Being an engineering major at the University of Guelph is a complicated stream. Somewhere between the endless assignments and complicated calculus you realize you’re part of a brethren now. People who have gone through the same stuff you’re going through. Here’s some things we all realize at some point:
1. Some courses are all pain and no gain.
The University of Guelph offers a computer course for first semester engineering students. This course is tough, impossible, and painfully unnecessary. You’re a software design major? CIS for you. You’re an engineering major and have nothing to do with computers? CIS for you, too.
2. Engineering Building AKA Home
UoG has an Engineering Building called Thornbrough. If you’re an engineering major student, you practically live here. It’s up and running 24 hours and has never been empty in all its life. You want to see engineers struggling? Take a stroll through the building at any godly hour and you’ll see at least one engineer screaming ungodly things at the overdue assignment on his laptop.
3. Energy Drinks vs. Caffeine
Pick your poison, engineers. If you have been led to believe that you can survive the courses without these, someone has played a cruel trick on you, a cruel trick indeed. Engineering done well requires you to pull all-nighters all the time. At times like these, its best to have a friend with you. Cold or hot, you choose.
4. You switch to engineering memes.
Engineering affects everything, ladies and gentlemen, even your selection of memes. Instead of sharing our pain in therapy, we laugh it off by typing engineering memes on Google. Believe me, I’ve checked.
5. CHEM*1040 aka “Killer Chem”
When they named 1040 “General Chemistry,” they were kidding about the General part. We call it Killer Chem because somewhere between the chemically reactive course, pre-lab quizzes, in-lab confusion, post-lab reports, and optional online homework, you realize that, “Home is behind, the world ahead. Through shadows to the edge of night…”
6. Not all heroes wear capes.
Some post complete lecture notes a couple days before the final exam. These are the true heroes the history majors should read about. Missing classes is a common thing in college. But going to every class, taking legible notes, making a Drive document, and posting it requires strength that coffee alone can’t give. Give these unsung heroes a big round of applause.
7. Telling People What Your Major Is
When someone asks you what your major is and you say “engineering,” you can literally feel the sympathy, the box of tissues, and the facial expression saying: “It’ll be okay.” Happens every time.
8. Design labs are Candy Land.
Engineering is hard, I agree. But that moment when you step into the engineering lab and literally start screwing things together that actually move or throw a ping pong ball, that moment is a big one for any engineer. Chem and calc may be important, but nothing beats the high of creating something new.
9. Engineers envy other majors.
Engineers are very surprised to hear that some people get to take study breaks. Our study breaks are usually getting another cup of coffee. Three square meals a day is a myth. Instead we get chocolate milk for breakfast, a slice of pizza for lunch, and coffee for dinner.
10. Engineers aren’t smart.
Engineers are naturally assumed to be smart. They aren’t. At least not naturally! Any engineer is just as blank as any of you at first. Our workload forces us to be smart. Being at the top of your game is important if you want to make it. And just coffee doesn’t cut it… as much as we wish it did.