Sometimes as a chemical engineer, you feel a little down. I mean, you’re taking the most difficult classes, you have homework sets that take over 15 hours each, you forget to eat sometimes (might be a joke also might not be a joke.) Life is hard. It gets especially frustrating when you feel like you’re putting in a ton of effort and are seeing no results.
I was talking to my best chemE friend about this today, because we were both feeling particularly defeated. His response was motivating. He said “Think about it like this: we may not be getting the best grades in this room, but the fact that we are even able to do it, makes us special. There are thousands and thousands of people in the world who wouldn’t be able to get as far as we have gotten or be doing as well as we are doing. If you ever need to be motivated, think about those people. Don’t think about the people who are doing better than you.”
That my friends is a very valuable lesson. You can’t compare yourself to that genius in the front row who can solve complex integrations in his head. He is a rare specimen. Would it be nice if I could do that? Yeah, 100%. But that’s not me, so comparing myself to him will always make me feel down. I am just a dedicated student who has to really commit and really try to get the grades that I’ve been getting. You need to evaluate yourself and your progress by itself with these types of questons “Am I budgeting all of my time adequately?,” ‘Did I study as much as I possibly could?,” “What more can I be doing?” and grow from those types of questions, as opposed to killing your motivation with “WHY DIDN”T I GET A 97 ON THAT TEST I OBVIOUSLY NEED TO DROP OUT.”
Chemical engineering is hard. Not in the “Oh, this person told me it was hard but I bet they just didn’t apply themselves” kind of way. Chemical engineering is hard in the “This person was in the top of their class in high school and is performing average or below in their classes now” kind of hard. It can be a blow to the ego, but it’s worth the struggle. This is why chemical engineering is such a respected and prestigious major. Not everyone can do it, but I believe if you really want to, you can.