I am back on the Embry-Riddle campus and it’s definitely good to be back! The drive back from the Denver area was about 27 hours, which wasn’t super fun. I was on the Orientation Team again this year (last year was super fun too!), which meant I had to be in town on the Monday after my internship ended for training.
This year, a few of the events, unfortunately, got cancelled early or entirely cancelled because of the weather. Even so, I had a lot of fun. Over orientation week, I did a lot of walking and running around campus welcoming new students. At the end of orientation, it was still kind of rainy, so the Movie in the Hangar event got moved inside the Student Union, and we took the team picture in front of balloons spelling out ERAU.
After orientation week, just like last year, the annual Honors Mentor/Mentee social was hosted on the Sunday before classes started. I was a mentor again this year, and everyone got ice cream and got to meet their mentors and mentees. It unfortunately rained on that afternoon, so it was moved inside to the first floor of the aviation maintenance science building.
Just like last year, the orientation team wore their PFG shirts on the first day. However, this year, we also played a spotting game, taking pictures of each other as we walk around campus. It was easiest to identify us in our PFGs, but the game still continues to this day (although not as much). Someone took this photo of me heading into the union on the first day.
The rest of the week was pretty normal. My five classes kicked into gear, and I’m liking them so far. Yes, I already have homework, but I worked on it over the long weekend. The first week of school is also the Week of Welcome, geared towards new students but open for everyone to participate. The week usually has a lot of free food and giveaways- this year, there was a lemonade stand and free ice cream!
I am living off-campus this year, so I’ve started using the shuttles that the Student Government Association provides free of charge to students. It’s pretty convenient. There’s a shuttle from my off-campus apartment to the student union about every 20 minutes, from early in the morning to the beginning of the evening. The shuttle runs every scheduled school day, which meant that it didn’t run over the Labor Day weekend, but I have a car so I can easily get to campus if needed.
As many people know, Artemis I was scheduled to initially launch on the first day of school, and then postponed to Saturday. Since I had class, I couldn’t attend the Monday launch time, but it was also scrubbed and rescheduled. Saturday was also a scrub, but my friend group hadn’t gotten down to the Cape yet- we were only on the road for about 10 minutes. It was unfortunate, but I’m hoping I get to see it launch before we go home for winter break.
The only upside was that I did get to see it on the launchpad. On Sunday, I took a few of my friends down to Kennedy Space Center. I’d won free tickets from ERAU Athletics and reserved my four tickets, which meant I got to spend the whole day at KSC for free! Last semester’s trip was super fun, but it was nice to go again and see the new exhibit. It had spacefaring vehicles from a bunch of different companies, including Sierra Space’s DreamChaser and Lockheed Martin’s Orion capsule (which is actually on top of the SLS).
Overall, it was a good long weekend. I think a few of my friends went home super quickly, which is much easier if you live on the East Coast. I was happy staying in Daytona Beach, starting the homework that’s already been assigned and going out with my friends. I’ll see you in the next post… and maybe at Riddle (or KSC)!