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Rough semester. Little real world experience. Need guidance.

  1. Oct 4, 2011 #1

    I've had a rough semester. Things were actually looking up in the beginning. I am a sophomore mechanical engineering major and I was taking classes and doing well. I was especially enjoying thermo and nuclear engineering. I had even gotten my first job so that I could save up for a car which my friend, an auto mechanic, was gonna fix up for me. Anyways long story short I had a medical emergency and now I'm gonna be out until the winter or spring term as I am currently receiving treatment. I really had some things going for me but now I just don't know. I have few technical skills outside of some basic machining and programming and I'm in danger of losing my scholarships. I even lost the job I had just got. Anyways, I just looking for some sound advice on how to proceed from here. I mean I missed the school's career fair because I was in the hospital and I'm no longer meeting professors 'cause I'm out of school so I don't know if I'll be able to apply for internships outside of applying away. Yeah that kind of went too long but I just need some advice. I'll edit this post later.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2011 #2
    Is firing someone because of a medical predicament even legal?
  4. Oct 4, 2011 #3
    That's what I was thinking..
  5. Oct 4, 2011 #4


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    Wow, sounds like you're really in a tough spot :frown:!

    Now you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get going again. I think most people have been though bad times at sometime during their college years (maybe not as bad as what you're going through, though!). I know it's cliche but it really does build your character...I also know that doesn't help much while you're going through it.

    What I would do is, make a plan. Prioritize what you need to do, then start getting things done. You probably won't get back to that exact place again...but a *lot* of life is spent adjusting to "new normal".

    Have you considered writing to a professor who knows you, and ask him/her for advice?

    Best of luck to you, and I hope you're healing well.
  6. Oct 5, 2011 #5
    Depends on the country, I would have thought. Where are you from, OP?
  7. Oct 5, 2011 #6
    I wasn't fired for having a medical condition, per se. I don't know if "fired" is even the correct term. I"m just in a position where I'm unable to work indefinitely, so yeah. It's all good. And yeah, I guess I will be writing to a professor I know to see if he can help me out. I'm still well on schedule to graduate in 4 years and with good grades. But I need to put myself in a position to gain some experience.
  8. Oct 5, 2011 #7
    OP would have to consult an attorney of course... I was terminated due to a medical condition. In the US (my understanding) the rules are different for large and small companies (cut-off is 25 or 50 employees). In my case (large) they had to give me 13 weeks of FMLA first. They terminated me the day after the 13 weeks ended.
  9. Oct 5, 2011 #8
    Here's some "real world experience", this hardly qualifies as a "problem" (keep reading). Yeah, it sounds like you've had a rough couple of months but come on... what is the worst case scenario? Okay that would be you lost your scholarships, which would suck, but even if that happens it's just money. You get loans, more debt, and when you're out of school and working the only thing this problem means to you is one more negative number on the spreadsheet where you keep track of your money. Don't worry, it won't be the only one. Plan on buying a house? Debt while you're young is expected.

    Beyond money though I'm sure you're bummed because you feel like now you're "behind", but, back to the "real world experience" thing, this business of being X age and therefore being in Y class ends after undergrad really freaking quick (often times it ends after high school). When you get out into the real world your age matters so much less than your experience, your knowledge, and your demeanor. In fact, your age doesn't mean ****. This sets you back a year? Who cares! People take a 22 year college grad just as serious as they take a 23 year old college grad (not very), which may be more or less than how they treat a 29 year old with 6-7 years of experience. In terms of your career, a 1 year setback while in college is literally nothing. It doesn't matter.

    All that said I'm sorry you had a rough patch, and I hope you get better.

    But seriously, if you think that, since you didn't get as much out of thermo as you could have, you've got it rough, you're a moron. No, sorry, didn't mean to be mean. Good luck. But seriously.
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