The 2024 Rolex 24

Try saying that three times fast!

Two weekends ago I went to the Roar Before the 24 and then wrote about it in my last blog post. This weekend was the real race – the Rolex 24, also known as the 24 Hours of Daytona. True to its name, it lasted a full 24 hours, from 1:40 PM on Saturday to 1:40 PM on Sunday.

Unlike last week, parking was scarce! I’m a fan of things that are free, and the free parking was at the Volusia Mall. It took a couple of laps around the parking lot for me and my friend to get a spot, and then we had to walk to the speedway. If you ever end up going to the races, be prepared for a long walk, and factor that in to the time it takes to get there. We entered on the east side of the speedway in Tunnel 4 only about fifteen or so minutes before the race started.

We ended up getting to the stands a few minutes after the race had started and they were packed. Everyone was excited to watch the race, especially since all of the cars were grouped up together. It was just a whiz of race cars one after another, and there was so much energy all around. It was definitely a thrill.

View from the stands at the start of the Rolex 24

I watched from the stands for a bit and then noticed a normal-looking car go out onto the track. I later learned that it was the safety car which is brought out during incidents. Everyone else has to follow them, and it was odd seeing a bunch of race cars following a normal-looking car that an ordinary person could buy.

I had gotten the tickets for free as part of my involvement in the Women’s Ambassadors. The events coordinator at IMSA, who was running the race, had reached out to us asking if we’d like free tickets, and I was lucky enough to get one. The attending ambassadors met up with her at around 3:30, and it was awesome to see other women doing well in male-dominated industries like motorsports. She also brought up that there were several female drivers and a few all-women teams in the race.

My favorite car in the race.

One of the all-female teams was racing in this pink car, which was my favorite one in the race. The IMSA coordinator also explained about her job and how she got into motorsports before showing us around the infield. Part of her job included the logistics of the event, and it was cool to see everything come together and all of the empty car garages just waiting for cars.

After that, everyone went their separate ways. I checked out the food court with my friend who I had come with and watched the race on the big screens. It was news-style coverage following a car (or a group of cars) at once. The food was a bit expensive so I decided to not get anything and just eat at home.

Once we were done for the day, my friend and I walked back to her car, and somehow, the walk felt longer at the end of the day. I headed back to my apartment after that, and I unfortunately didn’t end up getting back to the race like I wanted. Since it’s a 24-hour race, admission is open- once you have a ticket, you can come and go as you pleased. One of my roommates went early in the morning to watch the sun rise at the race track.

The Rolex 24 was a great experience, even though I didn’t stay the whole time. If you come to Riddle, it’s definitely worth going to, even if it’s just once, for the experience. I don’t know much about motorsports, but I enjoyed the social aspect of hanging out with my friends, walking around, and learning a little bit about the sport. When I move for my new job I’ll also be keeping an eye out for any races that I could go to. I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

Roar Before the 24

Here’s to my first event at the speedway!

Every year, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) hosts the Rolex 24 at the Daytona International Speedway. The race lasts for 24 hours, and you can hear the cars from Riddle. However, they also host another event the weekend before the Rolex 24, called “Roar Before the 24.” I ended up getting tickets to both of these events this year, and last weekend marked the start of race week.

Getting in was pretty easy, you just showed your tickets and parked. If you’d gotten there early enough, you had the opportunity to drive your car infield and park there, but my group got there a little too late for that. Instead, we parked by the stadium and walked under the speedway and into the infield, where most of the action was happening. It was a huge event inside!

My friends and I watched the start of the first race from the infield stands. I was surprised by how loud the cars were, and I was glad I brought earplugs. We picked a seat that was very close to the track and that had a straight segment so we could see the cars speed up.

View from infield!

After watching the race for a bit, our group decided to walk around. People had access to look at the garages without getting too close to the cars, which were fenced off. We got there just as the cars started rolling out, one by one. The security had everyone back up, but we were at the front of the crowd control. I was able to get a good view of all of the cars heading onto the track!

