About Adriana

Aerospace Engineering, Honors

Minor: Space Studies / Astronomy
Career Goals: To work for NASA or a private company as an engineer.
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: Small school allows me to form close bonds with people, the students and staff are exceptional, plus the reputation is unbeatable!

October 3, 2010

A month has gone by already? It’s so unbelievable to think that just over 40 days ago, I was back home in California. I loved my life back home, don’t get me wrong, but it feels like this is where I belong. Last blog, I just introduced myself, so let me say a little about what’s been going on since I got here.

Move-in day was August 25th. Knowing how hectic things can be during this time, settling in was relatively a breeze! Anywho—I live in Adams Hall, 5th floor (i.e the penthouse). Honors program got me here. See, if you apply early enough (by the beginning of the Spring), you might get an invitation from Dr. Kain, the honors program coordinator, asking you to apply for the honors program. Not everyone gets it, but if you have enough AP/IB credits and a good SAT score, all you have to do is send in an essay and your resume, and hope for the best! For those of you who think that it’s more work (and therefore a waste of time), don’t fret!! Actually, we get many credits waived just for taking honors courses. For example, since I already had most of my general education credits out of the way from high school courses, the honors seminar replaced my Speech credit! Such a great feeling, especially since I’m not a very good public speaker. Did I mention the material perks too? Well, this year we all got free iPads. We thought it was a joke, too, until we opened our gift bags at the Honors Banquet the eve of move-in day. We also get priority registration for next semester, which is a great perk, considering freshmen are usually the last to pick.

Next big event was Orientation week. It was definitely a lot more pumped up than I would have thought. The highlight of the week was the O-team, who is in charge of easing us through all the activities and to-dos of the week. Saturday morning, I was sitting quietly in my room when I hear a mob of screaming maniacs coming down the hall. I open the door slowly to see who is outside, and a hand reaches in and drags me outside. We are paraded down to the elevators where packs of people are stuffed inside, and the O-team starts screaming ‘O, O, O, O’, which is their motto. Although I was a tad taken back at first, they took us to the ‘Food Dude’, who is a former “The Next Food Network Star” contestant, who taught us how to stay healthy while in college. Trust me it is a lot better than it sounds. We also had a quite humorous skit by our RAs (Residence Advisors) about safety, then a nice re-make of Deal or No Deal—aptly named Beat the Banker for copyright purposes. When it came time to say goodbye to my parents, I was glad I had a few friends with me.

The second week of school, the University Diversity Office set up a scavenger hunt for women only, where we had to run around the school for a good hour looking for clues. It was so tiring, but I got to meet my mentors. The program is called FIRST (Female Initiatives: Reaching Success Together), where Freshman girls in Engineering, Space Physics and Engineering Physics are set up with older girls, who will act as their mentors throughout the year.

Speaking of clubs, the Student Activities office organized an Activities Fair on Legacy Walk (between the school buildings), which showcased all of the possible ways to get involved around campus. As I walked down the path, I couldn’t believe how many things to do there are! I found clubs anywhere from Airsoft to several different cultural groups, to a club for gamers to even a Civil Air Patrol! I guess it does make up for our lack of a football team…. Come on, how many schools can say they have their own air acrobatics team?? Or a skydiving club?? Like many would say around here, ‘Only at Riddle’.

I joined a few clubs (a few too many some would say). Right now, I’m sticking with only a few: Touch N Go Productions (they’re amazing. They are in charge of organizing all the activities. Check them out, the women’s Baja team (which is the only all-women’s mini-Baja team in the world!), and, of course, the FIRST program.

Two weeks ago, when I wrote my first journal, was my birthday. I was feeling very down, since I wouldn’t get to spend my 18th birthday with my family. However, at exactly midnight, my roommate Bharvi and the rest of my good friends threw me a surprise birthday party in my room. I can honestly say that I’ve never been more grateful to someone before. Later that day, we went to my friend’s grandmother’s vacation home, where they baked me a cake and had a Pixar movie night just for me (I absolutely love anything Disney and Pixar). A great tip, which came up on the Facebook c/o 2015 page, was to meet people before you get to college. Embry-Riddle has two open houses in October and April. This is a fantastic way to meet up with the people who will potentially be your best friends in college.

