WHAT ENGINEERING HAS TAUGHT ME
“Engineering is the closest thing to magic that exists in the world.”
I came across this quote by Elon Musk a few days ago. Had I read the quote few years ago, I would have laughed and ignored it. But now, completing the three years of engineering and geared up for entering in final year, I admitted myself the quote is true. I am experiencing the magic in engineering which kept me motivated and engaged all time in this locked-down.
Having a usual conversation over dinner with family, I came to know how engineering has shaped my life. Not only in technical aspects but also in the development of me as a human being. The girl who was the procrastination queen a few years back, is now planning to do the things on time (before deadlines). My mom remembers me announcing at midnight that I have to submit xyz project tomorrow and doing it at last moment. Though this is the case with many engineering students today, the lists of assignments and my lots of other extra-curricular activities forced me to do planning and try to complete things before time.
We had a subject named ‘Quality Control’ last semester which caused the makeover of my room and maintaining the neatness until now. Though the 4S among the 5S principle of quality control seems easy, it was a challenge for me to implement 5th S, Shitsuke. However, the patience has made it sure to implement till now.
It is said that an engineer is someone who solves problems. Even if there are no problems, he creates them and solves. Though it is quite funny, engineering moulds us exploring different things on our own. This makes us try out different things which many of us are doing these days. Be it music, be it sketching, be it literature; engineering teaches us that we always have time but only thing is that we need to take out time. Thus, I have observed many friends pursuing their hobbies enthusiastically in addition to our daily study. I guess this will help all of us, the buddy engineers for whole life!
Either we learn from our own failures or the failures of near ones. Fortunately, I cleared all subjects. But I learnt from the backlogs of my friends. Sometimes we might face the failure even if we work hard and then we will have to work even more harder to achieve something. But this is not the end of the world. Whatever it may be, every problem can be solved we should never lose the hope in ourselves. And one more lesson I took from this incident: one failure should not define the person. There might be some unknown reasons for the failure and we should stand with the near ones in the bad times.
Most of us, today’s youngsters are unaware about the daily household chores, I was not an exception. But I’m sure many of us have completed a short course on household chores during the locked down. What I discovered is cooking is a combination of engineering and art. Thermodynamics, a core subject in mechanical domain, which I had neglected in college, was a trouble when I started cooking. Basic thermodynamic principles apply in our day to day life and as I was unaware of it, I ended in trouble. Thus, now I try to learn in depth more passionately. We never know when we’ll have to face a situation which may need some concept, so do your 100% while studying. It will definitely help in one or another way. All these my learning experiences can be summed up in a single quote by Prakhar Srivastav:
“Engineering is not only study of 45 subjects but it is moral studies of intellectual life.”
I would like to give only two laws from mechanics which we can have as a guide for lifetime:
We all have different frames of references formed by birth, the way we are brought up, experiences we face in life, etc. Thus, what is correct in my frame of reference will not be probably the same in someone else’s frame. Thus, we all are the people with unique frames of refences. We should accept it and respect other’s opinions and thoughts.
Also, I think Newton’s third law is a summary of life. Whatever actions we do, we get back reactions for them. Whether it is hard work or procrastination, learning something or doing nothing and wasting time, we definitely get back reactions for our deeds. This taught me to engage myself in good and positive work as it will sometime in future will get back to me!
There are many more lessons for lifetime engineering has taught me: you won’t get a solution to a problem until you face it; sometimes when there is no time, you have to do some ‘jugaads’; sometimes even if you work, you may not succeed; failure is never temporary but working hard and smart is always important. The third year makes us think about our life and what we want in future. I feel, no other degree gives the clarity about life and future like engineering does. Sometimes people may not respect our degree, there might be many jokes viral on social media about engineering and engineers. But one sentence which was viral a few days back is enough to reply: “People think engineering as walking in a park. But only engineers know that this is Jurassic Park!” At such times, we learnt to keep faith in ourselves and our degree.
And the one statement helped a lot to have faith in my education and degree:
“Scientists dream about doing great things. Engineers do them.”