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Engineering Strongly considering changing from Mechanical to Civil Engineering. Need help

  1. Mar 12, 2012 #1
    Hi! I'm currently a second-semester sophomore in Mechanical Engineering. Right now I hate pretty much all of my classes. I'm currently in Intro to Fluids/Thermo (used to be Fluids I and Thermo I, now combined), Machines and Mechanisms, and Mechanical Engineering lab I (and gen ed garbage, but whatever). I liked Fluids a lot, but I can't stand thermo. I'm really indifferent toward mechanisms, but it's not too hard so I can't complain. What I hate the most is the lab. Every two weeks I write a 20+ technical document on the most things imaginable. Some people who have grades considerably lower than mine seem to like these classes, but I just dread the thought of going to them and taking the next classes (Lab II/III and Thermo II especially).
    I've heard people say that if you don't enjoy the classes then you should probably look into a different major, and that's what worries me. Last semester I took Statics & Dynamics (a 5-hour super class at my school) and really enjoyed the material. This is why I'm thinking Civil engineering might be for me.
    It's not that I'm doing too poorly in any of them (I have a 3.75, though it will probably become a 3.6 this semester), but I have no passion for my major. Co-op interviews were last week, and when I was interviewing with different companies and asking them what I'd be doing, I couldn't shake the thought that it all sounded like the worst thing ever (e.g. sitting at a desk staring at excel/solidworks all day, never getting my hands dirty or seeing what I engineer become reality). A few of my ME friends talk about having co-ops where they do things like metrology, which also sounds miserable to me. I've been on different plant tours too, and I've realized that manufacturing doesn't really float my boat either.
    I came into college as a dumb high school kid who thought "Hey, I like to tinker with my car. I'll become a mechanical engineer!" not realizing what that meant (e.g. Automotive engineers don't design a whole engine scratch.) At this point I feel like I would rather work on bridges and other large structures than wire harnesses or door latches (and the thought of doing HVAC makes me want to die). I really don't care about any potential pay difference. I'd rather make $25,000 and enjoy what I do than make $125,000 and be miserable. Most of my Civil Engineering friends seem to enjoy their classes and aren't spending 65% of their time writing lab reports.
    I know I've sort of rambled here, and I apologize for that. I don't want anybody to think I want to change to Civil because I'm failing out of ME or whatever. I just don't like it and it seems to me that Civil may be a better fit. Does anyone have any advice for me?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 12, 2012 #2
    go for it. i was in your situation before. i switched from the highest paid engineering to the 3rd lowest paid science.

    its not like civil is totally unemployable. its still a technical degree.

    but i think most science and engineering jobs ARE about sitting in front of a computer or being a lab serf. that was my experience on my internship. so think carefully and realize that you might need an advanced degree. otherwise it might still be Excel/Solidworks or breaking rocks in the middle of the desert.
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