Post #3: Are you Prepared?

Why would I dedicate a whole post to an obvious question – are you prepared?  Before I get into this, let me explain that despite all your high school honors and accolades, the engineering demands at the college level are astounding.  I guarantee you will be challenged both inside and outside the classroom.  Not only will you be juggling classes (with several hours of homework), you will be managing relationships, money, time, health, and hopefully some leisure.  Did I mention you will be responsible for boatloads of homework?  Did I also mention your course loads do not get any lighter as the semesters go by?

I would like to reinforce the fact that your life is no longer going to function at a high school level.  You must turn up your levels of self-discipline, motivation and desire to become educated.  You will need every bit of stamina you have.

Are you prepared for this?  I will offer some answers for those of you who are struggling to understand why I ask today’s question.  How does an engineering student have to be prepared?  We can start with the obvious such as developing self-discipline, effective face-to-face communication, emotional management, time management, writing skills, technical skills and self-confidence.  Earning your degree requires a balance between healthy eating, sleeping, working and fun activities.  It requires your cooperation for team collaboration.  It requires your use of good judgment and the ability to get out of your comfort zones.  Your college experience requires taking initiative and learning that failure can turn into success.

Let us explore some obscure answers to today’s question.  Have you considered that earning your degree will, at times, require you to stand up for yourself?  Your journey will require self-awareness, self-compassion and an ability to understand where self-improvements are needed.  Earning your degree will teach you that not all minds are created equally; everybody brings different abilities to the table.  It will show you that every individual has his/her own story with his/her own struggles.  As you grow, you will be surprised to find that old perspectives will be replaced with new ones.  Your lessons learned in engineering, in many ways, will serve as blueprint for the remainder of your life experiences.  Most importantly, the way you choose to handle your challenges/successes over the course of your journey will reveal your true self to you.  Are you prepared?

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