Doing what I should have done 13 years ago..College Bound

HHB Guns

Well-Known Member
Well I finally got my retirement orders cut. I will be officially retired Jan 27th. Been an awesome 13 years but time to close this chapter and move on. I have been debating the whole college scene for for the past two years now but now that I am classified as a 100% disabled vet I found out they will pay me $1300 a month and pay all of my tuition and books to any state college if I obligate 9 hours a semester so I am going to register in the morning. I plan to do morning and evening classes so it doesn't interfere with HHB. I am going to tech to start the 2 year mechanical engineering degree and then transfer over to USC to finish it up. What finally made my mind up was talking to a senior in the USC program who said the VP of FNH came to his class last month trying to recruit some of them to help design some new guns they are wanting to release. When I heard that I was all for it. My original plan was taking the 3 certificate programs in the machinist trade and then getting an associates in business and going into the class 3 manufacturing world but I am just not sold on that idea. That is a labor intensive job and with my back I don't know if I can hack it everyday.. Anybody on here a Mechanical or Civil Engineer?

So the bottom line is....If your good at math let me know cause I have picked the hardest math degree and I know I will have lots of questions cause math is not my strong skill. The only difference in high school to now is I actually want to learn it so I am hoping it will be different.


Well-Known Member
Congratulations, Beau. You'll find that you have a greater desire and better self-discipline now that you have a little experience under your belt. I went back at 41 and it was the best move I've ever made. (except for marrying my wife. :D )


Well-Known Member
Hey Buddy...Good Luck with your furthering education.....

I once deceided to go back. Took 2 night classes....then remembered why I hated High School...That was the last time for me....It was just easier to stay DUMB.....



Well-Known Member
I used to be really good at math, but I haven't done pure math in 20+ years as an EE. I doubt I remember how to do much of it by the book, but I enjoy a good challenge. Feel free to PM me, and Godspeed!


Well-Known Member
I used to be really good at math too, but has been a while. Feel free to shoot any questions my way...


Well-Known Member

I'd imagine that the curriculum will be ramped up, obviously you're a bit rusty from not being in school a while, but there's usually "refresher courses" that may not count towards your degree, but reaquaint you with some of the basic principles.. By taking those, you get back in practice, and "relearn" anything you may have pushed back into the darkest recesses of your mind....LOL

A lot of the Engineering courses are going to rely on your math proficiency, but compared to when I was going to school, theres a lot more computer-assisted help, tutorials, and computer aided classes. You'll need to learn the principles, but nowadays, the computers do most of the computational gymnastics. The Civil or Mechanical Engineering degrees are going to rely on a lot on Calculus and Differential Equations, but you learn those over time, as you progress through your degree, its not like you have to know everything overnight.

Again, I have a feeling that a lot more of the classes are going to be computer-assisted significantly more than when my state of the art calculator was an HP 48GX ($300) and my computer was $3000 and had NO hard drive, and only 640k of memory.

I can't recall if tech is now on semesters or quarters, but sometimes what worked for me was to take harder classes on short sessions, where the class met on a daily basis, it kept things fresh and focused.

Definitely get involved in computer-aided design, Autocad, Solidworks, or Katia(preferred by Boeing). you never know where that might spur your interests. The good thing about Engineering, is that the curriculum is ~70-80% common to all Engineering programs, and ~20-30% specialized in the specific branch you select. Until you begin taking Degree-specific classes, you have a fair amount of flexibility.

I'm a Ceramic and Materials Engineer, from the school that just got known as allowing the most bowl records to be broken by their

Since getting my degree, I've been involved in Technical Sales, Project Engineering, Automation, Process Engineering, and Plant/Facility Engineering. I've even fallen back on Surveying at one point, while I was assisting with a family business. There's a lot of flexibility and opportunity once you demonstrate that you are able to learn and have a technical aptitude.

Congratulations on the decision, and best of luck, if you ever need any help, just hollar!



HHB Guns

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys for all the support and kind words!!! With that being said I am registered as of today and I am currently filling out all the GI Bill paperwork and Grants and VA Paperwork. They said after I get that I can start in Feb. I havent talked to an adviser yet but its step 5 on the sheet they gave me today. I am currently on step 3. I go on Tuesday to take my placement test which will tell me how far back I need to go in refresher classes. I am going to study hard and put my best foot forward and if its just not my cup of tea after the fisrt semester I will switch over and finish up my degree in criminal Justice. I have done almost all required credit hours for the core classes with my 13 years in Law enforcement so all I need to wrap it up math, English and history. I just don't really want my degree in that because as much as I know and love about LE I cant bring myself to work forced overtime for free and make a whooping $30,000 a year. Everybody knows if you want to be LE and make money you have to go up north and with northern gun laws that shit aint happenin. I am going to take it slow and try and learn.


Well-Known Member
Henry, Congrats on retirement and good luck with the new adventure. I also went through the 2+2 program at Trident for civil engineering and I'm finishing up my last semester at the Citadel. I can tell you from experience and that's its a long hard road but if I can finish anyone can.


Well-Known Member
get some HELP with math.

really. get someone to tutor you. I just finished a degree, and i tried to hire a tutor, and the tutors in the local colleges could not figure out the math from my college (Statistic is a KILLER). i had to get the other students to help me

so yeah, i would get one or two classes under my belt, and get back into the swing, and THEN try the math.

the only way I got thru it, was we were allowed to work in teams, and i set up formulas (filled the screen)
so that if you saw a problem on the homework, that looked like the in class problem, you just plugged in the numbers.

if we had 10 questions, i would make an excel spreadsheet with 10 tabs, and work each question on a tab, to where you could plug in different numbers.

we did a LOT with Microsoft Excel Solver (most folks don't even know it exists) ... 24595.aspx

good luck, and DO NOT be afraid to beg for help. its tough.

HHB Guns

Well-Known Member
bigtigga01 said:
Henry, Congrats on retirement and good luck with the new adventure. I also went through the 2+2 program at Trident for civil engineering and I'm finishing up my last semester at the Citadel. I can tell you from experience and that's its a long hard road but if I can finish anyone can.

No Shi*...Good to know. I would like to talk sometime. Give me a call one evening after 7 if your free and show me the ropes. I have lots of questions.

HHB Guns

Well-Known Member
Thanks Guys. On my way to take my placement exam this morning. Wish me luck!! I am for sure gonna need it. lol.


Well-Known Member
Hi Henry

Good luck with the tests and on furthering your education. My daughter is in her second year at Trident and has had good success there. They offer a mix of traditional and online classes. I agree with the advice to use tutors and study groups when you need help.

One thing to remember, parking at Trident is sometimes hard to come by, it might be tough to find a place big enough for your new truck!