It’s the 13th November 2018.
Our last (and only) exam was 5th November. Yes, second year Electrical students have only one exam in the second semester. Now this probably sounds like music to your ears, it certainly did when I first heard this wonderful news! While it is nice having only one exam to study for, remember that there is a reason why three of our courses consist of just coursework – they are practical and time consuming. You don’t need an exam for coding because it’s far more effective to assess your coding knowledge through assignments and tests.
I must say that the second semester stress levels varied between moderate to extreme, mostly extreme. Looking back however, this is the only way to grow and develop as an engineer. Had I not been through this semester, I would merely have skills that allow me to predict what might happen in certain engineering cases, rather than be able to model and verify them myself. The last semester has taught me so much! Also, I have heard from others above me that going from the first year to the second is the biggest jump for Electrical and Compsys students.
On a different note, I have realised that I am quite lucky to be doing my degree because it can lead into so many different fields. I have already mentioned that there is a lot of crossover between Electrical and Computer Systems. Honestly though, I have a friend who studied Electrical Engineering and he is a Software Engineer! I have a different friend who is an Electrical Engineer, and he flies in helicopters on a regular basis to get to the top of mountains/hills to install power distribution stuff. These two jobs are so different, yet they have the same degree!
I thought that a suitable way to finish off my blog would be for you guys to hear some different perspectives on the specialisation so far. Below is a picture of my Electeng 209 group, as well as some of their comments about how the year went:
Jamie: “Although it was a pain going to and being in the labs almost everyday for the last few weeks, at the end it did feel quite homey, like a safe space for us ECE students.”
Ian: “Writing C and VHDL could be frustrating, but when you got it to work, the feeling you get is amazing.”
James: “Semester 1 can feel quite stale and boring because of it being largely theory based, while in semester 2 we get to apply the knowledge practically in our projects. The 209 project is the most difficult thing uni’s thrown at us so far but also one of the most rewarding where you get to see the outcome of all the time and effort you put in. Time management is KEY.”
Last thoughts from me:
The degree feels very practical and is overall pretty satisfying. It’s a heavy workload, but this is expected for any engineering degree. After the second year, my options are very much open for me to go down any road I like. I’m not usually a person who works with my hands, but it has been fun doing practical stuff! I am learning really useful problem solving techniques which seem to be branching out into other areas of my life too.
All the best folks!