How to know if I should commit to engineering

Hi, I am a senior in high school. I have always been interested in science and math, but I'm not sure that means I'm interested in engineering. What are some key traits or things that could signal that engineering is right for me? And also, I feel like since I've taken so much math and science classes throughout high school that I haven't taken the opportunity to explore other classes or careers. How will I know if I'm missing out on a major that I would've really loved because I feel like it's too late for me to take a bunch of random classes to see if I like it.
I also saw that you received your PhD. My dream is to become a doctor, requiring years of schooling and med school. I am torn whether I can handle that much schooling. Did this ever cross your mind? At what point did you decide to commit yourself to over 8+ years of schooling? Do you think that maybe when I go to college, it'll be easier to decide whether I want to go on to get my PhD? Thanks so much!
posted by LeAnn, Murray on January 4, 2014

Answer by Dr. Corinna Lathan

Engineers are as diverse as non-engineers so it's hard to point to characteristics that might mean you should be an engineer!  But I can tell you some of the things about me that maybe were signs I should be an engineer: I liked Star Trek, science fiction, and any cool futuristic technology. In college I decided I liked science and math but not engineering so I majored in biology and math.  And then I discovered biomedical engineering and went back into engineering!  So now I look at how technology can help medical applications like robotic surgery.  So my advice would be to keep your options open!  If you keep taking science and math courses, engineering will always be an option (as will medical school). But if you stop now, it would be really hard.   As for all the other cool subjects - you have a lifetime of learning!  I'm in book club reading lots of literature that a lot of students read in college; I just went to a Van Gogh exhibit; I take my kids to the theatre.  So you will always be able to learn new things even if you choose a single career path!

Good luck!