Spring Break & Schedule Changes

Happy March everyone! I am currently blogging from Northern Virginia, in quarantine for the n-th day, and WOW at the current global situation with COVID-19 currently afflicting the world…but honestly we should’ve left this one in 2019.

BUT FIRST, let’s flash back to the beginning of March when college students were about to go on Spring Break, COVID-19 seemed like a distant tragedy, and life only seemed stressful at average levels.

Greetings from Key West! Our postcard decal.

I spent Spring break with one of my best friends in Key West, Florida and even though it was still Florida, being on *basically* an island for a week was absolutely well needed. In the current situation, confined from the great public domain with a strict and paranoid 6ft rule of distancing from strangers, I am feeling greatly nostalgic of a week ago when I was happily soaking up sunshine and basking in the glory of constantly being sun kissed and barefoot with salt water hair and always a little bit sandy, despite all the showers I took.

A short lived windy bike ride to the Southern Most Point in the USA.
Being one with nature (currently reminiscing from inside my house).
A potato head selfie from the plane.

Key West had an extremely casual, laid back, go with the flow atmosphere which is completely opposite of my usually very busy and structured life. During the last few days of Spring Break we got an official university communication email saying that Spring Break would be extended two days into the following week and online classes would be happening until early April. At first this sounded like a fantastic and fun idea, until reality set in when we returned. When we got back to Daytona Beach, stores were starting to run out of food, the media seemed to be spreading paranoia, and everyone was panicking. A few days later residence halls were vacating and I prepared to come back to Virginia as there was talk about canceling flights and limiting domestic travel across state lines.

Fast forward a week and I’m in a quarantined lifestyle with online classes until the end of the semester, metros shut down inside Washington DC, Uber and Lyft currently closed, and Amazon not delivering groceries anymore, yikes!

To be continued folks, will report back soon, COVID-19 updates are around the corner!

Safety, Sanity, Sanitary

Spring Break 2020

When most of us got out of class as we headed into our spring break, we didn’t expect what kind of change we were going to be dealing with during the break. The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread rather rapidly, and our school extended our spring break. The admin concluded that our classes will be conducted online with all of our campus events cancelled. This caused a lot of travel and academic plans to be changed by our faculties and staff as well as the student body. As a flight student who is planning on staying to finish my rating, I noticed how empty and deserted our campus feels now that the majority of our students have made their way back home.

I realized that some students who are staying to finish their flight training or who couldn’t plan to travel back home might be stuck around here for some time. It can be difficult when all your friends are away and you are stuck at home or around campus because many places are closing down for safety reasons. I wanted to write a blurb about how to maintain your safety, sanity and sanitary as we prepare for the worst.

Safety

Daytona Beach just hosted their annual Bike Week 2020 which really marks the beginning of spring break season. Thousands of college students and visitors make their way to Daytona Beach to enjoy the beaches and the warm weather. That is more reason for the Riddle student body to be cautious as they hang out around certain parts of the town. As we all know, the beachside with Seabreeze and A1A gets bombarded with tourists coming in and we all experience increased traffic on ISB and Beville. We have to be careful of motor accidents and other incidents that could take place with increased population from out of state.

Sanity

It is hard to keep yourself busy and on track when you are sitting on your couch back home. It can be especially more difficult if you are still in Daytona Beach. I have been trying my best at keeping myself busy and active with the resources I have.

I have been traveling around locally as my days are mostly free of classes now. I took advantage of some of Florida’s best natural perks by kayaking and going on walks by the beach and the state park. If you have your own car or one of your friends does, you can also explore by leaving Daytona Beach and going to places like Orlando or St. Augustine. You really have to actively try to stay fit and mentally awake as the temptation of procrastination grows larger everyday.

Sanitary

Lastly, let us practice common sense and take care of ourselves by washing our hands and avoiding interactions with a large group of people. The time we are going through is absolutely crazy and it may seem like the end of the world but with simple practices, we can prevent and solve the issue at hand. Especially the flight students who are here to fly, we have been using Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer before, during and after our flights. It should become a habit as we try our best to disinfect our aircraft.

It is a tragedy and an unfortunate turn of event but we have to make the most out of the situation that was given to us and move forward. To those who are still in town, keep your head up and always stay safe, sane and clean. Blue skies, tail winds and coronavirus-free!

Keep the spirits high!

I Can Sea Clearly Now

Spring break is finally here, the weather is finally warmer, and it is now the perfect opportunity to relax while getting slightly ahead on a some of the schoolwork for weeks to come. This break has given me the opportunity to get back to a place in Daytona I love so much. The Beach.

