School/College and my life

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by ATOMICxTomato, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. ATOMICxTomato

    ATOMICxTomato SS.org Regular

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    Ok guys so I kinda really need to vent and well maybe take advice on my current situation, because it hasn't really been a good year and I'm struggling, to say the least. So ill try to keep this short.

    So Ive been going to college since i graduated highschool in 2012. At first I was trying to get into the automotive program at a community college, but that never seemed to work out. So it kinda discouraged me and I just continued to do my basics until I could really find out what I wanted to do. I wasn't too motivated to stay in school but did so to keep my parents off my back, so I slowly started to care less and take less classes. So one Spring semester, I want to say it was in 2014, I had a really bad semester and was getting tired with both school and my job at the time. Once the summer came along I actually moved up in position at my job which is what im currently still doing, Assets Protection. I liked the job and my Supervisor ended up acting as a mentor to me and helped get back up, and encouraged me to stay in it and give another shot. I then decided on pursuing a Mechanical Engineering Degree. So I met up with an advisor from my community college and spoke with them, and it helped quite abit. So i continued to stay in school, my motivation grew abit, but school never got any easier. In Trig and Pre-Cal I barely passed both classes with C's. At first I thought I wasn't going to pass Pre-Cal and decided that if this didn't work out I was just going to change my Major to a Business Major.

    Fast forward to summer of 2016 I take Calculus but failed. Reason being is I just felt it was too fast paced, but generally understood most of the concepts, but I still felt discouraged by it. I decided to take it again the following Spring semester. I passed but thats only because our teacher ended up getting very sick and pretty much missed the last couple of weeks of class. Around this time I decided to meet with an advisor for UTD. When I spoke with them about transferring and getting into the Engineering field he explained to me that I would technically still be considered a freshman, and there was still around 12 more classes I could take at a Community College if I wished, to keep cost down. So when I heard this and saw a map of all the courses I needed to take it was discouraging to see as well, considering how long ive been going to school for, but at the same I did understand that I did slack a lot in some courses and had to retake them. I still continued to pursue a degree in Engineering.

    This leads up to present day. This semester I decided I would try things a bit differently. At work things have started to get kinda rocky, and its really becoming more stressful than its worth for me personally. So I decided to go from working full time to part time, and took some more challenging courses. I am taking an Intro to Programming class, Calculus 2, and University Physics 1. Cal 2 I am taking in the afternoon which basically left my morning/day free. I use this time to homework for Uni Phys 1, which I was struggling very much in. By doing so I ended up getting very behind in Cal 2. On top of all of this, I started to go out more, and made school less of a priority. I ended up dropping my Uni Phys class, and hoped that I could pick up the slack in Cal 2. I now realized I am very behind and honestly don't know at all what im doing in that class. I feel that I should have dropped Cal 2 instead and would have been able to get through Uni Phys, since I generally understood more, but I still needed to study more. I have a test today in Cal 2 and instead of studying ive been just hanging around all day.

    So my problem I think is, I just seem to have a hard time staying motivated with school. On top of that I just am not too happy anymore at my current job. I do have an interview for a different job here soon, where would be making more money wise. I feel Im almost stuck in the same situation I was in the Summer of 2014. The reason I want to try to stay in school is because now I actually want to finish it and graduate for myself. Reason why I want to do engineering is because I think it would be pretty badass to design stuff for cars, which is pretty much my main hobby. I don't really know how to work on them too much but Ive always been into them as a kid. Odds are Ill have to retake Cal 2 again, but with me being in school for such a long time already, I can't really say Im looking forward to a couple of more years of it. I was considering dropping Cal 2 as well but that would put me at 4 out of 6 classes I can drop. It wouldn't end up hurting my GPA, but I feel like ive wasted my semester.

