become a very good engineer.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2016 #2


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    I can't say that I follow football/soccer all that much, but if it's anything like every other professional sport out there, counting on making a career out of it is not a good plan. The odds of making it to the professional leagues are small, even for very talented individuals. You have to have a lot of factors come up in your favour - lots of good coaching, opportunities to perform to your potential, minimal injuries, scouts have to like you, what the talent pool looks like the years that you are eligible, etc.

    That teachers would tell you to pursue this over a professional career or at least a professional education reflects poorly on them to say the least.

    When you're 40 and have a bad ACL, you'll still be able to go to work as an engineer.

    As for innate ability - if you're struggling in high school, it's only going to get worse in university. But a lot can depend on how you are studying. It might be a good idea to start focusing a little bit on factors like effective time management, study skills, and solidifying your basics, that can help you get the marks you need to get into the program you want - and then get through it successfully.
  4. Jul 3, 2016 #3
    well i would say i generally studied for 3-4 hours at home in class 11th(also school lectures of physics,chemistry and maths were BS,cause i mean how can a teacher in my school finished chemical equilibrium in 4 days and just with 35 mins lecture) so yeah i studied for 3- 4 hours and got those marks (long hours in exams tho)

    but i will definitely work hard in engineering.....
  5. Jul 3, 2016 #4
    Why are your grades in school not better? If you think that classes in high school move quickly, university will shock you. Instead of being in class for an hour a day for a whole year, imagine learning the same material after only being in class for ~3 hours per week for only a semester. If it was a lack of interest, you may be surprised to learn that much of university will also be learning things that are not exciting. You will need to study for much more than 3-4 hours - the stereotype of engineering students having no social lives exists for a reason.
  6. Jul 3, 2016 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    Furthermore, if quality of instruction is a problem in high school, it is unlikely to be better in college.
  7. Jul 3, 2016 #6
    The study method is very important, what's yours?
    How do you study physics?
  8. Jul 3, 2016 #7
    I won't advice unless you had interest in Football. In India, you can forget thinking about getting high-end salary, the players from other country actually get. There's only so-so options to opt. Like, teachers of P.E. in Schools or colleges. Playing in teams is even worse then teaching, salary wise.

    I'd say, go join some good classes. Either your school is bad, since the teachers in our school are better then even that of my coaching for IIT. Plan your studies well. Trust me, I have seen many people rising. And it's really an amazing sight swimming from deepest trench to your dreams. And your friends, they'd be sayin one day, "Damn."
  9. Jul 3, 2016 #8
    Actually it is not so. The OP is not in a good school. In my school, dumbest score 80 plus. The teachers are really supportive. All of them are qualified. But schools like mine, are a minority.

    In colleges, only the IISCER's and IISC are good though, in terms of teacher. In college, usually people don't go to classes. They do really well with self-studying and watching lectures from foreign universities.
  10. Jul 3, 2016 #9
    Thats exactly what i am trying to say my friend amey...my school teachers(no offence) totally lack deep knowledge and they teach us like they don't even have interest in teaching students these subjects.
  11. Jul 3, 2016 #10
    Also my internet connection doesn't even provide enough speed to watch lectures of khan academy....
  12. Jul 3, 2016 #11
    You can only depend on self studying then. Try getting some books like Halliday Resnick, University Physics, etc. They will improve your conceptual knowledge. You see if you have good concepts, even JEE problems are no big deal. NCERT is a suitable alternative for Physics. It's just like a compilation of many books. Thought it's hard to understand for beginners, but once you get used it's no big deal.

    I really can't recommend anything on Chemistry, since I don't if I have some talent or most probably luck, I'm able to get real well with notes. NCERT is really good. You can score good in competitive and boards. Nothing is asked outside of this book, so I say just read it like crazy.. (Works for me, at least.)

    As for Maths, lectures are the only thing viable, but they're out of option. Try good coaching classes for them.

  13. Jul 3, 2016 #12

    Alright,so according to you guys....if i get

    focus,determination,motivation,smart work(getting right books,guidance,scientific study habits),hard work,patience,perseverance then even my iq and innate talent will not stop me from becoming a good engineer.Am i right guys?
  14. Jul 3, 2016 #13


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    I think that's a fair statement.

