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Should I keep going? Should I leave? If I stay, what do?

  • Thread starter Obelisk017
  • Start date
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Throughout these posts I've found out that you have a tremendous work ethic (maybe too much, you still need to get some sleep!) and that you are willing to learn. These are all very good things.
But the most important question is: do you enjoy what you do? Do you find your classes interesting? Do you like thinking about your courses?
In my opinion, somebody who doesn't enjoy what he does, will rarely get good grades. Even if they work very hard. And in that case, I think the best thing is to switch majors, do something that you'd like to do...
However, if you DO enjoy your studies, then I would at least give it another try. But this time: sleep enough, don't take to many classes, focus on "I have to learn" instead of "I have to finish this assignment",...
 
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I know this is irrelevant to the thread discussion, but from reading this thread I'm scared as hell for college.. very very scared.

What college are you currently attending?
 
I know this is irrelevant to the thread discussion, but from reading this thread I'm scared as hell for college.. very very scared.
I was too, once :) You'll get used to it. It's harder than high school, yeah, but the really good news is that all the hard college courses you'll ever take are in the major you chose. All the more reason to pick a subject you've fallen head-over-heels in love with.
 
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Oregon State University
 
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Throughout these posts I've found out that you have a tremendous work ethic (maybe too much, you still need to get some sleep!) and that you are willing to learn. These are all very good things.
But the most important question is: do you enjoy what you do? Do you find your classes interesting? Do you like thinking about your courses?
In my opinion, somebody who doesn't enjoy what he does, will rarely get good grades. Even if they work very hard. And in that case, I think the best thing is to switch majors, do something that you'd like to do...
However, if you DO enjoy your studies, then I would at least give it another try. But this time: sleep enough, don't take to many classes, focus on "I have to learn" instead of "I have to finish this assignment",...
I guess I kind of like it. I've never really been exposed to too much honestly. What I can say is Science is concrete, you are either right or wrong, and it doesn't rely on the whim of some other person, say for instance English. That's what I like about the Sciences. I'm not sure if I like this major. When I choose this major, and was choosing majors, I wasn't looking for a perfect fit. Personally, I enjoy Bodybuilding, I love seeing the changes in my body, and seeing the numbers of my lifts go up, but there are very very few people who make money at it, let alone make enough money for it to be a worthwhile income, not only that, but I entertained the idea of becoming a personal trainer, or dietitian, and hated it (did two job shadows). So I did research and came up with this major. I liked chemistry in high school (I had a kick *** teacher) and I made it through Pre Calculus. I thought to myself, "huh, makes sense to go in this major, seems pretty kick ***" It seemed good. Chem E is a worthwhile major, I liked chemistry, and above all else, I could be proud of myself doing this for the rest of my life. The one thing that's holding me back is getting passing grades the first time through- that's what's bothering me. I learned a lot this term, and through this forum how to tackle math, physics, and engineering classes, but I'm not sure that if I can pull this off, and make it, or that I can't and end up crashing, and burning. I have the desire to do good, and the time(I make the time) but this is holding me back. This term I enjoyed Vector Calculus. I thought it was fun, my only regret was that I felt like I didn't have the time to cover it as well as I wanted t to. Physics this term I found annoying. Maybe it was because I didn't have the time, but I felt that it was just a random bunch of stuff that didn't connect. I liked Newtonian Physics. I had an EXCELLENT teacher, and while we were pressed for time, I felt good being able to solve the problems. I remember staying in Kelley Engineering Center for 4+ hours just practicing problems. I did okay on the tests, but I felt really good just knowing how to do the problems. I love Organic Chemistry!!! I could do reactions all night! It interests me. My Engineering class on the other hand, I felt was kind of a drag. I thought of it merely as a stepping stone to better things. The class was picky. I had to have all the problems don on a certian piece of paper, I had to have all the problems formatted in a certain way. All the problems were ridiculously difficult. I felt kind of boxed in in that class. I felt like the only way to practice was to do these thick, long homework assignments. I don't like that. I like being able to practice a lot if I feel weak in an area. It seemed like you couldn't do that. I tried looking at other problems from the book, and there were to choices to the flavor of problem, ridiculously easy, or ridiculously hard, and having three other classes to worry about, I felt like it wouldn't be wise to do other problems, simply put, some problems weren't worth my time, and other would take a long time to decipher what they wanted(some of these problems were just strangely worded), draw the diagram, and do the problem. I remember being in a group, and doing these problems, one problem could take an hour to do. It was crazy. Looking back on it, after getting some guidance, I probably could have looked at the proble, draw the diagram, and list out the steps to solve it. I just felt like the class didn't agree with my learning style, and what brought me down to some extent was the nit picky aspect of it, and feeling like what I thought was practice was for me, insufficient.

