Carly

About Carly

Freshman

Aerospace Engineering

Major: Aerospace Engineering
Minor: Applied Mathematics
Hometown:Berea, Kentucky
Campus Involvement: Honors Program mentor, Women's Ambassador, O-Team, Society of Women Engineers, Theta Phi Alpha sorority
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.

Return to Riddle

Never in my life will I take Florida weather for granted again…

So, as of Saturday, January 8, I am back at Embry-Riddle! Even though meal plans don’t start until Monday, January 10, I arrived early since I’m on the Orientation Team and working spring orientation.

For me, winter break was pretty fun. I didn’t have a job since my family took a week-long destination Christmas to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida on the Gulf Coast. We were with some of our other family members, who were from California, and I had a lot of fun. Our rental house was on the beach and a short walk away from a shopping center.

I didn’t end up swimming in the Gulf- it was a little too cold for that. My mom and little sister ended up swimming, but I mostly enjoyed the sun, sand, and shops. We ended up going over to a boardwalk once, where I did a high ropes course which was super fun. I completed the first level before discovering that I did not love heights.

My home airport is Lexington, Kentucky (LEX) and I was flying Delta back, so I connected through Atlanta. On the way from Lexington to Atlanta, the aircraft being used was a 717, and I ended up snagging seat 20B- an aisle seat with no seat next to the window. So, I had a row to myself.

Seat 20B on the 717.

It was pretty cool to have- and I didn’t have to pay extra for it! It was only about an hour of flight time, which was good since I couldn’t exactly lean my head on the window. The flight from Lexington to Atlanta was pretty full and definitely a climate shock. Atlanta was chilly, yes, but not freezing cold. And there was no snow in Atlanta- on Thursday, Kentucky got a massive snowstorm.

As usual, the Atlanta airport was busy. I ended up grabbing a Starbucks (I have a new drink order: the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew!) before heading over to my next gate. The flight to Daytona had a ten-minute delay, which wasn’t too bad.

I really like flying into the Daytona Beach airport. First, it’s super small; the longest TSA wait I’ve ever had wasn’t longer than five minutes. There are only one to two flights leaving at the same time, so it doesn’t take as long. The airport itself is small, so it’s perfect for those who aren’t very comfortable in an airport alone. Plus, it’s a short drive from campus with little holiday traffic.

Flying in over Daytona!

A friend picked me up from the airport and delivered me back to O’Connor. From there, I unpacked and made a quick Walmart run to stock up on things my dorm needed for the upcoming semester. I’m super excited for the upcoming semester, too!

See you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

Back to Kentucky

In which I can sleep until 12:30 PM every day.

So, now that the fall semester is over at Embry-Riddle, I returned to Kentucky to see my family for the holidays. I ended up leaving on December 16, the day after my last final. Thankfully, if you’re returning for the spring semester, you’re able to keep all of your stuff in your dorm and don’t have to move it into storage.

Goodbye, dorm room!

My last final was on December 15 at 7:15 PM. In my opinion, a night final is better than a daytime final; I’m a night owl and hate getting up early. Luckily, the earliest final I had started at 10:15 AM; in the normal academic year, my first class started at 10:10.

I caught a ride to the airport with a few friends about an hour before the flight. We were super early- the one thing that I love about the Daytona Beach airport is that the TSA wait time is super short. It usually takes me between 5 and 10 minutes from the time I walk through the airport doors to the time I arrive at the gate.

I’ve never flown out of MCO (the Orlando airport) during the holidays, but I know that the lines can get super long and time-consuming. If you ever go to MCO, you’re also likely to get stuck in traffic trying to get to the airport, too- everyone wants to fly out from MCO since it’s a larger airport. MCO is also a destination for more airlines like Southwest and Spirit; DAB only consistently has flights operated by American and Delta.

There were plenty of Embry-Riddle students on the flight I was on, and I ran into several friends there. Apparently, the plane we were flying on had been delivered to Delta in September of this year and only had about 900 flight hours on it.

Leaving Riddle, taking off over the beach on 7L!

