I have a degree in mechanical engineering. It took me three and a half years to get it at a state school after transferring from a community college. Doing it this way allowed me to skip the obligatory freshman classes and all the general studies requirements. But still…
It was tough.
Sometimes I look back and think that getting my degree was one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life.
I didn’t particularly like my classes. Some of the subject matter was interesting, sure, but mechanical engineering wasn’t (and still isn’t) my passion. I appreciated the good professors more than the subjects they taught – in some cases, my worst subjects were taught by my favorite professors.
However, I somehow made it through with only one meltdown (that I can remember) and no all-nighters. The closest I got to an all-nighter was 2 AM at a classmate’s apartment for a project due the next day.
Now, I’m three years out of the undergraduate grind, but the things I’m going to tell you are applicable to keeping your sanity while still taking classes.
Let’s dive right in!
1. Sleep. For the love of God, SLEEP.
You do yourself no favors by staying up all night and stumbling into your lab class half-awake, having forgotten your homework on your desk. There is research that sleeping helps to organize what you’ve learned, so studying right before bed will help you retain the knowledge – but only if you actually go to sleep! Staying up all night cramming for a test will do you more harm than good.
2. Find a food solution that works for you.
After my first year, I never set foot inside a dining hall again. It was cheap, low-quality food that somehow cost more than it did to go to Winco every weekend and make my own meals. Depending on your college, you might have a stellar dining hall, and will never have to cook for yourself in school.