Carly slamming face-first into an inflatable go brr.
Sooooo finals week is coming, but there’s been no shortage of stuff to do. This weekend, we had EagleFest, which was moved indoors due to the rain. However, the Touch-N-Go, the entertainment division, pulled off a great event. There was free ice cream, cake on a stick, candies, donuts, plants… anything!
And the capstone: sets of inflatables plus an outdoor zipline. The inflatable obstacle course I went on was modeled on Wipeout’s big red balls, and we’ll just say that I wouldn’t win Wipeout.
I was a little too short to get back on top, so I ended up walking along the sides. A few of my other friends chose to do the inflatable obstacle course race, and it was pretty fun to watch.
That’s when we headed over to the zipline. Touch-N-Go had somehow gotten a portable zipline company, so I was able to zipline down Legacy Walk towards the Henderson Welcome Center. It was raining during part of the day, so the zipline had to shut down at points, but it was so worth it to wait in the line.
It was a fun weekend.
As for the rest of this week, I’ve been anticipating finals. I’ve finished two classes already, but I do have more work to do. I’ve turned in and had my EGR 115 project graded, and I’m happy with the grade I got. I also took my chemistry lab practical on Tuesday, and there’s no more work in that class.
I’m still working on my HON 250 class, which is about video games. The final assignments relate to our project, where we design our own video game based on ERAU, Daytona Beach, or somewhere significant in Florida. Our video game is about a fictional ERAU campus on a fictional world. I’m in charge of the narrative.
I’m also working on my EGR 101 project. Our team is making a tennis ball launcher for dogs, called the Fetch for Fun! ball launcher. If I had a dog, and it was for sale, I would totally buy the ball launcher: it’s cost-effective, designed by a small business, yet still hand-built with care. We show it off to the professor next week.
As for my other classes, math and physics, we haven’t been doing any projects. In physics, we’re talking about rotational motion, and my professor brought a spinning circle to class. It proved his point well and also made us dizzy.
When I stood on it and slowly spun, I’m not going to lie, I felt like a video game character. Either way, it’s been a fun week here at Riddle. See you in the next post, and hopefully at Riddle! (:
Hey yo, just got the vaccine check. That means that I have anti-body-ody-ody-ody-odies!
So, as the post says, I got the COVID vaccine! I got the first dose of the Pfizer one on Tuesday, April 6, 2021- exactly one year after I committed to Embry-Riddle.
Vaccines opened up to all part and full-time Florida residents on Monday, April 5. On Friday, I had registered for a vaccine at 12 PM at the Walgreens about a mile south, so I was good to go. Since I’m not from Florida, I had to bring two proof of residency documents.
For all on-campus students, the Embry-Riddle Housing Department offers a proof-of-residence letter. For the other, since I have an on-campus job, I printed out my W-2 form with my ERAU box address on it.
I arrived about ten minutes early and checked in, having already filled out the vaccine informed consent form. Once they looked over my proof of residency, I was good to go. They stapled my receipt (it was free, billed to my insurance) to an information packet about the vaccine, and then directed me to the waiting area.
Since I’d already signed the informed consent form, I waited around in the waiting room until my name was called. The vaccine itself was like a normal shot; I was called into a private room where someone administered the vaccine. It was a tiny needle and didn’t really hurt; in fact, it was one of the least painful shots I’d ever gotten. I can’t watch needles go into a person, but I’m not afraid of them, which is pretty lucky.
Once I was done, I got the infamous CDC vaccination card:
Since the shot was done, I underwent the mandatory 15 minute waiting period. This period is to ensure that I didn’t have a serious reaction to the vaccine, and once it was up, I was free to go. I continued the rest of my day like normal, and I can’t say I’ve felt too many side effects from the first dose of the vaccine.
I’ve heard the second one is worse, but this one’s fine. I haven’t had any side effects at all, which is really nice. I’m excited that vaccines are becoming available for people who want them. I’ll see you in the next post and hopefully at Riddle!
“Ever loyal, ever lasting, ever big/little.” – My Instagram Caption
So, as you may have previously read, I joined the Theta Phi Alpha sorority back in mid-February. One of the most well-known aspects of a sorority is the Big and the Little Sister- or simply the Big and the Little. In our chapter of Theta Phi Alpha, each new member gets an older mentor to help her acclimate to the sorority.
The process begins with the Big and Little bios. Each potential Big and Little will fill out an information sheet with contact information (the “bio”). Each Big receives the Little bios, while the Littles receive the Big bios. From there, the Bigs and Littles can reach out to each other during a period called “Big/Little dating,” where the point is for each Little to meet each Big.
In my incoming class (Beta Rho), there were two Littles, myself and one other girl, while there were four Bigs. I went on dates with three of the four Bigs, since one of the Bigs’ schedule did not match up with mine.
