11 Struggles All Freshmen Chemical Engineers Go Through
Start writing a post
Student Life

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.
Ronny Salerno

This feeling hurts. I must declare

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge

After all, isn't it the season of drinking...?

10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge

Thanksgiving has officially ended which means we are in preparation for the final holidays of the year. December is a busy month, filled with shopping and sales, wrapping gifts, planning family gathering and parties, cooking and baking, holiday movies, and of course, lots of drinking. I know that I will be spending a lot of December watching the ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas,

Keep Reading... Show less

Planning Another Christmas Party

Don't just plan another plain party but get creative to have everyone wanting to come back next year!

Getty Famous

You know it's Christmas when the radio stations change to all of your favorite holiday tunes, the air is still, and stores have the best sales. With all my favorite things from Christmas happening my least favorite probably has to be when I have to go to another same old boring Christmas party that I get invited to every year. Here are some Christmas party ideas so that you won't have another sad Christmas party.

Keep Reading... Show less

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

For Young Players Who Want to Succeed at The Next Level

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

Whose choice is it? The parent? The player? There are a number of reasons that a kid may sit out of high school soccer, and to be completely honest; It is a huge mistake. High school soccer is the final piece in the puzzle that takes a player from above average or elite, to college ready by the end of their senior year. Every year thousands of talented athletes don't play for their high schools. Why though?

Keep Reading... Show less

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

December is around the corner, are you ready?

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

As they tend to say, its the most wonderful time of the year! People have begun to compile their Christmas to-do lists in anticipation for the season of sugarplums and gingerbread.

The history of the Christmas to-do lists goes back hundreds of years, almost as old as the holiday itself, however, people tend to fall out of this habit as they get older. This is unfortunate, as the theme of Christmas tradition can add bundles of the spirit of joy to your families.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments