What to Expect When You Aren't Expecting
by Natasha Amadasun | published Aug. 22nd, 2016
It is probably a safe bet to say that if you are entering into an engineering or technology major as a freshman, you have heard things to the effect of "Engineering is hard," "You won't have time for anything fun when you get to college" and "Classes are going to suck." Well, yes, engineering and technology majors are hard. Yes, classes sometimes are less than stellar, but that does not mean that there is no time for fun and that your first year won't be entertaining, useful and interesting. Engineering and technology majors get a notoriously bad rap for being incredibly difficult with no reprieve from the vicious cycle of homework, exam, homework, Mountain Dew and nap. I will not lie, that cycle is a real thing.
"I only got into University Physics 1 via the waitlist, but had fun doing interesting math challenges... To whomever dropped UP 1 and opened me a spot: Thank you so, so much." -Reina Helms, fourth year Game Design and Development
There are plenty of fun and exciting activities, classes and clubs on campus dedicated to non-tech endeavors, so why not have both? Several of RIT's courses and events are incredible outlets that allow for a bit of fun to be had while in these majors. Whether it be a demonstration on electromagnetism in physics, an interesting research project in Intro to Biomedical Engineering, a design project for Machine Tools Lab, a hackathon, or a stimulating lecture on game character development by a renowned game designer, RIT has plenty to offer in techy goodness.
"Building a big trebuchet, and competing against the rest of my classmates was an awesome feeling." -Ellory Lane, third year Mechanical Engineering Technology
Early in the fall semester during Brick City Homecoming weekend, several teams of engineering technology students design, build and compete to see who can create the best pumpkin launcher. The contraptions usually look like giant trebuchets or catapults and the aim is to launch your pumpkin as far as chunkin' possible. The event combines each team's design and manufacturing skills with the thrill of crushing the competition and creating a huge pile of pumpkin guts. It's an open event and is typically well attended by students, their families, and faculty. It's a great day to put what you have learned in the first few weeks of your engineering technology classes to the test and see what you can bring to the table.
If you are a Mechanical Engineering major, MECE-104 Engineering Design Tools gives you a chance to work on Robochime. For this project, teams of students design, program and build robotic chimes to play a specific tune of their choice. It is typically a semester-long project that requires thorough documentation and time. Don't let that scare you away, though. It is a chance to design something different, learn how to use the design cycle and engineering processes and program your chimes to play something awesome.
"The one thing that I found most fun about Electrical Engineering this year as a freshman was my Analog Circuits lab. It gave me a lot to look forward to..." -Connor Blasie, second year Electrical Engineering
The Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity is another diamond in the rough when it comes to fun and interesting tech things on campus. Along with being an invaluable source to the campus community regarding innovation in games and media development, it is host to several events open to all students. One of MAGIC’s most interesting endeavors is its speaker series; they invite various influential people in media, art and gaming to speak to students. These lectures are a perfect way to wind down and interact with renowned people who are very successful in their fields.
"I didn't expect Industrial Engineering to be so multidisciplinary, but I really enjoyed gaining knowledge from other fields of study... in my Materials Processing class." -Emily Rosenthal, fourth year Industrial Engineering
Imagine RIT is the pinnacle of who we are as RIT students and what we represent as a university. It is a showcase of all the innovation on campus and acts as a final "hurrah" for technology as the year comes to an end. Various engineering groups show off their accomplishments for the year. In the past, students have created works such as a S'mores-making robot, an autonomous People Mover golf cart, dry ice ice cream and dozens of other demonstrations on campus. The technology debuted at Imagine RIT is phenomenal, but what makes it even better is that the students are truly the driving force behind what makes it so special.
I know that I have given you a few examples of things to look forward to, but if you want to start having tech fun right now, here is a condensed breakdown of some of the tech clubs on campus:
Aero Design Team
SAE Clean Snowmobile
Electric Vehicle Team
Electronic Gaming Society
Model Train Club
...and many more!
So yes, classes will drive you insane and college will be hard, but never fear, RIT is here to save the day!