One of the cars headed to the race!

After that, we considered getting food but ended up going to check out the merchandise store instead. I didn’t end up getting anything, especially since they didn’t have a lot of stock left. We ended up walking around a bit more to check out some other viewing spots before heading back to the stands where we’d started.

We watched a bit more of the race before it was time to leave, and we headed out the way we came. I found it interesting that people were camping, selling food, and constantly entering and leaving. We ended up going up towards the fence to watch the cars zoom by on the inclined track, and managed to time a picture perfectly.

I definitely enjoyed my time at the speedway watching the race! I highly suggest going to at least one race before you graduate. Where else are you going to have a world-famous racetrack that’s almost in your backyard? Even if you don’t end up going to one, I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

Business & Engineering: The Dynamic Duo | Spring 2024 from the POV of a dual Masters Student

It’s January and you know what that means: jumping back into nightly engineering homework and number crunching on balance sheets. Because our semester started on a Wednesday and because of Martin Luther King Day, it’s almost the end of January and I haven’t even started my Systems Engineering Organizational Management course yet. I am about to have my first “normal” week and I am ready to get back into routine. My accounting course is going well, on the other hand. I am so grateful for the professor: she is a gem! I highly recommend Dr. Nelson if you ever find yourself needing ACC 517.

We had our first SWISE meeting of 2024 last week and it was so much fun seeing so many new and returning faces. Our club goals for this year is outreach, volunteering, guest speakers, and the biggest one, conferences! We will be venturing to SpaceCom 2024 in Orlando at the end of this month and I couldn’t be more excited. Also, we are hoping to arrange a plan for the SWISE members to attend Women in Aviation in Orlando in March as well. To be continuted!

I am currently searching and applying to every internship in Florida that I can find. I even applied to a Walt Disney World Imagineering internship. I am specifically looking for systems engineering/aerospace engineering experience working with lunar or Mars systems, but any experience is good experience! I have applied to so many companies including SpaceX, Blue Origin, NASA, Disney, Lockheed Martin, etc. I am hoping I find an opportunity this semester, especially with all of the conferences I will be going to: something is sure to come up!

My schedule this semester consists of gym workouts in the mornings, studying at Starbucks afterwards, meetings on Wednesday mornings, Wednesday evenings, and Thursday evenings, Accounting 517 on Monday and SYS 660 on Tuesday evenings, and work all of the rest of the time. I am never not busy!

I did get accepted to the Spring 2024 NASA L’Space NPWEE academy and it has been going well so far! I took so many notes during my first meeting. It was information overload, but I loved it. I even made a new notebook on Goodnotes solely for my project. I highly recommend the Goodnotes notetaking app for iPad for any student!

As someone who wants to be part of the future team that launches the first manned mission to Mars, I am always thinking about my future. It becomes so much sometimes that I have to remember to take one day at a time, and to not compare myself unfairly to others. This is why I founded AstroChrissy: a social media account/mentorship business meant to inspire young women and professionals pursuing STEM topics. I landed some influencer jobs with some popular companies and will be doing contract work utilizing my videography and photography skills. I hope with my page and blog to encourage women studying STEM topics like myself and help other college students navigate through college. I hope my content will guide and inspire other young professionals to reach for the stars and never stop dreaming. I am so excited to see where my social media mentorship business takes me.

Remember to take time for yourself, eat healthy, don’t skip the cardio, and make time for your friends too! It is always so fun traveling to see friends on a weekend trip. It is the best way to get your mind off of things and have a fun night. I recommend board games, snacks, and laughter to make it an even better time!

There are so many good meals we eat on a weekend trip. It’s always a food story! Stonewood is not too far from Embry-Riddle and it is a must for celebration nights or midday lunch stops. Also, they have the best creme brulee ever!

