Since March is a pretty pivotal month for college decisions, I really want to focus on potential incoming engineers. I was fortunate enough to have a few people to give me student advice, and I want to add my opinion to the mix, both because I don’t think the university description quite covers it, and I’m just selfish like that.
If you’re anything like me, you’re pretty smart and got good grades in high school. You like science and you like math and the idea of both of them combined doesn’t seem terrible. You might have been an AP student, an IB student, a co-credit student, or any or all of the above. You got into most, if not all of the colleges you applied to. What makes Ohio State different? Why choose Ohio State for your engineering degree?
I’m going to give it to you straight: any place you go, it’s going to be painful. Unless you’re amazingly intelligent and talented, you’re going to find that any math or science you take at any place is going to have its difficulties. There will be things you do not understand. There will be things you think you understand but then the TA throws a curveball at you on the quiz and you still don’t do well. There will be ideas that you have to work for, at home, in office hours,
and during lecture. This is a thing no matter where you go. Friday morning in my gen ed acting class, someone told me that people that go into engineering are generally people who just like to suffer. It’s like the old adage; if it wasn’t difficult, then anyone would do it. (Besides, you’d be hard pressed to even find an “easy” major. Anywhere.)
I’ll throw you some facts.
Ranked #1 in Ohio and #16 in the United States, The Ohio State University College of Engineering offers one of the best programs in the country. There are over 52,000 living Ohio State engineering grads and more than half a million general grads worldwide. (AKA people that will get you jobs). The college offers 12 majors. All stuff you might already know.
There are dozens of major-based clubs, which are both resume builders and automatic friend makers. Whether you like rockets or robots or anything in between. If you’re underrepresented, you like travel and volunteering, or like roller coasters, there’s something for you, too.
Engineering majors are not without their scholarships. Often given out to incoming sophomores and above, there are dozens of scholarships you can get on top of ones you might already have. These will pay for books or housing or tuition—whatever you may need it for. In my first week as an Ohio State engineer, I learned about, applied for, and received The Ohio House of Science and Engineering Choose Ohio First Scholarship, which has gone a long way in my financial stability.
The best thing to bond about is mutual stress. That guy next to you in calc recitation? The easiest way to become his best friend is bond about how asinine you both think the technical definition of a limit is. My biggest fear when it came to coming to such a big school was making friends. (What if my roommates hate me? What if everyone is mean? What if, what if, what if??) Now, a semester and a half later, I find myself drifting around open lab, chatting absently to people I’ve met while trying to procrastinate on my homework. It’s easy to bond over school, and once you’ve got that bond, it’s easy to take it into friendship. I’m not saying that you’re going to have built-in friends (stereotypes say that at least a
few of the engineers you meet are going to be socially awkward) but I am saying you’ll have at least a strategy of making friends. (Also, the FEH program gives you built-in friends, but I’ll touch on that in a later post.)
If you’re worried about doing well in your classes, the university offers a lot of free tutoring, which is located in a few of the dorms and at the
Younkin Success Center on South Campus. Plus—and this is something you’ll hear a lot—the professors are human, and most are willing to work with you even outside of office hours so you can get the concept. In the Freshman Engineering program, too, the TAs are undergraduates that went through the program, and at the very least they’ll understand the struggle you’ll going through, and they’ll help the best they can.
Lastly, the reason we all go to college it to better prepare ourselves for the working world. At Ohio State, Engineering Career Services (
ECS) is an entire university-funded organization that is dedicated to helping undergraduates get good internships, co-ops, and full-time jobs. On top of that, the university hosts two major engineering-only career fairs a year. There are criteria that each ECS internship has to meet, so you won’t be getting people coffee.
So, to review, why Ohio State? We’re a big school, but it rarely feels that way, and the university does its best to make you feel comfortable and to work with you on the content of the courses. Plus, you have a big built-in support system, which can go a long way.
Any other questions? Here are a few links that might help.
Other students to tell you about Ohio State Engineering
What academic clubs can I join? (These aren’t the only ones, of course)