    My dream job as a kid was to either be a Rockstar, which got shot down pretty quick by all my teachers in elementary school, or to own a car garage/shop. So I know engineering doesn't necessarily only apply to cars, but I think I could always apply it in one way or another. This year has been kinda hard on me. I got into a car accident on January 11, which I had to go to rehab for my back. I am only now really feeling better. Work and School has been rough, I met someone who id kill to be with but they are already in a relationship so we are just now really good friends, and both happen to work in the same position, Ive been hanging around my car buddies a lot more and just going out more in general. School just wasn't being the priority, which I feel it should have been all along.

    How do you guys stay motivated in school? I want a good future, but I feel like I haven't progressed as much as I truly could have, and thats what makes me mad at myself the most. While I do understand you don't need a degree to have a good future anymore, it sure does make a difference depending on how you apply yourself I would think....thoughts, suggestions?
     
  2. ThePhilosopher

    ThePhilosopher Reason User Contributor

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    Not to be a downer on your engineering hopes, but you may be looking at academic probation or being removed from the College of Engineering if your GPA suffers too badly or you do not make adequate progress to your degree in a given time frame. Meet with an advisor if you feel this is a concern for you, especially with course selection happening.

    It's going to be hard to break your old habits of not trying your best. You'll have to identify why you're not performing as well as you could/should be in your field of study. Are you utilizing all the resources available to you: tutoring center, office hours, recitation, or other sources of knowledge (there are some good resources available for free: Paul's Notes and PatrickJMT's YouTube channel are both pretty good resources)?

    That being said, I wasn't hyper-motivated in undergrad - I graduated with a fairly low GPA (2.5<GPA<3.0). It kicked my butt when I wanted to shift my career and needed a graduate-level degree; I took some required math classes (21 hours) as a post-bac to fulfill prereq's for applying to my graduate program.

    My work habits were significantly different because I was 6 years into my teaching career and was taking one or two courses - if I didn't manage my time and do well I wouldn't be able to hit that goal of admission and eventual career change. I pulled a 3.95 in my post-bac work and rocked my GRE (this is to say that schools will overlook past poor performance if you can demonstrate much stronger recent performance).

    I had a clear goal that required a change that I wanted to better my life (and my own personal satisfaction) for myself and my wife.
     
  3. m107a1

    m107a1 SS.org Regular

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    I wasted years in engineering school before switching to business. Not only did I graduate faster than my peers remaining in engineering, I've never made LESS than 4x as much as any of them since graduation.

    A degree is a degree. It just proves you can finish what you started. I work with people who have no degrees, history degrees, engineering degrees, whatever. It really does not matter in the real world once you get your foot in the door and build any sort of experience. Just watch out for people with Masters degrees. In general they (both the people and the degrees) are ....ing worthless. BS? Sure. PhD? Cool! Masters? RUN!
     
  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire tinkerer/aspiring builder/8 string hoarder

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    I'm at a similar point. I'm getting close to graduating nursing school and originally wanted to go on to be a CRNA (which means more ....ing school :rolleyes:), but now I think I'm just going to work in a hospital, make some cash, and be happy. I have friends that are engineers (mechanical and electrical) and both of them are pretty happy with their jobs, but god they basically lived in the library til they graduated. Engineering is ....ing hard and the only way to get through it is to focus on school first. I was genuinely considering quitting nursing school and going to be an electrician for a while there, since they make good money and there's usually plenty of work, plus you don't need a degree. If all you want to do is fabricate/design car parts, you could do that without a degree - machine shops/fabricators do stuff like that all the time.
     
  5. bigfau91

    bigfau91 SS.org Regular

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    Dude don't stress out about it, but engineering might not be for you. I'm a recent liberal arts graduate who is working on a second degree in computer science and just today scored a job as a software engineer. I've failed more than my share of classes over the years especially when learning calc + physics, but you just need to know either when to withdraw or when something just doesn't interest you.

