Hello Again!

I realize that I have missed the last two weeks of blogs and comments!!

I planned on never missing a single post but here I am. I guess that I missed it because of my engineering final being in the way. I don’t like putting excuses in the way but at least I was able to receive a good grade on my engineering final!

So, what have I learned from this process? I learned that blogs are not too terribly hard to write up and don’t take more than 30 minutes usually. So, in reality, could I have gotten those missed blogs up on time? Absolutely.

In the future I am going to put more effort into getting my blogs done early in the week so that they don’t become an after thought later on. I know that these blogs in specific are going to be ending soon but I believe that this method of knocking out small stuff early will help me in the future with my other classes and life in general.

For example, instead of waiting to do homework in other classes until the end of the week so that I can work on larger task earlier, I could get the smaller assignments done first so that all my attention can be set on the large task. I think that this could also apply to my future as an adult with things like going to the grocery store. Instead of waiting all week to go, according to what I’ve learned with the blogs, it would be best for me to just go at the beginning of the week and not have to worry about it a day longer.

As I am writing these words out now into the blog, I am seeing a trend. That trend is that getting these things completed as soon as possible is working toward another goal and that is eliminating stress! No one wants to feel overwhelmed and I think that this method of completing small tasks quickly to build up to the big task will help to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Well, that is my hope. Have you any experience of this working out for you? Or, have you ever started on a big task early and then all the little task mount up to be a big task in itself? What have you done to avoid that stress?

What I have done this semester specifically, in spring 2019,  has been focusing on my small task first but not completing them before the bigger task. I would try to work on everything simultaneously and that did not work out at all. I think that trying to work on everything at once made me feel overwhelmed even more sometimes. This is because I would just look at all the work that I had to do and shied away from it instead of just starting somewhere. So, eventually that’s what I did. I would just have to pick a place to start so that I wouldn’t get behind.

It worked but not as efficiently as I think that I will be next semester with getting stuff done immediately as I am assigned the small stuff.

I want to leave you with this. If you are someone who struggles with worrying over schoolwork, feel free to try out the methods listed above. However, please remember that just because something works for me does not mean it would be a perfect solution for you. So, also feel free to experiment with a plan that works for how your schedule is and how your own brain works. You could even look up other people’s tips and tricks to managing large amounts of work.

Whatever your choice or situation, good luck to you!

Look it up bro

How often have you been in a conversation or just alone and a random question comes up that you just need the answer to right then and there? For me it seems to happen constantly and google is just two taps away on my phone and I have the answer in less than ten seconds.

However, not every question that comes up is a simple question and answer and the hero, that is google, cannot come to the rescue with the perfect answer right away. So, what do I do? What do you do?

You conduct research of course! Yes it takes more time than a little google search but as humans we will seek out answers until we have them! That is why research can be exciting. We find the answers to what was previously unknown to us. But, where does the research start?

You are not looking up a basic question and that means that you are likely to seek information about a topic in its entirety. You have to build up your knowledge of a topic to gain that knowledge you seek. That takes time. So, when researching, do not just sit down and expect to come to a conclusion within just 10 or 15 minutes. If you do, you will become frustrated. Go to multiple sources, search keywords, be focused in your search so that you are not too narrow or too broad. That is how to start the process. Get to know those sources and compare and contrast them to get a sense of what experts agree and disagree on. After this process you will see that you have evaluated both sides of your topic and have a greater understanding of the topic field to which it belongs. That is when the thirst for knowledge can finally be quenched.

This is a powerful tool that we have in the 21st century and I want my blog readers to see it as such. Do not just think that research is something we have to do in school as a requirement for class. You might have to do a research project every now and then and you may get a bad taste in your mouth from it. That’s probably due to the project now being related to something that you truly love or are interested in.

So, try it out. Look it up. Find something that really interest you and dive deep into what experts have said and done regarding it. You will find a lot of excitement from doing this personal research because you will be answering the questions that, maybe, keep you up at night or that keep your mind racing.

I know we are all still finishing the semester so conducting a research at this time is probably not the best but I encourage you to do some research over the summer to expand your horizons. Have fun with it!

You Got a Friend in Me…

Something that we desire and seek out, something that if ruined can hurt, something that if strong can motivate, heal, and grow. A friendship.

We all long to have a friend by our side. To have someone who cares about us and usually has gone through the same things as you to become your friend. However, we also become their friends as well. In that moment, friends form a relationship.

That relationship is normally called a friendship and I want to discuss how important and how powerful they can be. From my experience, I will discuss my college friendships.