2024 started off so well, and I hope it continues to bring good news, new opportunities, and in August, some home game wins. We spent our New Years Eve cheering on our favorite football team in Jacksonville, loridaL at Everbank Stadium. It was a night game, and so cold, but we got to be part of the light show which was awesome.

There are so many things going on for me this semester, so prepare to hear more soon. Cheers to a wonderful spring 2024 semester! Ciao for now.

Letters to Myself

The Spring 2024 semester is upon us, and with that, the beginning of my senior year! A year that will undoubtedly be challenging, and one that will pass by faster than I could ever imagine. With the start of the last year of my college career, I’ve decided to do some reflection in the form of letters to my past, present, and future self. I hope you enjoy these letters, whether or not you relate to past, present, or future me.

Dear fresh high school-graduate Chloe,

My high school graduation, in May 2021. It took place on my school’s football field, with seats placed six feet apart, so as to lessen the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Sweet girl, you have no idea what you’re about to do. No ideas about the world you’re going to become immersed in and grow to love. No idea who you’re going to meet. I know that you never thought you’d even get to college and I wish you could see yourself now. You’ve learned so many things about the world, your degree (you love it, by the way), and most importantly, yourself. You will go through some tough times, as we all do. I’m not going to lie, in your first two years of college, you are going to hit your lowest low. You are going to feel as though all hope is lost. But guess what? You’re gonna make it out okay. In fact, you’re gonna make it out of the trenches stronger and smarter than you ever have been. And I am so proud of you. You’ll begin to learn that you’re allowed to be proud of yourself and your achievements. I am so proud of you. I know that you won’t hear that often, especially from yourself, which is why I’m saying it now. You will learn to love everything about yourself, a lot of this thanks to some wonderful people you’ve met. You will write a note on your mirror that is still there; “Be nice to the girl looking back at you.” You won’t be very good at that at first, but now it isn’t even a second thought. Your friends will come and go. Some are meant to stay a while, and some are not, and you’ll learn that is just how life is sometimes. All of this combined, you are going to grow so much. You will make some mistakes but you will achieve so much. Your worries and doubts are not in vain, but dearest, let me tell you, everything will work out. Everything you are worried about will no longer have a place in your mind. Oh and hey, you’ll break your foot eventually, but don’t worry, it didn’t hurt when it happened, and you’ll heal and be back in the gym only a few months later. I am so proud of you, and I know that I would not be where I am doing what I do without your strength and resilience. You are the strongest version of us, and I am so grateful for our experiences. I know you’ll have days where all you wanna do is grow up and be a “real adult,” but I kinda wished you never had to grow up. You will learn to appreciate the little things and maybe the things that seem somewhat childish, and that’s totally okay. You are healing. I am so proud of what you have done and what you have yet to do.

To the girl writing this letter,

This is me in a photo taken for the Avion, where I work on the broadcast project.

You’ve got this. Remember not to get too in your head. You are kind, intelligent, and driven. You are going to accomplish so much, and you actually already have! Remember that you are surrounded by people who love and support you, and that you deserve this love and support. Don’t take this for granted, as these people deserve your love and support too. But don’t let others tear you down. You don’t owe anyone an excuse for the way you live your life. And you don’t owe love to anyone. Your love will naturally flow to those who need it, and you don’t have to keep people around who don’t make you happy. I think this will be an important point to remember- surround yourself with what makes you happy. This includes having a clean space, a clean body, and a clean mind. And, of course, good food, good times, and good people. Feed your body and feed your soul. You are young, but you’re growing up too. The “real world” is less than 365 days away. Your degree is in sight, and you can absolutely do it. You have less college left than you’ve already done, so don’t sweat it. You’ve got this. Make this year the best year you’ve ever had. It should be easy for you, love. 

