Advice for Possible Engineers

Ok so a friend sent me a message asking to help her brother decide if he wanted to go into engineering.

Hey, if you guys are in Santa Rosa, my mom was hoping that you could come up to my house and talk to my brother and his friends about engineering and computer related majors. They'll probably want to know stuff about classes and success. The usual. There are two dates up for grabs, either sept. 8th or 10th. There will be food provided, of course. It will take place in the evening. Please let me know which one you would prefer if you can make either. If you cannot make either at all, what would be one piece of wisdom you'd like to pass on to my brother and his friends? Thanks a bunch if you guys can do this!!
Here was my response:

I sadly will be unable to make either of those dates. But words of wisdom? Man, I'm full of cough shit cough cough wisdom. he he.

All seriousness though, Engineering is awesome, for some people. So instead of just giving one piece of advice, like a good instruction following person, I'm gonna share my views on engineering.

First, the bad things about engineering:

Engineering is tough. It requires a decent amount of math (varies depending on school and major) and science (also varying). A lot of schools give you a path that you must follow, which can feel restricting compared to your liberal science brethren who are going all willy-nilly taking all of these cool random classes. Your classes will stretch the way you think about things and expose you to just about every aspect of the world (except women, that's what parties are for). Becoming an engineer is a commitment, a commitment which will require you to take some classes you despise and some classes which you love, and all will take up more time than you ever knew you had.

Second, the good things:

Engineering classes teach you really cool things. This sounds kinda lame, I know, and it is very hard to express, but imagine learning the coolest aspect of something you've always wondered about. That's engineering. Example: I'm a computer science major (engineering at some schools, math at others, watch out if that's your thing) and near the end of last year we had a lecture where we learned how to take advantage of the inherent security flaws that our society has. Then we practiced exploiting those flaws in a safe legal environment to learn how to protect our systems from such problems. Also, another example, a friend of mine likes cars. She joined one of the performance racing teams on campus and now builds race cars from scratch. This summer she got to spend two weeks with her team in London racing the car they built. Another guy I know took what he learned and teamed up with a professor. Together they started a company which was recently acquired by amazon.com.

Thirdly, Summarization:

If you become an engineer, and I recommend it, your mind will be put to the test during college. But afterwords you will be the one who your peers will come to when they need an innovative way to do something, whether it be a new type of engine, software program, bridge, nano-machine, or space station. O ya, and you'll get paid more than anyone else to do it (I make $28 an hour as an intern at Adobe Systems).

Hope that helps. I offer two final things: One, if you are interested in going to Cal Poly I will gladly give you a tour, and a place to stay if needed (my couch is comfy :p ). Second if you have any questions about Engineering, English (my other passion), or Computer Science (my specialty), leave a comment below.


p.s. modified that last line, ;)