New Semester, New Year, New Launches!

And new alligator scares!

It’s officially been over one week since the new semester started here at Embry-Riddle. Since I came back early for orientation week (or, well, the two days of spring orientation) I had a little time to relax. Spring orientation is much shorter than fall orientation, but it’s still super fun! We still did the same things as fall orientation- for example, I was in this TikTok.

After orientation week wrapped up on Tuesday night, classes began Wednesday morning. I like my new classes; they’re definitely a little more challenging, but all of my professors seem eager to help. It is literal rocket science, after all!

On Thursday, there was the first launch of the semester. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to watch it up close; instead, one of my friends and I watched it from the Starbucks balcony. It was a little small and hard to see very well, but a crowd of people had gathered to watch it anyway.

Over the long weekend, I mostly hung out with my friends. I did have the opportunity to play Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. I played on Chris’ computer while he told me where to fly; he’s a pilot and we both enjoyed watching me try and fly around the California coast.

Carly Goes to Flight School… and maybe stays a flight student?

It was very fun- I can see how people spend hours playing flight sim. The aircraft in the picture is an Airbus A320, but in reality, Southwest Airlines’ fleet consists of 737s. That picture has annoyed a few of my aviation-loving friends, but for some reason, the game had the Southwest livery (aka the paint job) on the A320.

And, you know, for someone who hasn’t touched the controls of a real or simulated aircraft since September 2020, I think I did pretty well. I flared a little too much and landed a little too hard, but I got the plane on the ground. To quote Chris: “The gear may have collapsed but I’m pretty confident everyone would have walked away.”

So, good for me, I successfully landed a plane (in Flight Simulator) by myself.

I also ended up watching a Delta flight land as the sun was beginning to set. Since I was on campus anyway, I checked the flight schedule and decided to watch the flight come in. I happened to take the picture right as the wheels hit the ground.

Delta flight on touchdown!

I’d planned to watch the flight from the roof of the aviation maintenance science (AMS) building, but the building was unfortunately locked. I ended up going to the flight operations observation deck, which has tinted windows. It was really nice- the sun was setting in the west, and sometimes it was a little hard to see the runway.

In other aerospace-related news, there was a launch on Tuesday night. Classes had resumed, but the launch was scheduled for 7:04 PM, which is a nice time. It was originally planned to be Monday night, but Tuesday had more favorable weather, so it was moved.

As always, I wanted to go, and I went down with a couple of my friends. Just as we got to our launch-viewing spot, we found a tweet from SpaceX postponing the launch by about two hours to 9:02 PM. That was kind of unfortunate since I have a 9 AM class, but we had already made the trip and decided to stay in the area.

And let me just say one thing about launches: no matter how many you watch, they are so worth it.

Airplanes in the night sky like shooting stars? More like rocket launches!

Unfortunately, none of my friends had learned from last month. Even though I thought it was cold outside, I stepped outside to watch the launch and hear the rocket rumble. Unfortunately, we were in the alligator spot, and the alligators were not asleep this time.

The alligator growling was a little louder and lasted a little longer. I was the first one back in the car; I did NOT want to take my chances with a mad reptile. I sat in the car while the rest of the group listened to the alligators growling (thankfully, I didn’t see any of them!), and we eventually left the launch viewing site without any more alligator incidents.

After that, Wednesday was a normal day, and my week has continued on. It’s been a pretty good week so far. In addition to my classes, I’ve also become a teaching assistant, or TA, for the EGR 115 Introduction to Computing for Engineers class. The professor that I TA for is one of my favorites on campus- I had her last year in Spring 2021 for the same class.

Looking to the future, Family Weekend is in two weeks, which will be exciting. I’ve already met a few of my friends’ families, and I think I’ll be meeting a few others’ families as well. But as for now, I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

Return to Riddle

Never in my life will I take Florida weather for granted again…

So, as of Saturday, January 8, I am back at Embry-Riddle! Even though meal plans don’t start until Monday, January 10, I arrived early since I’m on the Orientation Team and working spring orientation.

