Hang On and Never Let Go

Spring 2014

Liam Lawrence

Schulich Leader at McMaster University

I have never been what you would call a decisive person. When it comes to major life decisions, I almost always have difficulty determining what exactly it is that I want. But occasionally, a time comes when there are no clouds of doubt or hesitation. So it has been with choosing my preferred path for engineering.
At McMaster, the freshman year is a general one, and I took a broad smorgasbord of courses that all related to some field of engineering; the idea is to give the student a flavour of each stream in order for a more informed opinion to be made. Myself, I came into McMaster with a leaning towards Engineering Physics, because I was so captured by the subject of physics as a high school student, and science has always been a major theme in my life. Many people come into university with a specific idea of what it is they want to do, but their opinion changes as new experiences open their perspective.
I am happy to say I am not one of those people. Once the time came to rank our program choices, I had no doubt in my mind that Engineering Physics was still very much the program I wished to enter. Nonetheless, being exposed to other areas of engineering was valuable, in the sense that it cemented my knowledge that physics is certainly the field I want to pursue. In my second semester physics class, we explored the realms of electric fields, magnetic interactions, and the motion of light. These topics seized my enthusiasm and interest even more so than mechanical physics, and I hope to learn more next year.
I feel enormously privileged to know in my gut the path that is right for me. Some of my friends feel lost, as though they could work as intensely as need be towards their goals, if only they knew what those goals were! To my friends, and to anyone reading this post, I wish you the best in figuring out what it is that drives you. If you feel that passion – that necessity, almost, to achieve a certain goal or pursue a specific path – hang on and never let go. It is an endless source of motivation to overcome the roadblocks and savour the successes.