I cannot honestly say 100% that I "absolutely have fallen head over heels" with my major, but what I can say is that I like some aspects of it, and if I feel like if that I'm more strategical with how many classes I allow to take in a term, and figure out how to do better (which I have a better idea of how to(I think)), I could perhaps come up with a more solid answer. I'm not a genius, and I did not have the benifit of 1) a solid high school education, nor knowing what I wanted to do up until my senior year in high school. I do however have a will to do good and learn, a strong work ethic, and a want in some sorts to see myself through. I 've sacrificed too much just to brush this off.
 
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I wouldn't be. If there has been anything my whole college experience has taught me, is to 1) do research about your chosen major, not just salaries, and colleges, but also, the course work; what you can expect. 2) don't be afraid to take it easy your first term. It's important that you identify how you can do well scholastically; what works for you (I'm paying the price right now) 3) I know it's kind of tired rhetoric, but also SCHEDULE!!! this will become increasingly importiant as you go through college. 4) Studyhacks website!!!! it is a great tool, and I wish I new about it sooner!!!
 
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Take 3 courses instead of 4 if you're struggling.
 
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Take 3 courses instead of 4 if you're struggling.
my question is, does this make me less of an Engineer not being able to handle 15+ credits a term?
 

verty

Homework Helper
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My Engineering class on the other hand, I felt was kind of a drag. I thought of it merely as a stepping stone to better things. The class was picky. I had to have all the problems don on a certian piece of paper, I had to have all the problems formatted in a certain way. All the problems were ridiculously difficult. I felt kind of boxed in in that class. I felt like the only way to practice was to do these thick, long homework assignments. I don't like that. I like being able to practice a lot if I feel weak in an area. It seemed like you couldn't do that. I tried looking at other problems from the book, and there were to choices to the flavor of problem, ridiculously easy, or ridiculously hard, and having three other classes to worry about, I felt like it wouldn't be wise to do other problems, simply put, some problems weren't worth my time, and other would take a long time to decipher what they wanted(some of these problems were just strangely worded), draw the diagram, and do the problem. I remember being in a group, and doing these problems, one problem could take an hour to do. It was crazy. Looking back on it, after getting some guidance, I probably could have looked at the proble, draw the diagram, and list out the steps to solve it. I just felt like the class didn't agree with my learning style, and what brought me down to some extent was the nit picky aspect of it, and feeling like what I thought was practice was for me, insufficient.
Hi Obelisk. In this quote, you talk about an engineering course that you took that was picky, and you didn't like how picky it was. But I think it was picky so that you could learn how to manage complexity. And actually, I think that is what this is about.

Getting good grades is an engineering problem. One has limited time, limited attention span, limited energy, etc, and managing these factors can bring about the desired result. Solving an engineering problem that takes an hour to solve is like a small-scale version of solving the semester-long problem of getting the grades you need.

So let's think about this. You spent many hours, used all the resources you could (advisors, working in groups, etc) but did not do as well as you needed to. Can we compare this to one of those hour-long engineering problems?

Suppose problem A is one of those engineering problems. Let's say you read and reread the question, to make sure you know what it says. You identify what type of problem it is. You draw a neat diagram. You set to work on the first step of the solution process. You meticulously write down the first portion of the solution. But by now, your attention is starting to wane and you make mistakes. It takes you 60-90 minutes to finish the problem, but now you are bushed. It was hard work but the problem is done and you feel good about it. You hand it in and don't get good marks for it.

Now you look back at it and think, "but I did everything so meticulously, perhaps engineering is just not for me".

