What’s so Great about Florida?

Being new to Florida, you may think we’re all about the beach. But as someone who’s lived in Florida all her life, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you more about all the things you can do in the area. Just this past month, I’ve done some fun things I want to share so you can think about experiencing them yourself.

I’ll start with the Annual St. Demetrios Greek Festival. Every year, around the second week of November, people everywhere come to check out Greek Fest right here in Daytona Beach at the Greek Orthodox Church. Going to this Festival is a literal taste of the Greek culture including authentic foods, music, and dancing. The festival has wonderful scenery as you sit back eat delicious food and enjoy an amazing view of our beautiful Florida waters. This event is an excellent idea to keep in mind as it is an annual event.

Another amazing thing about Daytona is how close we are to Orlando! Orlando is full of different exciting places, but it’s quite a busy place to live, which is why I personally think being in Daytona is a nice distance and a lot less traffic! With all there is to do in Orlando, I’m specifically talking about Universal. As college students, it’s nice to take a break and do something fun and since Universal is so close, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to take advantage of such a super, awesome, fun escape! The most amazing part about all this is that Embry-Riddle sells discounted tickets, so with if you’re afraid to break the bank too much, you can purchase discounted tickets in the ICI Center in the Rec sports office (cash only). And although Universal is my favorite, discounted tickets for different parks like Disney World, Sea World, and Busch Gardens are also available for students.

Even if you don’t go to the parks at Universal, the best part about it is the grand entrance that is City Walk. City Walk has amazing stores, great restaurants, and awesome night life fun. And it’s all just about an hour’s drive away.

Becoming an Eagle

“When it rains, most birds head for shelter; the Eagle is the only bird that, in order to avoid the rain, starts flying above the cloud…”  Author Unknown

There may be a point in time while in school that everything will seem difficult with no end in sight. Life is going to find a way to test you. At times, you may feel that this is unfair. The urge to quit during these times are the highest but don’t give in. At this point you have to tell yourself: it’s not about how good you are, but how bad you want it. Whatever your dream is, if it’s important to you, then fight for it. Just remember that there is more than one way to achieve your dreams. If one way doesn’t work, just change your strategy.

Follow your heart

Never giving up doesn’t mean you keep doing the wrong things over and over, it means to be smart and figure out the correct actions to take and then taking them until you achieve your dreams.

This semester has proven to be challenging to me, but the challenge is well worth it. In choosing to become an Eagle, I have taken the oath, the chance, the challenge to soar above the limits of normality. Each student here has their own their own desires out of life. Me? I choose the forecast my future for clear skies, and engineer my flight to the stars and beyond.

As Lanston Hughes once said, “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”

 

May 6, 2009

Hey guys. The spring semester has officially ended and I can’t wait for Summer A to start! Check-in for dorms started yesterday and continues thru today and classes begin tomorrow. I can’t wait for this summer. I already started having fun. The past two days I flew with friends to Tampa and visited Busch Gardens, walked around St. Petersburg and went to the mall in Brandon. It was a fun 2 days away from campus.

Classes last semester were awesome, especially grades. Finals went really well and were as smooth as possible. I will enjoy my all-female professor schedule for the summer and fall, haha. I am excited to take AT 200 (Air Traffic Management I) and BA 314 (Human Resource Management) for the first summer session. For BA 314, my professor already assigned us homework on Monday!

So far everything is going great. I move out of my room in McKay to my summer room in Adams. I am not looking forward to moving because I have so much stuff! It’s going to be a challenge and it has to get done. I will be a busy traveler this summer and also a studious student. I am going to enjoy the next few months as much as possible.

If you guys have any questions at all about anything at all, please feel free to email me. I appreciate the guys that have emailed me and I am glad to answer your questions. I am here to be a good resource for you guys so if can assist in any way please let me know. Tuition deposit was due May 1st, you can still make the deposit ASAP, and the housing deposit is due June 1st. Remember to file your FAFSA and contact admissions if you have any questions about the application or financial aid in general. I wish you guys luck in your admission process and hope to see you on campus in the fall.

