Updates & Free Time Tips

Happy March everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida, it’s a rainy and cold weekend and I have been so busy lately that the weeks are really flowing together. 

Typically mid March, students look forward to a well needed break for a week with Spring Break, but this semester due to the global pandemic, we are experiencing a “new normal”. We had our first “study” day that was enacted to replace Spring Break, but with assignments still due and office hours still being held, it felt more like a normal work day than a break. Spring break typically is a week where students are able to not think about school for a few days before the final push to finals season, so this semester is especially challenging without the scheduled period to decompress.

In recent news my study abroad program through Project GO in Meknes, Morocco has been officially canceled due to travel restrictions and is moving to either an in-person program in Tucson, Arizona at the University of Arizona or an online program which is essentially a Zoom class like I did last summer. The benefit of a Zoom class is that since you’re doing it from home you can be mask-less and aside from video calling, class seems semi normal!

Some things that I’ve found keeping me sane and hopeful lately are leaning into the small moments where I get free time and filling them with good music, online yoga videos like YogaWithAdriene on Youtube, watching a movie on Disney+ (or Netflix or Hulu), texting my sister and getting updates on my puppy niece, or ordering Chinese food or pizza on a Friday night in.

I have definitely been missing my puppy niece lately!

When I’m extremely busy with school I’ve found that that I typically sleep less and eat less healthy food. This is especially prevalent when I am busy back-to-back, with homework, projects, and tests on the weekends instead of opportunities for extra sleep or relaxation. Thankfully there is only about a month and I half of school left, and I am looking forward to a much needed break!

Some key take-aways I’ve learned over the years that are especially important when I’m busy are having good food and maintaining a good evening/morning routine to keep me energized (as well as good snacks). Some of my favorite snacks to keep on hand are fruit, nuts, granola, fig bars, granola bars, pita chips, honey, and of course either peanut butter or almond butter. I also always have oatmeal and coffee! Typically this is my go-to for breakfast but I have been known to eat some after dinner as dessert or for a snack!

A solo selfie (from alone in my room) to remind you that there are still smiles under the mask!

This semester and this time in the world are especially challenging for everyone right now, so with that I remind you that you are not alone! If you ever need anything the Center for Faith and Spirituality, the Counseling Center, and Health Services are available to support you! 

Keep on keeping on folks, stay safe, will report back soon!

The College Essentials and Extras

What can I say except… you’re welcome!

So every college has a basic packing list with stuff that you’ll need like sheets, blankets, and towels. But what about the stuff they don’t tell you to bring? Stuff that’s not absolutely necessary, but it’ll make your life a little easier? Or what about the stuff that nobody ever needs in their first year of college?

Well, I’ve made these lists for you. Here are a few things that I’ve found very, very, very helpful in my freshman year here at Riddle… and things I want to ship home. Please keep in mind that this list is subjective, and it’s just advice from me, someone who has way too much stuff in her dorm.

THE GOOD:

#1: An umbrella AND raincoat.
You’re going to school in Florida. It rains a lot. And in addition to that, there are plenty of popup showers. These storms can get pretty bad- I walked from my dorm to class during part of tropical storm Eta. (Disclaimer: it wasn’t bad, just windy and rainy. It was completely safe to walk.) It sucked, but my top half stayed dry due to the raincoat and umbrella. If you want, you can only bring one, but I highly suggest both unless you enjoy impromptu free baths.

#2: A bedside caddy/shelf, especially for lofted beds.
THIS IS A MUST!!! Without it, you’ll be getting out of bed to plug your phone in or reaching over the side of the bed. With mine, I’m also able to plop my laptop in there on the very few days I have to get up early. It’s very nice; when I register for my classes, all I have to do is pick up my umbrella.

#3: A vacuum cleaner.
I assume you’ll have at least one snack in your dorm, and your roommate will, too. People- all people- are messy. Don’t attract bugs.

#4: A super-long phone charger. And by super-long, I mean 10+ feet long.
You can always coil it up if it’s too long. A cord that’s too short won’t reach. Especially if you choose not to get a bedside caddy, get a long phone charger so it’ll reach from the outlet under/beside your bed into your bed.

