Maddie

About Maddie

Sophomore

Aviation Business Administration

Hometown: Castle Rock, Colorado

Campus Involvement: O-Team, Resident Advisor, Honors Program, Women in Aviation, Womens Ambassador, Greek Life, Student Assistant, SGA Student Court

Why I chose Embry-Riddle: I chose Embry-Riddle because it felt like home. I had never, and still to this day have never, experienced a university so unique and truly special. There is no other place like our school - where you can fly up to Georgia for BBQ after class!

ERAU Family Weekend!

This past weekend was Family Weekend here in Daytona Beach. My mom and brother came to visit, but Chris also came to surprise me! When I pulled up at the airport to pick up my mom and brother, Chris was there!

We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Ormond Beach (we got a great deal) and first began the morning by grabbing breakfast. I sent Logan (my brother) off with a friend to an engineering class since that is his interest. Chris and my mom came to meet my Professor, but instead of sitting in on the class, they went to go “officially” check-in for the weekend.

Of course my mom went to the bookstore and got all the goodies. She also met up with a friend from Castle Rock (our hometown) since her son also is a student! This is a picture of Logan and I. Can you believe he is as tall as me? I can’t!

When my family came to Family Weekend my freshman year, they were sad Logan couldn’t come too. Now that he was able to come, we were all very happy. It is huge for him to be able to see the school he hopes to attend, but also hopefully makes his first couple days at college a lot less scary, especially since he was able to sit in on a class.

After my first class, I took my family to meet some friends and faculty that I love. The folks I work with in Admissions even gave him a t-shirt!

Coolest 13 year-old I know!
Logan really wanted an energy drink and I really wanted to show him our cool deck… So here we are!

We also toured the school and then went to lunch. My mom went to my dorm and napped while Chris and Logan came to my last class of the day with me. My Professor was very sweet to them and they both really enjoyed the class. Logan now loves Aviation Business since my class was very fun and his morning Engineering class was more serious. I feel bad for tarnishing his view but… I’m also not too mad about it, haha!

There were many options for us on Friday and Saturday (like trivia night), but I just really wanted my family to see the campus and for Logan to sit in on a class with me. We decided to go to Disney since most of Saturday’s activities would not be super fun for Logan and because my mom had already been to most of the activities my freshman year. Plus… I mean it’s Disney!

After spending an arm and a leg, we went to Epcot. We decided to go to this park since we have not been in a long time. Logan is 13 (almost 14) now, so he has grown to like it a lot more than he did when he was way younger. The weather was great and the longest line we waited in was only 30 minutes!

Please enjoy some pictures from the weekend!

My adorable mom and I!
Just hanging out with my boys!
I was so happy Chris came to surprise me!
Epcot’s yummy and surprisingly affordable food!
Left: chocolate tasting Right: beef wellington

Sunday was the day scheduled by the school as “free time”, but my family left Sunday afternoon. So, instead we went to Orlando (since they were leaving out of MCO) and went to the outlet mall there!

I was sad to see everyone go, but I was also glad they came. It was honestly one of the greatest weekends of my life! When I am at school I greatly miss my family. Seeing them gives me the motivation and strength to continue to work hard on my studies!

Some restaurants we ate at (and that I highly recommend):

  • Tia Cori’s Tacos
  • Oklahoma Joe’s
  • Giuseppe’s Steel Pizza City
  • Neighbors Ice Cream Parlor
  • Blaze Pizza
  • Chicken Salad Chick

You go through life wondering what is all about but at the end of the day it’s all about family.

Rod Stewart

Until next time! ~ Maddie

Is College Hard?

Hi everyone!

We have only been back for about two weeks and I already feel that we are in full swing. What ever happened to syllabus week? Personally, I prefer not to waste time. I love to hit the ground running, especially this semester, because it means we are that much closer to the finish line!

It’s that time of year where I like to try extra hard to fill my blogs with good, hearty, helpful content. While I hope you get the feel of college life at ERAU by reading my blogs, I also want to leave you with something after you finish. Hopefully you can take at least one thing away from this long blog post!

This week, I wanted to answer a question I get asked a lot by incoming freshman/transfer students. It’s a question I had myself coming into college. First things first, I want to specify that ERAU is very different than any other college (or so I hear). Many of my friends who went to state schools have a very different experience than I do. This isn’t necessarily bad, but I want to make the specification that every college experience is different, especially between a private/public university and even more so at such a specialized college.

The question is: Is college hard?

As a forewarning: I am not trying to brag about anything. I work very hard and it took awhile to find the balance I have in college. That being said, I am still not perfect. Sometimes I have to take days off work to study and I don’t get an A on every assignment. I want to be real and help someone out and that is why I am sharing this information!

I was filled with fear that college would knock me off my feet. I graduated high school with above a 4.0 and I STILL was worried I’d fail out of college. Yet, here I am – thriving!

