Having just completed my BEng (Computer Systems), I thought I would post what I feel are some helpful tips that I wish I had known earlier in my education. Over the years I had a few
1) The ones that listened, believed him and went on to never try to get past the 60s since the professor said that was enough.
2) The ones that listened, believed and gave up.
3) The ones that listened, believed and tried really hard and made it past the professor’s expectations. This group was often interesting because I found that they didn’t generally get the top marks. Some students get so convinced that engineering is so difficult that they dig too deep into the details. This is probably going to serve them very well in the future but tests are generally broad and conceptual so it didn’t yield as high of marks as someone who knew medium depth on everything.
4) Those who didn’t believe the professor and just did how they wanted to do.
What I hope you will take away from this post is that while engineering may be difficult, it is certainly not the hardest thing in the world but there are a lot of people who might try to convince you that it is nearly impossible. I feel that these people normally have your best interests at heart and think that if you hear engineering is difficult that it might make you work harder. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to be discouraged, stagnated or stressed out by these comments. I started my University career in a degree on public policy. Comparing it to engineering, I found the difficulty to be fairly similar between programs. The degrees are different, but the difficulty and effort required were about the same. Surviving engineering begins, in my opinion, with having a positive attitude towards your chosen discipline. Do not get trapped under an artificial ceiling by people who are trying to get you to work hard by highlighting the difficulty ahead. Do your best not because you are told the program is hard but because it is what you want to do.