Clubs, Greek Life & More!

I couldn’t get a lot of pictures the past few weeks due to classes. I’ve been wracking my brain to think of something to write about for this entry, and was almost ready to throw in the towel, but I had sudden inspiration to talk about clubs and extracurricular activities and how fun and important they can be.

Fall Activity Fair

Since I started at Embry-Riddle, I have been told that joining clubs and being involved is key to college life. Many professors, and even former Embry-Riddle students themselves, say that being involved can help with job interviews internships by providing leadership experience and other skills. The faculty in my major, Communication, hosted an event where Riddle graduates came to speak with us. All of them told us about how most of their internships helped lead to a job, or that landed their job because of extra-curricular activities that they participated in during college. One of them said that their interview consisted of just talking about what she did in her engineering club and another about her study abroad trip. It all goes to show that the grades and your GPA will only take you half way when it comes to the real world. Employers seem to be looking for active well-rounded people for the most part.

Embry-Riddle has a vast number of extracurricular opportunities, from cooking, to creative writing, music, engineering, all the way to clubs about cultures. Even if you somehow can’t find an interest, you can create your own club with enough people and support from the school. Also, Riddle has a ton of different sororities and fraternities. Embry-Riddle’s Greek Life isn’t like other schools where it’s bikini car washes and frat parties all night long. Here, most don’t have “houses” but live in the dorms and function more like what seems a club, and they’re a lot more professional.

So many clubs! Cars, airplanes, academics, culture, skydiving, sailing – the list goes on and on!

I’ve been searching for something I truly like. I’ve gone to the school newspaper meeting, the aviation photography club meetings and they just didn’t click well for me. Recently I met someone in the same major as me (which is rare for a communications major), and she invited me to an event to meet a sorority. At first, I was reluctant because I’m socially awkward and was nervous. But I went to give it a try, and because I was looking to get involved and push myself anyway. I was absolutely delighted and mesmerized these fantastic women. Each one had their own special role and their own beautiful personality. They supported and loved one another like family and made me feel like family as well. Being a woman at Embry-Riddle can be overwhelming. I’ve had many classes where I was the only girl and I’m only in my second semester, so seeing all these empowering, friendly, and sweet girls was amazing! I’m sure from what I heard that joining a fraternity is a similar experience.

There’s something out there for everyone and I truly with all my heart encourage you to join a club, study abroad, or check out Greek life. Not only will you have a great time, make friends, and create memories, but you’re also setting yourself up for success when you try it out. I hope this small entry will inspire some to get involved and see how it can help you on your path of awesomeness.

Lists & Looking Forward

Happy January everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, back into the swing of things and fully thriving, if that includes stress, lack of sleep, and tired muscles, but nonetheless I am still keeping the lovely positive mental attitude. 

A few updates as of lately: I am currently typing this from my desk with a view outside of the 100% forecast of rain and thunderstorms and the construction of the newest residence hall building, it’s a Sunday morning, I’m still in my pajamas, I have a cup of tea, and my laundry is currently in the dryer, its a good life folks. 

This past week, although it only consisted of four days due to no school on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, was absolutely exhausting. Four day weeks still mean four days of classes, inclusive of homework to compensate for a day off, tests, quizzes, and 3 days of AFROTC Field Training Preparation training days with less time to recover. On Friday we had PT in the morning, I had classes and meetings all day, then I went to the gym to do abs, shoulders, and upper back, it’s Sunday and I’m still sore.

Following that excitement, I woke up at 0200 on Saturday morning to meet with a group of cadets from AFROTC and head over to the Daytona International Speedway to volunteer for the Rolex 24 race. My volunteering shift was filled with lots of standing and the weather was very windy and cold, it ended at 4:30pm and once I got back to my dorm I showered, ate, and went to sleep. 

Naturally, I’d assume you all can infer what that means: Sunday is the day of homework. I’ll rest next weekend… hopefully?! I am a person that very much values self care time, although I frequently have very little time for it between the thousand other things I do. That being said, a great remedy for me to organize my days and perhaps schedule some time for me to do a little yoga or squeeze in a face mask are by listing out everything I need to accomplish that day. In listing things out, not only do I get a sense of accomplishment when I get to cross things off, I have a definitive timeline of my progress on little goals that put me one step closer to being able to take a shower, get ready for bed, and relax (aka sleep)!