To future Chloe,

(I don’t have a picture for this one…)

I have no idea what you’re up to. All I know is that I hope you’re happy. I know you’re successful, because not succeeding was never an option for you. Maybe you’re a flight attendant, maybe you’re a corporate girl boss. Or maybe even, you’re back in school getting another degree… I’m hoping for you that where you’re getting your next meal from or how you’re buying your next tank of gas is no longer a worry for you. Maybe you’re engaged to be married, maybe you’re happily living life solo. Only time will tell. This is quite a short letter, but that’s mostly because I cannot see into the future. I can only hope for something and work towards it, which is exactly what I intend to do. I’m incredibly excited to see what you accomplish, and I know that no matter where you end up and what you do, you will be happy and successful.


Chloe Christovich

I hope you enjoyed my letters, and maybe they even inspired you to write your own. I hope all your dreams come true and that you are the happiest you’ve ever been.

Adopting A Pet As A Student

Hello, Radar… cute kitten pics incoming!

So, a few months ago, I adopted a cat! A lot of my other friends at ERAU who live off campus also have pets, and I’ve been wanting a cat for awhile. As a kid, I always had at least one cat, and going to college was my first time without one. My roommate last year had a kitten, so I got to experience the student life with a pet in the apartment, and this year, I finally decided to get my own!

I adopted my cat, Radar, from the local humane society in September. The adoption process was relatively simple. I found a cat I liked, filled out the paperwork, got approved, and then paid the adoption fee. They do ensure that every cat that passes through is spayed/neutered, so I had to wait a few days before I could take him home. Once he was ready, then I simply went back to the humane society and picked him up.

Radar the cat!

Thankfully, cats are relatively low-maintenance pets, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t additional considerations. I’ve made plans or chosen to stay over school breaks so I can take care of him, and added his food, litter, and other supplies to my budget. My apartment complex also requires pets to be registered and for me to pay pet rent, which isn’t too much of a big deal. I have three roommates, and all of them were happy to have a new addition to our apartment.

As I mentioned previously, I had cats as a kid, but I didn’t have responsibility for them. Ultimately, they were my parents’ pets. Now, as a full-time cat owner, I’ve had to do all the not-so-fun parts too, like scooping the litter box. To help me, I bought an automatic feeder (around $50) and a water fountain (about $20) so that my kitty could be on a regular schedule. My class schedules differ throughout the day, so I wanted to establish a constant schedule for my new furry friend.

I’ve also had to consider what I want to do with him when I’m gone, like for break or Women’s Ambassadors travel. That’s part of the reason I got an automatic feeder and waterer. If the trip is really long, I’ll pay one of my roommates to shovel his litter box. It requires a little bit of planning ahead, especially for long breaks like winter break, but I’ve been able to make it work.

I’ve also added a bunch of cat things to my apartment for him- my roommates have gotten used to having random cat toys on the floor. I also bought a cat hammock to put in my window that is held up with suction cups. He enjoys sitting there and watching things run around outside. The hammock is also right next to my desk, which is very nice when I need a study break.

Radar in his hammock!

Since it’s winter in Florida, it’s quite nice outside- nice enough to keep the window open. It’s not very humid anymore and the temperatures are comfortable for both people and their pets. I like to keep my window open on days when it’s nice out so Radar can get fresh air. My apartment complex also has a balcony, so when I’m in the common area I’ll open the door and let him sit out there, too.

He’s also a great support to have when studying. Radar loves to cuddle, so when I study, he will sometimes sit on my lap while I’m at my desk. Of course, he’s still a kitten and will frequently leave to go run around my apartment, but it’s nice to have a study buddy at home. He also likes to sleep at the foot of my bed, and when I’m ready to sleep I sometimes feel badly about disturbing him.

It’s definitely been an adjustment to have a pet, but it’s a welcome one. I’ve already been looking at pet-friendly apartment complexes for when I move to my full-time job, since Radar is now part of my family. I’m so glad I got him. It’s been fun to watch him grow over the past few months. His birthday is in late April, so I may be throwing a birthday party for him later this year. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and I’ll see you in the next one- and hopefully at Riddle!

Flying Through Finals Week

Let’s go flying!