Best wishes and safe skies,
Andre

April 23, 2009

Finally freshmen year is over! I had my last class of the year yesterday and I am doing my final preparation for finals! I can’t believe my freshmen year went by so quick. It was full of different adventures, I explored new things and most of all, enjoyed it. I had a lot of great professors this year, they were all there for me whenever I had a question on something and they all had good advice. I can’t wait for the summer now to get my ATC required courses started. Summer A session I will be taking AT 200-Air Traffic Management I and BA 314-Human Resource Management. Summer B session I will be taking WX301- aviation Weather and HU141- Western Humanities II. I am so excited to take these classes. I have heard nothing but good words about the professors teaching those classes and I can’t wait to be back in class May 7th.

Over summer I will be traveling quite a bit on the weekends seeing that we have Fridays off during the summer. I will be going back home for a weekend or two, I will be going to Milwaukee and Puerto Rico! I will also be going to various places in Florida including Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Orlando.

This past weekend, Undergrad Admissions hosted a Sneak Preview event here on campus. Coincidentally, there was an Ooze ball competition hosted by Order of Omega that same day. I played ooze ball with First Generation and we got as far as the third round. Unfortunately we got beat by 3 points by my fraternity Delta Upsilon. We all had fun playing volleyball in the mud.

ERRSA had their spring semester banquet last night at the Shores Resort and Spa. It was so much fun! We had awards, food, dancing, slideshows from all the events this semester and initiation of the new Exec board. I was a really nice night out with the organization and I can’t wait for Summer B when they start up again for the 2009-2010 school year.

The semester and school year has come to a close. It was a long year but it was also fun. Thanks to all you guys that sent me emails over the past year. I hope that I have been of help to you guys. Still send me emails; I am here to answer any questions you may have. Remember to fill out your FAFSA forms, turn in your deposits and any other documents you need to turn in to Admissions or Financial Aid. I wish you guys luck and hope to see you on campus in the fall!

April 13, 2009

Hey guys. There are only two more weeks until finals week… wooo hoooo! I am so excited for the end of this semester and school year. So much has happened and I had a lot of experiences. I wish my freshmen year would never end, it seems like only yesterday I was just the new kid on campus. But we gotta grow up some day! It’s been really hectic the past few weeks, getting final projects and assignments done and ready to hand in and also trying not to slack off at the last minute. With all that said, I only have two finals, BA 201 [Principles of Management] and PSY 101 [Introduction to Psychology]. I am working really hard to make sure I do exceptionally well this semester.

I will be doing summer classes this year in an effort to get certain classes out the way that are required for my new major. Seeing that I switched this semester, I think it will put in the place I need to be academically for the fall. I will be going home at the end of this semester for 4 days before I return back to Daytona to start summer classes. I am looking forward to taking these classes and spending time with a few friends that will be here for summer.

So far, ERRSA has been great. We are still working on the bid process to have the SACURH conference on our campus for 2011 [changed from 2010]. This week we selected our committee chairs and assigned people certain assignments to have done by the next meeting. First Generation is also great. At Relay for Life, we placed second overall for the team with most spirit award! It was 6 of us that stayed from 6 p.m. Friday night until 6 a.m. Saturday morning. We ran and walked a lot of laps. All together we did about 96 miles for the entire night. We have a lot of activities planned for the next 2 weeks to wrap up a fun filled semester.

Many of you know that Sneak Preview will be held on April 18th. I will be giving tours as an ERRSA member. I suggest those of you that haven’t registered to attend to do so ASAP if you are able to make it to the area.

I can’t wait to go back home to see family for a few days before summer classes. I miss them so much.

Again guys, if there are any questions that you have about anything at all, please feel free to email me. I am here to answer to the best of my ability, any questions that you may have. For those of you that accepted your admission to Embry-Riddle, congratulations, I hope to see you in the fall. Remember to get your FAFSA applications in and also to send in your housing contracts and all fees and documents needed to finalize your admission. Thanks to all of you guys that emailed me, I appreciate the comments. Keep on reading and always strive for the best in whatever you do.

Best wishes,
Andre

March 22, 2009

Hey guys. I’m back from Spring Break! I had so much fun back home with friends and family in New York, I spent half the week relaxing with family and the other half out with friends. I did a program at my old high school for kids interested in aviation and I talked to them not only about Embry-Riddle but about the field of aviation and the jobs and careers that are associated with the field. It went really well, I got a few people that were interested in not only aviation, but Embry-Riddle! I also did a program on college prep, mainly focusing on the transition from high school to college. The day before I left New York, I went to a track meet and watched my old team compete. They got so much better since the last time I saw them run. I am so proud of them. I am happy to be back at school to complete the last month left in the Spring 09 semester.

