Engineering has a reputation for being very difficult, maybe even more so than other majors. I’ve run into quite a few prospective-engineers as well as current students that want to know how hard future classes will be. The straight shot answer is yes, engineering is hard. But successful engineers love engineering for its challenges, not in spite of them.
In particular, I’ve had a lot of very challenging and time intensive classes in my junior year here at Viterbi. The lessons and lab exercises can be daunting at times, but I love that feeling at the end of a hard day’s work. Solutions to engineering problems require intuition, not just mindless labor, and being able to exercise my mind during the course of work makes it enjoyable. Not every little bit of work is fun, but at the end of the day writing a memory management system for an operating system or interfacing multiple processors on a shared bus is something I’m proud of and not something I consider a waste of time in the least.
Also, keep in mind, you come to college in order to learn what you can’t otherwise. I’ve learned how to build a database-driven website from start to finish outside of class since I didn’t choose to take web classes. I got that knowledge from the Internet. But it’d be a feat unto itself to effectively understand algorithmic efficiency and resource management without school and the experiences I’ve had here. Even the process of taking a project from design to final product is something I’ve learned through challenging coursework.
Don’t worry if engineering sounds a little tough to handle. I’ve never met someone passionate about engineering who wasn’t capable of tackling the challenge. Yes, if you choose this path, it won’t be the easiest. But if you’re a problem solver and love to rise to a challenge, I think you’re in the right place.