Finals week is upon us at ERAU, taking place from Saturday, December 9 through Wednesday, December 13, with the exception of Sunday, December 10. And fun fact: professors have two days after that to grade everything, meaning final grades should be in by the end of day on Friday, December 15. Hooray!

After this semester, I will only have one more semester left before I graduate with my degree in aerospace engineering. I’m really excited since I already have a job lined up, and all I need to do is graduate.

I had two finals this year: AE 434, Spacecraft Controls, and AE 418, Aerospace Structures II. My other three classes didn’t have finals during finals week, and it was nice to only have two finals this year. My controls final has already been graded, and I did better than I expected (and definitely good enough to keep a grade I like). My structures final hasn’t been graded yet, but I only took it last night, so I don’t blame the professor.

I studied hard for my finals- we have a Study Day which is the Friday before finals start. I spent all of Study Day, Saturday, and Sunday studying before my two finals on Monday. They were at 12:30 PM and 7:15 PM, respectively. It’s an unpopular opinion, but I really do prefer night finals compared to the 8 AM time. I’m personally someone who enjoys waking up later, but I know some people disagree with me.

Tuesday rolled around, meaning I was free from my finals and instead was in purgatory waiting for my grades. Chris came back to town, which meant we could go flying! I haven’t been flying all semester, so it was a nice treat for me. Of course, I paid my fair share of the flight costs.

Our plane!

We rented from one of the nearby flight schools since they had an available plane. After the preflight, we got in line for take off and then went flying around the area. It was also cool to see some of the things I’ve been hearing about in the classroom in the real world. I’m in a group chat with a bunch of my friends in the program, some of which are aeronautics-track students, and their controls professor was talking about flight control surfaces. When in a real airplane, I could see them in action.

Chris showed me some of the other maneuvers he’s been teaching as a flight instructor- stalls, steep turns, chandelles, and lazy eights. We flew over to DeLand, landed, and then got right back into the air to fly around some more. Since Chris is a CFI (and CFII), he could also let me legally fly the plane, which made me remember how I started as an AS major. If I had stuck with AS, my life would look much differently. That’s weird to think about- I’m definitely glad I made the jump to AE, since I really like the program.

After about an hour of flying, we headed back to the Daytona airport. They were using the north-south runway today, which meant I got a great view of Riddle coming in. We taxied back to the ramp and tied down the plane before leaving. It was cold (at least for Daytona!) and the wind was blowing hard, so I couldn’t wait to get back inside. We went back to my apartment before Chris had to leave, but it was nice to see him for a short while.

I think I’ve said it before, but getting crazy fun experiences through people you’ve met is one of my favorite parts about ERAU. There aren’t pilots who are willing to take you flying at every university! There’s also a skydiving club for students here, which could be fun if you’re into it. I’m not- I like staying inside a perfectly good airplane. Either way, I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

Backpack Essentials

I’ve had many backpacks throughout the years of college and feel like it’s a really overlooked, essential part of your day-to-day life that can dictate your efficiency, productivity, and more. Here are a few things that I find are really nice to have in my backpack at all times.

  • First Aid / Personal Hygiene
    • Having a little pouch with personal items inside my backpack has been super helpful. You will need them WAY more than you think. This can include bandaids, neosporin, pain reducers, female hygiene products (if needed), nail clippers, nail file, tweezers, etc. I have used all of these things more than once per semester.
  • Calculators
    • If you have both, keep both a standard calculator and a nice graphing calculator on you. Professors could announce calculator standards for pop quizzes, tests, etc. last minute in class, and you will be very thankful that you have both options with you.
  • Snacks!
    • Even if you wind up putting them away at home at the end of the day, it’s nice to have them around if hunger strikes and you are really busy and/or don’t have the time/money to spend. There are some cheaper Amazon options for backpacks with built-in lunchboxes that can allow you to put ice packs and everything in there which is especially great for people with any dietary restrictions.
  • Water
    • I’ve become a big advocate for carrying water with you. I have been caught without water and no time to get any enough times that I was dehydrated and now carry a big jug around with me; there are some cheaper designs on Amazon with cute patterns.
  • Stationery Cases
    • I’ve developed a system for this. I have various stationery cases for each thing: colored fine-tip Sharpies, colored fine-tip expo markers, colored chisel-tip expo markers, colored pencils, colored fine-tip markers, colored highlighters, and standard (pens, pencils, erasers). I switch them out at home based on what I think will be the most valuable during that day, but the Expo markers are GREAT to have around. You never know if you will be stuck in a study room with nonfunctional markers or just cramming for a quiz (studies show that studying with multiple colors helps your brain memorize things better).
  • Headphones
  • Chargers