How could this have gone better? Let's compare this to another approach to Problem A.

Now, you read problem A, but you know a few things. You know that Problem A is probably a pretty routine exercise like most homework exercises are. It is probably similar to other problems you have done. Perhaps it uses new concepts that you have just learned, but only a small portion of the problem will rely on the new material.

So you analyse the problem to see what you can learn from it. The steps that only use material you already know, you don't spend too much attention on. You draw a simple diagram and work through the problem in a casual way until you come to the new area.

Now it is worth spending more time and being more careful. You think and identify how to solve this part of the problem. You write down the steps you wish to take, commiting to think about them some more later.

Now you go back to solving the problem. This part is routine again, not too much attention required.

You get to the end of problem A not too bushed, and it isn't too neat or nicely laid out, but that's okay, the unfamiliar part was well marked. You spend a little time now considering how it was solved, and how to identify when you must do that in future. That is, how will you recognize this type of problem in future?

It took you 50 minutes to solve the problem, plus ten minutes thinking about the question so that next time, you'll identify it and know how to solve it. With a little more practice, you'll have it down cold.

What now? You write it up neatly if it must be handed in, or you proceed to the problems that must be handed in, and your marks are reasonable.

Okay, those were the two scenarios. But our job now is not done. Let us compare them. In the first scenario, the problem was solved but mistakes were made because unnatural demands were made on one's attention. The problem became a chore and when it was completed, little energy or motivation remained to analyse the problem and learn from it. Even with future practice, exam problems combining multiple concepts would have seemed foreign and confusing. No homework problem was quite like them.

In the second scenario, attention was saved for when it was most needed, and the new material was reviewed afterwards so that it was recognisable in future. With practice, exam questions combining multiple concepts could be analysed and broken down into components that were close enough to the homework problems to be handled confidently.

This is my analysis of the matter of how to approach homework, so as to do better in exams. Is this enough? Well, homework is important for two reasons. It helps you learn and gives you marks. Perhaps more is important, but little can be more important.

But this is a lot of talk. There is no great art to talking. I leave the rest to you, Obelisk.
 
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my question is, does this make me less of an Engineer not being able to handle 15+ credits a term?
So you would rather fail 4 courses instead of taking 3? That doesn't make any sense.

If you don't like what you're doing quit, if you do like it stop wallowing in self pity and take heed of our suggestions.
 
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my question is, does this make me less of an Engineer not being able to handle 15+ credits a term?
No, it does not. I don't know about your school, but at my school plenty of students stay for over 4 years and/or take summer classes to finish their engineering degrees. This is because taking 15+ credits a semester is not manageable for some students.

You could argue that the best students can handle 15+ credits, but hey, the best students can also get all As (and Bs) in their classes. If you have to choose between taking 5 classes and getting Cs, Ds, and Fs, or taking 3 or 4 classes and getting, say, Bs, and Cs, choose the latter.
 
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Five hours of sleep a night is somewhat good. I would say exercise, eat a good breakfast in the morning, and take an hour or two to just relax so that you ease your mind. I know how you feel, bad semesters suck, but what is done is done, focus on the next semester and do not keep dwelling over horrible semesters.

Eating a balanced morning meal will aid you throughout the day, taking in your daily vitamins will help, and exercise will surely help. I know it helps me throughout the day which is why I am suggesting it.

I take 16+ credits every semester and while I did poorly a few semesters, I turned around and focused on different types of material. What your instructor gives you in an exam is sometimes taken out of the lectures, so I would try and record them if I were you. I record all of my lectures and play them back whilst studying, then go over basic concepts within the chapters outlined for the week, and then go over details within those chapters that pertained to the lecture. So far, it has worked for me as the professors tend to create their tests on what they have outlined in the lecture more-so than not. Some material is on the book, but the bulk of it is on the lectures for the few of the hardest professors I have taken.

I never stay up late, it only deteriorates my work, but not only because of that, but I have ROTC as well.

In short, your brain needs essential foods or else it does not perform optimally, your brain also needs rest as well as your body, daily exercise helps clear the mind, create a strategy, learn how the professor assigns a test/quiz and change your study habits in accordance to your professor.
 

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