I had about a one-hour layover in Atlanta and ended up running from the T gates over to the D gates since that was where my plane to Lexington was. The Atlanta airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, and during the holiday season, it too was packed. I passed a few TSA checkpoints and I was so glad I wasn’t stuck in the line there.

The flight from Atlanta to Lexington was shorter than the one from Daytona Beach to Atlanta. It was also a smaller plane (CRJ-900 compared to A321), but still a beautiful piece of engineering nonetheless. I was lucky enough to watch a parallel takeoff. It’s definitely a must-watch event for aviation enthusiasts.

Leaving ATL!

When I landed in Lexington, the weather was completely different than that in Daytona Beach. It was sunny in Daytona when I left, and a day where I could’ve worn shorts. However, in Kentucky, it was cold and rainy- definitely a “pants and long sleeves” sort of day. In addition to my T-shirt, I’d brought along a sweatshirt knowing that Kentucky was cold.

I’ve been in Kentucky for a while now, and I definitely miss the Daytona Beach weather. It’s actually cold in Kentucky- 20 and 30-degree weather compared to the mid-60s or low 70s in Daytona. It’s definitely different- my college friends aren’t a few dorms away, we’re hundreds of miles apart, but we’re still finding ways to stay connected to each other over the break.

I end up flying back to Daytona Beach on Saturday, January 11 since I’ll also be working spring orientation! I’ve been selected to be a part of the 2022 Orientation Team and I’m very excited for spring orientation. Although I miss Embry-Riddle, it’s nice to have winter break since I’ll be catching up on sleep and time with my cats. Happy holidays, and I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

My cat Chocolate sleeping under our Christmas tree!

I Tried My Friends’ Starbucks Drinks

I’m convinced that my body composition is like 90% Starbucks at this point.

Finals week just ended at Embry-Riddle, and like many others here on campus, I had a need for Starbucks. I usually rotate through the same few orders (Pink Drinks and iced caramel macchiatos!) but I decided to try new drinks that my friends suggested.

I’ve only ever done one ranking post, and that was when I ranked study spots. The Starbucks menu, however, is so vast with infinite combinations of syrups, milk choices, and toppings. So I decided to ask a few of my friends about their favorite Starbucks drinks and give my opinion on them!

Drink 1: My Personal Favorite, the Iced Caramel Macchiato!

Iced Caramel Macchiato!

The iced caramel macchiato has made several appearances on the blog already, from being my post-booster drink of choice to my “going home for break” drink of choice. In my opinion, the iced caramel macchiato (once stirred) is the perfect combination of bitter coffee and sweet caramel. It also comes in a hot variety (which I’ve never tried) so it’s the perfect year-round drink for the caramel lover. (Also, side note: stir the drink. Do not drink straight espresso.)

Overall Score: 10/10!
Would I order it again? 100%.

Drink 2: Megan’s Peppermint Mocha Creme Frappuccino

Peppermint Mocha frappuccino!

On a Thursday before class, Megan suggested that we grab Starbucks, and of course, I said yes. So I decided to try her favorite drink- the peppermint mocha frappuccino. It usually has a special topping, but it just so happened that the campus Starbucks was out of it. I got the creme version (it also comes in a coffee-based version) and I have to say, it was pretty good. It wasn’t super sweet, but it wasn’t bitter, and there was only a hint of peppermint in it. In the end, it was kind of tasteless since the ice had melted down to create a milk-frappuccino-water slush. It’s also very rich- I was barely able to finish the grande.

Overall Score: 8/10
Would I order it again? Yes, if I wanted a sweet drink to drink in 15 minutes or less.

Drink 3: Merrick’s Iced Oat Milk Cappuccino

Iced oat milk cappuccino!

Next up on the list is fellow blogger Merrick’s iced oat milk cappuccino. I first had this drink during Orientation Week and enjoyed it for the same reason that I enjoyed it this time- it was a nice caffeine boost. The iced oat milk cappuccino isn’t super sweet, and you can taste the bitterness of the coffee. It was a great power-up for a Friday since I finished a lot of my homework. However, it would not be my top choice since I prefer sweet drinks. I can’t drink straight black coffee- it’s far too bitter to me.

Overall Score: 7/10
Would I order it again? Yes, if I wanted a wake-me-up boost of caffeine.

