First Weeks Back!

 The start of a new semester is always busy the first couple weeks. You’re learning what all your new classes entail, meeting new professors, and new people. It seems like it all happens so quickly and that can be quite the adjustment from high school, but after the second week or so passes it gets good. You get used to the new schedule and begin to enjoy all your new classes! It’s also important to stick to who you are as well. Through college you are going to learn numerous different things, but sticking to your hobbies and your passions is what keeps you true to yourself.

As we all know I love photography and that is my hobby. The beginning of the week, I was taking some photos around campus and I’d like to show you what I have.

Mori Hosseini Student Union
College of Arts & Sciences
Legacy Walk
Medjool Date Palms line Legacy Walk
Reflections of Campus

Daytona & Decorations

Happy January everyone! Also happy new year! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, back in Florida with the temperatures in the 70s and the golden sunshine. 

The first week of school has concluded and it was busy to say the least. Mind you, the first full week is yet to come, but our initial three day week sure did have me exhausted, and classes aren’t even in full swing yet!

A brief look into my first week’s schedule: 

On Wednesday, the first official day of classes, I started with an AFROTC Fitness Assessment early in the morning, then proceeded to have my Aerospace Flight Vehicles class, Differential Equations, a meeting with my boss for my Resident Advisor position, a hall wing meeting for my 38 residents, and then RA duty for the night where you are required to be “On-Call” in the residence hall starting at 5pm, then sit at the desk and perform building rounds from 7pm until 11pm, and be “On Call” again until the Housing and Residence Life Office opens at 8am the following morning.

My second day consisted of waking up and running, my Modern Middle Eastern World Affairs class, Dynamics, and a boxing class with my favorite girl gang.

Friday started with the first official training day for AFROTC, ergo the first Leadership Laboratory of my Field Training Preparation semester which was challenging, followed by my Air Force class, then Aerospace Flight Vehicles, and another serving of Differential Equations, concluding my day and first week with a group bonding activity with my AFROTC flight in the evening. AFROTC flights change every semester, so team bonding is extremely important outside of training to ensure you all perform cohesively during training!

As an RA, your job includes decorating your hallways in the dorms where your residents reside. This semester I based my theme loosely on comic book fonts, with most of the inspiration originating from the 1966 film Batman: The Movie. 

Some of my hall decorations included: Wham!
Zok
Boff!
Zoom!
Blam
and of course, Pow!

Although it was so nice being on break and really getting a chance to briefly take my mind off of all my responsibilities, it definitely feels good to escape the cold weather, and begin to get back into the swing of things, but I do miss my friends and family from back home.

My mom and I on a hike over the winter break.
Some friends and I that I got the chance to visit over the break!

Next week will be a busy one as well, and between Orientation Team, my RA position, AFROTC, Aerospace Engineering, Arabic, and numerous other tasks and obligations that pull me in a thousand different directions, I’m sure this semester will be challenging, but definitely worth it.

Stay motivated and positive as you settle into the new year. Will report back soon!

Tips & Tricks

As we all know, it’s the last weeks of the semester and that means FINALS! And, just simply trying to bring up your grades. But I feel like, as college students, we shouldn’t over stress ourselves the way we do. Sometimes taking time to relax is the best thing we can do because when you’re pulling all-nighters to study and cram in information the last few days, you will fry your brain. This was something I had to learn coming into college, as someone who has grown up with major anxiety, dealing with and handling the stress that comes from it has been something I had to learn. So, take from a master of sorts and maybe my advice will help someone out.

  • Study and break- Obviously you should study for your tests and classes, but don’t overdo. Don’t spend 2 hours in a row studying, take small breaks in between, take your time, and don’t fry your brain.
  • NO ALL-NIGHTERS! All-Nighters are not good for your health. It is very beneficial to you to get a good night’s sleep before a test and class. Your performance will suffer because your brain has not gotten the full recommended amount of rest. I know from personal experience that when I get a full beautiful rest, I realize I’m more aware, more refreshed, and just all around feel good.
  • Eat breakfast or a meal before your exam. This seems obvious, but I promise that being hungry during a test is not fun and can result in your feeling sick and will distract you.
  • Don’t study the day of. Cramming before an exam is not the best idea for your head because again you will fry your brain before you even go and take your test. The best thing to do is go to class and be prepared and with a fresh brain. This was some advice that my Math professor gave me and, so far, it helped me out so much. This may not be for everyone, but it can sure help some people who know the info but just is a over stresser.
  • Don’t over think it. Even if you’re worried about a test, the worst thing you can do is panic and over think.