After that, we told our New Member Educator who we wanted as our bigs, and then it was her job to pair us up for the fun part: Big/Little Week!
Big/Little Week is the week where Bigs will send someone to deliver their gifts to their Littles. The Littles don’t know who their Big is until the reveal, and no one in the sorority will tell them, but they are free to speculate. During Big/Little Week, the Bigs also give their Littles gift baskets on each weekday. Here’s what my Day 1 basket looked like:
It was really nice. Before I took the picture, I had eaten all three Reece’s cups that came in the basket. Each basket has a note in it, usually some painted canvas decorations, and food. The notes usually explain the day’s theme while also giving hints to who the Big is. However, there is no guarantee that the Big is honest in the hints…
This sort of process continued for the entire week. I’d get texts from a burner phone number that my Big had, and then she’d arrange to get gifts to me.
On Friday, at the arranged time, I went over to the College of Arts and Sciences and waited inside while the initiated members prepared the reveal. I waited with the other girl in my pledge class and one already initiated girl, who then walked us with our eyes closed in front of the Wright Flyers statue and Embry-Riddle sign.
The New Member Educator took a Polaroid picture of us with our Bigs behind us. We had to face forward while the picture developed and then when it developed, she handed it to us.
The other new member and I turned around to find my Big behind me! From there, we hugged, laughed, and talked for a bit. We took more pictures and hung outside for a bit. An hour or so later, we went to dinner.
I met the rest of my sorority family, which is a line of Bigs and Littles. Everyone in Theta Phi Alpha is part of a family, and six of us went to Ichi Ni San, an Asian restaurant in Daytona. It was a great week with a great end; I enjoyed the entirety of Big/Little Week and was glad to meet my Big. Joining a sorority was a good idea, and if you’re considering it, I highly suggest looking into them.
See you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!
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.
#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.
#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!
(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.
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.
“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!
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.
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.
Triedto look super cool standing on a longboard. You can be the judge of the coolness factor.
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!
Disclaimer: I am not a model. Your photos will probably turn out better if you know more than three poses, but hey! They work for me…
Okay, let’s face it. Everyone likes having good pictures of themselves, even if they aren’t posted. Sometimes a nice picture is necessary for professional services like LinkedIn if you don’t have a photo with a blank background.
If you’re an Embry-Riddle student, you’re not going to run out of photogenic spots anytime soon. Here are several brag-worthy spots around campus that will provide a beautiful background for your Instagram photos.
Location1: Legacy Walk Legacy Walk is the ~iconic~ walkway surrounded by palm trees leading from the admissions office, past the student union, and down to the big bird statue. When facing the bird statue, the College of Business and the Advanced Flight Sim center are on the right, and the student union and College of Aviation are on the left.
In my opinion, Legacy Walk is a great photo spot because it’s always well-maintained and well-lit. You can position the giant bird statue behind you, or the student union; both are really attractive.
Location 2: That Giant Bird Statue The giant bird statue is at the end of Legacy Walk, and it’s very hard to miss. When facing it, the Aviation Maintenance Sciences building is on the left, and the Flight Operations building is on the right. When facing away from it, you’ll see the admissions office.
It’s another one of Embry-Riddle’s most iconic locations. I’ve seen several photos here of people who’ve just passed their checkrides, too. Even for non-flight students, the giant bird statue is a good place to take pictures in front of.
Location 3: The Big Riddle Sign/Wright Flyers The big Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University sign and the Wright Flyers statue are in front of the student union between it and the admissions building. They’re right next to each other, and they’re also very hard to miss.
This spot, in my opinion, is perfect for the “I’m going to Embry-Riddle!” announcement post. Once here, this allows you to take a wide-angle photo so people can see just how gorgeous the campus is. If you’re lucky, you may even snap a photo with a plane taking off in the background- we are located adjacent to the Daytona airport.
Location 4: The Lookout Spot Over the Flight Line (!!!!) The lookout spot over the flight line is located on the Tomcat Annex, aka the mailroom. It’s a nice place to watch the Riddle planes from, but it’s not super close to the large runway. It does, however, make for an Instagram brag-worthy photo.
Bonus points: if you’re a flight student, snap a photo with one of the planes and flex on your non-pilot friends.
Either way, the flight line (or the lookout spots around it) is one spot you can’t miss. They’re also nice places to do your schoolwork. (That is, of course, if you don’t get distracted!)
Location 5: Inside the Student Union The inside of the Student Union is gorgeous, too. There are a lot of different places that make for good picture-taking spots.
Of course, there are several other pretty spots in the student union that I didn’t think to get pictures of. When there was no pandemic, Starbucks had seating. However, there is a balcony adjacent to the Starbucks that makes a nice photo-taking spot as well. While technically not inside the student union, there are tables and benches outside of it that would also make good photo-taking spots.