    IQ is just a score on a test. While I'm sure it has applications in some circumstances, it's not a general predictor of success or nor is it a general profession/education filter.

    Remember this is something that you are ultimately in the captain's chair for. Yes there are external factors that play a role, but ultimately you are going to be the one who decides to go through an undergraduate engineering program. You are the one who's going to earn the grades and if you don't get something you're happy with, you're the one who decides whether to try again. It's important to be honest with yourself and judge your limitations too. Signing up for a course a fourth time after you've failed it three times without a plan for doing anything different is probably not a good idea. But on the other hand, you might find that you just have to put in more effort to get the grades that you want. That's not a one-time decision. That's a decision that you have to make every day, often multiple times a day. And it's up to you to make it.
  15. Jul 3, 2016 #14
    Well said sir......

    this was the test i took which showed my iq to be around 80
  16. Jul 3, 2016 #15


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    An online IQ test is not a reliable way to measure your IQ tests. Reliable IQ tests are individually administered by a professional
  17. Jul 4, 2016 #16


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    There's no reliable IQ test when attempting to apply it outside it's realm of perceived usefulness; of which, potential or "intelligence measuring" isn't one.

    That is garbage. If you believe in such things, it can only become true as a self fulfilling prophecy.

    You should start applying yourself now more to your classes.
  18. Jul 4, 2016 #17
    Well. All you need to be is punctual. Study everyday. That's it.
  19. Jul 4, 2016 #18
    I did not get excellent scores in high school math. I had three or four math "geniouses" in the same class as myself. I know that one of them was a competitive mathlete. He had competed in international math competitions (math olympiad etc.). Those guys mostly got straight As from all their math courses and physics and chemistry courses. They wanted to become engineers at least two of them did.

    I saw for the last time the "math olympiad guy" when I was conscripted into the army. The math guy was in an artillery regiment as a non-commissioned officer (he was lance-sergeant). I think he belonged to the command platoon (?). We were actually in the same brigade, but I was in an infantry battalion and he was in artillery regiment. Anyhow I did enquire him where he ended up studying and it turned out that he got into a top technical university in the country. I was not surprised because he was quite enthusiastic about math and physics and talented too. He was in an engineering programme.

    I had varied success in math courses personally. List of math courses in high school.

    all courses receive grades that go from worst 0 is failing course --> the best 6. Elective courses are 11-13.
    most influence for the course grade comes from the course test result.It should be noted that the best score was "relatively difficult" to achieve for any course. Especially in some courses the teacher put a couple difficult problems in the end part of the course test.

    Otherwise, the test problems were supposed to better our capabilities as students, in order to achieve a good grade in the high school final exam for mathematics, matriculation exams in mathematics. The caveat with getting a good grade in matriculation exam was that the grades in the matriculation were given in Gaussian distribution so therefore only certain number of testtakers could possibly receive the best score, and only certain number the second best etc...

    Course grade is rounded up or down to the nearest natural number or towards zero, in some manner (presumably teacher had some influence also).

    course grades listed
    1. functions and equations --- I received 4.0
    2. polynomials --- I received 4.0
    3. geometry --- I received 5.0
    4. analytic geometry --- I received 3.0
    5. vector mathematics --- I got a bad grade from this course, it was 2.0
    6. prrobability and statistics --- I got a good grade 5.0
    7. derivatives --- I got 3.0
    9. root and logarithm functions ---maybe 2.0
    10. integrals ---- maybe 2.0
    11. number theory and logic --- I got maybe a 3.0 from this elective course
    12. numeric and algebraic methods --- I did not participate in this elective course
    13. advanced calculus --- I failed this elective course therefore grade = 0
    14. economics mathematics (difficulty level was less than all the courses above) ---- I received a good grade perhaps it was 6.0 in the course grade

    average math grade = 3.0

    I did not try to get into the top engineering university in my country. But this spring, (spring 2016) I decided to try to apply into university of applied sciences for engineering bachelors programme. It was not the "top engineering college in the country" but it was quite popular choice for many applicants, because there were quite many open spots for students. The intake was rather large. It was quite popular choice for many applicants in the capital city of Finland. In fact, this particular college was the most popular college in this year's application procedure. University of applied sciences Metropolia.