The sand beneath my toes. The warmth of the sun on my skin. The feel and smell of the salt in my hair. And the feel of the breeze (unfortunately the water is still too cold to swim in). The beach is my escape and place for relaxation, a home away from home, and this spring break has been amazing weather to be able to enjoy the beach. I believe the beach is a major perk of going to Embry-Riddle’s Daytona campus that isn’t used properly by everyone who goes here. Even though schoolwork is top priority, it is good to prioritize a little bit of fun every once in a while, and the beach is a perfect place to get some sun and be one with the outdoors. It is a great place to focus on yourself and spend time with friends outside. This spring break I have even enjoyed a little sunshine and schoolwork outside which has also improved my mood and making me even more ready to crush the rest of the semester.

Meanwhile, I have also been getting schoolwork done at a productive pace to keep my mind fresh on new topics and prepared for the next round of tests. It is good to know I will go back to classes with a little edge being on some major projects and coding assignments. I am looking forward to starting classes again with a more relaxed feel and ready to conquer the rest of the semester attitude.

Eyes Peeled for Open Doors

Embry-Riddle offers a wide variety of student organizations and clubs that students can take part in to develop their interpersonal relationships and find a way to de-stress from their rigorous academics. It can be overwhelming at first when deciding what organizations to join and I learned after 3 years at Riddle, that this process can be very long and exhausting.

For this blog, I will be talking about one particular event I had this past weekend with one of the student organizations I am part of on campus. I am a general board member of the Alpha Omicron Alpha (AOA) Aeronautical Honor Society. It is an organization built for students who are studying in the aeronautical science major. We work with the College of Aviation in assisting with various on-campus events along with our own unique social, fundraiser and educational events. Our organization is among the few pilot specific groups including the Tutor lab team, FLAP team and the Riddle Flight Team.

Group photo in front of the Airbus training center in Miami, Fla.

This past weekend, I was fortunate to go on an overnight trip to Miami, Fla with about 30 AOA students to an Airbus training center. We were greeted at the center where professional airline pilots come in for initial, currency and type rating trainings in their state-of-the-art simulators. We were able to sit down for an informational presentation about the Airbus company followed by a tour of their simulators. These simulators included sections for the emergency slide practice, cabin crew door modules, and full-motion simulators for the A320, A330, A340, A350 types. We were able to see these simulators up close and allowed to briefly jump in these modules for some hands-on experience.

The entire group was thoroughly briefed and presented the Airbus’ philosophy and their safety culture. It was a meaningful experience as most students in the organization are working towards becoming airline pilots, who will be completing the same training in these simulators in the near future. Our presenter and the guide was a Riddle alumni who was now the Director of Safety in the Americas for Airbus and he opened up so many doors for us and gave us an idea of what it’s like to choose this career path.

It is very important to choose the right number of organizations where you know you can handle the workload as you try to manage your academics, personal life and flight training (if it applies to you). It is also important to find a healthy balance between groups that you are passionate about and groups that look good on your resume or for your future career path. You need to give yourself plenty of opportunities where you can take advantage of your organization’s resources and network in order to open doors for yourself and your peers. It is important to know that we have all the resources and the power to shape our own college experience which can drastically shape our career path.

Who doesn’t like cool, free merch?!

A New Experience Awaits

My current home in Phase II

As a resident advisor (RA), this time of year comes with the excitement of receiving our building placements for the fall semester. I have been through interviews and met with multiple supervisors to figure out where the best community is for me to thrive as an RA. I am currently in the brand-new residence building of New Hall Phase II which has been an amazing opportunity and I have had the best residence this year. I have enjoyed the difference in experience from last year where I spent my time in the entertaining, but close-knit Doolittle.

My new home for 20-21 year

But after waiting for weeks, the Housing and Residence Life team finally issued our placements for the 20-21 school year. I am happy to announce, I have the honor of being a resident advisor in Stimpson in our student village, and I am looking forward to the new environment and challenges that come with this residence hall. It will be different from the past two years I have been a resident advisor, and it will be the first time I have upperclassmen as residents. I am greatly looking forward to working with a new supervisor and meeting and working with new people next year. As of right now though, I need to continue to focus on my current residents and make sure they make it through their first year of college. Being a resident advisor has helped me come out of my shell and develop new skills for communicating and helping students at Embry Riddle. It is an experience I would not change for anything as the Housing and Residence Life team has become a second family to me. I am excited to help everyone get through the rest of this semester and even more excited to help students continue living at Embry-Riddle next year.

