Hey all you journal readers, I cannot begin to explain how exciting this is for me. Less than a year ago I was in your position. Sitting at home on my computer reading about people who were living the life I wanted, down in Daytona Beach, learning to fly, making new friends in a new environment. Now I am here, meeting some of the people who I read so much about and felt like I knew, although they didn’t know me. One journal writer from last year is my resident advisor; another is my peer mentor in my College Skills class, BA 101. I know how much these journal entries meant to me last year so I will do my best to make it meaningful for all of you.
Well, now that the formalities are out of the way, HI!!! My name is Carlos; I’m 18 and a freshman here at ERAU. Yes, I know it says that on top, but I like you to hear it from me. The first thing I can tell you about ERAU is that it was a HUGE culture shock for me when I arrived. I live in the biggest city in this country, where everything is packed together, large building everywhere. Landing in Orlando, all I saw was grass, trees, water and houses. Here in Daytona, that gets multiplied. There are wide open spaces, fountains everywhere, wide roads. It took me a while to get used to that. Another thing that I had to get used to was that in New York City, there are so many things to do. Here, you have the movies, a club, and the beach. Everything fun takes place in an area called Beachside, about 10 minutes from school over a bridge.
The first week here was the most exciting time in my life. I got to move into my new ‘apartment’ also known as a dorm room. I met new people from all over the world. I really got into the college spirit. It felt like summer camp for the first week, because we didn’t have classes. We played games that you would find in a camp setting. We learned the rules and our new structure. Then the weekend before classes started, a new feeling set in. I was on my own. There was no one to force me to go to bed, to come home at a certain time. I think this is the most dangerous feeling one can experience. Don’t fall into the trap to go crazy. I went out to parties but I didn’t go crazy with it. Responsibility is a big part of being ‘grown’ and it should not be taken lightly.
Classes started August 29th, which is another adjustment, because school in NYC doesn’t start until after Labor Day, so looking at the calendar while I was doing schoolwork was very different. My classes are very cool, because for once I am not doing the general education things I did in high school, now classes are more concentrated. My classes are BA 101, Intro to Management (BA 201) Accounting (BA 210) Business Calculus (MA 220) Intro to Computers (IT 109) and World History (SS 110). Some of my classes are really challenging, but others are things I already know, but I cannot prove to the school that I know it without taking the class. The moral of the story is TAKE AS MANY AP’s AS YOU CAN! If you are a senior now in AP classes and decide not to focus after you get accepted to college and to skip on taking an AP, think again. It will save you so much money in the long run if you earn the credits now. And you can get a boatload of credits by doing just that.
Time to move on to, in my opinion, one of the coolest things in college. Dorm life is interesting, fun and exciting. Living with a complete stranger is a completely different thing than anything in life. I live in Adams Hall, one of the newer dormitories in the student village. I have one roommate and the living is tight. In Adams, I live in the Penthouse (5th floor). It is absolutely the coolest floor in the whole school. We go crazy here, with respect to the rules of course. Our resident advisors are cool, it is different for us because we have two, Marquitta and Kristina, who is an Associate R.A. Their main job is to keep us safe, and respecting that is important. They are not your parents, they give you all the freedom you want and all the help you want. It is a very, very cool experience.
When I’m not in my room, I am getting involved in school. This is very important to me because I was very involved in the activities of my high school. So far, I have joined EaglesFM, our campus radio station. (You can listen on the web @ EaglesFM.com.) This is very cool because eventually I will have my own show and be able to talk about what I want to talk about and play the music I like and share that with the other students here at Embry-Riddle. I also plan on getting involved in our freshman government, Task Force One, whose first meeting is actually tomorrow. The biggest thing I have decided to do is pledge a fraternity. This was a big decision for me because I was not sure if I would pledge this or next semester being that I wanted to be settled into the college environment. After talking to the brothers at Pi Kappa Alpha I felt that my studies would not suffer because of the fraternity involvement. So if I am offered a bid to pledge in this coming week, I plan on accepting it. I will keep you updated on my student involvements throughout the year.
Before I end my first journal entry, I would like to tell you about your high school years. Don’t take them for granted, don’t wish to grow up quickly. No matter what your situation is and believe me, I do know about tough situations, make the best of it. Enjoy your childhood; your adult years will come soon enough. Be responsible, you do know right from wrong. You are an amazing person in your own way. You don’t need to change yourself to please others. Be yourself and make sure you focus on your education. If your studies suffer, you can’t get to be what you want to be, here at Riddle. So work hard, and then play hard.
You’ll be hearing a lot more from me soon.
Good Luck in your school year,