When it comes to the academics, college is much simpler than I would have thought. Most teachers make us have a schedule to manage our time and so far, it’s worked like a charm. I got through 3 tests for far, and right now, my team and I are working on a satellite for EGR-101 (which is an introduction to engineering). What amazes me the most is that at this school is that most teachers use airplanes or rockets when explaining concepts. In physics, for example, half of our problems deal with an alien and a rocket ship. Again, only at Riddle.

Before closing for now, I would like to send out sincere congratulations to the Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) freshmen on their graduation this week. They are now midshipmen, and a step closer to becoming officers! They work very hard (Physical training 5 days/week, 10 hours tutoring mandatory/week) and deserve our thank you for serving our country.

I’m all done for this week! Remember you can always e-mail/contact me on facebook if you have any questions.

September 19, 2010

My parents always told me that they never figured out what they wanted to do with their lives until they were well into college. I know personally several people who changed their majors 3 times in the span of a few months. Therefore, it was only natural to receive weird looks and snickers as a child when I knew exactly what to do with my life at such a young age.

I was born and raised in a country where violence is a daily occurrence and I spent 9 years of my life there. No, I’m not talking about the United States, but a far less known country in the middle of Central America–El Salvador. Although my parents always provided the best for my brother Luis (who is 5 years younger than I) and me, there was not much of an opportunity to move up the ladder. It came as a surprise to my mom and dad when I told them I wanted to do something related to the skies. My mother worked in Iberia as a saleswoman, and that was the closest anyone could get to the clouds without being a pilot. I don’t know exactly what pushed me in that direction. Maybe it was the thrill of the conquest of the unknown, and maybe it was just a secret desire to have been born as a bird.

In 2002, a breakthrough happened. My dad got offered a job in Miami, Florida. Our first apartment here, which was offered to him by his company for a few months, was located only a few miles from Miami International Airport. I delighted myself every night sitting on the balcony staring at the airplanes land, much to my mother’s disapproval, since we were so high up in the air. When it came time to buy our new house, I bothered my dad to be near airplanes. I guess it worked, since we ended up just 2 miles from Tamiami Airport.

Fast forward to the present, my family now lives in San Ramon, California (which is about an hour east of San Francisco). I stand where I always dreamed of being. I am an Aerospace Engineering major (my eyesight prevents me from being a pilot) at one of the best schools in the country. I have to admit, though, that Embry-Riddle wasn’t exactly my first choice. Neither my parents nor I had heard of this school–maybe since we had lived abroad for so long. After doing some research during my senior year, I narrowed my choices to 7 schools–SUPAERO in southern France, Georgia Tech, UTexas-Austin, UCF, UF, and Florida Institute of Technology and, of course, Riddle. After visiting most of these schools at the end of the fall, my pick became evident. Honestly, the campus did not catch my eye at first. It is a more suburban city than I was used to back in Miami, and the school itself is pretty small compared to the other state schools I was used to. However, after pondering on it for a while, and after visiting the amazing labs around, I couldn’t resist.

So far, I don’t regret my choice at all. You get to really know the people around you. The best advice I have is come to the open houses the campus offers in the fall and the spring (I believe they are held in October and April). I met some of the best friends I have in those days. Another great tip? Whatever school you decide on going to, Facebook-stalk your future classmates! Well, maybe just join the c/o 2015 pages that are cropping up around the net. Hands down, this is the best way to find others with the same interests as you do, and you never know! Your best friend might be just a click away!

P.S: Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have–whether you’re a girl seeking a friend (the “Riddle Ratio” is pretty evident–though most people you ask exaggerate it.), or you’re just seeking unbiased advice from a college freshman. My e-mail is up top (, or you can also find me on Facebook (