A short intro to the darkside

Equipped with little more than Kirchhoff’s laws and a potentially haphazard love for calculus, I decided to choose electrical and electronic engineering (EEE for convenience) as the number one option on my specialisation form. Goodbye friends lost to the other specialisations, ’twas a good one while it lasted.

When I tell people I’m doing EEE, they often look pitying, fearful, and possibly disgusted. Still scarred by the harrowing ELECTENG 101 final exam, they tentatively ask me if electrical was my first choice. The answer is yes, and it’s the same for a surprising number of people too (surprisingly high or somehow even lower than expected – you’ll never know). I explain my choice with a proclamation of love for maths, the systematic nature of circuit theory, and William Lee himself.

For me, Part I was a back and forth shuffle between EEE and software. Programming made sense intuitively (or it did in ENGGEN 131, and that’s peak programming, right?). Circuit theory, lesser so. But that’s what drove me to want to learn more about electrical systems. They’re such a pervasive part of everyday life that I couldn’t but be curious about them. Plus, with it being an in-demand field, yet still one of the least popular specialisations, we get a pretty solid pick of those sweet, sweet job opportunities. So, I decided to challenge myself and join what William fondly refers to as the Darkside.

Next thing summer break has passed, and it’s Day One 2021. I was starting to second guess my decision. As I watched the in-person/live lecture gang decrease day by day, I grew more and more sceptical. But soon the main EEE class, ELECTENG 291 Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering had already firmly planted itself in my heart. For better or for worse.

The semester one classes are pretty general in the realm of ECSE (Electrical, Computer, and Software). One class for circuit theory, one class for computer systems (design of logic circuits and programming AVR microcontrollers), one class for software (OOP in Java), and one class for maths. Some of these classes have been revamped for 2021 onwards, so you’ll have to wait to get the hottest takes – more on the semester one classes later!

As I’m writing this, somehow semester one 2021 has already passed us by and it was the best semester thus far. Semester two is shaping up to be promising too. We now spend our days up on level 5, in the electrical MDLS rooms and across from the soldering room. Between being in the labs and internship hunting (see: pain), it finally feels like we’re on our way to becoming engineers. And don’t forget the 5hrs straight of classes (this is a cry for help).

I look forward to embarking further on this journey and sharing it with you all. I’ll end by saying that the darkside welcomes all who dare join us, and I look forward to seeing EEE become the most sought after specialisation upon the recommendation of yours truly.

Until my next blog post….

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