It seems just like yesterday when I was sitting in high school thinking about Embry-Riddle. Every day I would go online and look at the student journals and read them over and over wishing that I was there. Now, one year later, I am writing the journal and I can’t believe it. I hope that over the next year I will be able to provide insight to what it’s like to be a freshman here at Riddle. When I was reading these journals last year, I had so many questions that were unanswered. In this journal, I hope I will answer everyone’s questions including the ones that I had. If you have any questions, I can be reached at the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or on AIM at wasteofsoap. Feel free to ask any questions. I will also be monitoring the discussion boards so post there if you would like.
With that said, I guess I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. I grew up in Debary, which is a little town 30 minutes away from ERAU. I have lived there my whole life. I was in the I.B. program at Deland high school and graduated in 2006 with a 3.8 GPA. I’m not really a sports kinda guy, meaning I don’t really play anything on a team and the only sport I watch on TV is hockey. My team of choice is the Tampa Bay Lightning. I enjoy doing things that’ll get me hurt. In the past I skateboarded and biked; now I have moved on to snowboarding and skydiving. I love to hang out with friends and chill. Now that that’s done, I can tell you guys what you are really interested about. Embry-Riddle.
If you want to know how many students attend Riddle, or how it is ranked nationally for its aeronautics programs, you can go to the website. I’m not here to tell you what you already know or what you don’t care about. I’m here to tell you from first-hand experience, what it is like to attend the greatest university in the country, and possibly the world.
We’ll start off with dorms. I live in Doolittle, which I think is what fits me best. You can view the different dorms and floor plans at http://www.erau.edu/db/dorms/dbdorms.html. I liked Doolittle for various reasons, like location, one roommate, only 7 others to share a bathroom. You can make your own decisions in terms of what fits you best. But no matter what dorm you stay in, the lifestyle is pretty much the same. First of all, no matter what time it is, I can guarantee you that someone is awake. Whether you have a late study night until 2 or wake up for a flight at 5, someone is up, and they are probably yelling. Depending on whether you think it is a good thing or a bad thing, there are RAs on every level (Residence Advisor). They make sure that you have fun, but are still respectful to others. For example: I needed to get up real early for a flight and I wanted to make sure I got a decent amount of sleep, and the RA made sure no one was having a yelling contest at 2 in the morning. Another thing I like about the dorms is the sense of community. It is real easy to make friends while living in a dorm. Most people don’t know anyone, so you are all in the same boat. Someone from your hall might say, “Hey, we’re gonna go grab a bite to eat, wanna come?” Which leads us to our next item: Food.
Some colleges have Taco Bells and Mickey Dees on campus, and some have one cafeteria. Embry-Riddle is right in the middle. We only have one chain restaurant, which is an Einstein Bagels. Other than that, there is a cafeteria type place, an all you can eat place (as much as you want), a small sub type place, a very tiny Chinese place, and a burger joint (Propellers). Over all, there are plenty of different options to eat. There are burgers, chicken sandwiches, grilled cheese, spaghetti, chicken, deli sandwiches, pre-packed salads, salad bars, ice cream, cereal, meatballs, fires, chips, fruit, cookies, rice crispies, Chinese food, subs, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I probably forgot. For drinks, there is Coke and Pepsi drinks (bottled and fountain), milk, chocolate milk, orange juice, apple juice, Gatorade, Sobe, and coffee. There really is a big selection when it comes to food. Now that you know what there is, you might be askin yourself, how much does it cost? Well, all freshmen are required to have a minimum of 14 meals per week. You can get more if you like, but the least you can get is 14. One meal varies from place to place, but it is usually 1 entree and 1-3 sides, except at the all you can eat place where you can eat all you want. If you have any specific questions about the different places or the things that you eat, just let me know.
Now that you know what to eat, you might be wondering when you’re gonna eat. My schedule is very different than all of my friends. We all have classes at various times. Your schedule depends greatly on what classes you are taking and when they’re available. My schedule consists of 4 classes on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:15-3:30 with about an hour and a half break. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I fly from about 8-10 and then I have 2 classes from 1-3:15. Some of my friends are done by noon all week and some go until 6. It varies but I think no matter what your schedule is, it is much better than high school. Some classes will let you out early and you can just run by your dorm if you want. I think it’s pretty cool.
The major thing when transitioning from high school to college is the new sense of freedom that you have. You are all the sudden on your own. If you haven’t heard a lot about this yet, you will. The university loves to drill into the mind of the freshmen that you make your own decisions now, so don’t mess up. The truth of it is that you are on your own, but there are many different people there with you incase you need anything. I found that it has been a pretty easy transition for me and for other people as well. The most important thing is to have fun. I haven’t even been here for a month and I have already had so much fun and have so many stories. I’ll go into detail more if anyone wants me to, but already I have done laundry at 2:30 in the morning, went to Hooters with a bunch of people, had my first flight in an airplane (as the pilot), and gone out and about around Daytona (karaoke bars are very fun as long as you aren’t singing).
Well I don’t want to write a novel on the first entry so I guess I’ll wrap it up. One more thing though, I’m not sure how many people will read this thing, but if you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask! I regret not asking the questions I had a year ago. I wish I had, because then I wouldn’t have gone to Riddle in the dark. If anyone has a question about ANYTHING, just go on the discussion board or drop me a line.
Hope everyone’s year is going good, cause mine has started off great. I can’t wait to finish this year and share all my experiences with you. Next journal, I’ll probably talk about fraternities and skydiving. I hope to become a pledge for Sigma Chi and get AFF certified with skydiving in the next week or so. So until then, stay in school, drink your milk, and make sure that read every one of my journals and tell me how good they are, and if you think that they are bad, that is your opinion, and it’s wrong. 😉 Oh boy, I used a smiley. I told my self that I wouldn’t do that. Oh well. I’ll talk to ya guys later. -Blake