Becoming an engineering student is quite an honour. It’s normally not easy to get into the classes, and many people strive for it. There are some tips that you can follow that will help you be successful in your studies.
The following article will highlight several ways to become successful as an engineering student.
1. Get Out There And Be Social!
This is very important. There are many benefits to being well rounded but for an EE this means that it’s important to spend time with people from many different backgrounds both in terms of academic interests and extracurricular ones.
This allows you to think about the world outside of engineering, which will let you come up with new ideas when designing things not just rehashing old ones! Being a loner might seem like a good way to increase productivity but too much time alone can lead some people down dark paths; don’t get lost in your work to the point where you forget about the rest of life.
2. Do Not Overdue Assignment.
If an assignment is due on Friday, don’t wait until Tuesday night to start working on it” – This may be good advice for some people but others prefer not to plan out their schedule so far in advance; they might enjoy planning things more by themselves and changing them as needed (and would rather spend Tuesdays playing videogames).
Some students like having a strict schedule while others like the flexibility of being able to do what they want when they feel like it. You should figure out what works best for you early on instead of wasting time doing something that doesn’t help you succeed later on.
3. If You Need Help, Go See Your TA
This is another point that might not apply to everyone. Some students don’t feel comfortable talking with their TA because they have a very different background from them and the way they explain things might be difficult for some EE students to understand.
Other students also may prefer going to office hours because they want a little more privacy when asking questions — it seems sort of weird having someone you barely know but see often in class sitting right there as you try to figure out an assignment problem.
Whatever your case, find what works best for yourself instead of forcing yourself into one particular style or arrangement that may not work as well as other alternatives.
4. Learn How To Use Your Time Efficiently.
In college, efficient time management is key! When you have a lot of time to spend on an assignment, it can be easy to waste away hours or even days before realizing that there is little left done.
This point applies to things outside of the classroom as well because once college has started, your personal life may not give you as much free time as you’re used to. Being able to manage your time effectively will help keep stress levels down and allow you to focus better on what’s important instead of letting minor issues eat up all your time.
5. If You Have A Problem, Go Talk To The Professor.
In theory, this sounds good but in practice, many students don’t want to bother their instructors with stupid questions or complaints about how something should work especially since those complaints could easily be resolved if students looked over the assignment more closely.
This also applies to TA’s because they are there to help you but don’t want to do it all the time for every student either. If an assignment is confusing or a topic isn’t covered well, go ask someone else instead of bothering whoever wrote it!
The point here is that no one wants to waste their time fixing your mistakes especially since doing so would regress their own learning process.
6. Go To Office Hours To Meet A Professor.
This is a good point but it gets people into bad habits when they go to office hours for simple questions that they could solve on their own with a little bit of research. The professor doesn’t mean this advice literally; going to office hours should be reserved for when there is something about the material in class or an assignment that confuses you and requires the instructor to explain further.
If anything your instructor says in lecture seems confusing or if a question from another student prompts an explanation from them in class, going to office hours is a good idea because it forces you to take what was said in class and make sense of it on your own.
7. Do What You’re Told.
It should be obvious at this point that other points on this list take priority over this one. Following orders makes sense in some situations but blindly following them without thinking about them makes less sense especially since other things may have an even greater impact on your success in the long run.
8. Go To Class.
This is sort of a joke; I will admit that this point does not apply to all EE students and it’s mainly there for anyone who has no idea whether or not going to lecture matters. In my experience, lectures are still an important part of learning but they can be boring and difficult to absorb during busy days make sure you do your homework before each class!
By attending lectures (especially early ones), you’ll get a detailed outline of what was covered and maybe get some helpful advice from the TA if needed. Just try not to fall asleep or start daydreaming about that great party last night too often.
9. Prepare For Tests.
As with the point above, test preparation is important but no one wants to waste their time studying things that aren’t going to be on the test. If you think there’s a chance it will be covered on an exam or on an assignment, look over it and make sure you understand everything prepare more than what you need so any new material isn’t a surprise.