Half Way & Happenings

Happy February everyone! Back again blogging from Daytona Beach, Speed Week has calmed downed, and we’ve been having some particularly mild weather: a bit cold and rainy, but Florida tends to be wonky before getting to the consistent sunshine with afternoon showers (aka nap time).

Valentine’s Day recently passed and February is flying by! Things around the corner include *drum roll please* Mid-term exams, the Spring PT test… and also, Spring Break! We’re almost half way through Spring semester and I can barely believe it! 

My sister sent me a very positive card, a super cute scrunchie, and some Namaste socks for V-day! I love care packages.

Some notable things I get to do with my position this semester in ROTC as the Mission Support Group, Force Support Squadron, Deputy Commander, aside from assist the Squadron Commander, are plan Dining Out, a yearly event where all cadets and cadre wear Service Dress (the fancy blues), gather for a meal, celebrate notable accomplishments of the Cadet Wing, and announce new Wing Staff for the following semester. I also have the amazing opportunity to team up with an upperclassman cadet and organize an Air Force Retirement Ceremony for a Major in our cadre. I have the privilege of gaining insight to this exciting event at a very young point in my career, which makes this opportunity THAT much cooler.

Another super cool thing I do in my position that I’ve particularly had a lot of fun with in preparation for Dining Out, is collaborating with other Professional Officer Course (POC) cadets to design the logo that will be on the Dining Out gift. I’ve got to work with a particularly talented POC cadet who I also collaborated with to help design the Spring 2020 AFROTC Detachment 157 Semester Patch.

Additionally, being an RA has been even more fun lately because I helped to organize a Tye-Dye event that will be happening shortly. I’ve attached the flyer I designed below, but essentially it’s an Area Initiative as a community builder for the residence hall I live in where we invite residents to come de-stress and get creative, and colorful!

Additionally, I recently solidified my summer plans, which was a huge stress relief and also an opportunity I anticipate to be extremely challenging and fun. I will be participating in Project GO Study Abroad in Morocco working on Arabic Year 4. More details to come on that, and I am very excited to give some future updates on my Arabic learning experience. Keep on keeping on folks. Will report back soon!

Calculating the Future

These last two weeks have been crazy with research projects and lectures, but a pleasant surprise last week was when a graduate of Embry-Riddle came to visit the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). SIAM is a club I found when I began my industrial math research class. It is an amazing club for Math majors to create networks and find out more about potential math job industries.


Last week a graduate from the Computational Mathematics program at Embry-Riddle came to speak to us. He was very interested to tell us his approach to the job industry with a major that you can do so much with. He has been investing time at a big insurance company called MassMutual, where he focuses on programming and software design. He is working on a graduate certificate that his company is paying for, and is looking at pursuing a graduate degree after that as well. After explaining his job, he spoke about his approach to applying for jobs and choosing a job based on offers. In addition, he had spoken of many things we could be doing in college now that will help us in the job field. He had spoken with us about job portfolios, research projects, internships, and practical experience, pretty much anything that could help us look good to potential employers or grad programs.

SIAM club with Embry-Riddle Graduate(third from left)


This was a great speaker to listen to as I soon will be swimming in all the job and graduate school applications, but I now feel like I have a better understanding of how to get to where I need to get to make the best post-graduating decision I can make.
The next SIAM meeting is on February 26th and I am looking forward to what else we will be doing to set ourselves up for success.

New Year, New Member

Greetings everyone, my name is Eugene and I’m the newest member to join My Life @ Riddle blogger team. I’m a junior majoring in Aeronautical Science with minors in international relations and airline operations. I’m currently an instrument rated private pilot working on my commercial pilot license.

I’m from Seoul, South Korea. It’s a country in East Asia next to Japan and China, and I’m proud to call it home. We are famous for K-Pop and Samsung, and it takes about 14 hours to fly there from the east coast.

Seoul

In my spare time, I like to stay active, so I enjoy running, kayaking or going to the beach on a nice, sunny day. I enjoy reading which seems to be a fading hobby. I keep myself busy by picking up new projects and hobbies, and I try my best to keep my mind off school work and flying when I need to de-stress.

I always wanted to study international relations and foreign affairs by majoring in a political science degree. My goal was to work in the field of diplomacy and possibly end up with a career in the embassy. Fast forward to my junior year of high school, I was introduced to Riddle when a university representative from the school came to talk to us about college application. It was the only school I applied to that had a pilot training program. Fast forward few more years, I’m now a year away from graduating while studying international relations that is offered as a minor.

