I am not really certain if I chose engineering or if engineering chose me, but there is one thing I am certain of: none of the doubts I ever had about whether or not I could accomplish my hazy dreams ever proved to be valid. When I first embarked on my college career I was a mere seventeen years old with tons to learn (literally thousands of pounds of thought matter)(I still have tons to learn six years later). My aspirations were all over the map, and my career path changed more frequently than my underwear. I envisioned being a pianist, a poet, a fashion designer, and a mathematician, not one of them but ALL of them.
Then, I discovered something revolutionary, my doorway to vocational Zion, the holy land of occupation, a prestigious paradise. I discovered engineering. I realized that as an engineer I could be innovative, lucrative, creative and a total freaking nerd at the same time. I was also under the impression that I would be spending my time in school solving elaborate math problems that would fill up twenty chalkboards and impress hordes of professors and other scholarly persons, but that was a miscalculation on my part.
Since my professional prayers had been answered I began to focus on what I now enjoy more than anything else, mathematics. I also studied chemistry (gag me) and physics (If they ever legalize marriage to an educational subject I will take myself a second husband and marry physics. I would marry math, but math is my lover forever.). Through my studies I discovered that I am naturally good at math and procrastination. I’m also great at not making any friends and being a total nobody on campus, but when you live in the lamest town in the world that’s perfectly fine.
The most groundbreaking moment in my educational career occurred when I stopped partying and started exercising, totally unrelated but so relevant. That was two years ago. Up until that time I pulled myself through all of my calculus courses and even chemistry and physics, but my grades in my engineering classes suffered. I failed my very first class and hit rock bottom realizing that I only understood math and getting wasted every weekend. Engineering felt so foreign, and it wasn’t difficult in the same way that all my other classes were difficult. I found it impossible to think like an engineer, and the disposition necessary to succeed was like a wisp of smoke in front of my face, visible yet unattainable. I could see the distinction between myself and my classmates who flourished in our engineering courses though I couldn’t determine precisely what separated me from them. When I finally performed the theoretical yanking of my head from my bum (a process I know all too well) I realized that my logic wasn’t broad enough. I could logic my way though an integral, but I couldn’t logically determine if concrete was a brittle material or a ductile material (it’s very brittle in case you’re dying to know).
The second most groundbreaking moment in my educational career happened during material science lab when I was actually able to observe material behavior in a number of ways. I discovered that my biggest educational stumbling block and what separated me from my peers was my lack or experience with “guy stuff”. To this day I regret being too much of a sissy to join my dad in the garage and help him work on my car when I was in high school. I missed one of the major preliminary stepping stones that make a great engineer, but here I am.
I am still learning, still trying to understand, still fighting for the ever elusive 4.0, but my destination is not far from where I am now. Thank God.