#5: A back pillow.
Okay, so apparently studying in bed is bad for you, but you’ll probably do it anyways. Or you’ll want to

#6: Snacks.
Food is good. That’s all that needs to be said.

#7. A storage container that also works as a seat.
THESE THINGS ARE TO DIE FOR! I can store a bunch of my textbooks in it, throw the lid back on, and it’ll be a seat for my suitemate(s) if they want to come and sit in my half of the suite.

THE BAD:

#1: A mini-blender (or similar)
I used to make smoothies in it… and now I’m too lazy to use/clean it out. Unless you’re sure that you’re going to use it, don’t bother.

#2: More than, like, 7 pairs of shoes.
Fifteen was too many. During break, I threw a bunch in my suitcase, and by “a bunch,” I mean half of my stash. Only bring 1-3 pairs of dress shoes, and only one of those should be heels.

#3: That shirt you haven’t worn in, like, six months.
I brought waaaaaay too many clothes. As a general guideline for casual clothes, if you can see yourself wearing it at least once every 2-3 weeks, then wear it. If it’s something formal (like a blazer), take at least one.

#4: A popcorn maker.
Bagged popcorn is good.

In the end, whatever you want to bring is completely up to you. Some people bring small TVs and regret it; other people bring full-on couches for their dorms and are very happy with it. Whatever you bring, it’s a good idea to check your specific dorm’s schematics and size, which is found on the ERAU housing websites.

After your first semester, you’ll learn what you do and don’t use. If you can send some things home, that’s great! If you can’t, you can always take it home at the end of the year, sell it during the year, or repurpose it to do something else. This school does have several engineers; chances are that you’ll be or know one!

Good luck, and I’ll see you in the next post!

Balancing the Busy & Preventing Burnout

Happy March everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida, there’s approximately two full months of the Spring semester left, it’s Midterm season, its PT test season, and for me its a season highly saturated with Matlab coding. My go-tos for being very busy during this time are adding clay face masks to my nighttime routine (to help my skin combat wearing cloth face masks all day), drinking lots of coffee (and lots of water to balance the lots of coffee) and in the true nature of a college student – adding peanut butter and hot sauce to basically all my food for fast flavor for my microwave rice or noodles.

I am currently in the thick of it, in terms of being extremely busy. Something I struggle with balancing during the busiest times always seems to be powering down at the end of the day. Sometimes I have weeks of “on” mode, constantly go, go, go, next assignment next due date next quiz/test to study for, next time commitment, and it’s hard to actually slow down. While tapping into the productive flow state can be helpful for a few days or a few weeks, it is certainly not sustainable in the long term. That being said, I am absolutely guilty of planning my weeks ahead of time, scheduling my days with lists, and powering through by showing up for each item on my list. The thing most of us forget to prioritize in all that though, is time for ourselves!

Outside of yoga, coffee and conversation in car rides is one of may favorite ways to relax.

Usually when schedules get busier the first items that gets “kicked off” my To-Do list are the items that have to do with self care and taking time to wind down. This leads to burnout! 

I am a strong believer that we make time for the things that are important to us, but also that sometimes there isn’t enough time in a day to complete all the tasks we elect to do.

Tips and tricks I’ve found that help me center myself and prevent burnout: 

Balance is key! I have found that showing up for myself has never had negative effects. Taking a moment to calm down, meditate for a few minutes, go for a run or a workout, or nap when I need it is essential. You know your body/mind best so if you need to schedule time to check in to assess what you need to help you feel and perform your best, do so!

One of my other favorite ways to relax is looking at pictures from my sister of my puppy niece, Daisy! Never fails to brighten my day.

Let’s circle back here, while it is absolutely essential to take care of yourself, a balance is absolutely essential too. For example, I don’t like doing my homework, and my classes are stressful, but in order to eliminate my stressors I could either do my homework and get through them, or not do my homework and avoid them. Doing my homework leads me to be more stressed on my own time, but less stressed during tests/exams.

Not doing my homework and taking a break is sometimes needed, but it’s important to differentiate between taking breaks and neglecting your responsibilities. When you need a break, take a break, but if you find yourself not finding motivation to do ANY homework, circle back to why you signed up for the classes in the first place and think about your end goal.