I am in my last semester, have a 4.0, work four jobs, and have leadership positions in multiple clubs/organizations. AND, I am able to have free time for myself pretty much every single night and every weekend. I travel, watch Netflix way too much, and go hang out with friends. You can have it all, I promise. Of course, this may vary by major. My engineering friends seem to have more homework, but I have more group meetings. It all really depends.

It takes time to learn your jam. My first semester of college was slow. I didn’t work and I only took 13 credits. If you plan on moving into your dorm and having life figured out after orientation, I would calm down a bit. We expect so much from ourselves and that can be unhealthy. Give yourself time to grow and adjust because many others are as well. I do this thing where I panic in the beginning of the semester thinking my classes are so hard, but by the third week I have learned they’re very manageable and it just seemed hard. I would recommend waiting to get a job until your second semester on campus, but join many organizations your first semester and weed out ones you feel are less valuable to you as the semester goes on. This ensure by spring that you will have only things you enjoy and find beneficial on your schedule.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Remind yourself that your friend in business is working 20 hours a week after class because their classes are different than yours. Or that your friend in engineering is not working or as involved as much because they have more homework than you. You are not the same person – your circumstances are completely different. College can be hard if you try to fit in and be this “perfect” person. Be yourself. Do things you are passionate about and it won’t feel overwhelming. You must make time for things that make you happy.

Choose what you want. If you want lots of spending money, get a job. If you want straight A’s, focus on that. If you want to be super social, join clubs. If you want to add to your resume, join a project. We forget that we get to choose what we do in college. It really helps to experiment and find what mix of the above get you what you want. If you know you take longer to complete assignments or study, maybe consider working only a few hours at an on-campus job that allows you to do homework. I had to quit clubs I liked because I knew they were taking too much of my studying times. I only work a couple hours at each job in order to have time to take on leadership positions in my clubs.

Go to class. Some people don’t and I know some schools allow this. Embry-Riddle does not. Almost every single one of my professors in college has taken attendance. You can’t even be tardy. My personal opinion is if you pay to come to school, you should actually go. Every class is fast-paced and beneficial. There is never just busy work. Missing a day at ERAU is not like “oh well” but rather you will find yourself in office hours trying to catch up. Please just go to class. Please.

There is not a class that is impossible to pass. There are so many resources available to students to not just pass, but get A’s. Go to every office hour if you must. Email your professor. Hang out in the tutoring center to do your homework and study. Some classes are harder than others, so you may have to adjust your extracurricular and work schedule according to your classes. If you have a hard physics class, allot time for you to get the help you need. Maybe cut your number of work hours in half or go on a semester-leave for a club. You are a student first. I truly believe if you try hard enough, you will succeed.

TIP: I don’t take notes on my laptop anymore because I found myself getting distracted. I would jump from notes to sending and email to notes to filling out some paperwork I needed to do. Learn from me – it’s easier to pay attention in class and learn than it is to try to teach yourself with the PowerPoints posted online (yeah, college professors usually post their slides online – it’s super nice). This will help when you go to study because you will have already learned it once. I think I realized this when I was learning so much in my one class that didn’t allow laptops out.

I hope this helps whoever is worried out there. I promise it’ll all be good. You can do this! ~ Maddie

The Beginning of the End

Welcome back! Who else is rejuvenated after such a long break?

I am so excited for this semester because IT IS MY VERY LAST SEMESTER of my undergraduate degree! This is not some sappy blog post about how difficult the journey has been, because honestly… it hasn’t been all that tough for me.

Yes, I have suffered through the painstaking long distance relationship and homesickness and working my butt off, but I feel all of that is merely a fading memory already. All the minor painful bits are overshadowed by the pure excitement of the ever impending finish line.

Some classes I struggled with and others I genuinely enjoyed attending. I’ve had professors that I adored and clung to their every word and others that I thought I couldn’t escape soon enough. There were tears and blood (just kidding) but it was all worth it.

I feel like I am talking as if I graduate tomorrow… Woah woah there cowgirl, buckle up for one more semester.

All in all, I am just saying that I feel we glorify the pain of college. We are romantics for the sleepless nights, “failed” tests, and freshman 15*. In reality, I never pulled an all-nighter. There was not a single assignment I truly “failed” (though if we are being honest, there were some tests with grades I wish were better). And I am most happy to report there was no freshman 15 here! *For those who do not know, the freshman 15 is what people call it when you gain weight going to college. They blame the food and bad habits, but my doctor once told me we look for excuses for things such as weight gain. Most “freshman 15” are probably a natural change/occurrence or due to a drastic change in lifestyle rather than college itself.

I am usually a Scrooge when it comes to New Year resolutions, but this year I am challenging myself to be more positive. So many times we get in the habit of joining people in their negativity. If we are told a class is hard, then we automatically go into it thinking that it will be difficult. I am pushing myself to see past these rumors and to attempt new things with an open mind. Maybe you thought that class was hard because you didn’t find the topic interesting or maybe you missed every other class. We are independent beings and I encourage everyone to go into college with this mindset.