Embry-Riddle has a surplus of scenic spots to take photos with. There are several that I didn’t even show here, either: the volleyball courtyard in between New Res 1 and 2, the bridge to the student village, in front of the various colleges, or even inside them. No matter where you go, you’ll be able to find places for your photos. The student newspaper, the Avion, has also hosted free professional photo booths for students. Other students may have a photography hobby and take photos for free.
Your friend may also have a really nice phone or superb editing skills- some of the pictures above were taken with iPhones, while some were taken with actual cameras. It just takes a few snaps to get the perfect photo since the Riddle campus provides the perfect background.
*insert the Bernie Sanders meme that says “I am once again asking you for your financial support” and send it to my mom, who will promptly leave me on read*
Well, winter break is finally upon us.
The week before break was stressful for everyone, and I decided that I should take a few breaks before the official break. I can’t say that the impending break was the reason I repeated some semi-stupid decisions, but I think that break made me go “hey, life is stressful, have some fun and go do the things you’ve wanted to do all semester long.” And what were these decisions? Dying my hair and getting acrylic nails!
Semi-Random Decision #1: Dying my hair. Why it’s semi-random: I had a box of dye just sitting around. I got it at Target a few days after I tried to dye my hair pink for the first time (detailed below). But I planned to wait 4-6 weeks before doing it again so I wouldn’t damage it too much. Cost: Like $8? I forget, honestly.
Here’s the story about me trying to dye my hair pink for the first time:
On Thursday night (November 19), I was pretty bored. I was sick of studying and had done everything that I could for other classes. And then I remembered that I had the other box of hair dye. It had also been over a month since I last tried it, so it wouldn’t harm my hair. So, in about five minutes, I made up my mind that I wanted to try and re-dye my hair. This is the one I got:
I borrowed a friend’s hair paintbrush, and she told me how I should dye it. It was almost 11:15, but my first class on Fridays didn’t start until 1:25, so I didn’t care too much. I could afford to stay up a little later. Once I was done, I sent the pictures to my mom of the during and after. She didn’t have too much to say, but then again, she’s a college professor. She knows that students will make stupid decisions at times.
I mean, it kind of worked, so it wasn’t that stupid… right? It still shows up when I stand under a light, and I could give Ariel from The Little Mermaid a run for her money.
Anyway, I went to class on Friday, and then on Saturday, my friend and I were sitting in the student union together. We were talking about acrylic nails, and it just so happened that my friend had a car. And that’s when we decided to go.
Semi-Random Decision #2: Getting acrylic nails. Why it’s semi-random: I wanted to do it all semester, but I didn’t for several reasons. First, I don’t have a car on campus, and acrylic nails are expensive. Also, they’ve never lasted more than two weeks on my nails. (However, I haven’t had any problems yet- and I got them a lot shorter than I’m used to.) Cost: $45, including tip. My poor wallet.
They turned out pretty cute, so I can’t complain. This is my third time having acrylic nails, and I don’t know how long they’ll end up lasting. I do like them, so maybe I’ll get fill-ins in a few weeks.
As for COVID-19 precautions, all of the technicians wore two masks. There was also a plexiglass shield between you and the technician and a small opening for you to slide your hand under. Also, they made you wash your hands before and after the service was performed.
Saturday went by pretty fast. The original plan was for a few of us to have a fire in the firepit between New Res 1 and 2, but it rained. My friend and I then decided to go get milkshakes at Steak n Shake, drive around, and have a 12-2 AM karaoke party in her car. On Sunday, I took the third calculus test and got an 81%, which I didn’t think was bad at all.
On Monday, I went to one of my classes and the professor decided to cancel class on Tuesday. I was glad since it would have been the last class of the day. That class was the reason I had a flight home on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. I told my mom, and she was able to get me a flight on Tuesday from Daytona to my home airport.
As much as I love Embry-Riddle, I was ready for a break and definitely ready to see my family and cats.
On Monday night, I packed up and hung out with a few of my friends. I, unfortunately, don’t live close to them, so there’s no chance that I’d see them over the break. On Tuesday, I said goodbye to one professor who was holding an optional Zoom class. After that, I went to Starbucks, said goodbye to a few other friends, and came back to make sure the last-minute items (like my phone and Apple Watch chargers) were packed. I also made sure to clean my room according to ERAU’s closing cleanliness standards for dorm rooms since my roommates/suitemates were gone.
I left for the airport at 2 PM even though my flight left at 3:30. I ran into several other Riddle students at the gate; I was on American Airlines flying from Daytona Beach to their hub in Charlotte, and from Charlotte to my home airport of Lexington, Kentucky. I had a window seat on the first flight and lucked out; nobody had taken the seat next to me. As we were sitting on the taxiway waiting to take off, I snapped this pic:
Yup, there was a Riddle Cessna landing right next to us, a CRJ-700. It was crazy cool. I also got to watch Riddle go by as we took off on runway 7L. It was a gorgeous view, and pretty ironic- my first in-person view of Riddle was landing on runway 25R, or 7L’s reciprocal runway.
