35 Things Every Engineer Has To Deal With In College

It all seems worth it when you graduate with a profound sense of self-respect. And a job.

1. Finishing an essay for a liberal arts class and realizing that you’re drastically under the page requirement.

Sorry I’ve been trained to be a master of efficiency.

2. Getting your first exam back after thinking you could study for it like you studied for tests in high school.

3. And then waking up extremely disoriented from an accidental nap in the lab. Because you pulled two consecutive all-nighters studying for your next one.

4. Your code/report/major project is due soon and is not, in any way, working like it’s supposed to.

Ten hours before the deadline:

Five hours before the deadline:

An hour before the deadline:

Presenting it to your professor:

5. Somebody casually mentioning they really enjoyed a class that single-handedly destroyed your social life, self-esteem, and GPA in one nightmarish swoop.

Even though you’ve definitely been on the other side of the issue.

6. Developing a finely tuned sense of hearing that can recognize the words “free food” being spoken from anywhere within a 100-foot radius.

7. The periodic realization that you’ve been working on the same lab report for seven consecutive hours and you’re nowhere near the end.

8. All of your family and friends suddenly require your advice on how to do anything remotely related to household repairs or math.

9. Which you feel smart about… Until you’re forced to do a project in some archaic coding language you’re pretty sure was delivered to Earth on a stone tablet from an alien planet where NOTHING MAKES ANY SENSE.

But really.

10. Although you finally get your code to work for reasons that remain completely unknown to you.


11. You’ve had the professor who literally wrote the book on electrical engineering yet has not mastered the complex science of turning on the overhead projector without a major incident.

12. And the professor who built the lunar module, developed a lifesaving medical device, or made some other dauntingly significant contribution to humanity.

13. People in your humanities classes talk about their plans to go out to the bars on an average Tuesday when YOU SPENT YOUR LAST BIRTHDAY IN THE COMPUTER LAB, DAMN IT.

14. Although you do really take pride in your work ethic, despite your complaining.

15. You’re slightly delighted when that one overzealous kid in your 8 a.m. lecture finally answers a professor’s question incorrectly.

Sorry, it’s just too early for that.

16. Nothing in life escalates quite as quickly as the level of material taught during syllabus week.

Day 1:

17. You’re filled with an impending sense of doom when you realize that each of the three questions on your homework set has multiple, lettered parts to it.

18. Most of your exams end up pretty much the same way.

19. And you’ve turned in a final or two that covered nothing you ever studied in class.

But you felt much better about your life a week later when you found out that the average was a 35%.

20. Although you know there’s no fiercer moment than an “I just ACED that test” moment.

21. You partially believe the common (if not blatantly incorrect) perception that your friends in non-science majors don’t do any actual work.

We’re 99% sure that this is an accurate representation of most fine arts classes.

22. You can literally solve partial differentials in your sleep.

And you don’t know whether to laugh or cry about it.

23. If you’re female, you’ve been the only girl in a class of 50 at least once in your college career.

And rocked it.

24. If you’re male, you’ve seriously wondered whether girls are, in fact, largely mythical.

25. A four-plus-hour lab class is somehow worth one credit.

Does not compute.

26. Engineers have no social skills, you say?

27. Although you can kind of see the point.

You realize that trying to explain any scientific concept without sounding too nerdy is almost impossible:

And you’ve definitely been to a few parties that closely resembled this:

28. You have a designated table in the library and are pretty territorial about it.

29. Somebody suggests you eat a meal with some semblance of nutritional balance. Or anything that’s not pizza, really.

If you are what you eat, then I’m not a pizza man. I’m a pizza, MAN.

30. You’ve made formula sheets that could probably be considered pieces of fine art.

31. You’ve had at least one semester that started out manageable but quickly got away from you.

(It was probably the same semester your friends tried to warn you that taking 18 credits AND having a job was going to be a bad time.)

32. It doesn’t really matter, though, because toward the end of ANY semester, sleep (and a bed consisting of something other than your face on a keyboard) is for the weak.

33. You hear endless stories from the old-school engineers at your summer internship who “didn’t have computers/calculators/electricity” back when they were in school.

Technological progress is kinda the POINT of engineering, bro.

34. You know firsthand what people are talking about when they say an engineering education is a huge investment.

And we’re not just talking about money.

35. But you’re doing what you love, and can’t imagine it any other way.

Besides, once you walk across that stage with your degree, is there anything you CAN’T do?

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