    Once you find something that lights a fire under your ass to study, learn, and progress in a field; you know. Its like guitar playing or a band you are really into, you just know when it is a good fit. Keep in mind that in what you study, it should eventually yield results whether that be academics or an eventual job. You don't have to be there. As long as you are interested in what you are pursuing and excited about your prospects, there is no reason to stress out. If you don't have a passion or motivation for what you are doing, it is a sign that it is not the right fit, and that is okay. Just my perspective man, keep your eyes open for opportunities!
     
  6. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    I'm 43 and my son is almost 19, so take this as fatherly advice, not as me being a dick just to be a dick.

    It sounds like you don't know what you actually want and, as a result, just fucking around without a real goal. If you continue doing this much longer, you may well find yourself 65 or 70 years old and unable to retire because all you ever did in life was just fucking around with your car buddies.

    ThePhilosopher gave you some good advice. In addition, keep in mind that in order to get somewhere (anywhere), you need to first figure out where you are and where you want to go. Then you can figure out a step by step plan on how to get there. At that point, it is important to stop fucking around and focus on actually getting to where you want to go (maybe you don't have much fun for a year or two, but that's OK - it's worth it).

    So, put simply:

    1. Decide what do you want to do with your life.

    2. Talk to your counselors (and people working in that field) about ways to get there from where you are currently.

    3. Set a goal and plan out how to achieve it, setting intermediate goals as necessary.

    4. Focus on and prioritize this goal and stop fucking around wasting time on things that don't help you accomplish it (at least until you actually achieve it).

    5. If things seem hard, keep pushing harder and harder. Use the resources that are available to you.

    6. If your buddies want to hang out too often or work gets too demanding of your time, see numbers 4 and 5.

    7. Arrive at your goal and bust your ass for ten years (or more) establishing yourself, setting new goals along the way
     
  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ This guy gets it.

    You sound kinda all over the place to me. Don't go to school because "that's what you should do". If you're unmotivated, it's probably because you don't have a good reason to be there. School with no goal is just going to burn you out and put you in debt for no reason.

    You have to pick a clear goal and just work towards that. Something you actually want to do and will be willing to work for. Cut out everything else. Reduce needless distractions. You met some lady and you're upset that she's taken? That has nothing to do with your career path, and like you said, she's taken, so get over it and focus on your career path.

    You don't need a "dream job" and you don't need a fancy education. You need a clear and viable goal, and to stop d*cking around with your life path. If it turns out that you're already on the right path in terms of school, then it's up to you to find out what's going to motivate you.
     
  8. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I think you have some excellent advice already. I'd like to throw in my perspective on that as well, FWIW.

    I busted my butt as a teenager. I got excellent scores on aptitude tests, and I kept moderately impressive grades. By the time I was an adult, I was already ankle deep in college credits, and I thought I had my life figured out at that point in time, but once I was full time at the University, along with working full time to pay for the University, and trying to manage a social life. That's where things broke down for me, and I flunked a class, and got a C in another class. This altered my plans significantly, but I didn't let it get me down. I regrouped, changed my major, hit the books extra hard, and did much better. Eventually, I retook the class I flunked, just to remove the blemish on my transcript, and at some point, I felt pretty good about myself, as I got the hang of college life.

    Then I went to grad school. I was at the top of my academic game, so it seemed natural.

    Then I got my degree and got a nice job with that degree.

    Then, one day, I got fed up with all of that, and moved away to get an unrelated job.

    Now, looking back, I sacrificed my social life to the point where you guys on the forum are my closest non-family friends, and I have no personal connections to provide career mobility.

    It's not a miserable existence, but, well, let me just say that the sacrifices I made are still felt today. Putting my career as the only thing important to me cost a lot of other opportunities.

    Obviously, your mileage may vary wildly.
     
  9. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    Weird. I never studied, went out almost every night and partied and got straight A's in engineering school with a double major in physics, and now have my dream job.
     
  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Just goes to show how important it is to have the appropriate social skills.
     
