I don’t think I’ve mentioned recently how much I dislike math. Near the end of this latest semester people have started to ask if I’m planning on going to graduate school, to which I respond “I might get my Master’s eventully, but by all accounts it’s a lot more math, and I don’t really like math.” This almost always ellicits the response “What! You don’t like math?” or “Why are you an engineer if you don’t like math?” or “You’re kidding, right?”
This leads me back to my main point. I’ve always liked building things, for example, when I was two I wouldn’t sleep without my little phillips head screwdriver, which I affectionately named “Driver” (kicking off a fantastic personal convention for meaningful naming). Legos were always a hit, and my childhood sketches quickly turned into cutaway drawings as soon as I learned what a cutaway was. I have always equally disliked math, for example, I got D’s for most of my elementary school math tests, flunked Calculadder time and time gain, and broke out crying trying to learn Algebra.
By now, you too may be asking why I went into engineering. The simple answer is, I wanted to. My parents told me that if I wanted to be an engineer I would have to learn to do math, so I learned to do math, but I didn’t have to like it. Perhaps my qualms come from my initial ineptitude at math, or maybe I just don’t like to think as hard as doing mathematical analysis requires. Either way math has, in fact, become more and more palatable to me as the years (and my skills) have progressed. At this point, math and I have an understanding. I study until I understand what I need to know, and math doesn’t make me do proofs.
Will I actually go into engineering? Will I ever learn to really love math? Will this post end in under four paragraphs?
Somehow, I doubt it…
Well, I can certainly understand not enjoying portions of your schooling, and in my view, if you think you won’t like a significant portion of a degree program, don’t do it. Pick a different sort of graduate degree if graduate studies are wha you think you’re after–knowing you, there’s plenty that you could enjoy. Even going for an MBA is a good idea, for the line of work you’re looking to pursue.
But, really, the decision in my life that I regret most at this point is letting easiness in getting a job force my college plans. True, ease of getting a job is important, and it’s certainly making some parts of my life a lot easier, but now that I’m nearing the end of my college career, I keep getting this thought that if I have to work on anything like what I do in school, I may wind up hating my work as much as I do my schooling, and that thought just scares me. So, my advice is to learn something you enjoy, and do it. Having a career you can enjoy is a luxury that very few on this world possess.
I think you should just have fun and go along with it.
I kind of like math.