For me, winter break was pretty fun. I didn’t have a job since my family took a week-long destination Christmas to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida on the Gulf Coast. We were with some of our other family members, who were from California, and I had a lot of fun. Our rental house was on the beach and a short walk away from a shopping center.

I didn’t end up swimming in the Gulf- it was a little too cold for that. My mom and little sister ended up swimming, but I mostly enjoyed the sun, sand, and shops. We ended up going over to a boardwalk once, where I did a high ropes course which was super fun. I completed the first level before discovering that I did not love heights.

My home airport is Lexington, Kentucky (LEX) and I was flying Delta back, so I connected through Atlanta. On the way from Lexington to Atlanta, the aircraft being used was a 717, and I ended up snagging seat 20B- an aisle seat with no seat next to the window. So, I had a row to myself.

Seat 20B on the 717.

It was pretty cool to have- and I didn’t have to pay extra for it! It was only about an hour of flight time, which was good since I couldn’t exactly lean my head on the window. The flight from Lexington to Atlanta was pretty full and definitely a climate shock. Atlanta was chilly, yes, but not freezing cold. And there was no snow in Atlanta- on Thursday, Kentucky got a massive snowstorm.

As usual, the Atlanta airport was busy. I ended up grabbing a Starbucks (I have a new drink order: the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew!) before heading over to my next gate. The flight to Daytona had a ten-minute delay, which wasn’t too bad.

I really like flying into the Daytona Beach airport. First, it’s super small; the longest TSA wait I’ve ever had wasn’t longer than five minutes. There are only one to two flights leaving at the same time, so it doesn’t take as long. The airport itself is small, so it’s perfect for those who aren’t very comfortable in an airport alone. Plus, it’s a short drive from campus with little holiday traffic.

Flying in over Daytona!

A friend picked me up from the airport and delivered me back to O’Connor. From there, I unpacked and made a quick Walmart run to stock up on things my dorm needed for the upcoming semester. I’m super excited for the upcoming semester, too!

See you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

Spring Semester & Scheduling

Happy January everyone! I am currently blogging from Fairbanks, Alaska where I spent my winter break resting and relaxing in the snow! I am about to start traveling back to Daytona Beach and I had such a good break I miss my family already! My only complaint is that it was too short. 

One of my favorite memories from winter break – snow shoeing with my favorite person!

I have exciting news! I am about to begin my last semester of my undergraduate education, I graduate in May! I am so excited after 5 years of working towards my B.S. in Aerospace Engineering to be so close to having my degree and starting a new chapter of my life. As always, this semester will be a busy one but I am excited for all the growth to come. I have big plans for staying busy and going full speed ahead, with rest of course, until graduation. 

Current academic progress one semester away from graduation!

At the start of every semester to help plan and best organize my busy times I create a schedule! I suggest utilizing your class schedule as a base to start building off of. From there I add in my commitments in order of priority, including ROTC obligations, RA duty and meetings, Peer Mentor work for UNIV 101, scheduling in my work hours for my job at the Eagle Flight Research Center, and of course all other obligations besides work. For me, this includes time to do homework, study, do yoga, eat breakfast/lunch/dinner, and a workout schedule for when I will be at the gym in fitness classes, doing cardio outside, working out in my room, or resting. This semester one of my goals is to be more mindful and take more time for myself by scheduling in walks at least once (but hopefully more) every week. Taking walks is nice because it also allows for time to catch up listening to some of my favorite podcasts!

This semester I also have a goal to get more sleep. I typically go to bed very early on days when I don’t have RA obligations such as staff meetings, which are scheduled late in the evenings to ensure all RAs are out of class, which keeps me awake past my usual bedtime. Another RA responsibility that concludes late in the night is RA duty, which requires staff members to perform building rounds, answer phone calls for lock outs, and sit at their residence hall lobby desk. Typically RAs have duty one weekday every two weeks, in addition to about 11 weekend duty days spread across a semester. RA duty days are assigned at the beginning of each semester based off of responsibilities like class schedules, ROTC, and labs or flight blocks.