If your roommate joins a sorority and you feel it’s not for you, then don’t feel you have to go out for recruitment. I am the guiltiest person when it comes to expectations. I expect a lot from others but an extraordinary amount from myself. While I obviously, wholeheartedly encourage everyone to try new things and push their limits, only do what you are passionate about. Do what you believe is best for yourself and I promise you will fly.

I guess what I am saying is accept the challenges of college with positivity and I promise your days will fly by!

~ Maddie Dietrich

What Finals are Really Like

Can you believe it’s already that time of the year again? No not the holidays… Finals. I can’t bring myself to be too festive until I finish finals or I’d get too distracted.

There’s a whole Study Day. Here at Embry-Riddle we have a day off so we can study for finals. The caveat to this is that we have finals starting on Saturday, Sunday is off still, but then they resume from Monday thru Wednesday. Either way, it’s nice to have this day off. Some students take this day to go relax at the beach while other meet with classmates or professors to become more prepared.

You can definitely get sleep. Finals are at all times. You can have a final at 9 am or 7 pm. Finals are also spread out (not at your normal class time). This allows for plenty of time to study AND sleep. We are constantly reminded of the importance of sleep, so I hope everyone takes full advantage of it like I do! I like to get up early and study, take the final, and go to bed early to get lots of rest before my next exam! If you are worried it’s like the movies and you will get 0 hours of sleep, I promise you this is not the truth!

The food hours are better. For one, Starbucks is open later, which is great for those who prefer to stay up and study for their tests! We can all use a little extra coffee or tea during finals, so these extra hours are surely taken advantage of! There are also extended hours on our restaurants, so you’re able to get grub at almost any time!

There are many free things. I know the library and the housing office like to hold different events for finals to help make the students feel less stressed. One of them is Exam Cram – where there are typically cookies, donuts, coffee, and tutors. The Student Government also has tutoring/study sessions during study day! They even hand out little treats for students as pick-me-ups.

Your professors understand. Your professors know how busy you are at this time of year. They were students once too, so they know firsthand the stress that finals brings about. I think it’s nice when they try to give a study guide or even just reassurance that everyone is doing well in the class. It’s important to remember they want you to do well! Don’t be afraid to email questions or visit their office hours. Some professors have extended office hours during finals!

Not all finals are cumulative. For those who do not know, cumulative means that you will be tested on all the things you have learned that semester. This semester, I have no cumulative tests. All my finals are my third test of the semester. I think it’s nice to have this,  but I know some people without finals, so I’m a little jealous of them!

Clubs are doing fun things. Even though studying is important, clubs want to have an end-of-the-year celebration. When you’re on campus and involved, I encourage you to attend as many of these events as possible! Yesterday Women’s Ambassadors made body scrub and today, Women in Aviation is having Chipotle for dinner. We are also going to the Christmas light drive-thru at the Speedway for Housing!

Groups are encouraged. Many professors will hold extra study sessions. I had one for my economics and math classes. This is super nice of the professors since they are taking their time for the students – just another reason to love Embry-Riddle! Beyond this, many professors encourage groups to work together to study. You can find students working in the Hosseini Student Union, dorm study room, Ignite, computer labs, or many other places. I know that the study rooms in the dorms are equipped with white boards and cords to connect your computer, so this is awesome for group work!

Have a happy holidays everyone! ~ Maddie Dietrich

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy post-Thanksgiving y’all!

I hope you had a relaxing break and lots of yummy food! Maybe you found some good deals at Black Friday too! This post may not be of interest to everyone, but I wanted to share some personal things. I love sharing tips and tidbits about ERAU, but I also want y’all to get to know me! That way the girl with the “really good advice *wink*” isn’t too much of a stranger!

Here is what I did for my break!

Saturday, November 17th through Monday, November 19th – Chris landed early in the morning at MCO. We went out to breakfast at a popular restaurant called Keke’s (note: it was very good) and then shopped at Mall at Millenia. Later we came back to the dorms and ordered Buffalo Wild Wings on GrubHub. It was delivered to the dorm and we watched a Christmas movie while eating our wings! Monday was pretty normal with classes continuing, but I really enjoyed having Chris to run to after class! We went shopping at the Outlets in town and spent way too much money! We told ourselves we were being good and proactively Christmas shopping but in reality, we both left with clothes only for ourselves and a bag of candy. Oops!

Tuesday, November 20th – Chris and I headed to Orlando after class and stayed at the Embassy Suites by the airport since our flight left super early the next morning. We parked the car at Wally Park ($5 parking with a free shuttle) and then went to the hotel. We stayed in watching TV and eating the free pizza we scored from Blaze Pizza in Daytona for their opening. All you had was follow them on social media and show them at check out! I posted it for all my friends to see and enjoy for themselves! Update: it was super duper good pizza! I love making my own and if you’re familiar with Mod Pizza (our hometown favorite), it’s very similar but maybe even better (just a tiny bit pricier)!