As we flew from Daytona to Charlotte, I noticed a lot of things that I’d never noticed before. Since I had completed AS121 (detailed here), I knew a lot more about what the pilot was doing. I understood what the runway markings meant. I watched us fly parallel to the airport and enter the traffic pattern at Charlotte. I understood why we did what we did, and it was awesome.
At the end of the flight, I had to say goodbye to everyone since we were all heading in different directions. I had a one-hour connection but managed to snag a Starbucks before heading back to my gate:
I boarded that plane, which was empty, too. I talked to one of the flight attendants and she gave me a free upgrade to the exit row (yes!!! Free extra legroom!!!). I ended up chatting with her all flight. She also invited me to the flight deck to meet the captain once the flight was over.
Of course, I said yes, and it was pretty awesome. They let me snap a picture, too:
After I’d left the flight deck, my family met me at the baggage claim and we went home, which took an hour. We hung out at the house for the night, and I wasn’t too tired. Because of my College Kid Lifestyle, I wasn’t used to going to bed at 9 PM, so I ended up staying up until 3 AM.
Either way, I feel like I had a pretty productive week before I went home for the holidays. I have two large assignments I need to do, but other than that, I don’t have any work, which is a nice feeling.
However, my cat has been critiquing my blog post. He thinks that I should write less and go give him a snack.
Spoiler alert: It was freaking awesome, and hopefully, one day, I will be in a mission control room…
So, as space lovers like myself are well aware, the Crew-1 mission launched on Sunday from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Since I live in Daytona now, I was lucky enough to be able to see it from ~10-11 miles away. And let me just say- that was awesome.
Since the Crew-1 was a crewed mission, a lot of people wanted to go. Thankfully, Embry-Riddle is only an hour or so away from Cape Canaveral, and everyone knows it. Because of the proximity, there’s a group chat on Snapchat full of people that like attending rocket launches. A lot of people- and I mean a lot– of people decided to go to this launch, whether they are in the group chat or not. Here’s what my snap map looked like nearly two hours before the launch:
Yeah, a lot of people went down. Some people made it a full day endeavor, hanging out at Cape Canaveral/Titusville/the Kennedy Space Center. If I had the time, money, and a car of my own, I definitely would have. Embry-Riddle has ZipCars, so people with ZipCar accounts can drive the ZipCars. That’s how my friends and I got a ride down there.
My friends and I settled on a bridge nearby to watch the launch. The bridge was pulled up, and the lights were pretty bright, so we decided to go exploring. We found a path that led to a birdwatching spot and realized that the launch pad was right in front of us. (We were facing south, north of the Cape.) Once we realized that, we instantly took a seat on the birdwatching benches.
There was no service for most of us, but luckily, one of our friends had 5G service. He streamed the launch and played it through one of our other friend’s Bluetooth speaker, but since he had limited cellular data, turned it off 30 seconds before launch. (We only had it on to ensure that the launch didn’t scrub.) While the stream was playing, we talked about the launch, including the rocket’s trajectory. Most of us were aerospace engineering majors on the astronautics track. Then, the launch pad lit up right in front of us, and we all started cheering.
It was crazy. It was as if the night had turned into day for a split second, and then we saw a tiny burst of light streaking up into the sky:
We all had our cameras and filmed the little rocket shooting up into the sky. A few moments after the rocket launched, we heard the loud rocket rumble, and we were so close that we could feel it in the ground. I totally understand why some people cry during rocket launches- it was amazing to watch. This is how far people have come- we’re sending each other into space. This is the product of literal rocket science, something that I’m lucky enough to learn at Riddle. I couldn’t stop thinking about it- one day I could do something like that with my degree.
Since the rocket trajectory was going northeast, it curved to the left in the sky. We were able to see everything: we saw the first stage booster separate from the rocket, and then we watched the second stage booster ignite. After that, we watched the rocket get smaller and smaller until it disappeared into the sky.
We waited around in case we could see the first stage booster coming back down to land on the drone ship, but unfortunately, we didn’t see it. After that, we headed right back to Embry-Riddle. The roads back were quite busy, since people had a lot of different spots to watch from. One of my friends took this from a beach:
This is the second rocket launch I’ve seen; the first one was the Starlink launch in August. I’ve noticed that Crew-1, however, had a lot more attendees to it. It was absolutely amazing to watch, and I’m really glad I got to go. Even those who didn’t make the drive down to Cape Canaveral were able to see the launch from Riddle’s campus, which is another thing that I love about going to Riddle. On Friday, I had a test, so I couldn’t drive down with the rocket-watching group chat to watch the Atlas V launch close up. However, I could easily see it from Riddle’s campus!