Dear Spring 2024,

You know that saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade?” Well, I have taken that expression quite literally in efforts to help my mental health. Sometimes doing crafts, cooking, or other mindless activities (somewhat mindless activities) can help your brain and mindset. I have heard things like, if you are angry, listen to music or workout, if you are sad, take a shower, and if you are overwhelmed, color a picture. These things are all ways to reset your brain, so-to-speak. I had the craziest last few weeks and with final projects, exams, and studying coming up, it is more important than ever for me to remember to “color a picture” from time to time…

A few weeks ago, I attended an alumni luncheon with the President of Embry-Riddle! It was a wonderful opportunity to talk one-on-one with the President, ask him questions, and listen to his speech to all of the alumni that attended.

Right after the luncheon, I attended the 2023 Halifax Art Show on Beach St. where I stumbled across a cannoli food truck that just happened to have gluten-free options. I was over the moon…

My classes have been going well. I like to think I have a cozy study area that helps me focus on studying. Sometimes, I go to the computer lab at the Student Union though. It just depends on the day, and the parking at school. It’s important to stay organized especially when things get busy.

Aside from my coloring pages and lemonade making, a fun game night does me wonders too. We have friends that live in Jacksonville, Florida and we like to get together a few times per month to have a game night. We play a bunch of different board games and oftentimes we order Insomnia cookies and bake pizza too. It is the best time!

It has been an eventful, busy semester. Life changes a lot, and you just have to keep your head up through it all. Life as a student can get busy, chaotic, and unpredictable, but taking things one day at a time, spending time with loved ones, and reminding yourself that you’re human are some of the best ways I have learned to cope with everything.

So, Spring 2024 semester, I hope you are filled with new opportunities, good news, and unlimited learning.

Ciao for now!

A Broken Foot, but not a Broken Spirit

How breaking my foot affected the course of my Fall 2023 semester. If you’re not super interested in the backstory, go ahead and skip to the first picture set in this post!

One fateful night during the Fall 2023 semester, also known as Wednesday, September 27, I was playing in an intramural volleyball game with my sorority, Sigma Kappa. We were doing pretty okay, and definitely had a chance to win the game. So, naturally, I put my all into the game. And broke my foot doing it. 

I have loved playing intramural sports and I actually played lacrosse for about 6 years prior to attending Embry-Riddle, and never broke a single bone in my body, until this relatively low-stakes volleyball game. (We weren’t playing for a championship ring, really just for fun) 

Like I said, I played lacrosse, not volleyball. So I was really just trying to get the ball over the net. About halfway through our first game, I jumped up to hit the ball back over the net (which I did successfully, and we got the point) and upon landing back on the ground, I felt my left foot do something weird and immediately start to hurt. 

I didn’t want to delay the game, so I got up off the ground as quickly as I possibly could, and have been told I did it so quickly that most of the people there didn’t even know I got hurt. I made my way to the sidelines of the court, where a couple of my sorority sisters were there to check on me. I received a bag of ice and someone asked if I wanted medical attention, to which I responded; ‘No, I’ll be fine,’ genuinely believing that the pain would go away by the morning and I would be fine. 