Typically I write daily lists either via sticky notes, which are then stuck to the back of my phone for the duration of the day, or if I don’t have sticky notes around I compose these to do lists via digital notes in the Notes app on my phone.

Today on the list, aside from laundry and blogging, is my weekly Resident Advisor report that I do every Sunday, uploading a few other digital forms for my RA position, composing a handwritten memorandum for my AFROTC Training Officers, preparing my clothes and gear for AFROTC training in the morning, and homework for Differential Equations, Aerospace Flight Vehicles, and Dynamics, plus studying!

Here is another picture of my mom and I from a hike over winter break that makes me very happy.

I’ve been pretty busy lately to say the least, but spring break is around the corner, and one of my friends that I haven’t seen in over a year may be visiting me sometime in February! Despite the stress and fatigue of this semester, there are always things to look forward to.

Will report back soon. Keep on keeping on!

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

Home & Holidays

Happy December everyone! I’m currently blogging from Washington DC. I traveled from Daytona Beach to Orlando then to Richmond, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach to see family and friends, and now I’m spending some time up north visiting with my sister. It’s starting to get so cold here, I feel like Florida has definitely gotten me accustomed to warmer climates. I’m definitely lucky to have been able to borrow my brother and sister’s warm clothes while I visited because my small carry on included jeans and a flannel that were not cut out for this 30 degree weather. Such a drastic climate change from blazing summers in Kansas and mild and humid temperatures in Florida.  

In other news, I have been enjoying my break so much. I’ve done a ton of yoga at a studio only two blocks away from my house (score!), have been running on the beach (in the cold yikes), doing push-ups and ab workouts, have gone on a couple hikes, and of course took my dog, Kita on walks with my dad, in addition to eating a bunch of good food, visiting local coffee shops, and sleeping.

One of my favorite things I got to do over break was paint a shed my dad built. Surprisingly enough painting the entire thing only took a few hours in the afternoon with my family all grabbing brushes.

Painting a shed! I promise the tiny brush was only used to cover nails.

Kita got painted too!

I also got to spend some time hiking with my sister and mom, which was great! Got to break in my new hiking boots I got for Christmas, broke in some new running shoes, and also some new ABU boots for Field Training Preparation (FTP) next semester. To say the least my feet are extremely sore, but better now than later.

On a hike with my mom and sister!

My aunt also took some amazing family photos for us that are currently being uploaded but will be sure to be included in the upcoming posts.

I fly back to Florida in a few days and can definitely say I will miss the leisurely pace of a balanced life and no homework. RAs always arrive back to school early to decorate, inspect, and set up the dorms again before all the residents return for the upcoming semester. Until then though, I’ll be sleeping and eating well in preparation for FTP, as well as working on scholarship applications and internship applications for the summer.

Happy new year and I hope everyone has been enjoying their holidays. Will report back soon once the semester starts up again!

Learning Photoshop Over Winter Break

Over winter break I took some time away from videos and started experimenting with Photoshop. I took the bottom picture of this FR-S behind a hotel just off Atlantic Ave. and turned it into the above picture. The only thing about the picture that remained the same was the car. I turned the background of the picture into the San Francisco skyline with a falcon 9 rocket launching in the background. Of course I loved the turnout of the photo so much that I had it printed, framed, and gave it as a Christmas present to the owner. I look forward to learning so much more about Photoshop and experimenting more with photography!

Vossen/AccuAir Roush Mustang

 

Recently, I was tasked with creating a video for the Vossen and AccuAir Roush Mustang for their upcoming SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show car. After 3 days of filming and many iterations of this video I have come up with what I think captures the feeling of this build; a simple, yet elegant video to go along with a car that has the aforementioned design language. I hope you have as much fun watching this video as I did making it. Happy New Year!

RA Life, AFROTC, & Rest

Happy December everyone! Finals are over!!! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, but in a few hours I’ll be in Orlando departing from MCO, then I’ll be heading back home to Norfolk, Virginia. 

Just a brief recap of fall 2018 before the new year and spring semester begins: This has single-handedly been the most challenging semester of my life, but I passed all of my finals and my classes, friends, so thank you so much for the support. Key shout-outs here go to the boxing girls and my best friend Obie wan.

Many students have already left Daytona, but RAs are the last ones to leave (as well as the first ones back) as we do health and safety inspections and have to check all the rooms to prepare our residence halls for shutting down and for opening back up to residents. Fret not though, this process only takes a few days and after that is freedom. 