Classes are great. Before the break, I took a test in Instrument Pilot Operations and got an 83%. It’s not exactly the score I wanted but I did my best and it is a really good grade. All my other classes are going well; I think my grades this semester will be better this semester than last!

In two weeks, I may be going to Jamaica for my cousin’s wedding. I am so excited and really hope I get the chance to attend. The main issue right now is booking a ticket, I will be traveling American Airlines but they do not offer flights that would get me there in time to attend the wedding. I am currently looking into other airlines and seeing if I can get a flight that suits my travel better.

Right now, of the many organizations on campus that I am a part of, I am focusing a lot on ERRSA and First Gen. I know each time I make a post it’s always a different combination. But when you get involved with a lot on campus, at times you have to pick and choose what you can do over a given period of time to fit your schedule. I am running for an Executive position in First Generation for next school year. I am planning on running for Secretary, it’s the only Exec position that I have ever run for and held and I really like the position. My plan B is to run for the Public Relations position, I think I am qualified for both positions and would do a very good job. In ERRSA, we are currently working on our bid to host SAACURH [South Atlantic Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls]. If our bid wins, we will host the conference in the fall of the 2010. I am working on four of the ten bid sections, but very active on the Sponsorship section. I am currently working on writing up those bids and presenting them to our NCC [National Communications Coordinator] for approval. We also have our April outing and Spring Banquet coming up. Over the summer, we will be attending the NACURH [National Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls] conference hosted this year in Arizona. The conference should take place from May 22nd until the 24th.

Friday is Relay for Life. For those of you that do not know, it is an event done by the American Cancer Society in an effort to raise money for research and cure of cancer. The event is an all night event from 4 p.m. Friday night until 5 a.m. Saturday morning. There are going to be a lot of events going on that night to keep people occupied and also to fundraise. Also, Sunday is Adopt-A-Road which is a project put on by our SGA and what we do is we go to a specific road that the school has adopted and we clean it up! However long we stay out there counts as community service and we also have the opportunity of winning prizes. This week is Student Employment Week!! It’s just a week when Student Employment honors the student employees on campus. We get free food and prizes all week long! It’s also room selection week. This is when we get to choose who our roommates and actual rooms will be next semester.

I know it’s about that time when you guys not only have to select schools, but do financial aid. I know from experience that the FAFSA isn’t the most fun form to fill out, and that picking a school that is right for you is really tough. If you guys have ANY questions at all on any topic from housing to weekend life or even scholarships, send me an email. Those of you guys that have sent me emails, I enjoy reading them and I hope my responses have helped you. A lot of you guys have been asking a lot about financial aid and scholarships, remember to contact your admissions counselor or financial aid counselor if you have questions about aid.

Stay safe!
Andre’

March 12, 2009

It’s Spring Break time!!! This is the final few days until we go for Spring Break. I am so excited, I am going back home to be with family and old High School friends for an entire week. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re away at college, it makes you appreciate the opportunity to see family, no matter if it’s 3 days or a month. My mom is looking forward to me coming back home, she is so excited; she is taking off from work that day! Even though the excitement for the break is high on campus, we still have classes going on. On Friday before I leave, I have a test in Instrument Pilot Operations, which I think is the hardest one yet! I have been studying long and hard for it and I think I’ll do great.

Outside of classes, we had Greek Week last week. It was a lot of fun. The end of the week, I participated in the Up till Dawn Finale event as a Morale Captain. Up till Dawn is an organization that does fundraising activities, the proceeds of this go to the St. Judes Research Hospital that helps kids with cancer. The event was 12 hours, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. It was a long night but we had dances, food and a ton of activities. We had trikes and a bounce-a-bout and also a black jack table. We even played Gatorade pong! This week we also had the ERRSA Elections. The elections went very well, and everyone that I wanted to be in office got in. First generation will be having their elections in about two weeks.

We got our lottery numbers this week! Lottery numbers are numbers that housing gives out to students at random and is used when picking your hall for next semester. Once you do a contract, you are eligible to get a number and the range is from 1 to 1300. My number was 662, so it’s not too bad.

This week we also had the Xi-Man competition. The competition is a fundraiser done by the Alpha Xi Delta sorority and it is like a male pageant. Delta Upsilon placed 4th, mainly because of our t-shirt sales which was also a part of the fundraiser.

