Of course I knew that I was going into the deep end when I started out to try to become a civil engineer. I have been at N.C State University for about three and a half years right now and I have just gotten into the really tough part of the regime. When I get out I am going to be really deep in debt, and I am going to know a lot of things which do you absolutely no good if you do not have an engineering degree. I have the AISC steel construction manual on my lap right now while I am typing, because I need to know it practically by heart for one of the exams that I am going to be taking. Obviously that is a huge deal when you are a civil engineer, most of the things that you are going to build are going to be made of heavy steel girders and concrete.
All of the stuff that you learn is pretty serious, in a deadly sort of way. For example you have to learn how to engineer roads with bridges and the bridges have to able to carry the appropriate amount of weight for a generation or more. We have hundreds of bridges in this state which are half a century old and they work well, even though they need more upkeep than you would like. Bridges and roads are just one small aspect of civil engineering and probably not even the most complicated. It seems to me that being able to design a water system for a municipal area is one of the toughest things that you can learn here. It is so immensely complicated that you would need a stack of big books to really gain any full understanding of the task.