Drink 4: Barista Bianca’s Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte

Sugar cookie almondmilk latte!

In the beginning of the month I’d ended up in the Starbucks line and I had no idea what I wanted. I ended up talking to one of my barista friends, Bianca, who said that the sugar cookie almondmilk latte wasn’t bad. So I decided to try that, and she was right- it wasn’t bad, it was actually pretty good. It wasn’t super sweet, but it wasn’t super bitter either- kind of in between the caramel macchiato and the oatmilk cappuccino. The one thing that I don’t like about it was the sugar cookie sprinkles that you can see on the top of the lid. In my opinion, they tasted kind of weird.

Overall Score: 7/10
Would I order it again? Yes, if I wanted a wake-me-up boost of caffeine.

Drink 5: The Skinny Vanilla Latte

Iced skinny vanilla latte!

I’ll be honest- all of the drinks on here have some sort of sweetness because I simply cannot tolerate the bitterness of a straight-up iced coffee. I’ve got a sweet tooth. This drink hadn’t been specifically requested, but I’d heard that the hot version was good from a friend. However, it’s been hot here, and I was not in the mood for a hot drink. So I decided to try the cold version and I was not disappointed. You can taste the coffee, but it’s diluted with milk and sweet vanilla syrup, so it’s not bitter at all, but not overly sweet. It’s definitely a drink I’m going to get again!

Overall Score: 8.5/10
Would I order it again? Yes, any time I wanted an iced coffee.

So there we have it! Five drinks tried over the last bit of finals week, and I don’t regret trying any of them. If you’re about to enter your final exams, you might need a coffee to power your way through. I haven’t gotten my final grades in yet since Wednesday the 15th marked the end of finals, but I’m excited to see what I get, knowing that I did the best I could. I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

I Went Flying With My Two Best Friends

And they never forget to remind me, “You could’ve been an AS major!”

On Sunday, December 12, I went flying in a Cessna for the first time since I switched out of aeronautical science.

Chris (right), me, and Jack!

It’s a common occurrence here at Embry-Riddle. We have a lot of Aeronautical Science, or AS, majors, and a lot of non-AS students also have at least a private pilot’s license. ERAU’s aircraft are reserved for AS students, so students resort to external aircraft. There are several flight schools that operate out of Daytona’s airport, so it’s common for people to rent aircraft or get their private pilot’s license at one of those schools.

And two of my best friends just happen to be pilots! Chris is a junior in AS, and he’s currently finishing up his commercial certificate. Jack is a freshman in Aviation Business Administration, and he has a private pilot’s license. I, on the other hand, haven’t done any flight training except the eight modules I completed through Embry-Riddle as an AS major.

Jack had reserved a plane through Air America from 12 to 3 PM since it is finals week and we didn’t want to be away from our studies for too long. The three of us decided that we wanted to go to DeLand and get lunch at the little restaurant for our little outing.

Wing pic!

It was a really short ride, but fun nonetheless. Since there wasn’t too much for me to do besides take pictures in the backseat, I ended up reading and reviewing for the final exam I had tomorrow. DeLand’s restaurant was nice, and it was quite busy on a Sunday afternoon. I also noticed that there was a surprising amount of aircraft there, including complex aircraft.

DeLand’s airport is also home to Skydive DeLand, and as we were heading back to Daytona Beach, we saw one of their aircraft take off. It wasn’t the only large aircraft I’d seen that day, though. When we left, we saw the 12:45 PM Delta Air Lines waiting on the taxiway. I ended up looking behind us a few minutes later and watched it take off over the beach, soaring into the clouds.

I was also able to get the classic bird’s-eye-view picture over Embry-Riddle, which reminded me just how beautiful our campus is. Going flying is definitely something unique to ERAU- not every school has plenty of pilots. Not every university has flight schools and an airport nearby. It’s definitely something that sets ERAU apart from every other university, and it’s something I wouldn’t trade for the world. I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

Bye for now!

Launch Week and Alligator Sighting

I have determined that I never want to see an alligator ever again unless it’s in a zoo.

This past week had two launches! On Thursday, December 2, there was a Starlink launch at 6:12 PM, while there was a STP (Space Test Program) launch at 5:19 AM on Tuesday, December 7.

