Preparing for University

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  • #1
Are there any particular things that one should do in preparation before enrolling in engineering for university (apart from highschool, of course)? Anything in particular that people wish they had done?
 

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  • #2
Choppy
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There are lots of things you *can* do, but so long as you've met your prerequisits, there isn't that much you *need* to do.

You could try to read ahead for your classes. Lots of people do this (or at least try to - the ones who do it successfully aren't as numerous). This gives you the advantage of being familiar with topics so you can ask questions and focus on details in lectures. When you're being introduced to something for the first time in class, often you can miss the details.

What I think is more important is to spend time exploring your own interests. Build a radio-controlled helicopter. Write a novel. Program a video game. The further you go in life, the less time you'll have for such pusuits if they're not part of your career. This is how you find out what your real passions are.

The other piece of advice I would have is to start working and saving if you haven't already. I always find it surprising how many students just assume that they'll pay for everything with loans. Even if you can cut into the debt that you take on, it will make a big difference later in life. And you will also build up work experience. This has advantages of helping you to figure out what kind of career you might be interested in and if you have a few years of experience by the time you get to university in a given field, it will help to put you in a position where you can work for more than minimum wage.
 
  • #3
mathwonk
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The hard part for me was being away from home and managing all the responsibility and distractions that entails. I couldn't even wake myself up to make it a 9 o'clock class, and that eventually proved disastrous. So practice being responsible for your own behavior, and managing your day. Have you done your own laundry for a while for example? (You are recommended to separate the bright colors, the darks, and the whites.
 
  • #4
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learn Matlab.

Or some sort of programming (python, java are ok. C++ takes a fair bit to get the hang of).

it will help
 
  • #5
@streeters Good call. I have already completed AP physics and am doing physics labs at college, but I haven't even looked at anything to do with program, so I engage in that when I can.
 
  • #6
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@streeters Good call. I have already completed AP physics and am doing physics labs at college, but I haven't even looked at anything to do with program, so I engage in that when I can.

honestly, it is worth sinking a couple of months into it to get your head used to thinking like a computer program.

It's like learning a language, one day it will just be clear to you. it is such a powerful tool when you know how to use it correctly.
 

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