The February SWENext Question comes from one of our high school SWENexters, Bryanna from Wisconsin! Bryanna is a senior in high school and asks, “I have committed to attending an engineering school to study Mechanical Engineering in the Fall of 2020. I am a part of my community orchestra, I run cross country and track, and I have a job. What advice for college do you have to offer for someone like myself? How can I handle all of this with the rigorous course load of college?”
Senior in Mechanical and Metallurgical Engineering at Trine University
Hi, Bryanna! I have been in the marching, pep and concert bands in college. I also am involved in multiple projects, a work study job, and professional societies. It is possible to handle everything! I stick to a fairly strict schedule, including how long I plan to do homework each day. Just develop your time management skills while you can and do at least one thing that is only for fun (like band and sports) to allow the technical part of your brain to relax. Good luck!
Junior in Architectural Engineering at Milwaukee School of Engineering
In high school, I was in a lot of extracurriculars, and when I went to college, I decided to initially reduce a lot of those activities to make sure I could handle the course load. However, at the Student Organization Fair, I signed up for eight organizations! That was a lot, but I got to dip into different organizations and clubs that I thought were interesting and go to a few meetings.
Now, I am a junior and have only two or three main organizations that I participate in. So, I think some advice for college is to naturally narrow down your involvements to the ones that you are still interested in. Also, I think it is important to find those one or two activities to fully participate in. Also, being a student athlete is intense but teaches you discipline in homework, studying, eating, sleeping, etc.
Senior in Mechanical Engineering at Penn State University
Current Penn State SWE President
I highly recommend using lists and agendas! I used my agenda to write down my classes, meetings, and events. Then I use lists for daily and weekly tasks I need to complete. This is an easy way to use your time wisely. If you keep a running list of tasks, it is easier to get started when you have time to get work done. I find that I spend more time working and less time worrying about figuring out what I need to get done.
Do you have a question for our women engineers at SWE? We’d love to hear from you! Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll answer you, and your question may become a future SWEet Wisdom column!