Why do they make us suffer? (EE students)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by count_volta, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. count_volta

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 4, 2009
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    I can't believe this, I did not sleep 2 days this week and had 4 hours of sleep the other days. Those of you who have survived and gotten your degree in Electrical Engineering. One question.... How????!!!!! (list any illegal substances which you injested, and or injected in alphabetical order)

    This is one of the hardest majors ever. The math is like something out of hell. Does everything interesting have to be this hard? ;)

    Don't professors understand how hard the lives of students are? Why can't they give us a break? Seriously now. Who else feels like I do?
     
  2. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    I have always suspected that the pressure placed on students in any of the major science disciplines is partly there to test the resolve of the students. It is one way of getting rid of the "low hanging fruit".

    hgmjr
     
  3. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Professors didn't spring magically from the forehead of Zeus. They were once students and understand exactly what is expected. They also understand how some students procrastinate.

    John
     
  4. count_volta

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 4, 2009
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    From the last two posts its obvious to me that you guys dont get it.

    You don't get that I was doing assignments at 4am not because I'm a slacker, but because I have a job as well as other things, that if I didn't do, my family would starve to death.

    You don't get that the lives of students are hard especially financially. Ohh John can't keep up with out crazy schedule, it obviously means he is either lazy, stupid, or both. And yet little John was working to support his family last night, and is trying to make a step up in the world by becoming an engineer.
     
  5. Qhorin

    New Member

    Apr 17, 2009
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    I know exactly what you're going through. I'm going through the same thing right now. Only substance I've resorted to thus far is coffee though :)

    But yeah, the workload is incredible and seems unfair at times when comparing to other majors. If it wasn't so damn much fun I'd quit in a heartbeat :rolleyes:

    Hang in there mate!
     
  6. mik3

    Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
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    Because you are working you don't have as much free time as a student who doesn't work and thus you have all this pressure. You could take a part time degree with less modules as to be easier for you. I am a student at university too and I know that when you have to submit assignments at a specific deadline you have to press things up. I saw most of the pressure in stage I and II. Now I am in stage III, I have less lecture hours but I have some projects to complete.

    I think I perform better under pressure. :p
     
  7. ELECTRONERD

    Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
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    That's what they say, you work harder under pressure, but I'm not sure about performance. If you work too hard, mistakes will be made. I wonder how the schools manage the time for assignments, if EE students get enough time actually? Also, it is important to get a break once in a while, you can't study interminably, or you might as well rot! Do EE students get any break at all? Usually the weekend would be the break time but perhaps they still have to do assignments they didn't quite get done during the week. Usually read a lot of electronics and math, but I always need a break. So, I go to a novel that I can just read comfortably and not strain myself too much. I've actually heard that the European colleges are much worse than in the US.
     
  8. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    Just hang in there dude. If it gets too much you may have to pick which courses to jetison for later retakes, and be careful what you ingest, it has a habit of coming back later and haunting you.

    The good news is if you can get through this EE is one of the more in demand jobs.
     
  9. ELECTRONERD

    Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
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    That's for sure, EE is certainly a demanding job. I heard in a newspaper that the percentage for electrical engineers is very low and they are in great demand. The highest percentage was musicians, and artists I think.
     
  10. count_volta

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 4, 2009
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    Amen to that, it is fun. :D Especially that you see the light on how many of the gadgets you use daily actually work. They don't seem all that impossible anymore.

    ELECTRONERD, at my university we have a week to complete assignments, but this week we had to submit lab reports every single day. It was a little crazy. Its usually not so bad.

    The main problem is that when you get to junior year the math becomes a little nuts, and you need more time to figure it out especially if you aren't a math genius like me. I'm kinda good at math (well not too bad) , but I'm getting some vibes from signal processing that you need to be able to describe anything using abstract mathematical notation. And I mean the abstractness of Calculus-3 is childish in comparison.

    Like describe to me your trip to the supermarket using the ∂(t) function and find the impulse response of the vibration of the dozen eggs you bought. Now convolve quickly quickly!!! Do the eggs have a decaying sinusoidal damped output? What is the frequency of their vibration? Ahh the frequency is all wrong, you can't make an omelet, you get an F!!!

