How the Honor Society helped me
The Honor Society helped me stay motivated while enrolled in the Washington State University (WSU) Mechanical Engineering Program.
I made the decision to go back to school and earn my Mechanical Engineering degree. It was a difficult decision at the time as I was working fulltime as a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) Programmer in the aerospace industry and my husband and I had just had a baby. I realized that engineering was my passion and I would do whatever it took to earn the degree. I had already completed the course requirements for the first two years of the mechanical engineering program and decided to quit my job and go back to school fulltime. It was a tough financial decision because as a two income household we would be losing one income while taking on the financial impact of school.
I transferred to Washington State University Mechanical engineering program with junior standing. I began the program while my son was almost 1 years old. I was dedicated to waking up around 4:00am each day to allow myself enough time to study before my classes and my school day would end at 3:00pm in which I would go back home to watch my son while my husband went to work. Keeping up with this schedule was very difficult and even more so when unexpected dilemmas would arise such as getting the flu, being up all night with a teething baby and or seasonal allergies for myself and or the baby. I would have to really strategize to try to make up for the time lost and sometimes I was unable to make up the time and it would affect my grades. Every semester my goal was to get straight A’s but with balancing school and a child, sometimes there just were not enough hours in the day to get perfect grades. Despite the demanding academic and home schedule I proudly earned high enough grades to be recognized on the WSU Presidential Awards Program: President’s Honor Roll and I was additionally offered membership to the Honor Society. I was ecstatic to be offered membership to the Honor Society. Immediately I envisioned myself at graduation wearing my cap and gown complemented with Honor Society Regalia. The thought of wearing the regalia was a significant visual indication of the hard work I did and I was eager to show it off to my family, friends and fellow graduates. As graduation was approaching during my senior year I ordered my regalia.
My senior year was even more difficult than my junior year as we were expecting another baby and I would be 7 months pregnant at graduation; the pregnancy coupled with Senior Mechanical Engineering projects made it difficult year. It was a challenge to fit in doctor’s appointments with my class schedule and group project meetings. Somewhere around the middle and end of the degree program it was hard for me to stay motivated as the pregnancy was taking a toll on my mind and body.
My senior capstone project group had received unexpected news that the prototype we designed may not be manufactured in time to meet the deadlines of our course. Due to the restraints of the course our professor notified us that unless the project was built it could mean we wouldn’t graduate on time and would be forced to retake the class. My group got together and worked insanely hard for about two weeks to figure out a solution to this enormous predicament. In the end we successfully manufactured and delivered our project on time.
Throughout the nightmare of the capstone project I was having trouble sleeping at night and my blood pressure at each doctor’s appointment was slowly rising. I had become tired and burned out. However, I would envision myself standing at graduation wearing the Honor Society Regalia. I knew I needed to continue to do well academically in order to be able to wear the regalia and in the biggest way it kept me motivated to finish strong and earn my highest grade point average that semester at 3.9 (4.0 scale)! I got everything I could have dreamed of, my Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science degree, academic success required to wear the Honor Society Regalia and a healthy baby girl.