From Snow to Sunshine

Hey everyone!

I wish I knew a better way to start my first entry than with the obligatory words “my name is…” oh wait, there we go.

My favorite cow and signed Halestorm album.

I’m Lynsey, and I think “quirky” is a good word to describe myself. My interests are all across the board: I’m an avid musician, a lover of math and science, a gaming nerd, and I have a strange obsession with collecting cows (plastic and stuffed – not real cows.) The walls of my apartment have space shuttle posters, vinyls, and signed photographs from the cast of Star Trek (why yes, I have met George Takei), people who have actually been to space, and rock bands like Evanescence and Halestorm (bragging rights: Lzzy Hale has given me a hug.)

I was born and raised in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The state where we drink pop (not soda!), shop at the Mall of America (I even worked there for a while), and sometimes have snowstorms in May (you think I’m kidding, but I’m really not.) You’re probably wondering what got me to move 1,500 miles south, where there are palm trees instead of pine trees and it’s way too hot outside. I’ve just finished my second year at Riddle, but before I get into that I want to tell you the story of why I chose to come here in the first place.

In order to explain why I came to Riddle, I have to start a bit farther back. It was a cold, snowy evening in 1993… just kidding! Anyways… Throughout my whole life I knew where I wanted to go to college. I talked about it since at least fifth grade; I always said that someday I would go to –nope, not Embry-Riddle! But that’s what makes the story all the more interesting. If you asked anybody who knew me at any point in my childhood, they would tell you I wanted to go to MIT. All through high school whenever I did something I had a constant voice in the back of my head asking, “how will this help my chances of getting in?” I had a goal, and everybody knew it. I should mention that, if you’re reading this and thinking I’m just at Riddle because I didn’t get in, keep reading, that’s not the story.

Senior year of high school always seems so far away, and then somehow it sneaks up on you. Before you know it, it’s time to actually apply to the colleges you’ve been looking at and dreaming of attending. I worked effortlessly on my applications, applying to several big name schools. Embry-Riddle first caught my eye because I saw it listed number one for Aerospace Engineering, which was my original major. So I did a bit more research, and I thought it seemed awesome – a great backup (do you think they’ll let me say that word in an admissions blog?) After taking the ACT twice, the SAT three times, and buffing my resume to glistening status, I submitted my college applications and waited. And waited. And waited. One day I got my acceptance letter from Embry-Riddle. It was definitely an exciting moment, but I was still hanging onto hope for my dream school, and didn’t think much of the acceptance at the time. Time passed, and my early action application to MIT got deferred to regular action. It was a set-back no doubt, but I held onto hope. Later I got my financial aid letter from Embry-Riddle, and found out that I had been awarded some pretty generous scholarships, as well as admission into the honors program. Things were suddenly falling into place in a way I hadn’t expected.

My obligatory picture in front of the Wright Brothers statue from when I visited campus in March 2011.

When February rolled around I was presented with the question: which school do I want to go tour? I applied to five schools – four of which were over a thousand miles away, so naturally it was a “pick one trip” kind of deal. I had this gut feeling that I would be going to Embry-Riddle. It wasn’t an abandonment of my dream in any way, it was just a feeling that I can’t really describe; I’ve felt it a couple times in my life, and they’ve all been massive, defining moments. After a lot of thought, I decided on a trip to Daytona Beach to tour the campus. Long story short, that’s all it took. I fell in love with the campus. I stayed overnight with one of the RAs and sat in class with her the next morning. Then my parents picked me up, and we went over to the cashier’s office, where I put down my tuition deposit. I was a Riddle student.

You’re probably wondering if I missed a point in the story. What about MIT? Did I get in? You know what, I didn’t know yet. I wouldn’t hear back for another two weeks. But I was so sure I was at the right place and making the right decision that the word backup immediately vanished from my mind. I was so excited to start in the fall, because I had found my dream school in a place I didn’t even think to look. I learned a major lesson from this decision: sometimes life has a way of working out the way it’s supposed to, and all you have to do is follow it. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s so true. I love Embry-Riddle, and I don’t regret my choice for a second.

I’m really looking forward to sharing my Daytona Beach shenanigans with you. This summer, apart from taking a couple classes, I’m spending my days in the Space Physics Research Lab as an undergraduate research assistant. My current project involves developing a model of the Martian atmosphere in order to simulate acoustic and gravity waves – I’ll talk more about that in the next entry, but for the meantime, if you’re interested, you can read my conference abstract here.

Part of the living room of my new apartment, which I absolutely love!

This is my first summer here in Daytona Beach, and I’m enjoying it so far (apart from the temperature, that is.) I just moved into my first apartment off-campus after two years of dorm life, and I absolutely love it. Aside from working days in the lab and taking a math class, it’s been nice to have some free time, as I keep pretty busy during the school year. My evenings have been essentially empty, so I’ve had a chance to play some video games and get back in touch with my acoustic guitar.

Even if I may seem crazy, I’m pretty friendly, so feel free to hit me up with questions, comments, fan letters, etc. Especially if there is something you’d like me to talk about in my next entry!

That’s all I have for now. I’m still trying to think of a cool catch phrase to close with, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, I think I’ll go with “Live long and prosper.”

Until next time…

-Lynsey

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