11 Struggles All Freshmen Chemical Engineers Go Through
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

11 Struggles All Freshmen Chemical Engineers Go Through

There's nothing like having chemistry, math, physics, and engineering exams all in the same week.

11 Struggles All Freshmen Chemical Engineers Go Through

A sharp intake of breath. A pained grimace. A look of confusion and dismay.

I get a variety of reactions from students who ask me what my major is, but those three are the most common. By the time "chemical and biomolecular engineering(CBE)" crosses my lips, I have their undivided attention, and I think that's because very few of us know what the major entails, and what individuals with chemical engineering degrees go on to do. I wasn't certain when I applied as a CBE major, and as I talked to current CBE students throughout the semester, I realized the extent of the hell I had gotten myself into. I think it's safe to say all CBE freshmen are perpetually salty about their situation, and here's why.

1. We have to use the most obscure units in our calculations.

When will we ever use slugs, poundals, kilogram-moles, or Rankines in the future? That's right, never.

2. Pound-mass vs. Pound-force

Although these are still units, they deserve their own slide because they are just so annoying to convert between.

3. Complex systems of equations

10 equations and 10 unknowns? Oh, that's not too bad, why don't I give you four more problems exactly like that for the homework?

4. Speaking of homework...

If you're not spending at least 10-15 hours every week on CBE problem sets, you're not doing them right.

5. Drawing process flow diagrams

The picture says it all.

6. Classes all day every day

Mom: So what times during the week do you have classes this semester?

Me: No, no, the question is: when don't I have class?

7. Grades are very depressing

Hey, at least the classes are curved....right?

8. Time is our worst enemy

You'd think we would be more productive when we know there's not enough time to fool around, Unfortunately, it's exactly the opposite.

9. Explaining what we study to our friends and family

This is eerily accurate.

10. We have no idea what we want to do in the future

Chemical engineering is a very versatile degree, and so it's common for CBE graduates to pursue work in a variety of fields. This is the one redeeming quality of CBE; it provides you with a comprehensive skillset that can be applied in different settings.

11. Too many acronyms

DOF, VDW, SRK(Shah Rukh Khan?!)...the list goes on.

Although I know we make chemical engineering sound horrific and depressing, there are reasons why we have chosen to suffer through the next four years. Like every engineer, we live for those 5% moments in which something clicks, the solution becomes clear, and we've figured out the problem at last. The feeling of finally getting an answer after 4 hours of staring at the computer screen is extremely rewarding. Whether the answer is right or not is another story, but at least it looked like we tried! In all seriousness, though, I am excited to continue my path towards a chemical engineering degree. There will no doubt be numerous challenges, but now that I am a part of it, I intend to see it through to the end.

Speaking of which, I should have used this time to work on problem sets instead....

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

The decision-makers of Yale's law students have invested in therapy dog sessions in order to reduce stress. In 2011, Yale Law Library had a sign-out sheet for their certified library dog. The 30-minute sessions were equipped with unconditional, stress-busting puppy love.

Law Librarian Blair Kauffman stated that the free, three-day pilot pet therapy program at Yale Law Library launched as "a positive addition to current services offered by the library."

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Couples Get Real About Canceling Their Dream Weddings Because Of COVID-19

"It definitely reinforced that as long as we have each other, we can make it through anything together."

Courtesy of Georgia & Mike Bernstein

There isn't one person the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hasn't affected. While COVID-19 is risking everyone's physical health, it's also destroying the world's economy and personal finances, weakening mental health, wreaking havoc on education... and, well, the list goes on.

Among the many things being impacted is love.

Keep Reading... Show less

A Couple's Wedding In Peru Was Postponed By COVID-19, But A Lifetime Of Love Is Worth The Wait

"We'd prefer to wait and have the wedding that both of us have always thought of."

Courtesy of Rory Semple

During their first semester at Instituto de Empresa (IE Business School) while working on graduate degrees in Madrid, Spain, soon-to-be-newlyweds Rory and Gigi met when they were placed in a workgroup together — and the rest was history. Now, four years after their relationship began, the couple's fall plans to get married in Perú, where Gigi is originally from, have since been postponed by COVID-19.

Though things haven't always been easy for the pair because of immigration, starting a skincare business together, and now, canceling their dream wedding because of the pandemic, they have always worked together as a team (maybe we should all be in a workgroup with our future spouses).

Keep Reading... Show less

A Bumble Couple's Wedding Was Canceled By COVID-19, But Nothing Could Come Between This Perfect Match

"The whole purpose of all the stress and time and tears was that we love each other and that was all that mattered."

Courtesy of Shanna and Kaihla

Shortly after Kaihla's sister made her a dating profile on Bumble (despite her fear of being catfished), she matched with Shanna, and their chemistry was quickly undeniable. So much so that only a month and a half into dating, Shanna told her best friend "I think I'm going to marry her," and eventually, the nonprofit worker and elementary PE teacher duo proved this to be true.

In the fourth episode of a new docuseries called "Pandemic Weddings" by SoulPancake, the couple opens up about how they met, the difficulties of canceling a non-refundable wedding of their dreams (that took a year and a half to plan), as well as the pain of having family members who didn't support their marriage use the pandemic as a convenient excuse not to come.

Keep Reading... Show less
Bobbie Hall

This fall was my boyfriend and I's two-year anniversary! In the past for special occasions, we've typically gone out for a movie and dinner or just did something fun in general. However, in the year of COVID, we didn't really feel safe doing something like that.

Instead, we wanted to try something new that kept us significantly more socially distanced. Luckily, I found a TikTok trend a few months ago that gave me the perfect idea! The Target TikTok trend blew up all over for couples and friends alike. It seemed like a fun activity for us but also a good way to get each other gifts that we might not have thought about.

Keep Reading... Show less
Roman Holiday

In case you're tired of searching for new movies worth watching, consider going back in time for date night and watching a romance classic (or 30).

From black and white films to colorful '90s chick flicks (many of which I've watched alone or with significant others), the list below features romantic thrillers, rom-coms, historical romance, or just classic romantic stories for any given decade, here is a list of movies you need to add to your must-watch list ASAP.

Keep Reading... Show less

If there's one thing everyone's talking about right now, it's voting — in real life, on social media, and yes, even on dating apps.

And rightfully so! Because is there really anything sexier than someone who cares about using their voice to be the change they want to see? In my opinion, no... not much, honestly.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tai Adaya

Any medium- to dark-skinned woman knows how difficult it can be to find the right SPF. Most mass-market SPF products are catered to lighter skin tones, and the potent UV-blocking titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have a way of leaving an unflattering white or grey cast on the skin.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments