Want to be an Engineer but Received Bad Grades in Math and Physics

Hello,
I am very curious about everything around me- planes in particular. Therefore, i have decided to get a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering and a masters in aeronautical engineering. That being said, i feel very nervous because i happen to be very bad at math and physics. I mean i'm taking ap calc ab and ap physics right now, and i'm not getting the best grades (which is pretty much the case for alot of people in my classes). I however feel that this could be a reflection of what college would be like because i would have to take alot of math and physics classes. Should i forget about engineering in general? I really really want to do it, but i feel like i might not be able to handle the math and sciences.
posted by dew, philadelphia on March 29, 2012

Answer 1 by Ms Rae Anne Rushing

If you truly have a passion for planes and mechanical engineering, then I suggest that you continue your path and NOT let your perceived weakness in math and physics hold you back. You should get extra tutoring NOW. This is the time to discover how you learn best in these two subjects. My guess is that you need different kinds of lessons than you are getting from your current curriculum. Do not let this discourage you. As an engineer you will need to learn to solve problems using many different methods so now is a good time to start! Follow your rainbow. I was told by my professors the same thing (more than once), that I should chose a less technical degree. I was told this because I had a child and had to work while I was in college. My grades suffered because of my other commitments. I got tutoring. I worked my butt off. And I got my BSME! Good luck!

Answer 2 by Moyra J. McDill

Hi Dew It is normal to have feelings of uncertainty as you approach university. It is a big step to take. You will be wondering about all your options going forward. I suggest you look at the first-year program at the university that interests you. You will likely see that you need to take some math and some physics and probably some chemistry as well, maybe some programming or problem solving and even a course in the humanities. Life in engineering is more than math and physics although we do use a lot of math and physics in engineering. I suspect you are doing just fine if your classmates are in the same boat. AP Calculus and Physics are "crunchy" courses. Perhaps you will find that it all comes together as you go forward. Perhaps talk to your teacher to see how you are doing in comparison to other students who may have gone on to science, math or engineering. You may be pleasantly surprised by your teacher's answers. Some universities offer a kind of math brush-up camp towards the end of the summer. This could be useful to you if you still feel, at that time, that you are not quite ready. Finally, there are some schools that offer a first degree that is in your area; e.g., Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering. You may find that is a better option for you than Mechanical and then Aeronautical. I'd be happy to email some more if you think it would be helpful. Good luck! M McDill