Wednesday, November 21st – Wednesday we left the hotel at 4 am to head to the airport. It was busier than usual but nothing too crazy. Chris and I have TSA Pre so we zoomed in and out pretty fast. We got Starbucks and McDonalds since we had over-budgeted on time. What can I say – better safe than sorry?! We were lucky to have an open seat in our row, so we napped on the plane and watched Ocean’s 8, which I highly recommend (girl power am I right?!) My mom and brother picked us up from the airport. We went to Castle Rock and got my favorite green chili breakfast burrito (a Colorado specialty) and my driver’s license renewed (it’s finally up-right but boy is adulting fun!) We had lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Chris ran into an old friend, and then spent the afternoon watching my 13 year-old brother shop (who knew teen boys could shop so much/be so picky?) We ended up at my favorite dinner place, a Mongolian grill. The time change kinda kicked my butt this day, but I was super excited to shop at our fancy, new grocery store in town that night!

Finally arrived home!

Thanksgiving! – Chris and I made almost all the food and did all the cleaning. Can you believe that? What may be harder to believe is how delicious it was! Thanks Pinterest! The hit? Chris’ knock-off Honey Baked ham. Since we didn’t have time to run and get one, we decided to find a copy-cat recipe and try it ourselves. It was very rewarding when we bit into it to find out it was DELICIOUS! My personal favorite side dish was the green bean casserole I made without any cream of mushroom/chicken soup. The recipe I used was more natural and fresh-ingredient based. I forgot how much I love cooking until I go home to a kitchen (and free time)!

Corn caserole

Our version of a Honey Baked ham

I set the table!

Green bean casserole

Black Friday – We went Black Friday shopping with my best friend in the whole wide world, Olivia and her boyfriend! We went to the local outlets and had a blast people watching. Honestly, that was more exciting than any deals we could find. We also ran into old high school friends, but we may or may not have tried to be as incognito as possible. Next, we went to the restaurant Chris and I met at, where we both worked, and ate with his family. They had just gotten back from Thanksgiving in Las Vegas! Later on in the day we went to the base exchange (BX) in Colorado at Peterson to shop! We got Starbucks and found some goodies. Then we went to see Robin Hood, which I really wasn’t interested in but it turned out being able to keep me on the edge of my seat! I would highly recommend seeing it if you can! To end the day, we went home and made tacos! Of course we stopped at one of my favorite restaurants first to get some salsa!

Super irrelevant but cute picture of my cat Quincy!

Saturday, November 24 and Sunday, November 25th – Chris and I had lunch with his parents in Colorado and did some last minute Christmas shopping. We came back to my house and decorated our tree! We were in a hurry to leave because we wanted dinner before our flight, so the tree is not 100% complete. Let’s be real… my mom would’ve fixed it to her liking anyways, haha! Luckily, our flight home was super empty so we had a whole row to ourselves again. We watched Ant Man and the Wasp and Adrift on my laptop, so the flight seemed to fly by. We slept in late Sunday since we didn’t get back until 2 am (our flight had landed at midnight but driving takes an hour and getting our bags and the car from airport parking took a bit of time too). Once we woke up, we went to De Leon Springs and got pancakes at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill. It’s make-your-own pancakes/eggs, so it was a lot of fun. It is also inexpensive and super filling, so I recommend it if you have time! Be warned you do have to pay to get into the state park, but it only cost us $6. There are boat rides, nature trails, and kayaking available for guests. There are also many spots to picnic and swim! After, we went to Andy’s Frozen Custard again and then on to Disney Springs. We had dinner at the Chicken Guy, which is the cheapest place we could find, and had THE BEST chicken tenders we both have ever had. And I might add, we both eat tons of tenders around the United States, so check them out if you’re ever in the area! Disney Springs was filled with carolers and musicians showcasing holiday classics. It really got Chris and I in the Christmas spirit – especially their huge tree and light-up, giant ornaments! Sadly, all good things must come to an end. We parted ways and I am just counting the days until winter break. Has anyone ever said they’re excited for finals? No? Well mark this as the first time in history because I am excited to have them come and go so I can get back home!

DIY Pancakes!

DeLeon Springs

Disney Springs!

Our flight home!

We were super sad to leave the snow!

P.S. It snowed in Colorado and I was very, very, very excited about it!

College Christmas Wish List

Happy almost-holidays everyone!

I am so excited to post about the holidays soon – I cannot wait! Like many others, this is my favorite time of year. There are so many fun things to do here in Florida for Halloween (i.e. Halloween Horror Nights and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party), not to mention my birthday and fall break are in October too! But for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I head home, which is all sorts of exciting!

