The end of the year is coming up fast now, and if you’re reading this, it probably means that you’re trying to decide whether CHEMMAT is the right specialisation for you. Choosing can be tricky for a lot of people, but I think my biggest piece of advice would be to not be afraid to talk to people. And essentially, you have got a time frame at the start of second year in which you can switch if you decide you’ve made the wrong decision.
I feel like now is a good time to emphasise that CHEMMAT is more like 140 than CHEMMAT 121, in second year anyway, but you do have the option to pick up materials electives in third year. There are also job opportunities in the materials side of things, they just aren’t as well advertised as the processing ones.
CHEMMAT definitely has its advantages – we have a small cohort (roughly 85 students), so its much easier to get to know everyone. Your lecturers also start recognising you, and they’ll come up and have a chat to you, which is pretty cool. I also don’t think I’ve had to buy a text book all year, because most sections we get hand outs for, and the rest there are notes available online.
Naturally there’s downfalls – we seem to be writing endless lab reports, however after the first few they seem to decide that we’ve probably got the hang of it now and they start getting slightly easier. It’s also not a way of getting out of physics – most of the content in our process design paper is physics.
I think the first half of semester two sent us all into a relaxed mode, the workload seemed quite manageable, and we didn’t have any projects for over the break – and then the second half of the semester came around and it felt like we were sitting endless tests and submitting endless assignments, so it’s definitely important to keep on top of things, even if you feel like you have heaps of time.
I think it’s important to remember, these blogs just show you one person’s opinion. They show tiny snippets of our year, and mainly the good bits. No matter what specialisation you choose, you’re going to end up having weeks (or fortnights) where it feels like every test and assignment is happening at once, and you’re not getting anywhere enough sleep. Engineering isn’t easy, there’s no easy specialisation. But hard work pays off. Keep at it, I’m told it’ll be worth it in the end.
Good luck, and if you have any questions that haven’t been answered, don’t be afraid to ask!