My short-term career goal is to become a flight instructor here at Embry-Riddle upon graduation. I’ll get a chance to teach and help eager student pilots earn their way towards getting their certificates and ratings. My long-term career goal is to work my way into the regional airlines and start building my airline career to end up with in a major airline in the long run.

I used to write personal blogs about traveling and flying in my freshman year of university, so I’m very excited to join the team to share about my flying experience here at Embry-Riddle as well as my traveling / college stories!

Inside the cockpit of a Delta Air Line’s A350-900 on my way back to Inchon, Korea from Atlanta, GA

A Brand New Start

Hello everyone! I know it’s been a while since you heard from me. This past semester was a little tough. Like a lot of students, I realized the major I was in wasn’t the right one for me. It took some time to figure out because I really enjoyed the artistic and creative aspects of the Communication major, but when I took a Psychology class in the fall, I fell in love with that area of study. That’s why I changed my major to Human Factors Psychology. And even though I’m no longer a Comm major, I’m back to blogging and ready to share what I learned through this process.

For many students right out of high school, a big part of college is figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life. That can be a lot of pressure! And sometimes students find out that the things they love to do for fun may not be as enjoyable when it becomes study and work. If you find yourself in this situation, you should know you’re not the only one! It’s OK to decide to change your mind. Just to put in perspective, I have a professor who has a PhD student assistant who told us he changed his major 6 times in his undergrad years. While most won’t find themselves changing direction that many times, it does show that you can switch it up and be successful, so don’t let anyone make you feel bad or dumb – just do what’s best for you, do the best you can and continue to learn and discover what you love.

I’ll also admit math has never been my best subject, and even though I did well in my first math class, things went south quickly in the next math class. I really struggled and I was too proud to seek help – I convinced myself I’d be able to figure it out like I had in my first math class. Which was a huge mistake! So I highly recommend seeking tutoring early and often. There’s so many tutoring options, and most of them are free, so there’s really no excuse not to. I learned the hard way so don’t be like me!

Things move quickly in college, so talking to professors, building a support system and connecting with resources before things go bad is really important to your academic and personal well being and health. College students can get so caught up in studies and activities, they neglect mind and body and that is no good. These are my greatest bits of advice that id like to give everyone based off of my own experiences in my fall semester. I just want everyone to take what I say so that you can apply it to your self and realize you are not alone, and its okay to have a bad semester, but to realize the steps you can take, and that also you can speak up and talk to your professors, counselors, and tutors. Embry-Riddle has a wide variety of people who are always willing to help you, and no one wants to see you fail. It’s just up to us as students to take the initiative to speak up and ask for help.

I hope everyone is having a good semester far, and I can’t wait to talk about my new studies in Human Factors Psychology and also my new adventures through my college career.

Speedweek & Summer

Happy February everyone! I am currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida, it’s going to be sunny and 85 degrees this week, and this weekend is going to be rainy and in the 50s…cold fronts are no fun!

This week is Speedweek at the Daytona International Speedway, but the racing season really started off with the Rolex 24 hour race, the Busch clash, some more qualifiers, and next weekend the Daytona 500. Every year AFROTC cadets volunteer at the speedway and work different race shifts, this past year a lot of other sports teams on campus volunteered too.

This week I start to hear back from a variety of summer programs I applied to in order to go abroad to a country in the Middle East to continue studying Arabic. I applied to programs in Jordan, Morocco, and Oman.

This week is going to be kind of hectic for me, but as usual I’m generally a busy person. I have PT, Arabic and Solid Mechanics homework due tomorrow, as well as updated Bulletin Boards for my wing in the hallway for my Resident Advisor position, followed by a lab report due on Tuesday, funds request forms, meetings, AFROTC leadership laboratory and more PT, and a Solid Mechanics test on Friday.

It’s times like this where I think back to my equally busy summers and appreciate the way I am constantly in the flow of working hard and making progress towards my future. Being in the middle of everything also gets me thinking about the future and how sometime between the next week and the next few months I’ll finalize my summer plans and figure out where I am studying abroad and which dialect of Arabic I’ll be focusing on. All very exciting things, but sometimes a little stressful not knowing what direction I’ll be going in. I just tell myself to keep trusting the process.

Will report back soon folks, midterms are around the corner, keep on keeping on!