I stayed for the remainder of the game, which we unfortunately lost, and I went to get up from my seat and go out to my car in the ICI parking lot and drive back to Residence Hall 2 (RH2). Upon attempting to get up, I realized that I could hardly put any weight on my left foot, which was a problem. One of my sorority sisters went to get my car and drive it closer to the entrance of the ICI center, while a few members of the opposing team, who were also my friends and brothers of the Delta Chi fraternity, acted somewhat as ‘human crutches’ and helped me out and to my car. 

One of my sorority sisters drove me back to my dorm in RH2 and parked my car for me. That night, I got into bed with my foot elevated and some ice on it, took some pain reliever, and somehow fell asleep, with the hope my foot would be alright in the morning.

Surprise! My foot was not alright in the morning. I woke up around 8:30 am and intended to get ready for my 9:45 class, in which I had an exam, but found I could barely walk. I called the campus’ Health and Wellness Center, who advised me to call Campus Safety to pick me up and drive me over to the center so they could take a look at my foot. I called Campus Safety, and only waited about 10 minutes for them to arrive, and they were incredibly helpful in making sure I got to the Wellness Center safely. Once there, the lovely nurse told me that I needed to get an X-ray and referred me to a local orthopedic clinic. The center provided me with crutches and I once again called Campus Safety to drive me to my car so I could go to the clinic. (It was my left foot that was broken, and all I needed was my right foot to drive, so no worries there.)

I sent an email to my professor explaining the situation, in hopes I would still be able to take that exam I mentioned. (I did, again no worries there.) After my X-rays, I was told I did in fact break my foot, and I should expect to be on crutches for about 3-4 weeks. Here’s where I guess I figured it was time to continue on with life as normal.

I truly appreciated the support when the injury occurred, and I included all of this context because every time I was asked how I broke my foot, this is just about everything I ended up responding with. (People love details, I guess)

The Fun Part: Life on Crutches!

No one told me how physically exhausting it would be to go through daily life on crutches. The first day was actually the easiest, I think. I wasn’t quite tired of the crutches, and was really just trying to ignore the pain in my foot. I answered a lot of questions and told the story of how it happened many, many times. 

The biggest thing I noticed was how much I had to ask for help, which is something I’m not at all used to, and that’s where being on crutches began to take a mental toll. Many times, I found it incredibly frustrating to have to wait to ask someone to carry my lunch for me or to open a door for me, or I just had to figure out how to do it myself.

Usually, one of my friends would be around to help me get lunch, and that was no big deal. But sometimes, there was no one around, so unfortunately, I thought my solution was to just forget about it and try to get food another time. This is not the best way to go about my situation, and I have learned that now. 

In regards to opening doors, many of the buildings I entered had a button I could press that would automatically open the door for me. However, when going to individual classes or even to the bathroom in some buildings, I struggled to open doors. Usually, when going to class, there was another person arriving around the same time, and would hold the door for me. Bathrooms, however, I found often had very heavy doors that were difficult to open, and was somewhat frustrating. It made me stop and think how accessible our campus really is. 

All of these little frustrations really took a toll on my mental health. Having to rely on Campus Safety to get me across campus, or on friends to get my lunch, or on random classmates to hold the door open for me are things I never thought I would have to do, and I felt so incredibly helpless. Additionally, I am a very social person, but there were many things I couldn’t go do with my friends because I was on crutches. I fell into a lonely couple of weeks where I really didn’t feel like I had anyone to rely on. But, as soon as I realized what was making me upset (not being able to hang out with friends and do ‘fun’ stuff) I took some time to think about what I could do. 

I could still go to my sorority’s chapter meetings, and even put on a little heel on my good foot when I had to dress up for chapter, hoping to gain a sense of normalcy. I found that I could still go to mass on campus, which helped to ease some of my mental troubles. I was able to go to the movie theater a couple of times, and even participate in my sorority’s philanthropy event. 