I have come to realize I function best on a lot of sleep, especially when I’m busy with classes and working out regularly. Thus, when I wake up early for ROTC obligations like PT or LLAB, I try to go to bed as early as possible.

I am exciting to make my life schedule for this upcoming semester and look forward to having everything planned to set myself up for success. Good luck this semester, will report back soon folks!

Back to Kentucky

In which I can sleep until 12:30 PM every day.

So, now that the fall semester is over at Embry-Riddle, I returned to Kentucky to see my family for the holidays. I ended up leaving on December 16, the day after my last final. Thankfully, if you’re returning for the spring semester, you’re able to keep all of your stuff in your dorm and don’t have to move it into storage.

Goodbye, dorm room!

My last final was on December 15 at 7:15 PM. In my opinion, a night final is better than a daytime final; I’m a night owl and hate getting up early. Luckily, the earliest final I had started at 10:15 AM; in the normal academic year, my first class started at 10:10.

I caught a ride to the airport with a few friends about an hour before the flight. We were super early- the one thing that I love about the Daytona Beach airport is that the TSA wait time is super short. It usually takes me between 5 and 10 minutes from the time I walk through the airport doors to the time I arrive at the gate.

I’ve never flown out of MCO (the Orlando airport) during the holidays, but I know that the lines can get super long and time-consuming. If you ever go to MCO, you’re also likely to get stuck in traffic trying to get to the airport, too- everyone wants to fly out from MCO since it’s a larger airport. MCO is also a destination for more airlines like Southwest and Spirit; DAB only consistently has flights operated by American and Delta.

There were plenty of Embry-Riddle students on the flight I was on, and I ran into several friends there. Apparently, the plane we were flying on had been delivered to Delta in September of this year and only had about 900 flight hours on it.

Leaving Riddle, taking off over the beach on 7L!

I had about a one-hour layover in Atlanta and ended up running from the T gates over to the D gates since that was where my plane to Lexington was. The Atlanta airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, and during the holiday season, it too was packed. I passed a few TSA checkpoints and I was so glad I wasn’t stuck in the line there.

The flight from Atlanta to Lexington was shorter than the one from Daytona Beach to Atlanta. It was also a smaller plane (CRJ-900 compared to A321), but still a beautiful piece of engineering nonetheless. I was lucky enough to watch a parallel takeoff. It’s definitely a must-watch event for aviation enthusiasts.

Leaving ATL!

When I landed in Lexington, the weather was completely different than that in Daytona Beach. It was sunny in Daytona when I left, and a day where I could’ve worn shorts. However, in Kentucky, it was cold and rainy- definitely a “pants and long sleeves” sort of day. In addition to my T-shirt, I’d brought along a sweatshirt knowing that Kentucky was cold.

I’ve been in Kentucky for a while now, and I definitely miss the Daytona Beach weather. It’s actually cold in Kentucky- 20 and 30-degree weather compared to the mid-60s or low 70s in Daytona. It’s definitely different- my college friends aren’t a few dorms away, we’re hundreds of miles apart, but we’re still finding ways to stay connected to each other over the break.

I end up flying back to Daytona Beach on Saturday, January 11 since I’ll also be working spring orientation! I’ve been selected to be a part of the 2022 Orientation Team and I’m very excited for spring orientation. Although I miss Embry-Riddle, it’s nice to have winter break since I’ll be catching up on sleep and time with my cats. Happy holidays, and I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

My cat Chocolate sleeping under our Christmas tree!

I Tried My Friends’ Starbucks Drinks

I’m convinced that my body composition is like 90% Starbucks at this point.

Finals week just ended at Embry-Riddle, and like many others here on campus, I had a need for Starbucks. I usually rotate through the same few orders (Pink Drinks and iced caramel macchiatos!) but I decided to try new drinks that my friends suggested.

I’ve only ever done one ranking post, and that was when I ranked study spots. The Starbucks menu, however, is so vast with infinite combinations of syrups, milk choices, and toppings. So I decided to ask a few of my friends about their favorite Starbucks drinks and give my opinion on them!

Drink 1: My Personal Favorite, the Iced Caramel Macchiato!