10. Memorize Equations.
Memorizing lots of weird formulas doesn’t really help much in EE classes because most concepts are taught in terms of math rather than having students memorize every last formula.
This point is mainly here for anyone who had some previous experience with engineering classes before starting college where memorization skills were highly valued just try your best to get through it all and don’t stress yourself out (it’s not like you’ll lose your degree if you make a mistake or two).
11. Stay Organized.
This might seem tedious but it will be well worth the effort in the long run! Organized students are able to find things quickly which means fewer lost notes, assignments that aren’t handed in, and missed deadlines. Staying organized also allows you to prioritize what’s important instead of spending time looking for something that was supposed to be done yesterday.
I cannot stress enough how valuable staying organized is; even simple things like using dividers in binders can make an enormous difference. The next time you have everything scattered all over your desk with no clue where anything is, ask yourself “If I didn’t have this mess, would I be able to find the important stuff easily?”.
12. Find A Job.
Graduating with zero debt is awesome but it sucks having no money during school. Even if you already have funding through your parents or scholarship, there’s nothing wrong with getting some extra cash by working on weekends use that money to buy food or other useful things instead of wasting it all at the cafe!
Having a job also looks good on resumes and gives students an idea of what working in the industry is like. The point here isn’t about finding any job though, try finding one that relates to your major.
If you’re studying Computer Science, look for jobs that are related to programming or computer engineering; if you’re studying Mechanical Engineering, look for anything to do with mechanics or robotics. The more you have going on in your life, the less time you’ll spend dwelling on how much homework sucks.
13. Work As a TA.
Having experience working as a teaching assistant is very useful because it looks good on resumes and gives students an idea of what being a professor will be like. I’ve met several professors who began their careers as TAs and now work at top companies such as Intel and Google!
Also, if you’re actually interested in becoming a professor someday, getting some TA experience during school is a great way to find out if that’s something you want to do because it has many similarities. Jobs can be difficult to find but OIA often has a list of students looking for a TA you might even be able to find a job with one of your professors if they have funding available.
14. Get Some Sleep.
No, I’m not kidding! Sleeping is very important and it’s something that many college students neglect. Late nights working or partying can be fun but getting poor sleep will negatively affect your grades just as much as if you weren’t studying at all.
In addition to learning material better, always make sure you get enough sleep because otherwise, you may start losing focus in class and screwing up assignments. Try going to bed early for an extra couple of hours of sleep and see how much more refreshed and focused on schoolwork you feel (you’ll also look like less of a zombie during the day).
15. Learn To Have Fun.
In addition to staying organized, having a job, and getting enough sleep, it’s also important not to neglect the “fun” parts of college. Taking time for yourself is very important because going to school can be stressful and tiresome try going out with friends or playing video games every now and then if you need a break from studying.
Many students find themselves so busy with homework that they forget what it is like to have a good time but taking some time off once in a while will help recharge your batteries and make you more productive when it comes time for finals.
16. Actually Study For Tests.
College professors generally assume that students know how to actually study material (I know, it’s weird right?). Many students think that watching youtube videos or playing candy crush is studying but those things will never help you as much as actually reading the textbook and making flashcards.
The difference between good test takers and poor test-takers boils down to how well they study — a few days before a test, start reviewing your notes, class slides, old tests, and assignment problems, do practice problems from the book/class website if available.
17. Prepare For Exams.
In addition to going over the material before a test, being prepared makes doing well on that exam way easier. When I was in college I used to just skim my notes within 2-3 days before a midterm or final only to have absolutely no idea what I was doing when it came time to take the test.
The difference between good and bad students is often how well they study for exams — create a schedule as soon as you get your syllabus. If you plan on studying for several hours each day, make sure you do homework early enough so that it doesn’t pile up at the end of the semester (some classes will give extensions if asked).