Whether that goal is graduating, passing a class, earning any type of degree, commissioning into the military, all of us have motivation of what made us choose to be in college and why we stay. Find your reason and reflect on how it will feel to get your degree or reach your end goal. When things get tough, circle back to what keeps you going!

Keep on keeping on folks, stay safe, will report back soon!

So, I’m Joining a Sorority?

*Elle Woods voice* Omigod, omigod you guys!

Embry-Riddle has four sororities that women can join: Alpha Xi Delta (ΑΞΔ), Theta Phi Alpha (ΘΦΑ), Sigma Sigma Sigma (ΣΣΣ), and Sigma Kappa (ΣK). And as of Thursday, February 18, I am going through initiation to be a sister of Theta Phi Alpha!

(Note: This article will be about my experience going through recruitment. For more general answers, click here for an interview with current Panhellenic President Izzy Hoare.)

Each organization supports at least one philanthropy, and some support multiple. Throughout the year, the sororities fundraise for their organizations. One thing that I noticed about the Riddle sororities, however, is that there is no aggressive competition. I was exploring sororities right before Theta Phi Alpha’s Theta Phi Cutie Pie event, and I noticed that all of the other sororities were posting about the event, trying to raise more money for the Theta Phi Alpha philanthropies.

I started looking at sororities last semester, but not seriously. When the sororities started recruiting in the spring, they were each posting about their events.

I went to a Theta Phi Alpha event on Thursday night, and I was welcomed in by some of the sisters. They were making friendship bracelets with their colors (blue, gold, and silver) while music played in the background. There, I got to ask the sisters any questions I had about Theta Phi Alpha or sororities in general, and they were more than happy to answer.

On the next Monday night, I went to another event. One of Theta Phi Alpha’s local philanthropies is the Halifax Humane Society, and they were using cut-up clothing to make animal toys. That event was similar, except the sorority was doing volunteer work as well. We took three strips of cut-up clothing and tied them in one knot, then threw them in a canvas bag for someone to take to the humane society.

That was the last scheduled recruitment event for Theta Phi Alpha specifically, and they announced that bids would be sent out soon. (A ‘bid’ is an invitation to join a sorority or fraternity.) A few days later, on Wednesday, I was offered a bid!

I ended up waiting until Thursday to accept due to my busy Wednesday schedule. Theta Phi Alpha was running their Theta Phi Cutie Pie week table, so there were sisters out and about. To sign a bid, one of the sisters in the sorority will take you to the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life office, and then you will officially sign a paper to accept the sorority bid. The sister that went with you will then serve as a witness when you sign.

Me, right before signing the bid.

No one in my family has ever been a part of a sorority, so I don’t have “legacy” status. I was also on my own, and I had no idea what to look for in a sorority. I talked to some, and others reached out to me, and I’d schedule times to meet girls in the sorority (usually at an open event or 1-on-1 with the recruitment director).

If you’re looking at Greek life, my advice is to do it. If you’re only considering it, at least look at the sororities. If you do COB (continuous open bidding), like me, you are under no obligation to accept a bid and you can get a bid from multiple sororities. Since I didn’t go through traditional fall recruitment, I don’t really know what it entails, but I liked the way that I did it.

Either way, I chose to join Theta Phi Alpha because of the people and the mission. When I stepped into the room and met some of the some of the sisters, I felt like each of them had a genuine interest in me as a person. In addition to the sorority information, we talked about likes and dislikes. I met a girl named Victoria who also liked the same musicals as I did, and we’ve been friends ever since.

Many sisters also said hello to me when I passed by, and told me that if I had any questions to just ask them. On the day I signed my bid, there were several sisters around the table, and they were all happy and excited for me to join.

I am not an official sister of Theta Phi Alpha yet, but I will be once I go through the recruitment process (which takes a little while). Either way, I’m happy that I decided to go Greek and check out the sororities.

I’ve also learned that each sorority is very supportive of the others. A representative of another sorority messaged me, and I told her that I was planning to accept Theta Phi Alpha’s bid. She was happy for me and said that she was glad I found my home, and I thanked her for reaching out.

If you’re thinking of going Greek… do it! Research the sororities, talk to sisters, and go to their events. I didn’t know if I ever wanted to be in a sorority, and, well, here I am, going through recruitment.