Starting within my class, I have many classmates who some have become friends of mine and some not. Why is that? I think that it is due to me being attracted to those people who have the same humor and similar personality as myself. So, in seeing that, I think that our friends are a reflection of who we are. Their actions will influence us because we see them as an extension of ourselves. Because it is a friendship, that theory goes both ways. What I mean is that we can also influence our friends by our actions and ideas. This is where I see that a friendship can be very powerful.

This power can be used in a good and negative manner and I believe that by the time a student reaches college, they will have already come to realize that. That is for example, when you might be with some friends who are sharing negative opinions about something or someone, it becomes very easy for you to also adopt the same feelings and opinions they share. Even working backwards, if you are acting very negatively about someone or something, your friends are going to pick up on that and that negativity can spread.

Don’t worry though! By changing out that negativity for positivity you can witness the spreading of happiness or just more positive attitudes within your friend or friend group. Seriously though, this “spread of attitudes” is a very strong power that our friendships contain. So, I want to remind or introduce that idea that we remain aware of the power of our actions when we are around our friends.

In another aspect, our friends can offer something more than just an acquaintance might. Our friends and ourselves can offer one another emotional and deeper support to help one another through the difficult parts of life. We can invest our times into each other’s lives and see that our friendships can begin to grow even deeper and stronger as you start having even more shared experiences.

Conversely, when you or a friend is having a hard time or just even going through life just fine, one thing can cause a lot of hurt. That would be when a friend turns their back on you or you turn your back on them. In any case, being there for one another is the main idea behind what people would consider a friendship. If that respect and trust and love for your friend is somehow mistreated then a feeling of loss and hurt can become a pain that we experience.

We must end with good news though, it’s Friday after all. Even when trust is broken or something goes very wrong in a friendship there can still be hope. If that friendship was very sincere and long lasting, then the chances of you staying mad at them forever are lower than if someone random hurt you. That friendship can still grow back and even stronger than before.

How did you get started in your career?

It seems that there is always a new experience that we have that leads to a new decision we make.  When we make these decisions we are sometimes asking ourselves to change our whole life.

So, what decisions were it that made you want to get started in your career? Was it something in your childhood? Something that someone told you? For me, I was not 100% sure what I wanted to do until my high-school career.

When I was a child I played baseball for 8 years so that made me want to be a professional baseball player. I was able to be on a team that went undefeated for the entire season and we almost made it to the national playoffs. However, when I grew older I stopped playing baseball and focused most of my time on my schoolwork.

So, this was one of those big decisions that I had to make to decide what I really wanted to do with my life. I am glad I made the decision that I did. Because I decided to take school seriously I was able to really explore my options of what part of school really interested me. Even though I got straight As I found myself having the most fun in my math and science classes. So, my counselors were suggesting to me what I should do and they suggested to me a couple of options.

The first was a doctor, the second was engineering, and the third was a mechanic.

Once I researched engineering I immediately fell in love with it because I saw that engineering wasn’t solely math but rather, I learned that it is a mix of design, math, science, and humanities. It was this mix that lead me to pursue this career path fully.

So, all of my passions of drawing, math, design, and experimentation were found in engineering. Yet, I still had another choice to make. That question was what type of engineering do I want to pursue? This choice loomed over my head for the last two years of high-school. So what was it that made me choose my major?

In my senior year of high-school I was completely in love with cars. I found myself surrounded by friends who also love cars and we would talk about how they work and our favorite cars and stuff like that. So this lead me to start liking mechanical engineering the most out of all fields. I later learned that in mechanical engineering there is a heavy emphasis on creating 3 D models of the designs that you want to make. This was attractive to me because it combined the drawing and math aspects that I like. So, after learning that mechanical engineering was the best mix to specifically match my interest, it was an easy choice to make.

Then I had to decide where to go to for my degree. I knew I wanted to go to a college that was close to home so I wouldn’t have to pay for rent and it just so happened to be that VCU offers a top 20 schools in the US for mechanical engineering so it was just one more easy choice to make.

So, having all these decisions now finally lead me to mechanical engineering at VCU I just had to work very hard in high-school to ensure that I would make it into the college of engineering here at VCU and I am very happy that I did!

What lead you to make the decisions for your career and where are you now?

Some juicy convo?!

What makes a good conversation?

Don’t you just love it when you have a juicy conversation with someone and you get all excited or leave the conversation with some new insight? Well, me too! Wait, what about that conversation makes it so magical? What is it about it that makes you want to keep talking into the very late hours of the night? Let’s talk about it.

In my experience, the key ingredients to a great conversation would first of all be the person or people you are talking to. The reason why is that the conversation wouldn’t be possible in the first place without someone else to talk to! The people we talk to are like the foundation to that conversation. They determine to a certain degree what the conversation will be about and what path it might take. For instance, if you see someone on the street and you have never met this person, then that conversation will likely be a surface level conversation that pertains to something that is happening the that very moment. Whereas, if you are catching up with an old friend, then that conversation will likely be way beyond surface level and you will be discussing an experience that you both shared and that event would have taken place in the past.