The Thursday launch was beautiful. It happened around sunset, so the reddish-orange tail of the exhaust plume had a dark blue/purple background. One of my friends was going down to Port Orange, so I hitched a ride with him after my physics class. We ended up finding a beach access spot about twenty minutes earlier than launch time:

Awaiting a beach launch.

The two of us ended up talking and hanging out until the actual launch happened. It was on a SpaceX Falcon 9, and it went off right at the scheduled launch time. I’d never watched a launch from anywhere that wasn’t close before, so it was definitely a new experience.

I couldn’t hear the noise over the sound of waves crashing on the beach, but it was still a pretty view. Even up close, the rocket isn’t huge, but from here it looked more like a timelapse of a sunrise. It’s definitely a good way to watch if you don’t want to drive all the way down to Titusville.

Beach launch time!

The Tuesday launch had several delays. It was scheduled for Sunday at 4:04 AM, then moved to Monday, and finally moved to Tuesday. On Tuesday, at T-4 (four minutes before it was scheduled to launch), it was delayed again to 5:03 AM and eventually launched at 5:19 AM. I’m just glad it wasn’t a total scrub- it’s about an hour’s drive to the launch site each way. Luckily, my earliest class was 3:45 in the afternoon, so I was fine to drive down.

Well, our group had arrived at around 3:45. One of my friends had brought his camera, which he set up, and the other two and I ended up looking over at the water. Someone spotted a gator under the dark water, which scared me a bit- I’m not from Florida and have no experience with wild alligators. It ended up making a splash, but then it became silent again.

Once the launch was delayed, all four of us ended up getting back in the car. We sat around and talked about our classes and experiences at Riddle. That’s one thing that I love about the people in this school- everyone has a shared interest in aviation, aerospace, or both. And everyone who goes to a rocket launch at crazy hours of the morning loves aerospace.

Fog had started to roll in around 5:19, but we were still able to get a good view:

Night launch ft. fog!

The fog wasn’t too thick, so it didn’t really obstruct our view. This launch was pretty loud, and the alligators around us apparently did not appreciate the disturbance. So a few moments after the rumble had started, we heard a different sort of noise- an alligator growl.

What happened next was a blur. I was closest to the car, about ten feet away, and I jumped in it with everyone else following quickly behind. Unfortunately for us, the camera that we’d set up was still outside, so we ended up backing the car to the camera and pulling it in through the back window. We all watched the rocket curve across the sky from the car, and once it disappeared, we left before running into any more agitated alligators.

Overall, it’s been a pretty good week in terms of launches. There’s one scheduled for Thursday at 1 AM, but I’ll likely not be going since it’s the end of the semester and I need to study for finals. I actually only have three this year- physics, thermodynamics, and statics. It was nice to have a break in between this crazy pre-finals week and watch some launches, knowing that it’s what I’ll work on once I graduate. I’ll see you in the next post, and hopefully at Riddle!

Thanksgiving Break in Daytona Beach

…We stay hungry, we devour our Thanksgiving dinner!

After my pre-Thanksgiving weekend and the two days of class, Thanksgiving break has finally arrived. Last year, due to COVID-19, finals were virtual and Thanksgiving and Christmas break were merged into one long two-month break. I went home then, so I’ve never experienced Embry-Riddle during break time.

I did miss my family. To me, Thanksgiving break was a little too short and a little too late for me to want to go home- I’d be seeing my family in two weeks, and I saw them when they came to see me at the SWE conference earlier this year. The only family members I hadn’t seen were my cats, but I got plenty of pictures of them over the break, including this one, where my cat is curled up in my windowsill.

Chocolate the Cat!

It was also really quiet here, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I did a lot of homework on Wednesday and Thursday, and also made a trip to Walmart on Wednesday. It was, as I predicted, pretty packed. I ended up getting my groceries (hopefully through winter break?), including my favorite holiday treat: eggnog. I know that “Is Eggnog Good?” is a hefty debate topic, but I’m on the side of eggnog being good.