Me and my invitation card!

Study Abroad Scholarships & Summer Plans

Happy February everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida, posted up in a local coffee shop on a Saturday morning grinding away on homework. I have some exciting news! I recently got accepted to participate in an amazing opportunity this summer with Project GO! I’ve talked about Project GO in the past because I started my language learning journey in Summer 2018 with Arabic!

Project GO is a program offered through the Department of Defense to all military branches of ROTC students where they are offered scholarships to learn critical languages either domestically or abroad over the summer.

Since I am in Air Force ROTC, I spent my first summer between my Freshman and Sophomore years with Project GO learning Arabic domestically in Lawrence, Kansas at the University of Kansas. I continued my studies throughout the year at ERAU Daytona Beach and decided to add an Arabic Studies minor to my academic curriculum. The following summer in 2019 I spent at the University of Arizona studying Arabic domestically as well. Last summer in 2020 I was selected to study Arabic abroad in Morocco with Project GO, but unfortunately due to the global pandemic, travel lockdowns were set in place and Morocco’s borders shut, so I continued studying throughout the summer on Arizona time with online Arabic courses. (Shoutout to Zoom, I am VERY familiar.) 

A perk of Pre-Pandemic studying with Project GO in Arizona was the amazing hikes!

Also, in 2020 I was selected to receive a Boren Award to study Arabic abroad in Amman, Jordan, but unfortunately (again due to the pandemic) I was unable to do so, and the Boren program allowed me to postpone using my award in Summer 2021. Boren is a National Security Education Program initiative that offers scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students to study critical languages abroad.

The difference between Project GO and Boren is that the Boren Awards program is open to all students (not only ROTC) and is a bit more flexible on choosing your specific language, country, foreign host institution, and courses. The Boren Awards program is more heavily reliant on self-initiative and providing your own plan for language learning, as well as proposing the funds needed for the expenses of your endeavor and applying for the Boren Award to do so.

View of the sunset from the University of Arizona’s campus while I was studying Arabic there.

With Project GO, you have the option of language and learning level, along with different host universities (domestically) that host both domestic and abroad programs where you are able to choose up to three programs both domestically and abroad to apply for (a total of 6). If you are selected to receive a scholarship, the foreign host institution is already paired with a domestic institution and essentially requires less planning from a student/participant’s perspective.

That being said, I have officially accepted a study abroad opportunity for Summer 2021 with Project GO where I will be continue my advanced Arabic studies in Meknes, Morocco and I am extremely excited. Will report back soon folks, keep on keeping on!

Perks of Being a Flight Student

This past month, I had the chance to go on a long cross-country flight as part of my multi-engine add-on course. It is my last required flight course that I need in order to graduate and we fly our Diamonds (DA42) for this training. Me and my instructor decided to go up to Charleston, North Carolina on a calm Sunday.

The cockpit of a Diamond 42

The Diamonds are faster than our Cessnas so they allow us to cruise at much faster speeds. We could cover the distance of near 300 miles in 2 hours so when we left around 4pm, we were able to enjoy some breathtaking sights during our cruise up north.

The actual flight path of our XC flight

It is always quite an experience when we get to go on these long cross-country flights. Often times, I am able to enjoy the view and have a friendly, yet professional chat with my instructor, getting to know them personally on these long journeys. We were enjoying cruising over the clouds, flying over cities like Jacksonville and Savannah. Before I realized how quickly we were cruising (about 200 knots groundspeed if you need a reference), we were starting our descent into the Charleston area.

Charleston is a cool airport as it borders an active C-17 military base as well as the Boeing factory where they build the B787 Dreamliners. As we made our landing and taxied to our ramp, I could see the line of C-17’s and B787’s parked on the other side of the airport. Me and my instructor quickly secured the aircraft, grabbed a crew car and headed to one of the most popular destinations for Charleston XC flights, Lewis Barbeque. It was perfect as my instructor and I were both getting hungry near dinner time, so we decided to fill ourselves up before heading back to Daytona.

Lewis BBQ in Charleston, NC

After some good BBQ chow down, we headed back to the airport for our return leg. It was now past sunset so the cruise back was gonna be in the dark. We started up the aircraft and cruised up to an altitude that was the highest I’ve ever been at. The Diamond aircraft performance allows us to cruise at higher altitudes than a Cessna so we decided to cruise at 10,000ft in order to clear the clouds and the turbulence.

