I was reading a book today called “Words on Calm” when I came across something appalling, something I feel that I would never hear at Purdue. The book itself is just one of those small feel-good Hallmark books that my mom picked up for one reason or another, and most of the things found in it are beautiful little poems about the importance of keeping calm. But this poem astonished me. “While others miserably pledge themselves to the insatiable pursuit of ambition and brief power, I will be stretched out in the shade, singing.”
My first reaction is, why are you singing you useless unhelpful blob? My second reaction is not much better, how can you be happy enough to sing without ambition? My definition of life is something with a pursuit. If we are not aiming for something how can you be living?
I am at Purdue to aim the highest I can. I am pledging myself to pursue genetic engineering, just as every other engineer here is pledging themselves to be successful. We’re not doing it for fame or power, we’re doing it because we realize the sweetest things in life come from accomplishment. Especially selfless accomplishment, aiming to making the world a better place.We realize that we did not choose the easiest route, but that none of us would be happy if we weren’t using our brains to their fullest capacity.
Engineers are people who love efficiency. We like getting things done as quickly and successfully as possible. I can’t speak for the others, however my life would be a waste if I sat back and watched others “miserably pledge themselves to the insatiable pursuit of ambition” as the poem said. Ambition gives us a reason to get out of bed.
As it is the summer and I have been out of classes for about a month now, I appreciate the fast paced environment of college more than ever. So far this summer I’ve worked a few times, seen some high school friends, and sewed a pretty awesome purse, but this is not the type of stagnant life style I could ever keep up for long. I love Purdue because I feel like I’m surrounded by people who would think the same way, the type of people who wake up in the morning and see opportunity in the future and would do anything to achieve it. We would not be happy avoiding ambition and singing by a river instead.
If there was one thing I wish I would have known before coming to Purdue, it would be to take more physics in high school.
This is my theory… the more successful you are in college physics is in direct correlation to the amount of high school physics you had. I ended the semester with a B minus. This is the worst grade I have ever received, but also the hardest I have ever worked for.
The classes here are Purdue are not necessarily harder than any I took in high school, in fact the hardest class I’ve ever taken (after Physics 172) was my anatomy/physiology class junior year of high school. The true difference lies in the amount of accomplishment you feel after completing them. In college you cover twice the amount of material in half the time. The work isn’t harder, there is just more of it. It is not out of anyone’s capability, it is just out of some peoples will.
One of my favorite parts about Purdue is that students will put their school work first. We work hard to accomplish that A and will not settle for the bare minimum. We are here to learn. I pay good money to sit in these classes and will not accept from myself or my professors, anything less than a great education. I’m excited to go back in the fall and work hard. With Physics 172 out the way, I feel like I can tackle any material I set my mind to.
Last night I helped run a booth for PSEF at a Women in Engineering (WIEP) event.There was a great turn out and girls asked a ton of great questions so I thought I’d blog about a few of the frequent questions girls asked last night. I often got, are the classes really as scary as people make them out to be? You will often hear that first year engineering is just one huge weed out process, but I have found that as long as you keep up with your work, you’ll do just fine. It’s true that you know longer have your parents there to remind you to do your homework, but chances are that if you’re interested in Purdue Engineering, they probably don’t have to anyway.
I also got asked about whether or not they they had to know what type of engineering they wanted to go into before they got here. All first year engineers start off as just that, First-Year Engineers (FYE’s). You don’t declare which school you want to be in until sophomore year. All FYE’s are required to take an engineering class that allows them to be exposed to all the different types of engineering disciplines. For example my engineering class is visited by at least two professional schools a week. They come into our class, give us a presentation trying to sell us their school, and then they are there to answer any school specific questions we may have. It’s nice because I came in thinking I wanted biomedical engineering but then learned that biological engineering was more what I wanted. Now I’m even thinking Industrial Engineering, something I didn’t even know what it was until the schools representatives came into my Engineering 131 class.
One last common question was about learning communities. I am in the Women in Engineering learning community and I take the Women in Enigneering Seminar. There is an application for learning communities on your myPortal account (what you used to apply to Purdue). Purdue offers many learning communities, some require you to live with the other members and some require you to take classes. Women in Engineering is a residency hall program that allows me to live with just other women engineers. It’s kind of nice because if I have a homework question, I can just walk down the hall and knock on doors until I find someone who can help me, because we’re all taking virtually the same classes. Another popular learning community is EPICS. This is another residency program where you live with other engineers in EPICS. You also take classes with them and work on a real world project. Many students who do EPICS put it down as real work experience on their resumes because they are projects that are actually implemented by the companies who hire Purdue’s EPICS program.
There are so many great things about being a Purdue Engineer. I never visited campus before I came here, I just knew what high regards Purdue Engineers were held in and knew I wanted it for myself. That’s not to say you shouldn’t visit, everyone should come get a tour of the engineering campus from PSEF! If you’re interested, you can even shadow one of us to our classes.
My name is Molly Chamberlin and I am a First Year Engineer looking to go into Biological Engineering. I didn’t always know I wanted to come to Purdue. After my junior year in high school I visited many schools, none of which were Purdue. I’m from South Bend Indiana (around Notre Dame) and the one thing I “knew” for sure was that I wanted to go out of state for college. Every school I visited had something about it that I liked, and as application time rolled around, I was still completely undecided about where I wanted to end up. This was very frustrating for me, because I had been planning college since sixth grade when I picked up my first “college guide.” So I decided to think about where I wanted to end up, then how I wanted to get there.
I’ve always been drawn to math and science, so in high school I took a lot of those classes. I knew I wanted to work with cells and genetics in my future so I tried to find majors that could help me do that. I realized that I had been overlooking Purdue’s engineering program, and not giving it a chance, just because it was close to my hometown. I never visited Purdue; I applied, got in, and signed up for STAR (the freshman scheduling day over the summer). I was so sure that Purdue’s engineering program was exactly what I needed and wanted to succeed that I didn’t hesitate to come here. I wanted an environment that would push my abilities to their full potential and to be around students who felt the same.
Since I’ve been here I have not regretted my decision. There is always something to do; whether it is homework or a student organization. At the beginning of the year I wanted to join the sailing team, Adopt-a-Grandparent, Circle-K, Timmy Health Foundation, Run Club and many other organizations. There is just so much to choose from. In the end I chose to joined PSEF (Purdue’s Student Engineering Foundation) and APO (Alpha Phi Omega), which is a service fraternity. Both of these organizations are like family. Between gaining a mentor in PSEF, go Dennis, and “parents” in APO, there are always upper classmen I can talk to if I need help.
I look forward to sharing more about my experiences here at Purdue later, but until then, Boiler Up!