Thursday was Thanksgiving. One of my other friends had also stayed for the break, so we decided to go to dinner at IHOP. For those on campus without access to a car, the Boundless All-You-Can-Eat dining location also does a Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day, and from what I’ve heard, this year’s was really good. At IHOP, I ended up trying the new Winter Wonderland pancakes with blue marble-looking frosting, and they were delicious.

After IHOP, we checked FlightRadar24 and found out that a Delta flight was on final approach. So the two of us jumped in the car and tried to get to the airport’s cell phone lot to watch it come in, but we got held up by several red lights. We did end up seeing it come in as we were waiting, and it wasn’t the worst spot ever, but we couldn’t hear it well, unfortunately.

Delta flight (last flight of the day) on Thanksgiving on final approach.

Friday was pretty uneventful too. I ended up going to Steak n Shake for a very late 9 PM dinner with the same friend, getting a chocolate milkshake. We ended up driving around Daytona for a little bit, and then around campus. It was like a ghost town- everyone was gone, and even though it was 10 PM, there were NO cars in the student union parking lot. Usually, on a weeknight, people are still doing their late-night studying, so you’d see at least a few.

We parked facing the runway, and the most unusual thing about the break was the lack of flight training going on. We were there for a decent amount of time and barely saw anyone going in and out. The flight department was officially shut down on Thanksgiving, but flight training continued on Friday. It was unusual to see maybe one ERAU plane in the entire amount of time we were sitting there.

Holiday break runway-watching.

Saturday and Sunday were also quiet. On Saturday, people started coming back from break, but the bulk of people arrived on Sunday night. By then, the halls were lively again, and I’d see people as I passed by instead of standing in a seemingly-abandoned ERAU.

Did I miss my family? Yes. Was I glad that I stayed for break? Also yes. I got caught up on a lot of my homework, and I had plenty of time to do it so I wasn’t stressed about doing it all during one short time period. I had two thermodynamics homework assignments, an essay draft, physics, and math homework to do which I all successfully did over the break.

It was also very nice to sleep in until 11 or 12 each morning and not have to worry about attending or missing classes. The break was definitely needed before the push to final exams, which are in about two weeks. The last day of finals is December 15, and I, unfortunately, have one during the last time period of the day. It’s fine, though- I’ll be studying hard over the next few weeks.

I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle! (We’re having a preview day and family weekend in the spring semester, so I might see you there!)

I Got the COVID-19 Booster Shot

Side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine? Making blog posts!

So, I ended up getting the COVID-19 booster shot (aka the third dose) on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I’d been planning to stay in Daytona anyway and I didn’t really know how I’d react to the third dose of the COVID vaccine. The first dose gave me zero side effects and the second dose knocked me out for a few days.

Since boosters were available at ERAU’S Health Services, I decided to go over there before class started. They were also free like the original first and second dose I got at Walgreens last semester.

Number three!

I had two classes after that, Calculus 3 and Physics 2. Since a lot of people were traveling, my Calc 3 professor decided to do the lecture on Zoom and post it to Canvas where we could refer to it at any time. That’s one thing that I really like about online lectures- they’re always there on the Canvas page so I can go back and watch the professor explain in case my notes aren’t sufficient.

We began Chapter 34 in physics, which was talking about energy and light. By that time, my arm had a slight bit of soreness, but nothing too major, noticeable, or bad. I ended up going to the student to get Chick-fil-A from a friend, and the student union was busy. Everyone who was leaving for Thanksgiving was cashing out their meal plans. When you have 14, 17, 19, or even 21 meal plans per week, and you’re only on campus to use them for 1-3 days, it’s hard to know what to do with them, so a few friends offered them to me since I was staying for the break.

Post-booster Starbucks! It’s an iced caramel macchiato.

On Wednesday, my arm was decently sore, but I could still raise it and move it around. Thursday was Thanksgiving, and my arm had stopped hurting, but my armpit was kind of sore. I ended up Googling it and that’s a normal side effect. On Friday, the effects weren’t noticeable anymore, and it was business as usual over the weekend.

So for anyone who’s eligible to get their booster and considering doing so during the school year: I think you’d be fine, but I’m not a doctor. I personally didn’t experience anything too bad, but taking a test with your arm hurting is not an ideal condition.