Iced Caramel Macchiato!

The iced caramel macchiato has made several appearances on the blog already, from being my post-booster drink of choice to my “going home for break” drink of choice. In my opinion, the iced caramel macchiato (once stirred) is the perfect combination of bitter coffee and sweet caramel. It also comes in a hot variety (which I’ve never tried) so it’s the perfect year-round drink for the caramel lover. (Also, side note: stir the drink. Do not drink straight espresso.)

Overall Score: 10/10!
Would I order it again? 100%.

Drink 2: Megan’s Peppermint Mocha Creme Frappuccino

Peppermint Mocha frappuccino!

On a Thursday before class, Megan suggested that we grab Starbucks, and of course, I said yes. So I decided to try her favorite drink- the peppermint mocha frappuccino. It usually has a special topping, but it just so happened that the campus Starbucks was out of it. I got the creme version (it also comes in a coffee-based version) and I have to say, it was pretty good. It wasn’t super sweet, but it wasn’t bitter, and there was only a hint of peppermint in it. In the end, it was kind of tasteless since the ice had melted down to create a milk-frappuccino-water slush. It’s also very rich- I was barely able to finish the grande.

Overall Score: 8/10
Would I order it again? Yes, if I wanted a sweet drink to drink in 15 minutes or less.

Drink 3: Merrick’s Iced Oat Milk Cappuccino

Iced oat milk cappuccino!

Next up on the list is fellow blogger Merrick’s iced oat milk cappuccino. I first had this drink during Orientation Week and enjoyed it for the same reason that I enjoyed it this time- it was a nice caffeine boost. The iced oat milk cappuccino isn’t super sweet, and you can taste the bitterness of the coffee. It was a great power-up for a Friday since I finished a lot of my homework. However, it would not be my top choice since I prefer sweet drinks. I can’t drink straight black coffee- it’s far too bitter to me.

Overall Score: 7/10
Would I order it again? Yes, if I wanted a wake-me-up boost of caffeine.

Drink 4: Barista Bianca’s Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte

Sugar cookie almondmilk latte!

In the beginning of the month I’d ended up in the Starbucks line and I had no idea what I wanted. I ended up talking to one of my barista friends, Bianca, who said that the sugar cookie almondmilk latte wasn’t bad. So I decided to try that, and she was right- it wasn’t bad, it was actually pretty good. It wasn’t super sweet, but it wasn’t super bitter either- kind of in between the caramel macchiato and the oatmilk cappuccino. The one thing that I don’t like about it was the sugar cookie sprinkles that you can see on the top of the lid. In my opinion, they tasted kind of weird.

Overall Score: 7/10
Would I order it again? Yes, if I wanted a wake-me-up boost of caffeine.

Drink 5: The Skinny Vanilla Latte

Iced skinny vanilla latte!

I’ll be honest- all of the drinks on here have some sort of sweetness because I simply cannot tolerate the bitterness of a straight-up iced coffee. I’ve got a sweet tooth. This drink hadn’t been specifically requested, but I’d heard that the hot version was good from a friend. However, it’s been hot here, and I was not in the mood for a hot drink. So I decided to try the cold version and I was not disappointed. You can taste the coffee, but it’s diluted with milk and sweet vanilla syrup, so it’s not bitter at all, but not overly sweet. It’s definitely a drink I’m going to get again!

Overall Score: 8.5/10
Would I order it again? Yes, any time I wanted an iced coffee.

So there we have it! Five drinks tried over the last bit of finals week, and I don’t regret trying any of them. If you’re about to enter your final exams, you might need a coffee to power your way through. I haven’t gotten my final grades in yet since Wednesday the 15th marked the end of finals, but I’m excited to see what I get, knowing that I did the best I could. I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

I Went Flying With My Two Best Friends

And they never forget to remind me, “You could’ve been an AS major!”

On Sunday, December 12, I went flying in a Cessna for the first time since I switched out of aeronautical science.

Chris (right), me, and Jack!