I know that it’s time that you guys are getting your financial aid letter, or should be getting them. Please be sure that you file your FAFSA for the upcoming school year if you want Federal Aid. It’s never too late to apply so do it when you get the chance to. If you have any questions about it, please feel free to shoot me an email.

I hope you guys are doing great. Thanks to those of you that asked me questions the past few weeks. Keep them coming, if there is any way that I can help you, just ask, I’ll be sure to answer as best as I can and also get you to the right resources. Stay safe!

Andre’

February 22, 2009

Hey guys! Hope you are all doing well. I am so excited that February is done. Next month is March which means Spring Break! I am so excited because I will be going to my friend Derrick’s house in Rhode Island for a few days before going to my house in New York City. I am looking forward to going there and just relaxing and having fun. So far classes are going great. Took a few tests the past week and did very well on them. Classes can be tough at times but it’s not something that can’t be done.

Last weekend, Derrick and I went to his grandparent’s house in Fort Myers for the long weekend. It was so much fun and we really enjoyed it!

I am sorry to report that I have changed my major from Aeronautical Science to Air Traffic Management. It was a tough decision, but after thinking everything through, I decided that I would rather not be in too much debt with better job security than to pay a lot of money for flight training and not know whether or not I can get a good paying job or a job at all. I am taking flight as a minor as soon as I am financially stable.

I am still active with TFO, First Gen, and ERRSA. Also, I am pledging Delta Upsilon in the fall. I want to take some time to build my GPA up higher so I have a cushion in the event my work load gets too much. This Wednesday is the colonization ceremony. I will not be a part of that, but my bid still stands and when I am ready I will be initiated in. We held elections as to who will be the exec board for the Fraternity and my friends Derrick, Darryl and Mack all got elected as VP’s!!! YAY!!! I am proud of them and give them all my support and blessing.

There isn’t much going on this time around, but if you guys have any questions, please feel free to email me. Thanks to those of you guys that did, I am behind schedule so do not think I am ignoring you if I haven’t gotten back to you as yet, I promise I will. Until next time…

February 8, 2009

It’s February already, it seems as if the year started yesterday. The past month has been a blast. The weather here in Daytona has dipped down way into freezing temperatures. It got so cold that students that fly early in the morning couldn’t go up because of ice. It has started to warm up a bit, it’s not too hot and it’s not freezing… which is good! The cold weather hasn’t stopped me and my friends from having fun. It also hasn’t stopped us from going to classes either! I had a few test so far in AS 221 and WX 201 and will have my mid-term for BA-201 on Wednesday. In AS 221 I got an 88% and in WX I got a 76%. In both classes I only have three tests for the semester so I am in good shape so far. I am looking forward to the midterm in BA 201 because I know the material and it’s a pretty big test because it’s only a midterm and final for that class. Wish me luck!

I am still on financial hold for flight until next week. I got a loan from Chase to help cover the expense to at least finish my private pilot license. Darryl and Kayla are making great progress with their training; I am so proud of them and am supporting them 100%. I did a landing clinic last week so I could catch up on my landings, and it went very well. Even though I had to land in a crosswind, I still was able to deal with them, keeping in mind it was my first time behind the yoke since December 11th last year! I will be taking my written next week so I can get that out the way.

As for clubs, I am active with TFO, First Generation and ERRSA. This weekend, ERRSA had another retreat [FARH]. There was a selected group of people that went and, from what I heard, it was a fun experience. My friend Derrick and I are pledges and founding fathers for a new fraternity on campus, Delta Upsilon! The fraternity is all about leadership and service, and focus mainly at building leaders and promoting diversity. We painted the spirit rock and campus and have a whole week of events planned. We already have 8 guys committed and need just a few more to make a colony. I am so excited about the fraternity and am happy to have this opportunity.

The Daytona 500 is here! It’s going to be a crazy week. Already, there are a few jets parked up on the ramp. It’s going to be quite noisy and a lot more intense than the Rolex 24, but it won’t be too bad until the weekend.

It’s Black History Month guys!!!

For the past week I haven’t been able to talk to family as much because my mom lost her cell phone! It’s the main means of communication I have with my family and I have to wait until next week when she gets a new one. In the meantime, we have been communicating through my cousin’s cell phone and email. My grandma is spending some time in Jamaica and just earlier this week she called me. We talked for a long while time. I notice that this semester I am a lot more responsible and self-sufficient. I don’t miss family as much anymore and I am currently earning, so I am not totally dependent on my family for the bulk of my financial needs.