Although it is a bit early for Christmas talk in my opinion, I wanted to make a wish list so parents, friends, and other family members can get an idea of what to get their soon-to-be college student. Maybe some of these will be on sale for Black Friday, or maybe you’re better than me and get your shopping done early!

Twin XL Bedding Set – I think this is the centerpiece of your dorm, therefore I would recommend investing in a nice one. Florida is a bit tricky because you don’t want to get bedding that is thick, heavy, and ultimately too warm. If you want to splurge, I recommend Pottery Barn Teen and their dorm section. If you are on a budget, check out Target. I got my freshman bed spread from Macy’s and it was reversible and neutral, so I was able to flip it when I got bored yet it matched my roommates side! I opted for a gray/brown quilt (since duvets were too heavy in my opinion) and fun polka dot sheets. This made the style a little quirky yet grown-up, which is very me! If you wait to buy bedding upon arrival, there are options, but beware it may be slim pickings! Overall, be sure to buy Twin XL bedding to fit the dorm beds!

Organization Supplies – One of my favorite things in my dorm is this makeup organizer I got at Target. It was about $25 but it holds all my makeup. If I want to sit at my desk and do my makeup there for better lighting or simply comfort, it’s easy to grab the whole thing. I think it’s super nice looking and I will definitely be keeping this for my future apartment post-graduation.

Lights – I never had a string of lights in my room, but many people like it! I think this is a cute, inexpensive gift for your soon-to-be or current college student. They also come in different colors and shapes if you shop around!

Art – I like to find cute art on Etsy. I think that art makes your dorm feel less like a dorm and more like a home. You can order quotes or even get a painting of your beloved animals. My freshman roommate was a huge Hamilton fan, so her grandma got her a quote from the musical. It was a cute, sentimental idea.

Rolling Hamper – This was my mom’s ingenious idea. I got mine at the Container Store and it is most definitely meant for something other than laundry (maybe for teachers?) but I love it. It even has a pocket for my laundry pods! I got so many compliments on it freshman year lugging my laundry downstairs when I lived in Adams. Everyone wanted one! Now that I am in New Hall, laundry is a lot closer, but I appreciate not having to carry it down the hall. Mine is also a cute pattern and I know I will be able to re-purpose it after college. Not going to lie… I have used it to carry lots of things around when I have tabling for clubs or an event to help set up!

A Nice Backpack – I think you can find good deals on backpacks this time of year because it is “off-season” to be buying one. I love the brand Herschel because they are cute and well made. They have a great warranty as well. One of my Herschels had a broken zipper and they sent me a new one no questions asked! Your backpack is an investment since I have used mine all throughout college and even for trips as a carry-on. Make sure it is big enough to hold a lot of stuff like books and binders, an umbrella (it’s Florida), and a laptop if you plan on having one!

Space Savers – I like being organized, as you can see from the above items. When you live in a tiny area, especially when it is shared, I recommend investing in items that help save space. I have tiered hangers and a slim, hanging jewelry organizer. I prefer using tubs for shoes and having it under my bed. I also have a file organizer that is stacked on my desk. This keeps the clutter away. I also bought a desk organizer for my pens and note pads. Having cute bins to save space is stylish but practical. I used these bins to store my stuff over summer without worrying about dust or bugs. I can also use these in my future home.

A Plant – I have a plant in my room that I got at the beginning of freshman year. His name is Greg. I think he makes the room brighter and more refreshing with his green leaves! I love that I get to see him grow and I hope to pass him off to my kids one day. If you have a sentimental plant at home, consider passing it on or propagating it!

A Cute Pillow – I have a pillow I got on Etsy with my home’s coordinates on it. I love that it is comfy, cute, and sentimental. Things that have multi-purposes is nice in such a small space.

Sunscreen – A good stocking stuffer would be a nice facial sunscreen. We need it here in Florida. Even when it’s cloudy, we get tan. Save your skin!

Caddy – I use the term caddy very loosely. There is the typical caddy you take to the bathroom with you in the dorms (which is very helpful/useful), but I am thinking of a bigger caddy. I bought my large rolling caddy from Ikea and I use it to hold all my beauty stuff. It has multiple shelves so I can be more organized. I leave my makeup on the top, skin care in the middle, and hair supplies on the bottom. It looks cute but leaves the small room feeling less cluttered and full. I have also seen them at Sam’s Club for about $30. It’s so practical, I even made Chris get one for his apartment!

Laptop – A more obvious “Santa” gift could be a nice laptop. I use mine everyday in class, for homework, and to watch Netflix! Maybe consider waiting until the summer to benefit from the college student discount at Apple! May I recommend AirPods for now?

Pictures – I use the Super Snaps to print my photos. I like to get the big ones in matte with black corners. I use this to take up a good amount of wall space and make it look more modern/stylish. It can also be sentimental and help beat the homesickness when you look back on pictures of loved ones!

