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What to do?

  1. Oct 26, 2014 #1
    Hello, I am a Junior in High School currently taking BC Calc and AP Chem right now, with plans to take Calc 3 and AP Physics my senior year. Still, I feel very unprepared for the season of choosing colleges since I have absolutely no idea what I would want to look for in a college and no idea what degree I would want to earn in those years. At this point all I know about my preferences are that I probably want to go into some engineering field (probably Math heavy) and I do indeed want to go to college after my senior year of high school.

    I enjoy Math and enjoy any sort of math or logic puzzle and generally find concepts in science classes easy to understand. I am challenging myself with (AP) English classes but I still find writing as well as public speaking hard for me as a person.

    Given this little information, does anyone have any general recommendations as to what I should do to get an idea of what colleges I would prefer and what field I would enjoy working in? Is there any class such as Computer Science that I should take my senior year for any future help?

    Any type of help would truly be appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2014 #2

    Hello! Good luck with junior year! That was the year I took SAT and subject tests. However, I also spent time that year visiting schools! If you live near a university, go visit! Get a feel for the campus, the academic options, and student life. If you get a tour guide, you can ask a lot of questions. Maybe you can even specify that you want to meet with an engineering student.

    Even if the school nearby is not one you want to apply to, you will learn new things and will have a better idea of what kind of environment you will like etc.

    Taking a comp sci course your senior year won't be a bad idea. If multivariate calculus is available , that would be good too. In my opinion, it's very good that you are taking AP english and working on improving your writing. Even if you go into a STEM field, writing and being able to communicate is very very important!
  4. Oct 27, 2014 #3
    Sweet, Thanks for the tips!

    Living around Ann Arbor, MI, nothing around here is really appealing besides University of Michigan right nearby (Which I still haven't actually gotten to visit thoroughly) , and so my family was thinking it to be much harder to look around at many other areas. You make good points concerning why I should visit all sorts of schools relatively close, and I will definitely have to look into college visits even within regular weekends.

    As another question I would have to ask anyone who has experience in Electrical Engineering is how necessary it is to start understanding electrical engineering diagrams and concepts early. While I am not specifically interested in Electrical Engineering but rather on all general micro-scale engineering, I am disturbed by how little knowledge I have of electrical circuits' parts and diagrams since I would not want to completely throw out the idea of an electrical engineering degree simply because I lack an early knowledge of it.
    If early knowledge is necessary, does anyone recommend any written or electronic texts that I could slowly learn to be prepared?
  5. Oct 27, 2014 #4
    Glad my response helped! I did research at UMich-Ann Arbor two summers ago and loved it! I really hope you get a chance to visit and get a tour, because it's a great school. Especially great for STEM fields ( lots of other fields as well). By the way, some schools host prospective students over night so you can google those to find them. That might give you an even better idea of the campus life and you would get to go to lectures as well.

    So I am not an Electrical Engineering student, but I doubt you will have to be familiar with EE concepts and problems in high school. When I was applying to undergrad I applied for ChemE programs and basically had no knowledge of the subject, except for chemistry AP level, and was accepted. Definitely take AP physics C your senior year and aim for high marks, you will get introduced to circuits(diagrams and building) there. If you do well in physics and math and enjoy them, and if you enjoy doing experimental work , you will like EE and possibly related fields.
  6. Oct 28, 2014 #5
    U Michigan is a good school, go where the money is. If you get a lot of scholarship money to go there, don't waste your time with anything else.
  7. Oct 28, 2014 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    Definitely check out U of M. If you can get in, it will probably give you the best value for money because it's a very good school and you'll benefit from in-state tuition and fees. Unless you can get a good scholarship offer from a similar-level school out of state.
  8. Oct 28, 2014 #7
    Sweet, thanks for the advice guys. Living in Ann Arbor so many people have high expectations including finding colleges even better than U of M, leaving U of M an auto-application but more of a backup and more often than not not commonly looked into.

    Does anyone have any advice for as to how I should particularly scavenge for scholarships as a Junior if that is just as important as choosing which colleges to apply to?
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