Just a quick update on the plan me and my friends had for spring break, we are not going on the cruise. Instead, I am going to go to Miami with my cousin for the weekend, and then I will be flying up to Providence, RI to spend the break with Derrick and possibly travel to New York City to spend a day or two with my mom. We really had our hearts set on the cruise, but at least we have other alternatives.

There is a lot going on campus this semester. We have a lot of home basketball games, track meets, and lots of social events. We also still have our weekly movies done by Touch n’ Go, and lots of community service events. There is a lot to do and many ways to become involved and make a difference.

Next weekend I will be going to Fort Myers with Derrick to his grandparent’s house and spent the weekend. I am so excited and I can’t wait!

So far the semester has been going really good. I am confident in my classes, having lots of fun, and most of all enjoying the experience. To all you guys that sent me emails, thanks so much for reading my journal posts. I know that it’s just around that time when ERAU sends out acceptance letters. If you guys have any questions, whether it is about financial aid or housing, residence life, anything at all, feel free to ask. I will try my best to answer all your questions and any comments that you have are welcome.

Until next time…
Andre

January 25, 2009

The spring semester got off to a great start! I couldn’t ask for better. Things have been working very well and I feel a lot more confident in myself. So far classes are going great, and I love all my professors. This semester I have all female professors…woot woot! It’s a new refreshed feeling compared to last semester where I had 2 female professors. I feel like I’m learning a lot now and love the learning opportunity. I have my first exam of the semester next Monday in WX 201. So far, in that class, we covered the atmosphere, solar radiation, and seasons. The professor is very low key but fun and knows a lot about weather and geometry and tries her best to make sure we understand the facts and concepts.

With my flight training, I’m currently on financial hold [yes the economy is hitting hard on my pockets], but while I sort out my financial situation, I am doing observer flights with my best friend and now third roommate Derrick, and will be doing landing clinics on Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. to keep up to speed. I am also preparing to take my Private Pilot Written exam by late next week. A few of my good friends, Darryl and Kayla, just started working on their private pilot license and are having a blast so far. I am so proud of them and wish them all the best. They have been really good friends to me so far and I know they are going to succeed in their endeavors.

As for clubs, I am still involved with First Gen and TFO. I will return to the Avion this coming Sunday in hopes that I can still have the same editor position I had last semester. Also, my third roommate Derrick and I joined ERRSA last Wednesday. ERRSA stands for the Embry-Riddle Resident Student Association. It’s basically a way for students to represent their halls and try to fix some of the problems we have in the dorms such as infrastructure, Internet etc. It’s a very good association to be a part of, and a great way to be involved on campus and for community service hours, and just for the individual that wants to make an impact. Just this weekend, ERRSA had a retreat and went to a vacation house in Orlando. Sadly I and Derrick were not able to attend because of the time that we joined and budgeting issues. However, they all had fun and enjoyed the weekend away from campus.

This weekend, we had the Rolex 24 at the Daytona Speedway! It was very loud and you could hear the crowd cheering. It was a cool experience. We got to see the private jets parked up on the ramp and even saw a few take off Sunday afternoon. Saturday night there were fireworks! I am looking forward to the Daytona 500, which lasts an entire week and is a bigger event.

So far, I haven’t really missed family as much as I did the beginning of last semester. I still talk to my mom a lot and every once in a while a cousin or aunt. I have become a lot more responsible and even though I have the cushion of student loans and work and parents helping me out, I am learning to appreciate what I have and to live within my means. Not because the resources are available does not mean one should go out and be impulsive.

Even though it’s really early, I and my friends are planning a cruise to the Bahamas for spring break. It’s still in the planning stages, it looks like a go and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’ll keep you guys posted.

[For those of you guys that didn’t know… Barak Obama is now President… WHOOO HOOO]

My friends Kayla and Hemali got their cartilages pierced last Thursday, while last Friday, Derrick and I got our ear lobes pierced! It still hurts but not bad. Today, Kayla got her hair stuck in the earring. Derrick and I sat her down and took it out, it was a painful experience for her but she appreciated our help.

One last thing, on Sunday, my girlfriend and I celebrated 8 months of being together. Even though she is still in New York City and I’m here in Daytona, we still have our relationship going.

Remember, if you guys have any questions or comments, I appreciate them a lot. Thanks to you guys that emailed me. I wish you guys all the best, and until next time, be safe!

Andre’ McIntosh