18. Don’t Procrastinate
This is probably one of the most important things to keep in mind during school because waiting until the last minute to start assignments or study for tests will cause everything to be super hectic. Try making weekly/daily plans of what you’ll be doing every day of the week (this helps not only for school but in life in general).
If you know that every Sunday night is when you start doing weekly assignments, then try doing homework on Monday instead of waiting until Tuesday or Wednesday. Doing this will prevent the feeling of constantly being rushed and stressed out because if you’re constantly behind on work, chances are you won’t be able to catch up.
19. Eat Healthy.
College students are often notorious for their unhealthy diets filled with junk food, fast food, soda, chips, etc… This is bad because eating healthy helps maintain a good balance of macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) as well as eat plenty of vegetables/fruits.
Not only does eating right help your brain perform better during class, but it also helps control hunger which can help prevent snacking on unhealthy stuff (which you probably don’t want to be eating anyway).
20. Be Involved In School.
Most colleges have some sort of on-campus organization for different activities so try getting involved. Even if it’s just one or two clubs that interest you, join up and meet new people! Participating in school events will help you meet friends with similar interests as well as give you experiences that will go on your resume/transcript.
Having extracurriculars is especially good if you’re applying for internships because it shows companies that you like to stay busy and are passionate about the things you do (plus who knows, maybe some of your club members will go to the company you’re applying for)!
21. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help.
This is another huge problem students often have because asking for help shows that you haven’t done enough of the work or are struggling, something many high school/college students would rather not admit. Having someone else look over your notes/homework can show things you never knew were there which may even lead to better grades.
If you are struggling through a class then seek help immediately instead of waiting until it’s too late professors generally do not mind helping students if they reach out before failing assignments or exams. And remember, teachers aren’t paid enough money to give good grades on bad work , so always strive to do your best!
22. Don’t Cheat.
Plagiarizing is not only wrong, but it can get you expelled or even arrested depending on your course of study. If you’re struggling through a class try talking to the professor about getting an extension on assignments/exams instead of turning in something that wasn’t entirely yours.
Cheating isn’t just plagiarism either buying or selling test answers, helping someone else complete an assignment/test, etc. are all forms of cheating and should be avoided at all costs.
23. Develop Good Habits.
“Bad company corrupts good morals,” wrote by the poet, Alexander Pope. The same thing applies to school/college because a lot of things that may seem completely innocent will actually have a negative impact on your life if you’re not careful.
For example, going out with friends can be fun and help relieve stress but staying out late doesn’t allow you to get enough sleep which leads to falling asleep in class or worse. dropping the class!
Another good habit every student should consider adopting is eating healthy because it ensures that your brain is getting all of its nutrients, which can make a huge difference when it comes time for studying. And finally, attending classes regularly ensures that you don’t fall behind, while also giving you more time to do other things after school/work!
24. Create A Planner.
You may think creating a planner is just a waste of time because most people use their phones nowadays, but paper planners have their own advantages. First off, they guarantee that no one can hack into your phone and discover all your secrets.
Secondly, many apps have ads now which means they cost money to download (although some apps are ad-free). And finally, if you ever lose your phone, you’ll still have a list of important dates written down somewhere else. Nowadays kids are constantly glued to their phones so I’m sure creating a paper planner won’t be too difficult!
25. Test Out Of Classes.
This is another thing students often don’t consider because getting good grades in school/college makes them feel smart. But the truth is, not all classes are easy for everyone and there may be one or two that you could pass with flying colors if you were to take it again.
By passing these tests with flying colors, not only will your schedule become less hectic because you’ll only have to attend lectures for subjects that are harder for you, but it also shows colleges that you are capable of doing well in more advanced courses.
This can be extremely helpful if you decide to go into a graduate program or want to keep your options open while you’re still in school because it allows you to take on more difficult classes while still having time for extracurriculars, studying, family time, etc.