The number of engineering students in Bangladesh is ever so on the rise. Even twenty years back people opted to study engineering just because their parents wanted them to be engineers. But things have started to change. People now get into engineering more because of their growing passion for technology and a desire for making a change by implementing their scientific ideas.
Surviving four years of engineering education is a tough ask, however. The curricula of most of the major engineering disciplines – whether it's EEE, CSE, Mechanical or Civil – are designed to keep the students on their toes all the time. Especially for the first-year "newbies", it can become a very difficult and delicate experience. Maybe you were planning to make robots and airplanes right from the start but all you're doing is pressing your calculator buttons trying to solve a stupid math problem late into the night – every day, every week.
So the workload is tremendous – numerous theory classes every semester, endless pile of assignments to be done. Spending hours after hours in the lab doesn't help much either. Sometime what you're doing doesn't make any sense to you. Very little breaks, lack of quality social time, pathetic diets, little or no sleep, red eyes, messy hair, thick glasses, formulas or equations swirling inside the head making it spin round and round – WAIT, engineering isn't THAT BAD, it's supposed to be fun.
So here are some tips that are intended to make life easier for all those newbies out there who are frustrated, wondering why they chose engineering to begin with.
First things first, don't get too serious, ever. It's not a battle. It's okay not doing well in some quizzes. Attend classes, but don't rely too heavily on class lectures. It's a free world. You can learn from anyone, anywhere. Use the internet effectively. If you don't understand a difficult topic, don't panic and cry over it. YouTube it for heaven's sake. So many good video tutorials are available on basically any topic. MIT Open Courseware is a gem for any engineering student. NPTEL (https://www.youtube.com/user/nptelhrd) provides some excellent video tutorials. There are loads more of these websites. Dig. Be clever. Save time.
One thing about softwares – they are very handy. You can't imagine how much time and effort they'll save you. Also, they add dimensions to your CVs and SOPs. MS Excel is essential for every engineer – saves you from the agony from doing repetitive calculations. Don't want to sit for hours with scales, art papers and pencils to produce a drawing? Learn AutoCAD. Constantly have to put up with massive calculations, complex formulas, intimidating graphs? One word – MATLAB.
Engineering students have social responsibilities too. The concept of engineering students association is not yet much popular but there are some associations which are trying to encourage fresh ideas and engineering insights of young minds and channeling them to contribute to the technological advancement of the country. ESAB (Engineering Students Association of Bangladesh) is one such organisation.
Think Beyond Studies
Don't just obsess over studies. Join clubs. Participate in debates, quizzes, technical and business competitions. Indulge in your passions. If you love photography, do it. If you can sing, don't give it up. Nurture your hobbies. Spend quality time with friends and family. Try to keep fit. Be vocal on social issues. Actively participate in social awareness programmes. Being a good, articulate and socially responsible human being is of utmost importance.