It’s a common occurrence here at Embry-Riddle. We have a lot of Aeronautical Science, or AS, majors, and a lot of non-AS students also have at least a private pilot’s license. ERAU’s aircraft are reserved for AS students, so students resort to external aircraft. There are several flight schools that operate out of Daytona’s airport, so it’s common for people to rent aircraft or get their private pilot’s license at one of those schools.

And two of my best friends just happen to be pilots! Chris is a junior in AS, and he’s currently finishing up his commercial certificate. Jack is a freshman in Aviation Business Administration, and he has a private pilot’s license. I, on the other hand, haven’t done any flight training except the eight modules I completed through Embry-Riddle as an AS major.

Jack had reserved a plane through Air America from 12 to 3 PM since it is finals week and we didn’t want to be away from our studies for too long. The three of us decided that we wanted to go to DeLand and get lunch at the little restaurant for our little outing.

Wing pic!

It was a really short ride, but fun nonetheless. Since there wasn’t too much for me to do besides take pictures in the backseat, I ended up reading and reviewing for the final exam I had tomorrow. DeLand’s restaurant was nice, and it was quite busy on a Sunday afternoon. I also noticed that there was a surprising amount of aircraft there, including complex aircraft.

DeLand’s airport is also home to Skydive DeLand, and as we were heading back to Daytona Beach, we saw one of their aircraft take off. It wasn’t the only large aircraft I’d seen that day, though. When we left, we saw the 12:45 PM Delta Air Lines waiting on the taxiway. I ended up looking behind us a few minutes later and watched it take off over the beach, soaring into the clouds.

I was also able to get the classic bird’s-eye-view picture over Embry-Riddle, which reminded me just how beautiful our campus is. Going flying is definitely something unique to ERAU- not every school has plenty of pilots. Not every university has flight schools and an airport nearby. It’s definitely something that sets ERAU apart from every other university, and it’s something I wouldn’t trade for the world. I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

Bye for now!

Launch Week and Alligator Sighting

I have determined that I never want to see an alligator ever again unless it’s in a zoo.

This past week had two launches! On Thursday, December 2, there was a Starlink launch at 6:12 PM, while there was a STP (Space Test Program) launch at 5:19 AM on Tuesday, December 7.

The Thursday launch was beautiful. It happened around sunset, so the reddish-orange tail of the exhaust plume had a dark blue/purple background. One of my friends was going down to Port Orange, so I hitched a ride with him after my physics class. We ended up finding a beach access spot about twenty minutes earlier than launch time:

Awaiting a beach launch.

The two of us ended up talking and hanging out until the actual launch happened. It was on a SpaceX Falcon 9, and it went off right at the scheduled launch time. I’d never watched a launch from anywhere that wasn’t close before, so it was definitely a new experience.

I couldn’t hear the noise over the sound of waves crashing on the beach, but it was still a pretty view. Even up close, the rocket isn’t huge, but from here it looked more like a timelapse of a sunrise. It’s definitely a good way to watch if you don’t want to drive all the way down to Titusville.

Beach launch time!

The Tuesday launch had several delays. It was scheduled for Sunday at 4:04 AM, then moved to Monday, and finally moved to Tuesday. On Tuesday, at T-4 (four minutes before it was scheduled to launch), it was delayed again to 5:03 AM and eventually launched at 5:19 AM. I’m just glad it wasn’t a total scrub- it’s about an hour’s drive to the launch site each way. Luckily, my earliest class was 3:45 in the afternoon, so I was fine to drive down.

Well, our group had arrived at around 3:45. One of my friends had brought his camera, which he set up, and the other two and I ended up looking over at the water. Someone spotted a gator under the dark water, which scared me a bit- I’m not from Florida and have no experience with wild alligators. It ended up making a splash, but then it became silent again.

Once the launch was delayed, all four of us ended up getting back in the car. We sat around and talked about our classes and experiences at Riddle. That’s one thing that I love about the people in this school- everyone has a shared interest in aviation, aerospace, or both. And everyone who goes to a rocket launch at crazy hours of the morning loves aerospace.

Fog had started to roll in around 5:19, but we were still able to get a good view:

Night launch ft. fog!