Yes, it was hard to find the energy to do these things sometimes, but I realized that I was surrounded by people who wanted me to be there and wanted me to want to be there. Although being on crutches meant I couldn’t go bouldering in the fitness center, play volleyball with sisters, or play tug of war at my sorority’s Camp Sigma Kappa, I was still able to have plenty of fun being around the people I love. 

Many of my professors were very understanding when I needed some extra time on assignments, because I was so physically and mentally exhausted while being on crutches. My bosses in Housing and Residence Life (p.s. I am still an RA, if you forgot) were helpful when I needed anything, as well as my coworkers, who often helped me get lunch or take out my trash, or even do my laundry.

Being on crutches taught me that it’s okay to ask for help, and that many people are usually willing to help! I also taught myself to discover things I could do on my own that still made me happy, even when I couldn’t run and jump and dance around my room.

There’s so much more that I could say in regards to breaking my foot, but perhaps that will be in a second story. For now though, I’m thankful to be off my crutches and out of my boot, while still taking it easy and allowing my foot to heal. Life isn’t quite back to normal yet, but I know that it will be soon, and I’ll be sure to update more as life goes on. With finals quickly approaching, my main focus is finishing the end of the semester strong, although much of it was quite the struggle. 

I have truly appreciated everyone’s support while I was dealing with my injury, and appreciate the support I am still receiving from my family, my friends, my peers, and my professors. 

Thanks for reading, 


Thanksgiving Break 2023

I love doing mostly nothing for a week.

Thanksgiving Break has come and, unfortunately, gone. I spent most of my time doing absolutely nothing which was pretty relaxing. My last class was on Monday, meaning that I got Tuesday off in addition to the rest of the week.

I did have homework due on Tuesday night, but I had already done most of it and then turned it in. After that, I was free to do what I wanted when I wanted. That meant going down to Vero Beach to see my best friend Chris, and riding the train from West Palm Beach to Orlando and back. We didn’t have anything better to, we were that bored, and it was a new experience, so we figured why not? Chris also had Thanksgiving off from his job, since the flight school he works at was closed for the holiday.

The train station was pretty small- nothing like Union Station in DC or Grand Central Station in New York City. I was pretty surprised, but then I found out that there’s only two trains that pass through, which makes a lot more sense. It was very modern and had an overlook of where the trains came in.

The train we were on!

As for the train itself, it was still pretty cool. There was much more legroom than an airplane, free internet (although it didn’t work for me) and a huge bathroom. The train went up the coast and then inward towards Orlando, but it was too far inland for me to see many ocean views. I liked how much you could walk around the train. Where the cars connected, they would have a few windows so you could watch what was happening.

The train pulled into the Orlando airport. I’d seen a lot of people with suitcases, but me and Chris had just brought our backpacks. It pulled into the Terminal C, which I think is much more fancy than A and B. The main food court was over by the TSA lines in Terminals A and B, so we had to take the train over… and of course, spotted a couple of planes on the way.

Delta flights in Orlando.

We got lunch and then headed back to the train. I ended up sleeping for most of the way back, which I definitely needed after this semester. After that, Chris and I got Thanksgiving dinner at an iHOP, and my week continued on as normal.

I also ended up going over to a friend’s house and got to meet his two orange cats! They aren’t siblings, but they do get along well. It was his birthday, so of course we celebrated. At the end of the night, I went back home, went to bed, and prepared for a normal Sunday of doing homework.

I had a project due the Monday we got back which I was mostly done with, but I needed to finish it. The project is for AE 434, Spacecraft Controls, and aims to continuously point a satellite at the Earth. The class was working on part 2 of 3, creating block diagrams and adding a disturbance to the system. A disturbance is exactly what it sounds like- anything that disturbs the system from the state that it’s in. It’s a class I definitly find interesting, but it’s also a lot of work! If you come for Preview Day in April, I think you can observe classes. Although I’ll be finished with the class, I’ll still be on campus. I hope to see you there!