My name is Kelsey Delehanty and I am a sophomore in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue. During my freshman year, most of my school day was taken up with my STEM classes: First Year Engineering, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics. This wasn’t a problem for me; after all, I decided to pursue a major like engineering because I enjoyed these types of classes. However, too much math and science still put a strain on my brain, which was why it was nice for me to have a non-engineering related outlet, like Purdue’s Symphony Orchestra.
I’d been playing the viola in my school’s orchestra since I was in 4th grade, but upon graduating high school, I was unsure whether I would continue with it in college. I loved playing my instrument, but I was never too serious about it. I was worried that I wouldn’t be up for playing in a college-level group.
However, once rehearsals started, my doubts were assuaged. The group was lively and very accommodating of a nervous freshman. I might not have been on the same playing level as the five juniors that made up the rest of the viola section, but I certainly learned a lot from them. Most importantly, it was time out of my day that I could take a break from the stress of my other classes.
There are so many activities to get involved with on campus, and I feel it’s very important to pick at least one and stick with it. It could be used as an opportunity to continue with something already familiar, like orchestra in my case, or maybe intermural soccer, or a photography club. It could also be a chance to try something new, a previously unexplored activity, like joining the swing dancing club, or the Purdue Bells.
Doing engineering 24/7 – no matter how much I like it – would probably drive me insane. I was glad I was able to find an enjoyable pastime to distract me from the stress of my schoolwork and I would certainly recommend the strategy to any other future engineers.