The fog wasn’t too thick, so it didn’t really obstruct our view. This launch was pretty loud, and the alligators around us apparently did not appreciate the disturbance. So a few moments after the rumble had started, we heard a different sort of noise- an alligator growl.

What happened next was a blur. I was closest to the car, about ten feet away, and I jumped in it with everyone else following quickly behind. Unfortunately for us, the camera that we’d set up was still outside, so we ended up backing the car to the camera and pulling it in through the back window. We all watched the rocket curve across the sky from the car, and once it disappeared, we left before running into any more agitated alligators.

Overall, it’s been a pretty good week in terms of launches. There’s one scheduled for Thursday at 1 AM, but I’ll likely not be going since it’s the end of the semester and I need to study for finals. I actually only have three this year- physics, thermodynamics, and statics. It was nice to have a break in between this crazy pre-finals week and watch some launches, knowing that it’s what I’ll work on once I graduate. I’ll see you in the next post, and hopefully at Riddle!

Final Week & Finals Tips

Happy December everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, FL and we are one week away from finals! With only one week left in the semester the current atmosphere on campus is busy and stressed. My schedule for this week includes deadlines for reports, presentations, final projects, and tests from Monday-Thursday. Friday is Study Day meaning no classes before exams begin Saturday December 11. Finals end this semester on Wednesday December 15. For more information the Academic Calendar can be found here, and the Fall 2021 Final Exam schedule can be found here on page 5 of the Registration Guidelines and Important Information document.

The end of the semester can be stressful, especially with all classes seemly scheduling deadlines during the same time before finals, but truly we’re so close to break! In less than two weeks the semester and final exams will have concluded and I am so excited to relax over the holiday before the Spring 2022 semester begins. Yesterday I spent about 7 hours in the library working on a final project for my preliminary aircraft design class and this past week has had the same (and more) amount of rigorous work on projects for different classes as well.

The best advice I have for college students experiencing “the grind” portion of the end of the semester is to remember that this short couple weeks is only temporary and you will get a break soon. Theres no way getting around having classes schedule exams and other due dates so close together, and it seems that every semester the last week brings a similar atmosphere and work load. To get through it we must go through it. Personally, I don’t necessarily agree with the concept of all nighters to finish work, but I do have a lot of late nights and early mornings. As someone who extensively plans ahead, during the last week of a semester there never seems to be enough time in a day.

Beautiful Florida sunrise on campus!

My best advice for getting through finals is to take care of yourself as much as possible. Drinking water and getting enough sleep are both extremely important! These tips for success sound simple, but when classes are extremely rigorous and demanding, sometimes the simplest acts of self care really make all the difference!

One of my favorite Florida sunsets on campus the other evening!

Other keys to success are snacks, coffee or your caffeine of choice, and decompressing after long days! During especially stressful times I make sure to prioritize a balance of working out and resting. Most of my recent days have been filled with hours of continuous work and studying for my classes, which unfortunately means a lot of sitting (something that I personally find very difficult and boring to do for hours). Thus, its important to take breaks to walk around, stretch, and schedule time to workout. I find that after a productive school work day, usually my mind is exhausted but my body hasn’t really moved all day. To alleviate this I will either go for a run, go to the gym, or do a yoga or workout video on YouTube. I feel better when I get to move my body, which in turn helps me focus more and think more clearly when working on assignments or studying. I also use working out as motivation to stay more focused while I work! Self care is extremely important, especially when the semester is busy. Keep on keeping on folks, will report back soon!

Two Weeks Left & Current To-Dos

Happy almost December everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, back from Myrtle Beach where I spent my Thanksgiving break with my family and I wish break was longer. Traffic was pretty bad coming back south and my drive ended up taking about an extra three hours! Regardless, my break was so much fun and I was sad to head back to FL alone as it was such a great experience spending time with family.

Post Thanksgiving 5K with my dad!
Post Thanksgiving 5K with my uncle! We ran together and ended up winning “medals” for fast times!

The 5K was probably one of my favorite moments over the break, other than watching Jimmy Fallon’s Christmas special on NBC – 5 More Sleeps Til Christmas.