I’ve heard the news about new variants of concern, and I’m glad I got the booster when I did. I’ve personally been wearing my mask indoors (my own choice, not ERAU policy), and combined with the vaccine, I think that’s how I avoided getting a severe COVID case. I’ll see you in the next post and hopefully at Riddle!

Pre-Thanksgiving Weekend

It’s that time of the year again… it’s about drive, it’s about power…

So, it’s that time of the year again, when it’s almost but not quite yet time for finals. It’s the time of the year where professors decide that they want you to have a nice Thanksgiving break so they schedule their major assignments to be due before the break. I’m glad for that since I won’t be doing much homework over break, but it’s a stressful time of the year.

That being said, it’s important to have a balance between your academic life and your social life/free time. If you never have any free time and are always doing academic activities, you’ll end up stressed, but if you never do any academic activities, you may not do as well in your classes as you’d like.

On Friday night, I went over to a friend’s dorm where we watched Black Panther. I also stayed the night with her, since she has extra space in her room. Sometimes when you’re supposed to have a roommate, you don’t get one, and that happened to her. You’re able to buy out the other half of the room at a reduced price, but if you don’t want to do that, it’s fine too. You just need to be prepared for the housing department to assign you a roommate.

Ukelele night!

I learned how to play a few chords on her spare ukelele, and I also got a sneak peek at the new dragons she’s making. She’s got a knack for clay crafts and started selling her dragon models online. You can find them online! I have one that she made, which is also one of the pictures on her website:

Dragon model!

After that, I went back to my dorm and did most of my homework. I have a statics test on Monday the 22nd, so I studied for that and did my physics homework for the rest of the week. I’m in physics 2, which I’m really liking. We’re just starting the optics unit, which is the final unit before the class ends.

For dinner on Saturday, I ended up going to Steak n’ Shake and splitting half of a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup milkshake with one of my other friends. On Sunday, I ended up driving by the airport and spotting a C-17. They don’t come in and out of DAB often, but they’re not exactly rare either. There were also some F-18s flying around this morning- I watched them take off around 11 AM, and one of them did an aileron roll, which was fun to watch.

The C-17 and a Delta aircraft!

After that, I attended a review session that my statics professor held before going back to my dorm and studying for a bit. At 6 PM, I ended up meeting a few friends and doing a group study/hangout. We’re all different majors- I’m aerospace engineering, and my friends are aeronautical science, homeland security, and mechanical engineering, respectively. We started off doing homework but then ended up playing Kerbal Space Program and watching Interstellar in a study room.

In my opinion, that was a really nice end to a stressful weekend. I’m looking forward to the break, where I’ll be working ahead on my homework and catching up on sleep. I’m not going home this year, so I’ll see what campus events Embry-Riddle is hosting. Whatever they are, I’m sure they’ll be fun! I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle events!

Crew-3 and Study Weekend

Am I obsessed with writing about rocket launches? Yes. Will I ever not be obsessed with rocket launches? No.

Rocket launch!

So, this past Wednesday (November 10) the Crew-3 mission began with the launch out of Cape Canaveral. Since Thursday was Veterans Day and was a day off, I decided to go down and watch. One of my friends has a Discord server put together for the space enthusiasts of Embry-Riddle so that we can coordinate carpooling and discuss space news, and it’s super helpful.

So on Wednesday night, a large group of us drove down to the viewing spot. It’s funny- a year ago, on November 15, Crew-1 launched and we were watching from the exact same spot. I even rode down then with some of the same people as I rode down with this time. It’s interesting how some people who you barely knew a year ago can become some of your best friends now, bonding over shared activities and love of launches.

The viewing spot that we use for crewed launches is called Haulover Canal Bridge, and it’s got a little manatee observation deck hidden off to the side. It’s perfect for watching the launch: the pad is right across from the observation deck, and you can watch the launch curve off to the left.

We all got there about half an hour early, but it’s always better to be early than late. In the meantime, we watched the live stream and hung out. A few of us ended up getting our feet into a circle, yielding this photo:

Shoe circle at Crew-3!

The launch went off right on time, and it was just as beautiful as ever, even through the clouds.

Launch through the clouds.

