Advice for freshman year of college

I was born in Houston, Texas on father’s day in 1995. At which time I was named Murphy Cassandra Boales. Murphy was my paternal grandmother’s maiden name. I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia from the age of three months to eighteen. I am now a college student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and I am majoring in Chemical Engineering. I spend my free time playing violin and ultimate Frisbee. I love getting to meet new people and being involved.

Why Engineering?

Ever since I was little my dad was always try convince me to be a business major. “You’re great with people!” “You could sell anyone anything”. Where common phrases of encouragement; however I always wanted to be a scientist. That is until I learned of engineering. I decided I wanted to be an engineer early in high school and my dad who was a business major in college became very disappointed. He was happy that I was going to have what he considers a “real major” but he still thought business would be a better match.
So now here I am a sophomore in college pursuing a bachelors in Chemical Engineering and let’s get something straight engineering is difficult everyone says that. It’s more difficult that you imagined it could be. It starts to make me wonder was my dad right. Should I become a business major? What if I’m not naturally talented at understanding derivatives and having to CAD an object. Maybe I should of gotten a degree where the success of you post-college was based more on your personality than the information you had obtained.
Some people might ask what EChemical Engineers even do. The simple answer is anything that involves a chemical process which is also everything. To break it down Chemical Engineers mostly separate the fossil fuel that comes out of the ground into parts we can use such as gasoline, petroleum, and other things. They also come up with the process for cleaning our water, creating more efficient batteries, the pesticides on our food, the trans fats and high fructose corn syrup that help create mass food production.
But all of these things are not a thing you can memorized it’s a way of thinking you have to obtain even if some of the classes are just memorization. It is a way to think about the world around you. To pull an all-nighter not because you didn’t give yourself enough time to finish your work but because it took three times as long for you to understand it. To take the mental burden of maybe never seeing anything higher than an 82 on a test and being okay with knowing that as long as you’re at the class average you’re doing alright even if the class average is a 60. Although someone one explained it to me. Engineering is difficult because they aren’t allow to make mistakes. If an engineer makes a mistake bridges could collapse, chemicals could be made poisonous, and cars could implode upon starting. There is no room for error when we ourselves are not creatures of a perfect nature.

Why do engineering if there is all the stress and pressure to do well and succeed. Do you really like listening to a TA in a foreign accent tell you about acid base chemistry? Or is it the charming derivatives of three dimensional objects? It is the feeling of once you do understand the things you are taught that it can be directly used and correlated to what you are passionate about. That for once you aren’t asking when am I ever going to use this in life because you know that you will use it.

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