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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, would appreciate all of your help and input into this matter.
For the past 3 years I’ve been engaged in the mechanical engineering (MCHE) curriculum at my local college. My GPA is a 3.3, and as I stand now I have another 3 semesters until I graduate with my Bachelors. . . I am bored as fuck.

Now, before I go on to my potential future plans, let me take a step back and explain my past and current situation the best of my ability.

Mechanical engineering is a major where, for the first couple years of your curriculum, you have to start with theory; you can’t just jump into the design. You have to cover your basic physics, maths, computer programming, fluid mechanics, thermo, static & dynamic classes, etc. This means that application doesn’t start until junior year.

That being said, I did pretty well during my theory classes. I didn’t love them, but I was by no means bored with them; after all I was learning new material and I enjoyed that. However . . . last semester my view of mechanical engineering started changing. As I started to enter into the application classes I became more and more detached from the subject material. Two years ago I would come home from classes and study; I did it not necessarily because I needed to, but because I wanted to; I wanted to learn. Now though I find myself coming home, looking at the material (cam designs, gear ratios, linkage setups, stress and strain data values, etc.) and being unable to focus on any of it because I have no interest in the material at all.

I asked myself why I’ve lost interest and this is what I came up with:
1) All these application classes I’m taking this semester are nothing but follow-up work. All the what-ifs, why’s, and how come’s are in the past. I don’t seem to be learning anything new anymore, all I do now is put what I know in the right spot and get a pat on the back from the teachers in the form of a grade.
2) It’s all static, there is nothing dynamic about it. A four-bar linkage under set conditions will behave the same way EVERY TIME. Sure, you can change the situation variables, but all that does is alter your base equations. As such, once you have all the data you can calculate . . . everything. There is no chaos factor.
3) The hard part of my curriculum in in the past, the challenge will never be as large as it was when I took Thermo II, Physics II, Calc III, D.E. and Fluid Mechanics all in one semester . The stuff I’m doing now is a walk in the park in comparison.

Now here’s where the biology came into play:
Last semester I came to the conclusion that the human body is one of the most complex machines on the planet, much more so than any engine I’ll ever deal with, so I started looking into Biomedical Engineering. However, the realization that I’m 70+% done with my MCHE degree made me force that idea into the back of my mind and forget about it. It worked for a while. Halfway into this semester though, struggling to pay attention in my classes, or often to even GO to classes, it popped back into my mind.

This time I gave it thought and looked into it. I liked what I was seeing. However, I tried to think ahead: if I became bored with mechanical, what’s to keep me from doing the same to biomedical? The principles were the same, but with organic materials instead of non-organic. I needed something with more dynamic characteristics, something more hands on, something where the field is constantly changing and improving so that 20 years into my work I'll be learning new stuff, something where I could challenge myself learning lots of information, go into work, and apply a different part of it every day. . . So I thought trauma surgeon.

Now, no matter what, I plan on completing my MCHE degree. I’m not throwing away 3 years of college, so don’t’ worry about that. Next semester I’m taking 13 hours’ worth of my MCHE classes and 4 worth of biology (to see if it is something I would enjoy).

For now though I would appreciate all the input I could get. Anyone ever been in this kind of situation before? Think a hardcore ENTP like myself would be a good surgeon? What is a trauma surgeon, really? Think this is just a phase? Help.

Many thanks,

1,761 Posts
I can't really tell you what would be best for you to do, but in most disciplines, you are going to have to learn a balance of the practical and the theoretical. There will be things that you like and things that you don't in any major.

It would probably be best to talk to some people in the field of trauma surgery to learn whether the field is a good fit for you after you finish up your engineering major.

I will say that I had a semester (the first semester of my junior year) as a math major where I just wanted to drop out of the major because of the way that classes were going. Things eventually got better, and I am glad I stuck it out, and I still like math. Maybe some of the upper level classes that you will take next semester will be more to your liking, and you just need to get through this semester even though it sucks right now.
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