The Stress-Free EE

After reading a very wise blog post about avoiding unnecessary stress as a college student, I decided to take a minimalist (read: reasonable) course load this quarter. In every other quarter I’ve been at Stanford, I’ve always added class after class onto my schedule in some kind of misguided attempt to recoup some small part of my $50,000-a-year––or equivalently, 10 new palm trees a year––donation to Stanford’s dwindling coffers.

1_PalmDrive

Yes, I have a palm tree.

My average quarterly unit count, current as of 2 weeks ago, was stable right around 19 units––anywhere from 5 to 7 classes each quarter.

My unit count this quarter: 13 16 units.

It’s pretty sweet.

Of course, that does include a legendary 1-unit lab that’s a 20-hours-per-weekend rite of passage for Stanford undergrad EEs. Still.

Here’s my schedule this quarter:

EE102B: Signal Processing and Linear Systems II

EE108A: Digital Systems I

EE102E: Technical/Professional Writing for Electrical Engineers (WIM)

MSE156: Solar Cells, Fuel Cells, and Batteries: Materials for the Energy Solution

With a healthier course load, I can actually go to office hours and keep up with reading and occasionally even sleep. That’s not to say that I have any free time. That would be ridiculous. 🙂 But I’ve discovered that actually spending more than one uninterrupted hour focusing on a single subject without having to run off to yet another lecture affords me the opportunity to actually learn something.

Imagine that.

-Joel

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