A Place to Relax – I think if you can swing it, find a tiny bean bag or cozy small chair! It is important to have a place to sleep, study, eat, and RELAX in your dorm. When you associate your room with just sleep or just work, it will never feel cozy and calm. Make it a point to get at least one item to help you relax! I have a body pillow I lay on when I watch Netflix!

Time-Saving Items – College is a constant battle of time management. You have to learn somewhere, right? I recommend investing in a nice blowdryer, steamer, and other time-saving items. If you can quickly steam your clothes, that’s an extra 5 minutes of snoozing your alarm. Your college student will love you for this.

So it might not be the most glamorous holiday season of gifting, but it surely is a practical one!

Have a happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday with all your friends and family! ~ Maddie Dietrich

 

Unique Opportunities @ Embry-Riddle

Hi y’all!

Fall is in full swing and I am itching to get back to the cooler weather in Colorado for Thanksgiving! For those that are curious, I tend to fly out of Orlando for a better price. I can usually find a friend to drive me down to MCO so I don’t have to worry about paying for parking. In general, I can find a round-trip ticket to Denver for $250 during the holidays, and much less during the rest of the year! I do love campus a little extra this time of year for several reasons: seasonal drinks at Starbucks, not breaking a sweat when walking to class, the holiday-themed events across campus, and the general excitement buzzing around! Once we get back from Thanksgiving break, it’s practically finals and the end of the semester!

Now on to the good stuff… I wanted to talk a bit about some of the unique opportunities at Embry-Riddle! I know that this time of year can be interesting if you are in high school. You may be weighing the costs and benefits of your top schools – maybe that’s why you came to this blog! I hope to help showcase the unique opportunities we have here at Riddle. A lot of this stuff I have mentioned before, but I wanted to summarize it all together because I think this truly makes us unique.

Career Services: I don’t think having a department to help find jobs is very unique – I’m sure most college have such a thing. What I do think is very unique is that our department works so closely with the industry. My Career Services counselor is available to help tailor my resume to the needs of any company I am applying for, practice for the interview with questions used by *insert company name* before, and even help me find jobs/internships if that’s what I need. The counselors are divided up by major, so they know what you need to be doing to make yourself most-prepared for your specific career. They get to know you well and offer up advice that is truly helpful.

On-Campus Experiences: I love how many events we have on campus. Sometimes it’s a concert, a carnival, a magician or comedian, or any other sort of performance you can think of. We typically have performers who are quite well known too, such as Adam DeVine, All American Rejects, Dan and Shay, Rachel Platten, and Nick Offerman. Those are just in the past two years, so you can imagine we have a lot going on all the time! We also always have free food around campus… What more could you want? Krispy Kreme donuts, fresh lemonade, kettle corn, and much much more. I can confirm it is all AMAZING! There are also movies every Thursday – my favorite is when they’re outside!

On-Campus Jobs: I have multiple on-campus jobs. I realize this is not as unique as some of the other points, but I think it is worth mentioning. Many of us need to work, but in order to have a good work-life balance, the school offers many on-campus jobs. At most of these jobs, you can even do your homework! I think the fact that you go around campus and see students working everywhere, it really shows that we are the center here. Our input is in every department and everything. Most jobs are great to add to a resume, such as my job in the Office of Philanthropy. I utilize Excel, plan events, and work with many industry folks, so I can use this experience during interviews for examples. All my bosses are also very flexible with my school schedule. Schedules are chosen by you, based on your input. I actually just took two weeks off so I could study for my exams and my bosses were so kind and understanding about it!

Guest Speakers: We constantly have speakers on campus. They range from authors to media figure heads. I love the variety of speakers, but also the frequency. Every week it seems there is another speaker. This makes me feel better if I can’t attend one because of a project or studying. I love learning about such diverse topics, ones I never would have explored myself. This helps us students to become more well-rounded. In such a like-minded, aviation-focused environment, it’s nice to bring us back to the real world. Lately, we have heard about what Russia wants, the effects of healthy eating and brain activity, and etc. Did I mention they’re all free?

The Students: One thing that really made Embry-Riddle stand out against other schools I toured and considered was the students. I had never been in a place where there was so much passion. I knew this environment would encourage me to push myself and grow as a person and in my industry awareness. Not only did I see networking opportunities for the future, but I saw a chance to bond with many people just like me. When I heard people go on flights to get BBQ in Georgia, I was pretty much sold on the environment. If you think you know everything about aviation, wait until you get here. You learn something new every day!

The Professors: My professors are top notch. I have already written about how I think the professors are outstanding, but we forget how unique this is. Some colleges, the TA does all the teaching. Just today my professor tried connecting me with an old work partner who does the job that I am very interested in. Our professors go beyond being just a very capable and knowledgeable source, but are also truly interested in our well-being. Whether it be reminding us to get sleep or handing out extra-credit to attend career-advancing events, such as the Career Fair and special speakers, they push us to grow. I just know that with my learning style (which is very hands-on), I really appreciate the small classroom settings. My professor knows my name and offers great feedback on my work. I know I am getting my money’s worth out of this education, not just going to class because I have to!

