This past three weeks, I have been stressing out about my schedule. Some of my classes have been totally up in the air. Luckily, as of yesterday, I got everything sorted out and I finally feel mentally ready to start this semester!
I knew that starting my junior year was going to bring a lot more challenges and responsibility, both inside and outside of the classroom. First, I am taking my real first load of upper division classes, which are already proving themselves to be intense and unrelenting. My class on Chemical Reactor Analysis (CHE 442) is really the “home base” class, if there was one. This class is the main chemical engineering class that all junior chemical engineers take the fall of their junior year. In this class so far, we have learned about different types of reactors and the advantages and disadvantages to using each type. The idea of this class is to learn how to design a chemical reactor for a system in the most optimal way possible given the properties of that system.
The next class I am taking is called CHE 405 – Applications of Probability and Statistics for Chemical Engineers. Essentially, it looks like this class is designed to take fundamental statistics and apply them to problems in chemical engineering. This is interesting to me, because I took AP Statistics in high school, so I already know a lot of the material, but it is interesting being applied in this way.
Another class I am taking is called CHEM 430a – Physical Chemistry. This class is actually really interesting so far, and the professor is excellent. So far, we have just been reviewing concepts in physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics, but the professor says that we will use these concepts to help us look at more advanced concepts that combine physics and chemistry.
One of the two petroleum classes I am taking for my petroleum emphasis is called PTE 463 – Introduction to Transport Processes in Porous Media. This class is unusual in the sense that it only meets once a week, but it is for three hours. I am not going to lie, it is really tough to sit in a lecture for three hours. Luckily, the class covers a lot of material related to industry and real life situations.
The other petroleum class I am taking this semester is called PTE 461 – Formation Evaluation. The title of the class sounds very general, but it actually refers to a very specific process: examining and analyzing the wells that are dug to pump oil out of the ground. The class is taught by a professor who has spent most of his life in the petroleum industry, so he is able to provide a really interesting viewpoint on a lot of the concepts we go over in class.
Outside of the classroom, I have become much more involved in the marching band. This year, I am taking a leadership role in the marching band by becoming the section leader of the trombone section. So far, it has been a great experience for me. I was the drum major of my high school marching band, so I already have experience being a leader, but it is definitely a different experience when the band means so much more here. I am really happy with the level the trombone section and the whole band is right now. The band has to rise up to the level of the football team, and we have to support them the best we can. I am really excited for the trips this year. This weekend, we are leaving for Stanford. I will also be traveling to Washington and the Rose Bowl. And I can’t forget about the national championship we are aiming for this year! I would love to go to Miami with the football team for the national championship game.
The research lab I work in is also very important to me. This semester for me is really crazy, but I still want to find time to work in the research lab I worked in this past year. I have learned so much and I know that I am learning a lot of skills that will help me in the real world.
Even though this semester looks really tough, I am excited to get the ball rolling! It’s going to be hard work, but it will feel great in December when I look back at all the things I accomplished.