Stress is something that we can all manage, and it can be quite easy to do with a little effort and self-awareness. Before a test or something big, it’s important to your mental health to treat yourself while you’re working hard. Relax, take a breather, and do something you love to do. This depends on the person, but here are some things I suggest doing that help me:

Art! I love to mindlessly paint, sitting back and just doing random drawing patterns, and of course editing my photos. This may not be for everyone, but it really does help me a lot.

Watch a movie! Unwind with a good movie, whether that be at the Theater or Netflix on your laptop. This is a great way to unravel, to escape and let your mind wander into and enjoy a movie. On campus, Touch ‘N Go (our schools entertainment coordinators pretty much) does free movie showings just about every week, and sometimes they do them outside on a big screen for all to see and enjoy.

And lastly, I would say spend time doing something fun with a friend. Having a good friend to just help you take some stuff off your mind and to just laugh and hang out is such a good way to relive some stress.

Hope this helps you to have stress-free finals and a stress-free holiday!

Escaping for a Weekend

Hey everyone! I know current students are into the full swing of the fall semester and exams are coming up; however, sometimes it is nice to take a break and escape for a while. I personally have had a lot going on in my personal life and education wise, so I was due for a little getaway.

This past weekend I went to St. Augustine, FL and enjoyed the oldest city in the U.S. I have been a few times before but I never get sick of it. There is so much to do in the city and so much history. The National Registry of Historic Places practically has a plaque on every building.

During this trip, I visited the Alligator Farm and the Pirate Museum. I also hopped on the trolley for a tour around the city. Although I have been on the trolley quite a few times, you always get a different side of the story. The tour guide I had this time, who keep in mind was a 60-year old retired cop, brought up the fact that the KeKe challenge was pointless and dangerous; and that his eight-year-old granddaughter is obsessed with social media.

Sometimes it is nice to escape from all the craziness. Especially since my other passion is animals, I really enjoyed the Alligator Farm. They have all 23 species of crocodiles known to man, a handful of different birds, snakes (ew), and of course a whole lot of American Alligators. There was one crazy guy who was fearless when in the alligator pit. To the point where he smacked them on the snout if they got to close…several times!

Sitting at a table on the top floor overlooking the second-floor dining area

It was hot out, but it was worth it. After walking around the city some more I went to the famous Columbia Restaurant. Their bread…and salad…and everything else on the menu is fantastic! I have never had a bad experience there no matter which location I go to. I was again in good company, and although we were enjoying the time away from school, we still couldn’t stop talking about it.

A lot of people say, alright, no work talk or school talk; but when that is your life, for the time being, it is hard not to talk about it. Especially coming from an aviation school, you can’t not talk about aviation.

It was nice to get away. Especially since there are so many cities close to Riddle. They are great for weekend trips and even fall break. I know we are all cramming in the books and studies all the time but it is good to take a break.

Just remember, it’s always good to have a little fun!

Until next time,

Skye

First Non-rev Adventure: Juneau, AK

As you know, I am currently on internship with Alaska Airlines for the summer. Most airlines give their interns flight benefits for the summer, and thankfully, Alaska Airlines is one of those airlines! So, of course, I am going to take advantage of the benefits.

When you are blessed with flight benefits, there is a specific way in which you go about actually getting on a flight. These procedures vary from airline to airline, but are normally pretty similar. You list for your flight, which indicates to the gate agents that you would like a seat on the plane. Then, you frantically check the flights throughout the day to make sure there are still seats open, hope no one with more non-rev status than you shows up for the flight, and pray that no one buys a ticket last minute (you can imagine how stressful it can get). You are called a “non-rev”, short for non-revenue passenger. This means, you are flying standby, and not paying for your seat on the flight. Flying standby is an art form. It requires you to be very knowledgeable about the flight schedules, hubs, and weight restrictions on different routes. It is not acceptable to miss work on Monday because you were non-reving and got stranded somewhere. Therefore, you have to get creative. Which is why it is sometimes referred to as the non-rev adventure or non-rev challenge.

For my first non-rev trip, I decided to play it safe. I definitely didn’t want to get stranded my first time. So, I decided to take a day trip up to Juneau, Alaska. Since Alaska Airlines was born in Alaska, and is a vital resource for so many people up there, I thought it would be a good idea to understand the Alaskan culture. There are quite a few trips up to Juneau from Seattle during a weekend, so I knew I would definitely be able to make it back in time for work on Monday.

Alaska Airlines also gives companion passes to interns, so I got to take my mom to Juneau with me. We woke up early Saturday morning and caught the 7:00 AM flight to Juneau. I was ecstatic when I found out we were going to be flying on a Combi! I had heard that the flight up to Juneau was supposed to be beautiful, because you fly over the mountains and along the river, but it was cloudy when we went.