Involvement: My ultimate favorite thing about Riddle is the level of involvement of the students. This is something I didn’t know about before becoming a full-time student on campus. Now, I love being around people who encourage me to join clubs and take advantage of all the opportunities on campus. This type of environment makes you challenge and push yourself to try new things and get out of your room. Not to mention it’s just really fun to be involved! You make a lot of friends and learn so much about yourself. Plus it doesn’t hurt that it looks stellar on a resume!

The Buildings: This one will be short. The buildings are gorgeous. The dorms are super fancy. The Mori Hosseini Student Union is so nice. It’s literally the most beautiful Starbucks ever. There’s live plants and the ceiling looks like stars. Also, the outdoor seating resembles a 5-star resort with the fanciest chairs and tables. And… There’s a video game lounge. Enough said!

Please make a note that these are things that experience and think are great. There are many more opportunities available for students that I do not partake. It may be because of available time, relevance to my major, or just that I did not know about it! I also only wanted to speak to opportunities that make us very unique and different than other schools, because we do have many great things that are general to many other Universities, and I didn’t want to bog down the good stuff!

Stay tuned for a holiday wishlist for college!

Happy hunting folks! ~ Maddie Dietrich

Things To See on an ERAU Campus Visit

Hi all!

It is fall break and I am currently in Alabama visiting Chris. This last fall break of mine, I find myself looking back on other fall breaks. Particularly, the one in high school when I came to tour Riddle. This got me thinking that there were things I wish I knew to go see or ask on my tour. Here they are:

To begin, let’s talk about things to see/do on campus…

  1. I wish I had sat in on a class. I did this at Preview Day in the spring, but I think if you are pondering which major to do, try to arrange to sit in on a class. Try to ask before arriving so Admissions can do their best to get you in!
  2. Join a flight! Many people do not know this, but if you are considering pursuing a flight major, try to observe a flight. Weather or aircraft availability may prevent you from being able to take an observer flight, but if you can, you will get a taste for how prestigious our program is and also have a blast with the scenic views. Dress code for observing flights requires long pants and closed toe shoes. Come dressed appropriately and ask about an observer flight when you visit campus!
  3. Try the food. I think many people don’t think to do this, but it gives you a taste of your future. I recommend Qdoba, our newest addition, or Propellers, a classic. Join a lunch table (they are set up as communal) and talk to students! They are happy to share their experiences and recommendations! What better way to know the university than talking to the people who eat, play, study, and even sleep there!
  4. Take pictures on the residence hall tours! This is BEYOND helpful when you are planning for move in. I wish I had done this, but you can go visit my packing list blog for some pictures as well in case you forget.
  5. Stop by financial aid if you’ve already been accepted and your FAFSA has been filed and reviewed. Your Admissions Counselor can help with general questions before your aid has been processed. If you have questions, they can help answer them. This saves you back-and-forth emails. I’m old-fashion though, I prefer face-to-face communication, especially on confusing, important matters.
  6. When planning a time to come, try to attend Open House (next weekend) or Preview Day in the spring. Open House welcomes to all prospective students and their families while Preview Day is only for accepted students and their families. These events make touring residence halls, attending classes, and observing flights a lot easier. What I like best though, is that there are opportunities to meet and learn about campus activities and organizations. There are typically general information sessions as well. And if you’re wondering the best time of year to visit, I prefer the fall. It’s not too hot out and that’s nice considering the tour requires walking outside. Ultimately, my best tip is try to come when there are students on campus. I came on my school breaks and they happened to line up with Riddle’s breaks. Therefore my perception of the campus was that it was always empty – which is completely false. I think it’s best to see the bustling campus because that is the most realistic image, in my opinion.

While you are in Daytona, I highly recommend Tia Cori’s Tacos or Rosie’s on Beach Street for some good eats. Chicken Salad Chick is also one of my favorites, with their wide array of chicken salads (it sounds weird but it’s delicious) and yummy grape salad! Touring the race track or hitting up the massive flea market are fun things to do. And if you’re like my family, Disney World and Universal Studios are only an hour away! If time allows, try to go 45 minutes north to see Saint Augustine – a real fun spot to spend your afternoon!

If you have any questions – write a comment! I’ll get back to you! ~ Maddie

Check Out the New Student Union!

Hi all!

Happy fall! October begins the month of warm drinks and sweaters (yes, even in Florida because the classrooms can be chilly)! October also marks the opening of the new Student Union at the Daytona Beach campus! While I wanted to be one of the first 50 students in to get a Starbucks card or grab some free coffee and Krispy Kreme, I accidentally overslept. Hey hey now, classes at noon make it very hard to get up at 8 am these days.

Here are some pictures of the beauty!

