Gauntlet of Tech pays long-term dividends

As my years at Tech have progressed, I’ve had vastly varying opinions of the school we all attend. A feeling I’m sure most are familiar with, I’ve had countless weeks that I curse the Institute and wonder why I chose to attend Tech over other schools.
The work-load is outrageous, and the stress of trying to find a balance studying for three tests, completing two homework assignments, writing a lab report, participating in extracurricular activities, working part-time and somehow still trying to maintain a social life is downright exhausting.
We have all had weeks like this. We have all had moments during a test where we stopped and thought “Did we ever even learn this?” Tech pushes us to our limits (and sometimes blows past them) and makes us wonder whether we have the capacity to press on.
While I cannot begin to count the days when I have felt as though I could no longer keep my head above water, as graduation nears, I find I have a deep sense of gratitude for the Institute.
I always remember my parents saying “the real world is going to be tough.” Now that I’ve nearly completed my Bachelors Degree at Tech, I have news for all of you claiming the “real world” is difficult: the real world feels like a cake walk compared to Tech. If you can make it through Thermodynamics, Def Bods, Systems and Fluid Mechanics in the same semester, you can make it through anything.
Those who are graduating with me in May will not for one second have to prove that they are worthy of a diploma. Whether your GPA is a 3.9 as an EE or a 2.1 in IE because you had to work your way through school, we are all just as deserving of the diploma we will soon receive. At Tech, there is never a question of whether a student has worked hard enough. We have all sacrificed blood, sweat and tears (probably more often than we are willing to admit) to earn our degree.
Having performed under the expansive pressure at Tech, I am increasingly confident in my ability to go above and beyond expectations of future employers. Tech has instilled in me characteristics that will allow me to succeed beyond those students graduating from peer institutions. Compare the average starting salary of a Tech student to other schools. The statistics speak for themselves.
The technology field is continuously growing and advancing. We are lucky, as there is no end in sight for engineers. We will always have an impact in our society, which provides a job security like no other profession.
Though the economy is still weak and will likely not fully recover for several years, I am not graduating with the worry that I will not be able to find a job. Instead, I am graduating with the hope that the job I do accept will challenge me in such a way that I will continue to learn every day.
I can only hope that I will be challenged as much in the coming years as I have been throughout my time here. I have found that the extreme learning environment Tech provides has created within me a thirst for learning.
In my free time, I am learning a second language, teaching myself to use an animation program and researching innovative processes. I find that I enjoy learning on my own far more than I ever expected.
And while I am still struggling through my last few months before graduation, it is not nearly as painful as it once was now that there is an end in sight. There was a time when I never thought I would say it, but I would even like to advance my education further after a few years in the work force (and a few years of sleeping regular hours).
I am certain that I will look back on my years at Tech with nothing but appreciation and fond memories (with some anxiety sprinkled in). I can only hope that Tech will continue to burden its students with too much work and too little sleep. They will appreciate it (eventually).
Whether you are in the midst of your degree or are just starting out, hang in there. I promise there will come a day when you will sleep regular hours like the rest of the world.
Tech will be as hard as everyone says it is. But trust me when I say it will be worth it in the end. If Tech were easy, everyone would come here (and then you might as well call it U(sic)GA). And what good would that do?

Comments are closed.