No, I haven't been in Tennessee long enough to throw a y'all out there yet. But it'll happen..
Anyway, I've spent a good amount of time here at Vanderbilt pondering about my future and whether I will pursue a career in engineering.
My parents knew I would be a nerd since I was little. Awkward, goofy, excelled in math and science, couldn't hold a conversation.. yep. My parents also stressed the value of higher education, since they did not pursue much of it themselves. Well, I've grown very much since then and I'd like to say I don't fit a lot of the stereotypes of engineers, or science people for that matter. When I was little, I liked to build things. However, I never really considered myself as someone who likes to tinker with and reconstruct things. But I was always an analytically rather than intuitively minded person. I was naturally drawn to disciplines like engineering, physics, and applied math. Unfortunately, those three contain a very broad range of fields and I'm not the most decisive person.
Consequently, I've found myself walking the dividing line among all three, trying to gain experience in each of them to help make my decisions easier. This REU has greatly helped me with this endeavor. I find engineering research a lot more exciting and faster-paced than physics research (given my limited experience with each, I can't say much). However, it is still flexible and creative enough to allow for the time needed to let an idea blossom and be best realized without the confinements and time constraints of industry.
In short, I'm still unsure whether or not I will be an engineer, a physicist, a financial analyst, a programmer, etc. But I'm excited to continue gaining experience and meeting genuinely interesting colleagues along the way.