So, I think that when you are discussing experiences that are both shared and in the past something magical happens. That magic is called nostalgia. When the nostalgia kicks in from an experience passed, your emotions get triggered to bring back those happy feelings, the nostalgia seems to act as a multiplier to that feeling and sends the joy into overdrive.

But what about the other ingredients? I think that not only are these reminiscent conversations powerful ingredients to a great conversation, but we are forgetting about another type of conversation. That would be an intellectual conversation. These talks can be very stimulating to our brains because they allow us to be creative and think out loud with others. Sharing and hearing ideas in real time is candy for our brains. These are some of my favorite memories when I think back to my best conversations. That is when my friends and I are just discussing theories or making up stories that may be somewhat true or just crazy. These are the moments that I laugh until it hurts 🙂

But what about you? What is the perfect conversation for you?

“No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you’re still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.” Tony Robbins

I chose this quote from a google search of “quotes about mistakes.”

I decided that writing about what I am going through might lead to some help in overcoming my struggles. So, as you can probably gather by now, I am searching for some success.

Currently, I have been facing a lot of failure in my academic career and it has hit me quite differently than before. I have never failed or made so many mistakes in my classes and education than I have now. Sure, I’ve failed an assignment or made some mistakes on my schoolwork in the past but never to the degree of repeated failure I am experiencing now.

So, what am I going to do about it? Well, at first I started off by making yet another mistake of saying that I cannot do it. That my efforts will never be sufficient. That I am just too tired. This is unacceptable.

Letting the feelings of despair and gloom finally wash away I have woken up to this realization. That is, I will not be done until I stop trying. Examining how I approach material and how I use the resources available I can say that I am not using all the help I can get. Viewing my own situation from the outside I can look at myself and see that to make progress I need to stop comparing my progress to others. If I were to continue this comparative behavior then I would truly give up.

In search of some attributing factors to this problem I am finding culprits in deceit. I lied to myself about the difficultly that this semester would bring. I knew that this semester would bring about a level of dedication and time commitment to be successful but the degree of that difficulty was not going to be fully understood until I was in the middle of it.  Now, here I am in the middle of it and with that knowledge of how hard the semester is and I realize that my mistakes are plentiful. I should have made changes earlier to my habits but instead I just trusted that I could prevail all on my own.

If I did not turn to my friends for help then I would have already seen complete failure. That is the greatest lesson that I have learned from this experience. That I cannot succeed on my own and that I cannot lie to myself again. I have learned that being realistic with my current situation will prevent many headaches in the future. I have also learned that I need to experience failure. Seeing that this is the first time that I have had a great academic failure in my life I am learning quite a lot from this experience. I wish that these life lessons were learned earlier in my education but I would rather now than later.  Yet, it still all boils down to the choice I make after acknowledging my mistakes. I must make changes now to better the situation I am in to see myself succeed.

These lessons are also applicable to life in general and I guess that learning these lessons  and making a change is part of becoming an adult, something that I am trying to do at this stage in my life.

Listen to ME

We start talking when we are babies. Our parents could hear us when we cry as children and when we whine as kids.

Yet, hearing is different than listening. When we hear someone, we are acknowledging their existence. The moment we hear a baby cry with its ear piecing scream, well, we acknowledge baby’s presence.

However, by just hearing the scream we only know a portion of what is happening in the situation. This is where the contrast of hearing and listening exist.

Listening occurs when there is more context taken in. Instead of just acknowledging what is heard, someone may obtain more context with visuals and combine their senses to get a better, more complete understanding of what is happening.

So, to listen with understanding, someone has to do something with what they hear. They have to apply their senses and know that as they end their experience of listening, they are aiming to leave the situation with a greater understanding.

So, I guess this means that there must be some intent going into the experience. Almost like some mental preparation of some sort.

Listening with understanding is a trained process. Someone will have to practice listening with intent to understand. One reason for having to practice is that in every situation, a new person is going to present a new thing to understand. Learning how and what to listen to is going to vary for everyone you talk with. To understand the importance of what they are saying, you will have to learn how they speak and spend time with them to know as much as possible.

So, listening to understand is no easy or simple task. It takes time, patience, and training to make the most of your understanding.

EGMN Software

A mix of emotions courses through my mind when I am using Matlab.

What is Matlab you may ask? Matlab is a computational programming software that engineers and programmers can use to write scripts for their personal applications.

i wanted to talk about my personal experience with Matlab because of the frustration that it has given me. This software has been a torture to my engineering start because I have never done any programming in my life before.

