There’s a reputation that surrounds studying engineering. Putting it bluntly, pursuing a degree in engineering, in any capacity, can be brutal. Luckily, it’s also a highly studied field, so after years in the gauntlet, past students leave a few tips.
This isn’t a phrase most people are unfamiliar with. They probably heard their parents say it for the first 12 years of their education, but for the next four, you need to take it seriously. Things come up. Problems arise. It’s inevitable. In engineering though, when these mishaps occur, more times than not you face major delays or need expert input. Your professors will be a lot less receptive to helping you if you send them frantic emails in the wee hours before a project is due.
When you find a free moment – work ahead. These gaps are scarce so when you do find yourself with one, make the most of it. Consider reading ahead a bit or familiarizing yourself with a subject pertaining to the upcoming semester. Spring break, holidays, the summer. Use them to your advantage. Have fun – but take a little time to get ahead of yourself.
While at times you may feel overwhelmed (see aforementioned tips), college also acts as an ideal time to network. After graduation, there are a lot fewer opportunities to build your career track community. Join extracurriculars that relate to your interests and even ones outside of them. You never know where you might find your next job opportunity. Not to mention, by networking, you show initiative. As described on U.S. News, “When it comes to being a leader, whom you know is almost as important as what you know. Attend lectures on your campus and introduce yourself to the speakers.”
If You Have a Question – Ask It
College is not the time to be shy nor bashful, especially in the classroom. Professors can’t read your mind, and when you work in a field long enough, it can be hard to disseminate what is common knowledge versus what is common knowledge to someone working in the field. As stated here, “Asking questions is one way to take charge of your own learning and ensure you get the information you need to succeed. Interacting with your professors helps you engage with the material more deeply and get personalized assistance when you need it.”
Don’t Throw Out Your Notes
Technical concepts build upon each other, and while you might feel like it’s put to memory after a grueling finals season, you might not feel the same way four months later when you arrive back on campus after summer break. It doesn’t matter how you take them or store them, so long as you have them. As Leah Scully says, “I knew a lot of students that took notes on a tablet, and organized them in a folder system on the Cloud. They made sure that every piece of material was in this database, and took pictures of their homework if it was written on regular paper.”