Sit down folks, I’m about to break down one of the most frequently asked questions about engineering: just how hard is it? If you’re like me, you’ve looked this up on several, several forums and found less than ideal answers.
With that in mind, I’m going to give you the honest answer about what my freshman year of engineering has been like.
Almost a year ago, after I’d already graduated high school and sorted out where I was going to college (#FightOn), I began what I lovingly call a three month panic attack. A few things that floated through my head during this special time in my life were, “Will I fail all of my classes,” and “Will I still have time to watch Game of Thrones?”
As soon as I made it to USC, I realized college was a totally different game. University life is an entire paradigm shift. You honestly can’t compare how much work you do in high school to in college because if you take things hour by hour, then, sure, I work quite a lot more than in high school. However, I am also more social, and more involved in extracurriculars, and I go on way more adventures. My time just became more meaningful overall. When I remember freshman year, I could look back and tally the hours I spent on homework, but that’s not what comes to mind. Instead I remember tailgating, or picnics in front of Doheny or living zero feet away from all of my friends.
So yes, my freshman year was work. I had to try in my classes; I didn’t just roll up to tests and pass. But just one year at USC has made me a better student than twelve years of grade school ever did, so I’m excited to see what the next three years will bring.
The other thing to keep in mind when assessing how difficult engineering will be is that you don’t get thrown into it. Classes ramp in difficulty. You’re not just learning the material, you’re learning how to be a better student. As hard as it may be, try not to stress. My chemical engineering professor describes engineering as training for a marathon: you might only be able to jog a mile now, but by the end of your four years, you’ll be there.