Things I love about the new Student Union:

  1. It looks amazing and futuristic. I think this is an icon of the university. When I go home and show my friends my school, I will show them pictures of this big beauty.
  2. There is new food! Qdoba opened up and it is delicious! Chick-Fil-a now how a full menu. And the Starbucks is the prettiest one I have visited (and this says a lot since I’ve visited my fair share).
  3. The space was made for students. There are so many study spaces, computers, and socializing areas.
  4. The bookstore – please stop by! It is bigger and better than ever.
  5. There are areas specifically for space launch and airport viewing. Welcome to Embry-Riddle folks!
  6. I feel I am off-campus, which can be nice when you live on-campus. It makes me feel like I am at a fancy mall almost.
  7. There is outdoor space that looks and feels very nice. There are even speakers and lawn chairs out there!
  8. Event spaces from the future also reside on the first floor. Please excuse me while I try to find a reason to book one of those!

Outdoor dining spaces

Starbucks

Starry sky

Starbucks seating

More study/social space

Beautiful windows

Dining

Seating outside of Starbucks

Real plants!

Overall, are we finally getting that big school feeling but our small school feeling? I guess we can have it all!

P.S. Sorry for the picture quality. I will try to find a better way to upload them since they are clear on my phone and computer, just not once uploaded…

Thanks for bearing with me and enjoy!

Why I Chose Embry-Riddle

Happy fall!

Maybe not officially, but to me fall is in full swing. My routine has settled a bit more and you can believe that lots of pumpkin chai (made in the dorm) and Starbucks Caramel Spice Lattes with extra caramel are always in hand. While I do love my afternoon courses, I try to get out of my room and grab a coffee to get some work done before class. All the while I still get to sleep in, so that’s nice.

As we settle into classes, I wanted to shift my blog focus from preparing the incoming freshman and other students to sharing more general information about the university. You may be seeing more about student life, academics, on-campus jobs, and etc. I want to be real with you about my life at Riddle… See what I did there?

To begin this new series, if you will, I want to discuss why I chose Embry-Riddle. I think I can summarize this into a few points to keep this nice and simple. In my opinion, the school really sells itself. I have said this before, but if you can come tour the campus, you will fall in love. It happens to everyone. Especially with our brand new Student Union (pictures and post to come soon)!

1. The Name

The Embry-Riddle name is quite prestigious. It’s easy to forget how widely-known our school is in the aviation industry until you work in it. At my internship with United Airlines, everyone was blown away that I was a Riddle student. Not to mention any time it came up, I typically could find an alum who was happy to come join the conversation and network with me. Aviation is a tight-knit community. Having the name Embry-Riddle attached to you, on the top of your resume holds more weight than we may think.

2. The Campus is Gorgeous

As I mentioned above, we have a new Student Union. More so, we have gorgeous new dorms (with even more being built right now for Fall 2019). There is the shiny COAS (College of Arts and Sciences) which is stunning with its dome encompassing the largest telescope in Florida. Anyways, *closes jaw* the new Student Union is beyond beautiful. Not only does it resemble an airplane/eagle, it has a new walkway surrounded by palm trees. Our tiny school is beginning to have big campus looks with the small feeling we all love. And I almost forgot… the beach is nearby and you literally walk to class watching planes take off from the airport right in front of your face. Enough said. Take a look for yourself on our Instagram.

3. The Professors are Top Notch

This is kind of nerdy, and I never really appreciated it until I was in class here, but the professors are the best in the industry. When you are reading the books written by your professor, really soaking in their years of experience, that is the stuff that helps you grow and become an industry expert too. My professors can bring their years of experience into the classroom and help me understand the ways of the business more than a regular, old PowerPoint ever could. One professor even offered internships at the end of the course since he owned an airport consulting company nearby.

4. I Wanted Something Different

This is more personal to me, but I just wanted change. I love home — do not get me wrong. I just felt everyone all purposely went to the same colleges and I wanted a fresh start. I enjoyed high school, but I wanted a unique college with students who could truly relate to me. Embry-Riddle is just this. When else do you find other young adults who stop walking and gawk at the airplanes in the sky or have a passion for rockets or drones or anything aerospace and aviation related really? This leads me to my next point…

5. It Felt Like Home

When my parents dropped me off, they were very comforted by the faculty, students, and staff repeatedly saying we are a family. This is true. Your professors genuinely care about you and how you are. Your bosses at your on-campus jobs care. Your peers care. Most of us are from areas far away from Daytona since we come for this specialty focus. This means we are all far from home, far from family. So we make our own. Normal state schools have many students who live nearby or at least in-state. Here we lean on each other a little more because in a sense, we all relate to one another.

Also, this point can be used to talk about the sense of community I felt when I walked onto the campus the first time. I felt like I belonged here and I cannot explain it. Every school I compared to Embry-Riddle’s environment. I knew I couldn’t miss out on all its opportunities and its quirkiness.

Until next time,

Maddie