    There was an entrance exam and some of the high school grades were being evaluated for additional points for the purpose of entrance test score.
    A couple days ago I received the good news that I was accepted.

    Apparently about 30% of all applicants were accepted into colleges, in the country.

    I was accepted into 5/6 colleges in which I had applied. But I will accept the highest choice, which is the engineering programme. Information technology engineering bachelors degree. I was quite happy about the result. The application procedure was a tiered-approach, where the applicant puts his or her preferences into order from 1.-->6.

    But now I'm seeking a part-time job to get more money and work experience, and I'm also thinking about self-studying programming until the semester begins.

    I think probably the worst criticisms personally against me were in the army. There was some kind of "army intelligence test" where I did not get a very good score it seemed. One factor for my bad score was that my eyesight was not so good, and I should have had prescription eyeglasses at that time. I got my eyeglasses after tehe military. But the test was taken in a large auditorium and I could not see very well what the questions were. I was squinting my eyes and it was not very easy.

    I guess that my company commander said something like I'm too dumb to drive a tank. :sorry:

    Well, at least I'm dumb enough to become an engineer...:biggrin:
    (fun fact 1: my best friend and his bigger brother, they both were tank crewmen in the army.)
    (fun fact 2: both of them actually studied inthe same university into which I was accepted :woot:)
  20. Jul 4, 2016 #19
    So basically you were an average student(am i right?)....who is now a really good engineer,well that's really inspiring my friend
    thank you.
  21. Jul 4, 2016 #20


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    I do think there is a minimum intellectual threshold you need to meet in order to be successful in fields like physics or engineering. It may not be as high as people think, but I do believe it still exists. For example, I could never be an Olympic swimmer because I don't have the innate ability. I do agree that it can be difficult to measure one's potential in many circumstances, but that still doesn't mean that everyone has the capacity to succeed in STEM fields.
  22. Jul 4, 2016 #21
    So sir,are you saying that i can't be a good engineer even after i get these
    focus,determination,motivation,smart work(getting right books,guidance,scientific study habits),hard work,patience,perseverance,punctuality?

    :( why.....am i not smart enough,is that because of my iq?
  23. Jul 4, 2016 #22


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    Sure. But I think the real issue isn't so much whether or not it's there. The issue is more one of figuring it out.

    Inevitably you have young people such as the OP trying to figure out which direction to take with their education and they want some way of knowing whether pursuing a given path is a good idea for their specific sets of circumstances. And the problem is that there really isn't any reliable way of making that determination short of trial and error. A person will figure out for him or herself whether the path is the right one in a much more reliable way than an IQ test, or some other quickly determined metric. Unfortunately that sometimes means substantial investments of time and energy could be wasted (hence the desire to know ahead of time).
  24. Jul 4, 2016 #23
    well actually i had already figured out i want to become an engineer when i was 12.I didn't develop my interest due to cute science videos or some kind of that....its just that i am attracted to it by seeing those amazing stuff.I am even interested by seeing how my computer works, my room bulb glows etc.As i said i have great motivation but its just that my coach and classmates say i should become footballer because i have natural talent in it(as i said i am exceptional in football) but i do NOT WANT TO BECOME A footballer in the first place.I like knowing how things work and how to build them rather then kicking away at football court of school.
  25. Jul 4, 2016 #24


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    I wasn't specifically referring to you, I was just making a general comment. Yes, I think hard work is absolutely necessary for anyone to succeed, and that includes even the most people. The most intelligent people I know are all very hard workers. However, I do think it is important to know what one's limitations are to be realistic. I would definitely not determine those by an IQ test, but by considering one's experiences.
  26. Jul 4, 2016 #25
    well, I passed the entrance exam, I'm only beginning my studies in August this year!
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