It has mainly been an interference to my other classes due to the excessive time spent staring into the void that is Matlab. Matlab has no mercy on its users as it provides no spellcheck or easy to use User Interface.

I’ve gotten substantially more proficient in my use of Matlab but I’m still not fluent in the programming language. I’m writing about this mostly as a release of my frustrations as a method to vent.

In reality this program is very powerful in its ability to compute large sums of data and to even create loops that analyze data. This can compute even fluid mechanics and predict future outcomes of the data entered.

So, depending on how well the user is at inputting equations and how proficient they are at understanding the coding language that is Matlab, the more powerful the software becomes.

On the other hand, another program that I am using called SOLIDWORKS  much more approachable. This program is a modeling software that allows the user to create 2D or 3D models from scratch. This software is more user friendly and does not require programming and equation knowledge.

The main reason that I enjoy this program so much is because of the creativity that can be implemented into this program. I can and have created many parts already in this software and have progressively made more complex models that have dimensions of their own so that the drawings could be sent to machine shops that could fabricate the part or assembly that you have created!

However, the more revolutionary feature of this technology is that the 3D models can be converted into a file that could be read by a 3D printer. This is revolutionary because companies and even anyone with the software and a 3D printer could produce with rapid prototyping! This means that ideas can go from thoughts, to drawings, to real life creations within one day!

Where do you see this technology being implemented in the future?

S M I L E

How often do you smile? Has it been a while?

I ask this because I know that in my life and other college student’s lives, we are always busy. Being so busy all the time I began to feel down and kinda out of it. Maybe you have felt the same way?

Well, during my second semester of my freshman year, I have decided that no matter how busy or difficult the schoolwork gets I am going to smile.

So. How has that worked out? It has helped me tremendously because I know that I can just be thankful for even having the opportunity to be in college. I can be content with being where I am and acknowledge those around me and thank them for being my friends. It is a small task but it has changed my outlook on school and helped me to keep a positive attitude.

Listening to vibrant, lively music that makes me happy is also helping me to push through my tough schoolwork.  This is a change to the slower and sometimes depressive music that I would listen to. So this change keeps me singing uplifting songs in my head on repeat rather than humming depressive chords. This music change keeps a smile on my face.

Another change that I made is to be more talkative with my student colleagues. Questioning and learning about their lives has been an encouraging act for me as well. When I hear about the struggles or challenges that they are going through it helps me to know that I am not alone. Talking specifically to other mechanical engineering students has been extremely beneficial because we take the same classes and can relate easily to one another’s hardships. A bonus is that I have made many new friends!

I wanted to share this information because I know that the spring semester can be a drag. We are all waiting for summer and the cold weather in Richmond doesn’t make that wait go by any faster. So I wanted to let my readers know what I have found to be helpful to stay positive during this cold and busy time of the year for students.

I want to know what you might be doing differently to remain positive under times of stress or during those dark, cold, and rainy days. Comment your strategies and let me know what you think about my strategies.

P.S.

SMILE!

Love? Love! Love.

It’s February again and this can be a time of various emotions for us all. That’s because we’ve decided to turn the day of St. Valentine into a holiday of “love”.

Why the “love” in quotations? Well, that’s because the day is not a  day of loving for us all. For many it’s the day when couples spend extra time and money on one another to show their partner that they “love” them. Why didn’t they decide to show love to them during the rest of the year?

For some, our modern day Valentine’s day is just that. A hoax. A day to flood time lines with pictures of couples who are “so in love”. Yet the hoax is up the following day for most of these couples. From my own experience of watching how people treat each other during their relationships compared to how they treat one another during Valentine’s day worries me.

That’s why I decided to write about the facade. I want to question the intentions and the meanings. After the pictures are over, is it right back to a distant relationship? Can you see the face in the post that says, “I want out”?

This topic is goes back to my previous post titled, “Error…”, in that social media can be affecting us more than we think. How is it that Valentine’s day and social media might be destructive?

Well, the intentions of relationships may be that “Oh I want to get with that person so I can take pictures with them so my timeline doesn’t think that I’m lonely.” Or, “Let’s take some pictures and try to look happy, I need this for my social media.” It begs the question, who are we trying to please?

I want our society to get away from the idea that we have to maintain an image to social media because I have seen it become the reason for which we do things now. It’s almost like young couples and young adults are prey of the social media and ,without caution, can fall victim to it. Basing their decisions on what will make the internet happy vs. what will satisfy the hearts of those people who are physically with you .

This Valentines day I challenge others, couples or not it doesn’t matter, to not post their Valentine’s day pictures online. In this challenge, evaluate how hard it is resist posting these pictures. What does that say about who you are trying to please?

Love is precious and we all deserve it, don’t let the internet take it away from you! <3