  11. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    Those are overrated these days with things like texting, snapgram, instachat, mybook, and faceplace.
     
  12. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Then I guess I'm not sure where I went wrong. :ugh:
     
  13. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    Kidding aside, I think there's a lot of good advice in here. There were times I had to give up going out with my buddies in order to study, but once you get in a groove, it doesn't bother you. It actually made the times where I finally did go out more enjoyable.

    I won't say it's never too late, but I think there's an age we all get to where it is tough to be motivated about a career path, and the allure of doing other things is more tempting. I also won't say just try to find your way, because it's very hard to just fall into something substantial without a considerable amount of effort. So I guess the takeaway is try to formulate a plan about some interests in life that you want to pursue, or at least try to visualize where you want to see yourself down the road and come up with a rough sketch. Things aren't going to fall in place perfectly and there will be up-semesters and down-semesters just like in the real world where there are up-career moments and down-career moments.

    And don't necessarily correlate current degree pursuits with future endeavors. Like m107a1 said, to a degree, a degree is just a degree. College is boot camp for the mind, and getting through it is the endeavor in and of itself, whether it's chemical engineering or hospitality management.

    The only real advice I can give on your current scholastic pursuits are to just not get behind in your classes. Take a lighter load, or adjust your schedule accordingly so that you can devote the time and resources to keep your head above water. A big motivation killer is trying to play catch up when you've fallen behind.
     
  14. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I was duped by the system.

    I've always been good at school, got to go in the special classes and such. When you're in high school everyone tells you "Follow your dreams! Choose your destiny! Pick what you want to learn! Now, what are you interested in, vilk?
    Well, the only classes I liked in high school were the foreign language classes I took, Latin and French. So I figure since I'm supposed to choose a major based what I personally am interested in, I'll pick a foreign language. I wanted it to be a useful one so I chose Hindi and Japanese after having read a book which singled them out as major economies that deal with the USA. I didn't really want to go to China or the middle-east. Hindi was at 9am, so I eventually dropped it. Lo' and behold I am now a bachelor of arts with the major of East Asian Language & Culture with a specialization in Japanese. Pretty ridiculous, right?

    Well as it turns out, a degree in anything other than medicine, informatics/programming, business, or engineering means that you're qualified for NOTHING and they need you to fill a position NOWHERE. Which actually kinda makes sense. I mean, have you heard of a job that isn't one of those things? Aside from being employed by a museum or a university, there's not actually much pragmatic application to a liberal arts degree. Why hadn't I realized this when I was in school? Why did everyone tell me I was making the right choices?

    So like, now I do actually work in the CNC machining industry, only just as an office worker. And let me say this about it: my life is dope.
    My company is cool. It's full of people my age and we all get along. I have an in with the pres because he's a Japanese guy, and I talk to him and the other Japanese folks. I don't need to know it for my job, at all. But whatever. Also, I met my wife in Japan. We speak Japanese at home. Somehow my college education has very, very much do to with my life--practically every aspect other than what I as a worker actually do for the company. I don't make very much money, but I'm salaried and on company insurance, and that's more than at least half my childhood friends can say. And it only cost me a lifetime of insurmountable debt.


    I'm rambling and now I'm not sure if I can make a good point but here we go: I can imagine a different version of my life where I went to college for something that makes money, where I pay extra on my student loans and they disappear within a decade of having graduated. But do I get on with my boss in that life? Am I happily married in that life? Surely the vilk who got a degree in informatics and made a couple apps for Mastercard has a really fancy guitar rig, but is he dating a stuck up bitch?

    You know what I really enjoy about my job? It's easy. And predictable. I was talking with my buddy who has a mechanical engineering degree (though that's not the field he's in) and makes beaucoup bucks, about what happens if he doesn't perform on a given day, and his answer was: "It's bad". My job has no such pressure. I don't think I would want a job with that sort of pressure, really.

    You can't always predict where what you know will lead you.
     