Making our way down to the cloudy Daytona Beach area, my instructor and I parked the aircraft back at our ramp around 10pm and we were able to safely complete the flight. I went home and crashed right after as it was a long flight, but it will remain as one of the most memorable moments from my flight training here. I get to experience what life as a commercial pilot is going to be like whenever I go on one of these cross-country flights. I get to work with different co-pilots (my instructor in this case) whom I may not know personally, but we still do our best to maintain a safe and professional environment in and outside the cockpit. Of course, I can’t forget about the breathtaking views during the cruises and the delicious local food at our destinations.

Ranking Some Of The Study Spots On Campus

“Money can’t buy happiness,” they say. To that, I say “It’s much better to study in a comfortable chair than on the ground.”

So, I’m back, and this semester has brought out a LOT more studying than the last one due to the challenging course load. And I’ve discovered some nice study spots on campus that I’ll be assessing. This is Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, after all.

Comfort (C): How comfortable is the spot? Could I sleep here, even though I shouldn’t?
Volume: (V) Is it quiet here? Again, could I fall asleep with the noise in the background?
Academic Productivity (AP): Do I actually do work here, or watch TikToks and say I work? Do I get distracted easily?
Proximity to Food (PtF): Studying requires snacks. How far away is some sort of snack or food?

As a baseline, I’m also ranking myself on these categories and how much it affects me. I fell asleep on final approach in a Boeing 747. You, on the other hand, may not even be able to sleep through straight-and-level flight.

C: Again, I fell asleep on final approach in a B747. (In fairness, I was also really tired.) I fall asleep in cars pretty easily.
V: I prefer quiet spaces when I study, but I can deal with a little bit of background noise.
AP: I get distracted by my phone notifications if the thing I’m working on isn’t urgent and/or a pain in the butt to do. But if it’s 11:30 and the assignment is due at 11:59, you bet that I’m not tearing my eyes away from the assignment.
PtF: I like food. How close am I to food, and better yet, free food?

Without further ado, let’s begin!

SPOT ONE: My Dorm Desk

Ah, yes, the ever-present college dorm. At ERAU, each room has a desk that you can move around wherever you’d like. I’m going to add a side note that I never study in my bed because I read it was bad for you psychologically. Something about your brain associating your bed (made for sleeping) for studying or something- either way, I don’t do it.

C: Very comfortable, except for the fact that half of the time, my dorm is weirdly cold even though the thermostat is at 74 degrees. So I bought a blanket and wore a sweatshirt. Problem solved. I’ve also never been able to fall asleep at a desk, which is good if I want to be productive. 9/10.

V: Completely varies. The guys next door enjoy playing loud music (on Monday night, they were screaming California Girls among other songs). Of course, suitemates make noise, too, but if asked, they are more than happy to be quiet. At this point, I think that I’ve just tuned out the guys next door. 7/10.

AP: It’s my dorm. And it faces the airport. I have a full suite, and I love my suitemates, so they can kind of get me off-topic. But again, if I ask, they’re more than happy to quiet down and not be super distracting. 7/10

PtF: Again, it’s my dorm. There’s always food somewhere… and I have a snack bin literally right behind me. 10/10.

TOTAL SCORE: 33/40
Best for studying: Overall, in my opinion.

SPOT TWO: The Study Rooms in New Res 2

ERAU has study rooms that just opened on each floor of New Residence Hall 2. These are separate from the common area and face the airport. They can hold 2 people (COVID restrictions) and have a whiteboard, TV, several chairs, and tables.

C: Comfortable, depending on what type of chair you sit in. The soft plush chairs are obviously more comfortable than the hard wood and metal ones. Also, it’s weirdly cold sometimes but it’s also been hot before. Total toss-up. 7/10

V: Pretty quiet, except for the sound of the air conditioner if you’re studying when it’s cold. If there’s another person in there with you, then that’s obviously going to add some noise. 7/10

AP: It’s a study room, so intuitively, I feel more inclined to actually do work and not take frequent TikTok breaks. 8/10.

