Things I Did In My Freshman Year of College That You Should, Too

Your future self will thank you. Love, a senior.

So you’ve finally decided that you’re coming to ERAU for college- good decision! Getting into college is just the beginning. I’ve loved my time here at ERAU and feel like I’ve made the most of it, and of course I have some advice for you!

I’m serious. Getting involved has not only given me things for my resume that I can talk about in job interviews, but it’s also given me some awesome experiences that I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. I’ve gotten to go all over the country with Women’s Ambassadors and gone to professional conferences thanks to the Society of Women Engineers. It doesn’t matter what you get involved with, as long as you get involved! Below is a picture of a pretty seagull I saw in San Francisco while traveling for Women’s Ambassadors.

2. When on campus- LEAVE YOUR DORM! Go to events.
Not just events that the organizations you joined (see tip 1) are hosting, but the ones that the campus hosts. The Avion, our school newspaper, will occasionally give out free donuts. Touch-N-Go, our entertainment division, gives out a lot of free stuff too! People will also play sports in the common area between New Res 1 and 2; from my experience, people are always looking for new players. Plus, leaving your dorm gets you a breath of fresh air.

3. If needed, go to tutoring.
It’s free and the tutors are great! I’ve gone to tutoring for math, physics, and chemistry when I needed help. Your grades will thank you. Freshman year is the time that you’ll learn the foundations of your major. Things will only build from there. In engineering, you’ll build on your freshman and sophomore year math and physics classes, so it’s important to have a strong foundation.

4. Apply for internships!
Internships are SO. MUCH. FUN!!! They will also teach you about the jobs in the industry that are available so you can find out what you like and don’t like. I’ve had three internships and they’ve all been very helpful. I’ve learned a lot about the industry while getting paid, which was awesome. The picture below is from my summer 2023 internship with Boeing in Oklahoma City. There was a free public airshow while I was there, which meant that I had to go! Plus, internships will give you an opportunity for networking…

5. Network and find a mentor!
Networking is different than mentoring. Mentoring is more focused, where you’re looking for advice or help on a specific situation. Networking is broad, where you’re meeting people who you can ask for help (and who can ask for help from you). Mentoring is usually available through career-based organizations like the Society of Women Engineers, whereas networking can be found and done with anyone. You can definitely network with people from organizations- this year’s seniors will likely be entering the workforce soon, so you could ask them about their jobs.

6. Start (and preferably finish) your homework early!
I know it seems odd coming from a student but I’ve stayed up until 11:59 PM hoping that my assignment gets done and… it’s not the greatest feeling in the world. I do, however, like finishing an assignment early and having time at the end of the night to fully relax. If you finish your homework, then you can also attend the pop-up events in the community! I was studying with a friend at a coffee shop in One Daytona once, and when we took a break, we discovered it was the middle of the NASCAR Hauler Showcase! So we took a two-hour study break to watch the band perform and take a look around the area.

7. And last but not least… have FUN in college!
College has been the best four years of my life, and I attribute that partially because I made myself get out and do things I thought were cool. I did things that I thought I’d never do that still sounded fun, and it really enhanced my college experience. Embry-Riddle is a very special place- there’s a lot to do in the Daytona Beach area and there’s new airplanes to see every month. I hope I’ll see you here one day- and if not, I’ll see you in the next post!

This entry was posted in 2023 - 2024 and tagged , , , by Carly. Bookmark the permalink.

About Carly

Major: Aerospace Engineering
Hometown:Berea, Kentucky
Campus Involvement: Honors Program mentor, Women's Ambassador, Society of Women Engineers, Aerospace Engineering Student Advisory Board
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: I chose Embry-Riddle because I fell in love with the campus the moment I saw it through a plane window. The campus tour was amazing, and the campus seemed like a place I'd want to call home for the next few years.

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