When I look back at my engineering life, I can’t recall any particular moment when I said, “Now I want to be an engineer”. Instead, there were interests, abilities, and career options I learned of in my high school years that set me on the track to study engineering. I noticed I enjoyed science and math more than English and history. I noticed I was good at physics and analyzing a system. My teachers, parents and online resources taught me that engineering was a respected and rewarding career field that seemed to match up well with my intellect. As far as my curiosity and passions, I wanted to work with renewable energy, or cars, or planes, or boats, or spaceships, or at least make the world a better place in some way. I wasn't very particular, but the more of these I could fuse together into a work statement, the more that job sounded to me like my dream job.
When the time came to apply to colleges, I decided to look at schools with good overall engineering programs and apply to their mechanical engineering programs, since it was a broad discipline and a good overall program meant I could switch majors without worrying that the school I was going to was under-qualified. Luckily for me, after my freshman year, I realized that mechanical engineering was a perfect balance of what I was interested in and what I was good at, and I've been studying that ever since. As far as this summer, I can't think of a more worthwhile use of my time than designing something to improve the lives of people living in rural parts of Cameroon.