December 11th 2012

Finally! Winter break is here! Done with classes and don’t have to worry about school for a month. It will be a much needed break for everyone. Looking back on the semester, however; the last three months have just flown by. It literally seems like it was just yesterday I was moving into my dorm room, and yet today I spent most of my day cleaning and packing for my visit back home. What a great first semester of college it has been. Not anything like what I had expected, yet completely exceeded my hopes and aspirations. I could not be more confident with my decision to attend Embry-Riddle.

Finally finals are over. Throughout the course of the semester I’ve heard people talk about “how stressful finals are” and how you should remember that “there is a life after finals,” so naturally I was really curious as to how I would respond to my first week of finals at Embry-Riddle. Fortunately, I did quite well on all of my exams. I didn’t fail any tests that resulted in a dramatic change in my grades, so it was a win. In fact, I did so well on my math final I brought my grade up to a B, and math is not my strongest subject so I was very pleased with that. It felt good to finish the semester out strong. Now, I can go home and enjoy the break with friends and family and not have to worry about my grades. If you put the work in during the semester, you really shouldn’t have a problem with final exams.

Last week, Air Force ROTC ended for the semester. We had our Pass in Review ceremony to close out the fall term. Cadets were given different awards based on leadership, academics and physical fitness. It was a very nice ceremony other than the fact that we had to stand in the same place for about 45 minutes without being able to move. I am really looking forward to next semester in ROTC. Now that I have a good understanding of how ROTC life works, I am ready to start making some strides and working my way to becoming a commissioned Officer in the Air Force.

Photo: My Flight poses for a picture after the fall 2012 Pass in Review Ceremony.

Flying is going great. I had my first solo a couple of weeks ago and it was awesome! My instructor and I went up to Palatka, Florida where I dropped him off and took the plane for myself. I did three landings while he watched from the ground. After, I picked him up and we stopped for lunch to celebrate. It was definitely a great experience and is a milestone in your aviation career. This past week I have been working on my cross country flights. Over the weekend, I flew down to Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida, then back to Daytona for a duration of 1.9 hours. Cross country flying is definitely my favorite. You really feel like a pilot when you are filing a flight plan, getting a weather briefing and planning your route of flight while calculating time, fuel, distance, etc. Last evening, I was scheduled for my night cross country to St. Petersburg, but we had to cancel due to weather. I will be finishing up my cross country flights after I return in January. After that, I will have another solo in the local practice area, then two solo cross country flights! After, I will have a few practice flights then I’ll be up for my end of course check ride. It’s crazy to think that before I came down here in the summer I had absolutely no flight experience and now within 2 months I should already have my Private Pilot Certificate. Up next will be my Instrument rating.

Photo: Photo from Embry-Riddle of my first solo.

 It’s been a great first semester and I am really looking forward to going back home and spending the holidays with my family. I hope you have a great holiday and I’ll talk to you next year. Thanks for reading!

This entry was posted in 2012 - 2013 and tagged , , by Dylan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dylan

Name: Dylan Johnston
Major: Aeronautical Science
Minor: Applied Meteorology
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Career Goals: To have a successful career as a pilot in the Airline Industry; becoming a captain for a major airline and flying internationally.
Activities: WIKD Radio, Skydiving Club. Avid golfer, Frisbee expert and body surfing master.

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