Juneau airport

Juneau airport

Once we arrived in Juneau, which is a tiny little airport, we took a taxi up to the Mendenhall Glacier. It was absolutely beautiful! It sits between two hills, and flows down into the lake below. There was also a big waterfall off to the right of it. We walked the trails around the glacier for about an hour, and then decided to head into town. We ended up having to walk 1.5 miles down the hill to the bus stop, where we could catch the bus to downtown. The bus ride took about an hour just to go a few miles, since there were so many stops, but it was cool because we got to see some areas we otherwise wouldn’t have.

Mendenhall Glacier in the background

Mendenhall Glacier in the background

Waterfall next to the glacier

Waterfall next to the glacier

Once we got to town, we walked around all of the shops. We were surprised by the large crowds, but later realized it was because there were four cruise ships there. You could easily tell that the town lives off of tourism, because all of the shops were selling tourist items. For lunch, we went to a famous crab shack on the water. I had shrimp bisque and my mom had the crab cakes. They were to die for! After looking in all of the shops, it was almost dinner time, so we went to a food truck selling fish tacos. Once again, they were wonderful! I loved the fresh fish that were in them. After dinner, we took a taxi back to the airport, where we would catch our evening flight back to Seattle.

It was an amazing day trip, and a successful non-rev adventure. I would definitely recommend everyone go to Alaska at least once, whether it’s for a day or an entire vacation. It really is a whole different way of living. Each city has something special to offer, whether it’s whale watching, glaciers, hiking, fishing, or just a unique atmosphere. If you do decide to go up to the great state of Alaska, I also recommend flying on Alaska Airlines (I might be a little bit biased)!

Until next time,

Lindsey

Exploring the West

As my last adventure of the Spring semester, I had the privilege of traveling out west with the Admissions team. Our itinerary included Denver, Los Angeles, and Seattle during the course of five days. Needless to say, it was a lot of time spent in an airplane.

The beginning of our trip didn’t start out as planned, since our flight out of Daytona to Atlanta was delayed for three hours. After rebooking our flight twice, we finally made it to Denver with just a few hours to spare before the event. As an ERAU student, naturally I was excited to go to Denver International Airport, since there are so many conspiracies surrounding it. I was surprised when we landed to see that there was still snow on the ground! After admiring the snow and the Rocky Mountains, we got to the restaurant where we were going to be hosting our dinner event. A lot of families showed up, and I was able to talk with them about ERAU Daytona Beach Campus.

After a successful event in Denver, it was off to Los Angeles! We woke up very early in the morning to catch a flight to Salt Lake City, where we would be making our connection. I had never flown into SLC during the daylight hours, so I enjoyed the views of the mountains, and the lake.

Approach into SLC at sunrise

Once we made it to LA, we hit the ground running. After all, what else are you supposed to do when you have an entire free day in Los Angeles? First stop: In-N-Out Burger. A California classic. This restaurant was conveniently located at the end of one of the runways at LAX. So, we enjoyed plane-spotting while drinking our milkshakes. You could definitely tell we were from Embry-Riddle, since we oohed and ahhed when the 777s and 787s came in for landing. Once we got our burger fix, we headed out to explore the city, after a quick check-in to our hotel, of course.

Our first tourist destination was the Hollywood Sign. We drove up into the hills and took pictures of it in the distance from the Griffith Observatory. Somehow, we also managed to get into the Griffith Observatory to look around for a bit. We didn’t have much time to spare though, since our next stop was a tour at the Warner Brothers Studios. I had been to Los Angeles a couple times before, but had never done the tour before, so I was quite excited! Once we arrived at the Studios in Burbank, we were greeted with the bustling of television production. The tour lasted a couple hours, and we got to see Harry Potter costumes, sound stages where Pretty Little Liars, Friends, and the Big Bang Theory were filmed, as well as many other awesome things! Once the tour was over, we drove out to Santa Monica to visit the famous pier. Little did we know that there were severe wind advisories for that area! We were freezing! However, a little wind didn’t stop us. We ate at a restaurant on the pier and watched the sunset. It was the perfect end to a busy day, or so we thought. On the way back towards our hotel in downtown, we decided that we couldn’t leave LA without driving down Hollywood Boulevard. We got to see the stars on the sidewalks, the famous theaters, and Jimmy Kimmel Live’s studio!

View of the Hollywood Sign from the Griffith Observatory

Sitting on the Friends couch

Santa Monica Pier

Obviously, we maximized our free time in Los Angeles. The next day, we walked to the restaurant where we were hosting the luncheon. Our hotel was across from the Staples Center, so we also got to take some pictures of it while we were passing through. The event was very successful, and once again, I got to speak with many families about Embry-Riddle! It has turned into one of my passions. I love to see the excitement on students’ faces when they talk about attending ERAU.

Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles

After LA, we headed to our final destination, which was Seattle! I was excited to be back in my hometown, even if it was just for a day. Our hotel was in Pioneer Square, which is one of the most historic districts of Seattle. We were hungry after a long evening of travel, so we found the oldest bar in Seattle. However, we had to sit outside to eat, since I am not yet 21. The burgers were to die for, and our server was hilarious. It was around 50 degrees while we were eating, but it was definitely worth it. The next day, the event in Seattle was another luncheon. It was a smaller crowd, and it was special to me since my family was in attendance. My younger sister is going to be attending Embry-Riddle in August!

Once the event was over, my family joined us, and we all went to Pike Place Market and the Gum Wall. Thankfully it stopped raining just in time! We bought flowers, went to Beecher’s, and bought salmon from the famous Pike Place Fish Market. After a nice lunch on the pier, the ERAU Admissions team went to explore Seattle. We visited the Space Needle, of course. I also took them to see a lesser known tourist attraction: the Fremont Troll. It is a big troll that was sculpted underneath the bridge between Seattle and Fremont.

Approach into SEA over downtown

My sister and I at the Gum Wall

By that time, we were all exhausted just in time for our red eye flight back to Daytona! The entire trip was filled with laughter and good conversations. I enjoyed meeting some members of the ERAU Class of 2020! Now that the trip is over, I am looking forward to the next West Coast trip next year!

Until next time,

Lindsey

4th Week Update

Hello hello everyone! We are now in the 4th week of school! Surprise surprise! We have made it through January! Happy February! Only 3 more months to go and summer break arrives; well at least for some of us! This week for me is going to be a crazy week. I got a super bad infection last week so I missed some school. All I could do was lay in bed and feel hopeless, but luckily, I am feeling much better this week!

I missed a speech in my COM class, but I get to give it tomorrow. I am talking about NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, in particular, on how it impacted and inspired me. It’s our first introduction speech and it’s four minutes long. I have been practicing and I have hit four minutes right on the dot! I’m excited to finally deliver it tomorrow. Calculus homework is also due this week along with the finishing up of “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” by James Weldon Johnson in Humanities. I really enjoyed that book, surprisingly. I am usually not a reader, but considering this book was for class, it was not half bad. I enjoyed reading about the history of what happened between blacks and whites back in the day. It was quite sad and I did actually get mad over the lynching, but it is nice I became aware of it.

Along with makeup work and classes to attend, this week the Society 4 S.P.A.C.E has its officer elections. Yes, the mighty job of the Vice President to find candidates for the open positions. On top of that, we also have our weekly meeting with two guest speakers talking about our research projects that we are doing this semester. My schedule for tomorrow: 8:00a – 12:00p classes, 12:00p- 1:00p lunch/prep for interviews and meetings, 1:00p – 2:00p class 2:00p – 6:00p officer interviews 6:00p – 7:00p weekly meeting. Tomorrow will be a pretty insane non-stop day, but the good thing is that I don’t have classes on Thursdays so I can semi-sleep in.

But you’re probably saying that’s enough about school! Well then let’s move on! It’s the week of the Super Bowl people! The BIG 5-0! My boyfriend and I are going up to Jacksonville and visiting a friend for the game. Now mind you, I am not a big football person, I usually root for the team Josh tells me to but hey, I get to eat homemade smoked ribs so I am not complaining!

Valentine’s Day is also next week. For all you couples out there, here is to the chocolate, expensive flowers and a fun night! Share the love with friends and family too!

I think we are good for now…I do have some more exciting news, but I will hold off for now.

Have a great week everyone!

Weekend Update

Hello folks! Hopefully this week was a good work week for all of us. Finally the weekend! Something us college kids look forward too. Yesterday was Friday the 13th so it was apparently was a “must watch scary movie day.” And I am the one that hates scary movies! Hope that Friday wasn’t too creepy for you! This weekend for me so far has been busy busy busy. Since all the clubs and organizations are coming to a close within the next couple of weeks, final meetings and preparations are being made to go out with a bang!

MEERS, The Mobile Extreme Environment Research Station has been moved into a hangar finally! As the Community Outreach Coordinator it is nice to see things are being accomplished with MEERS. The tasks for me this weekend regarding MEERS include finishing up the summary for our sponsors. I decided to get creative with the sponsorship level names… Orion, Mercury, Gemini, and all the other classic space program names. Why not? Space is awesome. Next semester, MEERS should be up and running by January. Or that is the plan at least. I am excited to be working on it full time.