PtF: Only if you bring it. But it’s allowed in here. 8/10.

TOTAL SCORE: 30/40
Best for studying: With a friend, especially if you need help from them.

SPOT THREE: The Main Areas of the Student Union

I don’t know exactly how many times I’ve used this picture, but I’m using it again. This part of the post is dedicated to the common space in the student union, not the library or study rooms.

C: Comfortable. The chairs in the student union are pretty soft, but the ones on the half-circle overlooking the main entrance are kind of weird (in my opinion). Choose your spot wisely. 7/10.

V: It’s the Student Union. If you’re there during the day, it’s pretty loud. There’s usually music playing in the background, and you can usually hear other people talking. Not quiet at all during the day, but it’s better at night. However, there is always a chance that the radio station, WIKD, will play music… 5/10.

AP: I never really get much work done, mainly because someone will pass me and I’ll say hello. And then I’ll get distracted… whoops. But if you’re really dedicated and alone at night, you can get stuff done. 3/10.

PtF: It’s the Student Union. Depending on what part you study in, you might be steps away from food. You’re also allowed to have it and take your mask off to eat (as long as you’re actively eating). And if you want, you can study in Starbucks. 9/10.

Overall Score: 24/40.
Best for studying: When you want to study, but don’t reeeeeeeally want to study.

SPOT FOUR: Student Union Study Rooms

The student union also has several study rooms available to students. These rooms can be reserved online, but sometimes, they’re empty and people will just sit in them. However, it’s good to make a reservation to ensure that you have the spot. They’re very similar to the study rooms in New Residence Hall 2; they have a whiteboard (right in the photo) and a TV that you can hook your laptop up to.

There are other study rooms on other floors, but I am in one of the first floor ones for the purpose of this post.

C: The chairs are nice; they’re vertically adjustable. I will say that the large table legs are kind of annoying if you want to be close to the table. The chair itself is pretty comfortable, though. 7/10.

V: It’s quieter than the main area of the student union, but the glass does little to provide noise absorption. There is always the possibility of someone tapping on the glass behind you, but the probability of that is very small. Again, WIKD might show up and play music. 6/10.

AP: Being in the study rooms, you’re not as likely to be focusing on the people around you and who passes by. The first floor study rooms are also slightly tucked away, so it’s less likely that people are going to say hi and distract you. 7/10.

PtF: Depending on what floor you’re on, and what side of the student union you choose, you could be really close to the campus Chick-fil-A. If you’re on the third floor, however, there are no dining locations up there, so you’ll have to walk back down. 9/10.

Overall Score: 29/40
Best for studying: With friends on non-urgent assignments.

SPOT FIVE: The Top of the AMS Building

The balcony of the Aviation Maintenance Science building is the only outside study spot that is going to be reviewed. It has an entrance on both the second and third floor and a staircase outside between the levels. The picture is from the top spot, where there are several tables.

C: Completely depends on the weather! If it’s hot out, then it’ll be hot. If it’s cold, then bring a jacket. It could also be raining. It’s outside, after all. The only chairs are the metal benches and tables as shown in the picture… or the ground. So, I’ll give it a 5/10.

V: Usually decently quiet. ERAU conducts flight training and activities on every day of the week, so you’re likely to hear one of our Cessnas or Diamonds taking off, landing, or flying overhead. There are also several other flight schools in the area, so there’ll be some activity. Occasionally, a big ol’ jet will come by and you’ll get to hear the roar of the engines. But overall, pretty quiet. 7/10.

AP: Extremely subjective! If you get easily distracted by planes… you won’t get much work done. But if you’re only interested in big jets, then you’ll be fine. Personally, I find the bigger jets more interesting than the Cessnas and Diamonds, and those don’t take off too much. But then again, sometimes I’ll get distracted and watch the Cessnas take off and land. So… 7/10.

PtF: You’re not near anything that you can buy, but you’re more than welcome to bring it. 7/10.

Overall Score: 26/40.
Best for studying: When you need motivation for your ‘Design a Whole Airplane’ project. Also good for non-plane-lovers to study on nice, sunny days.

