Tuesday, December 29, 2015

College Life as an Environmental Engineer at UCONN

                Hello everyone, this is Dea! I currently go to UCONN as an environmental engineering major. This is a post on what is going on with me in college, hopefully it'll also give you all some piece of mind by giving some tips that may be able to help you on your college journey.  
                One of the first things that you'll do when you are accepted into a college is to pick your classes. Remember that if you are picking classes early enough, you design your schedule how you want it. One nice idea is to make a schedule for yourself where you won't have classes all of Friday or Monday, with no early morning classes. When I picked my classes, I just enrolled into the ones that were required and was lucky enough to have all of the first half of Monday free, only one class on Friday, and only one 8am class.  
                 Coming to UCONN is a great opportunity for someone who plans on becoming an environmental engineer as it's campus makes use of a lot of environmentally friendly technology, available for you to look into and see for yourself. Because UCONN has plans to continue on improving its sustainability, there are many opportunities to see environmental engineering put into practice right on campus.
                As an engineering major in UCONN, I am required to take a class that introduces you to engineering, ENGR1000. This is a class that is meant to introduce you to all kinds of engineering, but if you are already familiar, you can use it to acquaint yourself with what you are interested in. Near the end of the semester, you are able to attend tours or talks of your choosing that center around various  engineering majors. I was able to get a tour of UCONN's water treatment facility, which allowed for me to get a personal look at what environmental engineers with a focus on water treatment do for a living. This kind of thing is great, as it allows for you to see whether or not you will actually get to like what you claim to want to do as a job.
                 The college life may seem like one that takes a while to settle into, and as a result of that you may not want to involve yourself in extracurricular activities. However, I feel that it is better to dive right in, as the earlier you get involved with something the stronger your connections are with the organization in the long run. Getting involved also adds a nice extracurricular to put on your resume which you will be using to get jobs and internships. As for me, I went to info sessions for around nine extracurriculars, and attempted to stick with seven out of those nine. This sounds like a scheduling nightmare, putting several activities on top of classes, but it helped me find which activities I was willing to stick with. I ended up centering my focus on two organizations: the Environmental Committee in the UCONN Honors Council, and UconnPIRG. The deciding factor being that these were the organizations that could get plans in action on campus, and would allow for me to explore my interests in the environment outside of engineering.
                Now, as for a life outside of classes, if you are ever worried about not being able to find that group of people you fit in with, you don't need to worry. Along with the campus clubs you can join, there are many events you can attend. Go out to the events, and join the clubs that interest you, and you may be able to find the company you want to keep. That's it from me! Hopefully, some of this was helpful, and I wish you all peace of mind in your first steps on your college journey.   
~Dea Acorda

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