After the launch, since there was a large group of us, we decided to get dinner afterward. So we all drove back to Daytona Beach and 12 of us showed up to the iHOP, where we discussed the launch, previous launches, Embry-Riddle, what to order, and a bunch of other things.

That’s one thing that I love about Embry-Riddle. While most of us didn’t know each other before the launch, we ended up as friends in the end. When we finally got done at iHOP, it was nearly midnight, and some people decided that they wanted to watch Star Wars. I was a little too tired for that, so I ended up going back to my dorm and sleeping in, which felt nice after a long week.

The rest of the week and the weekend were pretty quiet. I did a lot of homework, studied, and made sure to hang out with some friends to have an appropriate school-life balance. As for the next launch with a launch time set, according to the Discord server, is STP-3, launching on Saturday, December 4th, at 4:04 a.m. EST. I plan on going to that one too- why not? I’ve attended a 5 AM launch, so what’s one hour earlier?

I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle! (And maybe even at a future launch!)

I Attended WE21 and It Was SWEet!

SWE swag? SWE swag.

So, during fall break, I attended the Society of Women Engineers’ annual conference, aka WE21, in Indianapolis, Indiana. I’d already paid for everything in the summer, and all that was left was to actually attend the conference!

Everyone had booked their flights separately, and I ended up on a flight that left Daytona Beach at about 4 PM and arrived in Indianapolis at 12:30 AM the next day. It wasn’t an ideal time, but I was able to attend all of my classes and fly out of the nonchaotic Daytona airport. I’ve flown out of the Orlando airport once, and it’s much bigger than Daytona. It also requires a larger time commitment- since it’s bigger, lines are longer, and there’s more chaos in between.

The trip to Indianapolis wasn’t too bad. One of my friends graciously dropped me off (and picked me up!) so I wouldn’t have to pay for parking, and I didn’t experience any significant delays. On the flight to Indianapolis, however, Delta Airlines had overbooked by 5 seats, and they were seeking volunteers to take the next flight in the morning. Thankfully, I had a seat on that flight, and they did get 5 volunteers, who each got $500, a hotel, and meal vouchers.

I got a pretty early start the next day at WE21. I checked in and then watched the keynote speaker, Stephanie C. Hill, the Executive Vice President of Rotary and Mission Systems at Lockheed Martin. It was super cool to listen to her speak in person, only a few hundred feet away (since I was in the back of the room).

WE21 had a lot going on. There were various other speakers, workshops, and social opportunities all included with the conference registration fee. I attended the resume review, where a lady from Honeywell reviewed my resume and gave me feedback. I ended up meeting a few other collegiate members from other schools, too! On the first day, we also took a group picture.

This year’s theme was Aspire to Inspire, and they had a wall to sign for members to leave their mark. Someone had already drawn Embry-Riddle’s logo on it (right above the “s” in aspire) so I ended up signing my name and drawing a little Cessna on it.

Aspire to Inspire!

SWE had been giving out free luggage tags, and I had a QR code that went to my LinkedIn. They also had a free computer lab, so I printed out the QR code, cut it out, and laminated it on a luggage tag. It worked well for me- I printed and laminated it right before the career fair, and it was easy for recruiters to scan. I also had a copy on the top of my resume in case they wanted to connect with me later.

I had a lot of fun at the conference. I went to several of the talks and spent as much time as I could at the career fair and resume workshops. I met a lot of other engineers, both collegiate and professional, and it was amazing! I also attended some Affinity Group meetings, which are meetings for people of similar backgrounds to meet up and connect.

The conference was definitely worth leaving Indianapolis at 7 AM. We wanted to be there early so we didn’t miss our flight, and I only ended up getting three hours of sleep the night before. I slept on the first plane to Atlanta and then ended up doing some of the coursework I’d neglected to do over break.

Flying back to Daytona!

The flight back to Daytona was pretty quick. It was on a Boeing 717, which is apparently pretty rare. According to my friends, not a lot of them were made, and not a lot of them are in circulation- plus it’s an older(ish) aircraft compared to the 737 and newer Boeing models. It was pretty cool to see- planes are beautiful pieces of engineering, and I love watching them come and go all day in Daytona. So I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully watching the planes at Riddle!