Student Insider: Sydney Doolittle


Advice for students getting a Mechanical Engineering degree:

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[li]Don’t be discouraged by the course load – The course load for engineers can be a little frightening, or at least it was for me when I first saw it, since I had no idea what more than half of the course titles meant. But, that’s college! You’re there to learn and to push yourself to break down the barriers of that little bubble that you may have created for yourself, so don’t be discouraged by what the courses look like or the horror stories you may hear — just take it one step at a time.[/li]

[li-row]Ask questions – Whether it’s the classroom, sports team or internship, no one expects you to know everything from the beginning, but they do expect you to put the effort in to learn. Asking questions not only will help you in the long run, but also will show that you are interested in growing academically, athletically and as an all-around person.[/li-row]

[li-row]Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – I won’t lie, being an engineering major isn’t easy – however, it’s not impossible to do other things as well. It’s important to take advantage of everything you can and try not to feel too overwhelmed by the workload. College offers a lot of great opportunities; don’t let the intimidation of your major stand in the way of you having a little fun![/li-row]

Advice for students interested in college:

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[li-row]Stay active – It may be tempting to use that hour in between classes to take a nap, but I found that I was less productive afterwards. So use that time to get yourself involved! Just think, after you graduate you most likely aren’t going to look back and say, “Wow, that nap that I took the fourth Wednesday of freshman year was life changing." However, you might look back on that time you learned how to shoot an arrow with the archery club and be thankful for that as well as the great group of people you met![/li-row]

[li-row]Networking – You’ll find that regardless of which school you end up at, there is a lot of pride coming from the alumni community. They remember what it was like to be in your shoes, so reach out to them! Go to any and all networking events that your school may offer, and be sure to follow up with everyone that you can. I know from experience that even just a short email of appreciation goes a long way![/li-row]

[li-row]Do you see yourself there? – When touring schools, ask yourself one question: do you see yourself there? I found that I looked at the students more than the actual campus when walking around, and if I didn’t see a bit of “me” in the student-body then I knew it wasn’t the right fit. I wanted a school where I felt at home – not one where I felt pressured to be someone I wasn’t.[/li-row]

[li-row]Coach – Looking at colleges for sports as well as academics puts a twist on the whole process. The coach of the team played a major role for me while looking at schools in that I knew I wanted her/him to be able to take on the position in my life where I felt comfortable to bring anything to them. I wanted someone that I could create a life-long relationship with, and who, from roommate drama to figuring out class schedules, would show his/her support at all times.[/li-row]