  15. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    The parallel universe bostjan who completed his major in music probably already died of malnutrition after eating his own degree as a last resort.

    In another parallel universe, somewhere, there is a bostjan who majored in German, or maybe some Slavic language, who probably lives in Europe and and least has socialized health care coverage. That guy probably makes a living of some sort and is probably at least halfway fulfilled in his life, unless he happened to be too afraid to travel to Europe, and missed all of his potential life's opportunities.

    This universe's bostjan is still kicking, working closely with some engineers (making more salary than many of them), and struggling to make ends meet providing for a family of four in one of the highest cost of living places in the USA. He's a little bit marginalized, and probably a little mental after having brushed up against potential greatness two or three times.

    So I guess that's a vast improvement.

    Since the user list is blocked now, I can't really check up on this other dude I know on here, who majored in Japanese, IIRC, and, last I knew, seemed to have a really cool job.
     
  16. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    for me the user list is visible at the bottom of this page http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/index.php


    But I have heard the rare legend of the independently successful person who just happened to know Japanese. Once, when I had just decided my major, I was talking about it to the doctor who I had been going to since childhood, and he told me about this person who he 'knew' who could speak Japanese and was privately hired as an interpreter by some wealthy businessman who took him on fancy yachts and such for work.
     
  17. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Hmm, didn't work for me, but I just did a search and found him, but he hasn't been on here for ~5 years, but anyway, he's active on other sites similar to this one.

    Anyway, that's way off topic, sorry. :lol:

    I *think* you can make a career work if you are passionate enough about it and know at least one of the right people.

    To the OP, if you want to work in an automotive shop, why not work in an automotive shop? If you save up, manage your money well, and make enough contacts, you could be in a position to start your own garage in about the time it'd take you to get through a degree in ME.

    EDIT: I have a brother. He dropped out of college, and made enough money to retire super early.

    The founder of Virgin Records dropped out of high school and is now a billionaire...but starting life with extremely wealthy parents is kind of like entering a cheat code. :lol:

    Oprah Winfrey went from rags to riches, quite literally. But, being a teenage beauty queen might have helped her open a few doors to opportunity that I don't imagine would be available to a dude.

    I mean, everybody has their challenges in life, and everybody has different opportunities available. I think you (OP) are at a point in life where you have tons of possibilities still. Maybe you could be the saviour of rock and roll, or maybe you could be the next Henry Ford. It depends on what opportunities grow into something for you and how you handle it. Just keep in mind that you can get on a roll, but you have to keep reaching a little further to stay on a roll, and once things stop rolling, it's very difficult to get started again.
     
  18. ATOMICxTomato

    ATOMICxTomato SS.org Regular

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    I really do appreciate everyone's input. I do realize that I do need to get my sh*t together. I guess I just figured that by now, at the age of 22, that Id have something going for me and have everything going in the right direction but in the end it really all just falls back on me. I think I let all the small things bother me and when something starts to get hard I fold, usually with school. I have thought of possibly switching my majors to a business degree instead, but I want to try and give this thing one more shot. I haven't been too happy with my current work situation as of lately, but I try to not let that really get in the way too often. This semester I decided to work less hours because of that reason. But yea, I really do appreciate everyones input. I did just recently have an interview for a new job, think it went well. So guess I'll see what happens from here.
     
  19. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Its good that you're aware of the situation and are taking steps to help minimize the impact of your job on your school work.

    Where do you want to end up? As a car shop owner (that won't require a degree), as a mechanical engineer (that will require a degree in mechanical engineering), somewhere else? Once you figure this out, everything else will get a lot easier.
     
  20. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    If the mathematics classes get tough, maybe someone here can help you. It seems like half the members here are physicists, engineers, mathematicians, or some other career heavily steeped in maths. This isn't a tutoring site, of course, but if I'm on, I'd be happy to talk about calculus for a few minutes.
     

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