This is not the last you’ll hear of this. In fact, I’ve mentioned it several times, most notably in my post moaning about having second thoughts regarding my course of study.
I’m an English Grammar/Composition/Literature type of girl. I’m a fan of foreign languages. I dabble in art.
I’m an engineering major.
Weird, right? I’ve always thought so. It was actually literature, not science, that inspired me to go into engineering in the first place: Ayn Rand’s description of the geniuses who secretly run things, the engineers who are the true movers and shakers of the world.
I’m not a fan of Objectivism by any means, but Rand’s words stuck with me. I wanted to be one of those geniuses. So I declared the major and figured I’d see how it went.
Taking calculus and physics and chemistry was fine (if occasionally torturous), but I never felt the same passion I’d felt when I read Atlas Shrugged. Part of the problem was that my program is dual degree (3 years at one school for a BA, 2 years at another for a BS in mechanical engineering), which means no actual engineering classes until this upcoming fall. But I was still nursing a hunch that for me to be truly passionate about a class, it needed to be words-based, where I could logic it all out with reading and writing. English. Foreign language. Philosophy. History, sometimes. Politics, maybe.
Thinking in words is easy. Thinking in math is hard. I’m learning, slowly, but I can only think in algebra at best. Thinking in calculus is still beyond me. I’m about to transition from a small liberal arts college to a university with real engineering classes, and it occurs to me that this might be the point where my lack of passion leaves me dead in the water.
Luckily, just the other day, I found a goal.
It was strange, because the idea has always been there, but it snuck up on me again when I was talking to my older brother on the phone the day of my going-away party. I told him, “You know, my dream job in engineering would be designing a device for personal flight.”
We chatted about it for a while, and then I had to hang up and go greet the guests at the front door. The next day, when my mom and I were driving to church, I told her what I told my brother, and it occurred to me that I could pursue graduate study in aerospace engineering. See, I’m in a 5-year program for two undergraduate degrees, but for one extra year, I can get a master’s degree. No GRE required. If I get a good first year GPA, I’ll even get a fat scholarship. They’re practically begging me to stay that extra year.
If I master in aerospace engineering, not only will that set me up to follow my dream of soaring through the skies, but I’ll also have a background to pursue the coolest hobbies ever. RC planes and helicopters. Drones. Piloting. Wingsuit flying (not that I wouldn’t do that one anyway. Aerospace engineer or not, wingsuit flying is the coolest thing ever).
Whether I end up using my aerospace degree or not, it sounds freakin’ fascinating. And now I might actually be able to muster up some enthusiasm for my coursework. As I suffer through Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Mechanics, Computer Aided Design, and Engineering Math next semester, I’ll think…just keep flying, just keep flying, just keep flying, flying, flying.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”