My To-Do list before the week begins includes various errands like filling up my water bottle, taking in my bags from my Thanksgiving Break trip from the car and unpacking, laundry, working out, doing yoga, putting up my residence hall closing/end of the semester Resident Advisor (RA) bulletin board in my hall, filling out the end of course evaluations for all my classes on Canvas, and working on my Aircraft Preliminary Design group project and report.

There are about two weeks left to the semester before final exams. The last day of classes for the Fall 2021 semester is Thursday Dec 9, followed by Study Day on Friday Dec 10! Final exams this year are December 11-15 and Graduation is Dec 16! For additional semester closing information about important dates, please check out your RA’s bulletin board in your Residence Hall, as well as ERAU-DB’s academic calendar which can be found here.

In preparation for the end of the semester and finals it’s extremely important to emphasize your health. Getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, eating right, and taking care of yourself are extremely important! I too am guilty of falling into the end of semester syndrome where I drink more coffee than usual and sometimes don’t make time to workout or eat particularly nourishing food because I am too busy with homework or studying. Truly though, when you are busy it is even more important to make sure you are being kind to your body and your mind and putting energy into a healthy work/life balance.

Some tips to prep for the busy days to come – make sure you have quick and healthy snacks on hand (cut up fruit or pre-portion bags of pretzels or crackers for grab-and-go style), set timers for studying to keep yourself on as much of a set schedule as possible, set an alarm for a cut-off time each night where you do an activity to decompress such as making a cup of tea, going for a walk, listening to music or a podcast, working out, or reading a book. Additionally, you can try setting intentions for each day either before you go to bed at night or by incorporating them into your morning routine (perhaps while you drink a cup of coffee or tea). Setting intentions helps keep me focused throughout the day and can be referred back to by writing them in the Notes app of your phone or by putting them on sticky notes around your desk/study space. Remembering your daily intentions can help focus your thoughts on your end goals and re-center your mindset by helping to motivate you if you become busy or stressed! Keep on keeping on folks, will report back soon.

Thanksgiving & Break Activities

Happy November everyone! I’m currently blogging from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and it’s Thanksgiving! I am so happy to be on a short break before the last couple weeks of class and finals. The semester truly is coming to a close! I met my family in Myrtle Beach for the break to run a Turkey Trot 5K and hang out together for a few days. Activities included lots of card games like Spades and Uno, as well as Blokus tournaments – both Blokus duo and the 4 player options. The break also included watching three different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, including the 1966 cartoon, the 2000 Jim Carrey film, and The Grinch – 2018 version.

Pre-Thanksgiving 5K with my family!

At the 5K we saw people dressed up as turkeys, mac ‘n cheese, and my personal favorite for creativity’s sake – green bean casserole!

I also got to spend time with my favorite puppy-niece Daisy!

The Thanksgiving break was much needed. The “short” week beforehand included an Air Force ROTC PT test, a Flight Dynamics and Control exam, and an approximately 7 hour hour drive up north to see some of the people I love.

While I do wish the break was longer, some of my favorite “break-prep” activities to help me feel refreshed and relaxed before I left FL for the weekend included catching up on laundry and organizing my room, cleaning/wiping down surfaces and sweeping the floor, watering my plants and overall tidying my living space so that when the break is over I am able to jump into the last few weeks of classes and finals giving 100%.

Over the break my favorite relaxing activities other than spending time with family include watching Christmas movies, listening to new music (including Adele’s new album!), catching up on podcasts I haven’t had time to listen to lately including IN HINDZSIGHT, Short Wave (NPR’s short science podcast), and a recently discovered listen – Financial Feminist! Additionally I’ve been catching up on my favorite Youtube channels by doing yoga videos from Yoga With Adriene, targeted workout videos with Chloe Ting, and leveled and targeted workout videos with a variety of guest hosts from different workout programs with POPSUGAR Fitness, a channel I discovered about a year ago.

I hope everyone is getting the opportunity to relax and recharge a bit before the final stretch of school, only about a month left before Winter Break! Keep on keeping on folks, will report back soon!