School has been really hard for me

Hi I am going to be a senior in high school and this summer I've been looking at a lot of colleges. I really want to go in as a mechanical engineering major, but a lot of doubts are rising. Do I need to have experience relating to the field before college? I have taken related courses and I'm good at math, although not ahead. School just seems really hard and I guess I don't want to set myself up for something that could fail and waste my time. If you could give me any insight that would be great!
posted by Hyewon on July 11, 2014

Answer by Dr. Kelly J Knight

Hi Hyewon, 

It is always good to has experience in something but in this case, it is not needed. I did not have any experience other than basic high school classes. Your success depends on your willingness to dig in and study and do whatever else is needed. Your related courses will help and that is good that you have them.

Anything worth doing is usually hard. A quote from President Obama may help you in deciding to persevere and to dive in with all of your focus: “Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” – Barack Obama

You are making a good choice that will serve you for the rest of your life. You will be with others who have also made the choice to dive into the hard stuff. These are the best people to be with. Find study groups and make friends that support your self-esteem and cheer you on. I did that and have enjoyed what I have learned, the people I have met along the way and the success I now have as an Engineer.

Kelly