SPOT SIX: The A²  Tutoring Lab

The A² tutoring lab is a great place to be (in my opinion). It’s free tutoring in various undergraduate classes that you’ll most likely encounter. ERAU pays students to tutor other students, and when it’s open, there will always be tutors to help you out. And

C: The chairs are nice. What I also love about A² is the dry-erase tables and free markers, so you don’t have to use a bunch of paper trying to do ONE problem. (Some of these integrals get very long.) However, if you’re socially anxious, the lab is located on the first floor of the College of Arts and Sciences, so you can see people who walk by. 8/10.

V: This is a tutoring lab, so it’s pretty quiet. Due to COVID-19, they also offer online tutoring, and sometimes one of the tutors will be talking to someone in the background. However, it’s easy to get help from one of the tutors and tune everything else out. 8/10.

AP: Again. This is a tutoring lab. They are literally there to help you study and keep you on task. 10/10.

PtF: There is no food in the COAS, and while the student union is nearby, you’re not supposed to have food in there, unfortunately. You can, however, keep water. 2/10.

Overall Score: 28/40.
Best for studying: Whenever you need help or to actually get work done.

So, as you may be able to tell, there are plenty of spots to study for your classes here at ERAU. Personally, my favorite is my dorm, but you might have a different one- which is totally fine! Everyone has their own preferences on where to study.

See you in the next post… or hopefully at Riddle someday!

Daily Life & Extraneous Happenings

Happy February everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida and now that I’m back in the groove I would like to share with you a day in the life of an Aerospace Engineering student in Air Force ROTC who works as a Resident Advisor (RA), along with multiple other campus involvements! 

To begin, in AFROTC this semester we have one In-Person physical training (PT) a week, and one “virtual” at home workout PT, in addition to one In-Person Leadership Laboratory (LLAB). If I have either PT or LLAB, I typically wake up around 0500 via an alarm on my phone, sometimes multiple alarms especially if I was up late doing homework. I usually start my day extremely thirsty so when I first wake up I make water, coffee, tea, and a vitamin C drink from a powder I have (I know this might sound like a lot, but I love beverages). Then I do 10-15 minutes of yoga, eat some oatmeal and take my vitamins, and head to ROTC around 0620. After ROTC I typically return to my room between 0800 and 0900 and shower and make second breakfast, which is sometimes more oatmeal, coffee, and fruit if a have it (sometimes oatmeal is subbed with a muffin from the Cadet Lounge).

Then I prep for my day! On my busiest days I have in-person Airplane Stability and Control, Preparation for Active Duty Air Force class, online Aerospace Structures II, in-person SGA Student Court office hours, Space Mechanics, and my bi-weekly 1:1 with my RA supervisor (the Residence Life Coordinator of the residence hall I live in). This week my other obligations include my Returning RA Interview session, a 1:1 with my APAS (Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies) to go over my academic course plan up to graduation, Student Court Hearing Sessions, RA staff meetings, RA duty, workouts, office hours with my professors to ask questions about homework assignments, and my first Community Hangout of the semester – I’m teaming up with my RA hall partner to do a virtual Paint night!

In my free time when I’m not working out I’m probably playing virtual chess with my friends, strategizing Blokus games, or sleeping!

My first 2-Person Blokus game!

My usual schedule typically includes homework, quiz prep, and studying for upcoming tests. Also, I recently joined ERAU’s Surf Club which I’m very excited about. I went surfing for the first time since I’ve been back in Florida over the weekend at Ponce Inlet and it was so much fun! Going to the beach recently was the first time I’ve worn a wetsuit because the water was cold and I had a blast.

The beach when I went surfing with Surf Club!

As I get back to doing homework, I look forward to blogging again soon, keep on keeping on folks, stay safe!

Everything I Did Since Coming Back From The Break

Not like “everything” everything, but these were some major events.

As of January 20, classes are back in session here at Embry-Riddle. I got here a few days before they started, arriving at KDAB at 10 PM. And just to give you a little insight as to what Riddle students do, here are a few major things that I did.

Missed my parents. Yeah, Fall 2020 Carly would also be confused. It’s college, right? You’ve got the freedom to do whatever you want (within reason) whenever you want. Are you going to quietly eat ramen at 3 AM in your dorm while procrastinating your classwork? That’s not a great idea, but nobody is stopping you.

