Sunday, April 22, 2012

In highest honors

Highest honors. This is something I do not have. I do not have a high GPA, I'm not in the honors program, I have no special awards, I do not have skills that are imperative to society, I haven't been nationally or even locally recognized for something I have done. Heck, I sometimes I wonder if any of that is even possible for some as average as I am. The world is a mean and messed up place and will beat you to your knees if you let it. But ONLY if you let it.

I am graduating in 2 weeks from the college of engineer at Iowa State University. In my small little world this doesn't seem like much, I mean, what do I have to offer that others don't? But taking perspective to a broader sense, I have potential. I may not have any honors coming out of college, but college has given me something by far more valuable, the ability to learn. To assess the situation and decide what is the optimal solution for the problem? Or at the very least, what is the best solution with the smallest amount of recoil.

A week ago I joined a special group of people, the Order of the Engineer. This is a society that members are to follow a code of conduct, to do what is right for society and humanity first, and what is good for the company second. This really made me think, I am entering into a field that truly creates the dynamics of our society. If I want to succeed and achieve my dreams, many ethical questions will be raised and I will have to make critical decisions, ones that will affect the lives of many.

I am ready, not to make a difference, but rather I am ready to learn to make a difference. When leaving college we may not be ready to truly change society, but one day we will be, and when we get to that point, will you be ready? One day, when you are faced with one of these choices, honors will mean nothing, rather your moral code that you yourself follow. Never forget that.


I am an Engineer. In my profession I take deep pride. To it, I owe solemn obligations.
Since the Stone Age, human progress has been spurred by the engineering genius. Engineers have made usable nature’s vast resources of material and energy for Humanity’s [Mankind’s] benefit. Engineers have vitalized and turned to practical use the principles of science and the means of technology. Were it not for this heritage of accumulated experience, my efforts would be feeble.
As an Engineer, I pledge to practice integrity and fair dealing, tolerance and respect, and to uphold devotion to the standards and the dignity of my profession, conscious always that my skill carries with it the obligation to serve humanity by making the best use of Earth’s precious wealth.
As an Engineer, [in humility and with the need for Divine guidance,] I shall participate in none but honest enterprises. When needed, my skill and knowledge shall be given without reservation for the public good. In the performance of duty and in fidelity to my profession, I shall give the utmost.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Where will life take you?

The question is simple, the answer is probably one of the most complex answers of humanity. Follow your dreams, conform to society, start a family, be an individual, make a difference, make enough to do what you love,  volunteer, give everything up, get your head out of the clouds and get a job, do what you want, do what you need, do what you family needs, don't get tied down, follow God and become a religious.

Surprisingly, I have heard all of these things at one point or another in my life. Most of the time in our lives upcoming choices are predetermined by choices we have made in the past such as having a family, choosing a very specific career, lifestyle, or even debt. When you need money your upcoming choices focus on getting a job, any job to allow you to live. When you have a family you have an obligation to support them and drastic life changes can be difficult. Having a very specific career can limit the jobs available to you and deprive you of opportunities in other areas.

For me, and a lot of graduating college students (if they choose to look outside the box) have a special opportunity in life, an educated beginning. Upon graduating if you have relatively low debt, are single with no kids, and have a willingness to try new things you have been given a great opportunity in life, something that I think should not be passed up. Realistically, if you played your cards right the only debt you have is low interest college loans which can be paid back over small intervals.

There is a snag though, one of which I have hit and never thought about in my 5 years of college: What if the world doesn't think you are ready for your goals and dreams? Interesting thought.

I currently am at a crossroads in my life. I see my friends getting married or starting their careers and yet I cannot see past 3 months in front of me. Plan for life as much as you want and even with an open mind, it will still probably change on you more than you expected.

"The sky is the limit." True, but you have to have a plane to get there and college only teaches you how to build it, you still have to actually build it --and fund it. I suppose I better get to work and not loose site of my dreams.