    A good indication that you have not gotten a sufficient amount of sleep is when you go crazy because you accidentally wrote your frequency in rad/s when it should have been in hz and you spend 2 hours trying to figure out why its wrong. (That was me last night at 3am btw. I was banging my head on the desk, until a friend said, hey dude it should be in hz. I could not stop laughing)

    Just messing with and scaring you because I know you are still in HS. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
  11. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    It's much harder to do a EE degree with a family. The work schedule for a full time EE degree assumes you are single and working no more than 20 hours per week. If you have a family, or work full time, it is much harder. If you have both, it is hell on earth. It's not just the available time you have that is the issue. It is also that you can't have one major focus (school), and a couple of minor ones (work and fun). You have 3 major things to focus on: family, work and school ... in that order. That's a lot of pressure.

    Hang in there !!!
     
  12. count_volta

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Feb 4, 2009
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    Nah I am single. I am basically my own father here and without my part time job, mom and I would have major problems. Its complicated.

    And yea I'm not getting married til I get my degree for sure.
     
  13. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
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    Yes, life can be complicated, and you still have all the same pressures as working to support a wife. Perhaps more so. Some students have their rich parents paying their way through it all. You will have accomplished much more than they, when you are done. You'll do fine, and make your mom proud !
     
  14. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    I must confess when I did my undergrad I found it difficult to juggle a full-time EE course with the need to work so much so that I actually burnt myself in my final year. Thankfully the university were very understanding and I had great support from my family such that it didn't have an affect on my ability to complete the course or get a first-class honours degree (I had to get that in there! :p). If you're looking for substances, well I'm English so I drank tea, and lots of it!

    I think you will find most people who have been through the EE-mill will understand you completely. And I don't think hgmjr and jpanhalt were pin-pointing you in the first two replies to this thread, I think they were just making a general observation.

    Hang in there, it will be worth it in the end.

    Dave
     
  15. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    You are correct Dave, my earlier reply was not directed at any specific student profile but rather to all aspiring students regardless of their personal circumstances. At least when I was attending University, many of my engineering teachers doled out a strong dose of reality to the students in their classes. The lure of Engineering can be strong and some students had stumbled into the field without a true "fire in the belly". The teachers were anxious to get these few students to face the fact that engineering is a grueling discipline requiring a broad range of skills that need to be acquired in order for the student to have a rewarding career. This pressure was applied more in the initial engineering courses and quickly tapered off in later courses.

    In the end, the most important skill I acquired while attending the University was that of "How to learn". One's engineering education is kickstarted during the academic years and must be vigilently expanded on throughout one's engineering career. Many of the techniques, and skills to which engineering students are introduced during their course studies do not fully take root until they get out into the real world and begin to apply them to real world problems. That is when they realize that the knowledge they were given has actual value.

    The best advice anyone ever gave me was "Never stop learning".

    I remember in the 1970's, a song that was very popular had a lyric in it that at the time seemed to be trivial. Decades later, it hit me that the lyric "Feed your head" was actually very profound.

    Good Luck,
    hgmjr
     
  16. solis365

    Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    21
    0
    I am currently an EE student as well, and I agree it is very demanding!

    I am not sure how much you work each week but I manage about 20 hours a week. It seems like too much even with just 20 hours, I couldn't imagine trying to fit in more without going insane. I work doing research with one of my professors, so its just electronics to no end, especially now that I am in my 4th year and starting to take graduate classes towards my masters degree.

    However I feel like I procrastinate a bit on my assignments. I don't think I am that bad but I feel as though if I had the discipline to get it done as soon as possible and saved my free time until later, I would enjoy the free time more and the load wouldn't feel as bad.

    I have put in my fair share of all-nighters and early mornings getting up to cram for exams.

    I stick to about 12oz of coffee in the morning, now and then I'll have one in the afternoon but its not a habit and mostly because a warm drink is comforting and I like the taste of coffee.

    A couple times a week I'll get together with a couple of my EE buddies to help eachother out on the harder homework problems we couldn't get, and after a couple hours of that we crack a beer and commiserate ;) (although we don't go too crazy with the beer or we'd all be failing)


    I KNOW what you are saying about signal processing. I am decent at math but it's not my forte. Signal processing stuff is my weakest subject, I get through and learn the fundamentals but I am not good at it and the classes are misery. I am specializing in analog and mixed signal integrated circuit design, which is definitely my passion.

    and yeah, if I didn't absolutely love everything I'm doing there's no way I'd put up with the work, I'd switch to marketing and make more money ;)
     
  17. steinar96

    Active Member

    Apr 18, 2009
    239
    4
    I can agree on the work-load. I havent taken a day off university (go there every day, even weekends) for about a month. I go there both days of the weekend because if i dont my week is ruined because of assignments. I'm already spending 10-14 hours monday to fridaydays studiing at the university.
     
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