I am so excited to be able to relax over break. I’m sure it will be filled with all the things I love and only get to have sparingly while I’m in college, including but not limited to: lots of working out, home cooked meals with fresh vegetables, yoga (YESSS), seeing my best friend home from college, living walkable distance from the beach, my dog Kita, and also my family. I may read a book for leisure, shocking I know, as well as listen to lots of music. I also will be sleeping in glutenous amounts and will be going to all my favorite local coffee shops. Taking a break every once in a while is so well needed and deserved for both students, professors, and faculty. Everyone has been working so hard since August, we all really deserve this chance to reset, relax, and recharge before the spring.

Next semester in AFROTC will be Field Training Preparation which is extremely exciting as well because after that comes Field Training during the summer, which is one step closer to commissioning and graduation. Field Training in a nut shell is essentially a 15 day “boot camp” which is very strenuous and is a required step to complete before GMC (General Military Course) underclassman become POC (Professional Officer Course) upperclassman in fall 2019. Over Thanksgiving my early Christmas present was new running shoes and, although I feel I’ve broken them in, as soon as next semester hits I will probably rethink that.  

Some of my family from AFROTC and me after our final Pass in Review ceremony of the semester

Also here’s a picture from when I contracted around this time last year and swore into the United States Air Force, which if I haven’t mentioned before, was an absolutely amazing experience and I 10/10 recommend.

But for now, we are in break and de-stress mode and I will continue to get through the holidays with an open mind, lots of exercising and stretching, and good food. I miss cooking so much, but one thing I do not miss though is the cold weather. Perhaps I’ll have a white Christmas in Virginia? I do prefer the moderate climates a bit more though, as per expected with the majority of my year spent in Florida and other hot places.

For everyone traveling this holiday season, or even just driving a few minutes away, remember to de-stress and relax over break and state safe. Will report back soon! Happy holidays and almost happy new year!

Thanksgiving Camaro SS (ThankSSgiving)

 

Over Thanksgiving break, I finally had the opportunity to film an individual car, this time a 2013 Camaro SS. It has been a while since I’ve had the time to film an individual car, which I always enjoy doing. It is a lot of fun to focus on the details of one car and what makes it unique. Also in this video I took a lot of time to experiment with sound design and try to refine the sound of the car more than focusing on the music. I hope you enjoy this video and if anyone is interested in having their personal car filmed let me know, I would be happy to do so!

December & Almost Done!

Happy *drum roll please* December everyone! ‘Tis ACTUALLY the season, thrilling, I know. I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, but I spent Thanksgiving in Savannah, Georgia and in Charleston, South Carolina, also thrilling. Thanksgiving was a well needed break and now until the semester officially concludes is the moment we’ve all been waiting for: final exam season.

Over the break I did a good amount of homework, but probably not as much as I should have done. There is always an endless supply of homework in college, but I also got to relax a little bit which was well worth it. So really, it was a win because I also took a lot of naps whenever I could.

Thanksgiving naps!


Example A: a sleeping portrait of yours truly during a Thanksgiving nap photographed by my lovely sister.

In addition to the naps, my family and I ran a 4 Mile Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning! We also explored downtown Savannah, and I drank a lot of coffee as per usual. My idea of relaxing includes sleep and caffeine, so naturally I partook in both, I hope everyone got to relax and recharge before finals begin!

Example B: If you’re ever in Savannah I recommend the Coffee Fox coffee shop, yum!

We also went to Tybee Island and saw the lighthouse, the beach, a lot of stray cats, and dolphins!

Tybee Island Lighthouse!

I also played photographer, and the lighthouse was in the back of the picture I took for the ‘rents.

Sometimes you must lay on the ground for the best angles. (Shoutout to Puddle + Sushi for making it on the blog.)

I had such a nice time over break and, unfortunately, it was short lived, but winter break is around the corner and the finish line is near! Although all students are pretty much experiencing the same feelings right now, wishing they had more time for sleep and less of the high doses of stress that finals bring, the marathon will conclude before we know it. It is the last week of classes and there is so much to look forward to. Just a small reminder to push out until the end, it is worth it, and despite the late nights, early mornings, highly caffeinated days, and stress, the finish line is near and we are on the final stretch!

Will report back soon. Study hard and keep moving forward friends!

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