As for my life with Society 4 S.P.A.C.E., things are going really well. Bunnell Blast is taking place today and some of the officers and students are blasting off our homemade rockets! That is super exciting! I can’t wait to see the pictures roll in! The most exciting part about this upcoming week is our final meeting. Today and tomorrow I am making preparations from that. Presentations, activity books, gift bags, baking goods and a whole lot more. I can’t wait to see it all come together on Wednesday.

Besides the organization stuff, school is still coming into play. I finally finished my excel spreadsheet for my MATLAB project. Since I am doing a NASA database, I created an excel sheet with three sub-levels. The first level is all about the Astronauts. Each astronaut is given an ID and within that ID the Astronauts name, date of birth, and education history are stored. The second level consists of the data from space missions. Within the Mission ID the crew, launch and landing date, as well as crew size are recorded. The final level shows the mission and the mission type. It only took me about an hour or so to input all the data. Yeah I have a little (aka BIG) obsession with space. I am excited to finally start the skeleton code for the project. I plan on researching this weekend and re-watching some of the videos so it is fresh in my mind.

Speaking about school and final projects, for my Sensation and Perception class, my group and I are talking about Vestibular system. I get to talk about Space Adaptation Syndrome or SAS. Which basically is space sickness. About half the astronauts who go to space get SAS. I am really excited to do a presentation about that on Thursday.

So far, my life has revolved around school and space. NO complaints. I am happy where I am at. I can’t wait to finish all the planning and organizing. I will be sure to write about it when it is all done!

Have a great Weekend!

A Quick Update and Some Study Tips

I cannot believe that in just a few days it’ll be November; time sure flies when you’re having fun. Yes despite two tests last week and two this week as well as a speech due, it is still possible to have fun!

It’s time for a (very quick) update:

Two weeks ago, I was on Fall Break; it was nice to enjoy some R&R in Daytona. I had another interview and used the time to get caught up on some homework and projects that were coming up; apparently, I really enjoying being a week ahead or so when it comes to school work. 🙂 Better ahead than behind, I guess.

Since the Industry/Career Expo, it seems like everything is a lot calmer at the moment. I aced both of my tests last week and have two more tests to go this week. I remember the thought of having to take tests and write essays in college scared me as I thought they would be extremely difficult. Although, I was quite surprised that it can be the opposite since I followed the tips below that I got from other students before classes started.

  • Try not to get behind, but if you do, be sure that you communicate with your professor and work hard to catch up.
  • Don’t procrastinate!
  • Try to complete homework as soon as its assigned.
  • Don’t start studying for a test the night before.
  • Lastly, don’t stress too much! Make sure that you enjoy some downtime.

Well, time to go study for Economics.

Blue skies,

Jack

This is Halloween!

Finally, the weather is getting a little bit colder, which can only mean one thing! It is almost time for my favorite holiday – Halloween! Naturally during this time of year, I do whatever I can to celebrate the holiday in style. This includes getting involved in my sorority’s Halloween Fashion Show, decorating my room with skeletons and spider webs, collecting candy, and attending any special Halloween event I can find.

IMG_1510

Me and one of my Sigma sisters, Alissa, about to enter Magic Kingdom!

As a kind of tradition, earlier this month I drove to Orlando for Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). HHN is Universal’s annual Halloween event, where there are a total of nine haunted houses for guests to walk through, along with different shows. Since I am from Orlando and currently a Universal employee, HHN is something I try to do every Halloween season, and this was my fourth year attending the event.

IMG_1509

Some of the Eta Tau sisters standing in front of Cinderella’s castle

This year I attended another theme park event that I have never gone to before – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! My Tri Sigma chapter, Eta Tau, decided that the event would be a great way to meet our sisters from Epsilon Rho, another chapter we have at St. Leo’s University. For those of you who do not know what Mickey’s Not So Scary is, it is Disney’s annual Halloween event. Since it is a family event, it is kid-friendly and not scary at all. It even features trick-or-treating for not just the children, but for the adults too! My sisters and I got to go on all of the best rides, like Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain and the Haunted Mansion (my favorite). The best part of the night for us was taking our bags and hitting all of the candy locations so we could stock up on sweets for the rest of the month.

Tonight is Tri Sigma’s 8th Annual Halloween Fashion Show! I am so excited because this will be my first time experiencing the fashion show and I even get to walk in it. This year I am going to be Cher from the 90s film Clueless, the Grumpy Carebear, and Spencer from Pretty Little Liars. Also, I am going to be in the show’s dance, which is a big deal because I am definitely not a dancer.

Happy Halloween everyone!