Aaaaaand let my parents ship me an emotional support stuffed cat that looks like my real-life cat. He came vacuum sealed, so I ended up having to throw him in the dryer for a few minutes. Don’t you see the resemblance?

Lost my AirPods Pro on Wednesday, and got one back on Friday. I’d lost them in the Walmart on Wednesday. One of my friends took our friend group to Walmart, and I somehow lost them separately. So, I searched all over campus and called the Walmart, where an associate had found a single AirPod Pro. So now I have one AirPod Pro, the case, and a reluctance to buy a replacement since they’re expensive.

Had a friend take this picture, because I thought it was funny. Ironically, this picture was taken before I had lost my AirPods. I have four classes back-to-back on Wednesday, and this was my mood after the fourth.

Yes, I got some stares, but the picture is funny.

Attended Fire Friday. Fire Friday is a tradition that started last semester, and it continues this semester. It’s run by a different person, but the premise is the same: on Friday nights, people host a bonfire in the fire pit between New Residence Halls 1 and 2. Anyone can attend, and sometimes there will be free sodas or food.

This Fire Friday was the first one since last semester, but it was still pretty crazy. A bunch of people brought their longboards- including two guys who brought electric longboards and let other people try to ride them. I tried, but I think I’ll stick to leg-powered longboards.

Yesssss!

Tried to look super cool standing on a longboard. You can be the judge of the coolness factor.

Yes, this was on Fire Friday!

And yes, I attended class (and got homework). This is college after all…

Either way, it’s been good to be back at Embry-Riddle. It’s a drastic change from Kentucky weather. I can wear a T-shirt here and be outside for longer than five minutes. I like my classes so far, and I’m excited to see what this semester has in store for me.

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

Spring & Back in the Swing of Things

Happy January everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida. First week of Spring 2021 semester down, and it’s definitely been an adjustment getting back into the swing of things. At this point, this is the start of my 8th semester, not including summer classes, and you would think it gets easier as time goes on, but it still takes me a little time to get back in the flow of things. I find that I enjoy my breaks so much that returning sometimes is a little difficult, as I’m sure a lot students find coming back from the leisure and comfort of a relaxing break.

Hiking in VA while I was home in December!

That being said, in order to thoroughly enjoy resting I work hard to get to the end of each semester, so it’s well earned and thoroughly enjoyed, although short lived. The next 3.5 months of Spring semester will surely fly by quickly, full of busy schedules, challenges, and (unfortunately) no Spring Break. As the weather gets warmer hopefully I’ll get some free time to get outside and relax as I got to do while home in Virginia!

My favorite things about Spring semester in Florida are outdoor workouts, $5.00 smoothie day (typically post-run) at Smoothie King on Fridays, and the beach. I also enjoy being back at school because I listen to a lot of new music. I like to listen to music on Spotify (where it’s only $5.00 a month for Hulu + Spotify for students!!) while I do homework, study, and answer emails/GroupMe messages. I also enjoy checking out suggested new songs while on walks and during workouts, which helps me look forward to the things I would typically enjoy a little more, which is always extra exciting!

Spending downtime outside over break!

I thoroughly enjoy doing YogaWithAdriene videos on Youtube in the mornings too. I had a morning Yoga routine all Fall semester and getting back into a new school routine for Spring is always nice. I recently tried out the GetBendy program with ElleFitActive that is basically a yoga incorporated stretch routine which is perfect for the mornings, nights, and before or after workouts. Super important tips for getting through the Spring semester, especially when the weather starts to warm up, are staying hydrated, stretching in between workouts, and getting enough sleep!

Sometimes being back at school (especially with online classes) can be monotonous and adding little bits of variation and fun/happy moments to break up your days are extremely beneficial! If you can fit in a quick walk around campus in between classes, a short yoga or workout video on YouTube, or even a healthy snack or an afternoon tea/coffee pick-me-up, it might work wonders for an afternoon slump from staring at a computer all day. I hope you find creative and personalized ways to help you get through a semi-to-fully virtual semester! I will be reporting back shortly with some tips and tricks that I’ll be trying out over the next few weeks to combat the health slumps that usually accompany the stress each semester brings. Keep on keeping on folks, stay healthy, will get back to y’all soon!