Clubs, Greek Life & More!

I couldn’t get a lot of pictures the past few weeks due to classes. I’ve been wracking my brain to think of something to write about for this entry, and was almost ready to throw in the towel, but I had sudden inspiration to talk about clubs and extracurricular activities and how fun and important they can be.

Fall Activity Fair

Since I started at Embry-Riddle, I have been told that joining clubs and being involved is key to college life. Many professors, and even former Embry-Riddle students themselves, say that being involved can help with job interviews internships by providing leadership experience and other skills. The faculty in my major, Communication, hosted an event where Riddle graduates came to speak with us. All of them told us about how most of their internships helped lead to a job, or that landed their job because of extra-curricular activities that they participated in during college. One of them said that their interview consisted of just talking about what she did in her engineering club and another about her study abroad trip. It all goes to show that the grades and your GPA will only take you half way when it comes to the real world. Employers seem to be looking for active well-rounded people for the most part.

Embry-Riddle has a vast number of extracurricular opportunities, from cooking, to creative writing, music, engineering, all the way to clubs about cultures. Even if you somehow can’t find an interest, you can create your own club with enough people and support from the school. Also, Riddle has a ton of different sororities and fraternities. Embry-Riddle’s Greek Life isn’t like other schools where it’s bikini car washes and frat parties all night long. Here, most don’t have “houses” but live in the dorms and function more like what seems a club, and they’re a lot more professional.

So many clubs! Cars, airplanes, academics, culture, skydiving, sailing – the list goes on and on!

I’ve been searching for something I truly like. I’ve gone to the school newspaper meeting, the aviation photography club meetings and they just didn’t click well for me. Recently I met someone in the same major as me (which is rare for a communications major), and she invited me to an event to meet a sorority. At first, I was reluctant because I’m socially awkward and was nervous. But I went to give it a try, and because I was looking to get involved and push myself anyway. I was absolutely delighted and mesmerized these fantastic women. Each one had their own special role and their own beautiful personality. They supported and loved one another like family and made me feel like family as well. Being a woman at Embry-Riddle can be overwhelming. I’ve had many classes where I was the only girl and I’m only in my second semester, so seeing all these empowering, friendly, and sweet girls was amazing! I’m sure from what I heard that joining a fraternity is a similar experience.

There’s something out there for everyone and I truly with all my heart encourage you to join a club, study abroad, or check out Greek life. Not only will you have a great time, make friends, and create memories, but you’re also setting yourself up for success when you try it out. I hope this small entry will inspire some to get involved and see how it can help you on your path of awesomeness.

What’s so Great about Florida?

Being new to Florida, you may think we’re all about the beach. But as someone who’s lived in Florida all her life, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you more about all the things you can do in the area. Just this past month, I’ve done some fun things I want to share so you can think about experiencing them yourself.

I’ll start with the Annual St. Demetrios Greek Festival. Every year, around the second week of November, people everywhere come to check out Greek Fest right here in Daytona Beach at the Greek Orthodox Church. Going to this Festival is a literal taste of the Greek culture including authentic foods, music, and dancing. The festival has wonderful scenery as you sit back eat delicious food and enjoy an amazing view of our beautiful Florida waters. This event is an excellent idea to keep in mind as it is an annual event.

Another amazing thing about Daytona is how close we are to Orlando! Orlando is full of different exciting places, but it’s quite a busy place to live, which is why I personally think being in Daytona is a nice distance and a lot less traffic! With all there is to do in Orlando, I’m specifically talking about Universal. As college students, it’s nice to take a break and do something fun and since Universal is so close, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to take advantage of such a super, awesome, fun escape! The most amazing part about all this is that Embry-Riddle sells discounted tickets, so with if you’re afraid to break the bank too much, you can purchase discounted tickets in the ICI Center in the Rec sports office (cash only). And although Universal is my favorite, discounted tickets for different parks like Disney World, Sea World, and Busch Gardens are also available for students.

Even if you don’t go to the parks at Universal, the best part about it is the grand entrance that is City Walk. City Walk has amazing stores, great restaurants, and awesome night life fun. And it’s all just about an hour’s drive away.

The Final Countdown

From late nights in the College of Business computer lab to early mornings in the library, Riddle has become a home away from home. I’ve laughed, cried, and have grown as a person. Friends have become family and clubs have become a day-to-day must. This, and so much more, has made my collegiate experience one worth remembering. Despite it all, I am counting down the days! As of today, I am 113 days away from graduation on May 7th and I couldn’t be more excited.

As I look back at last semester, I have to really take pride in my hard work. I attended the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals 41st Convention in Orlando.

ERAU OBAP members and myself take a picture with our advisor, Dr. Nancy Lawrence, and  fellow alumni.

I also got to present my own research in October at the The Popular Culture Association in the South and the American Culture Association in the South Conference. This was a huge milestone for me personally. I’ve never conducted research before, so to present among others in communication and literature was a huge honor.

PCAS/ACAS was hosted in Savannah, Georgia

I designed my first mission patch as well, through Space Tango for our payloads on SpaceX CRS- 13!

SpaceTango SpaceX CRS-13 took place in December and was the last customer launch of 2017.

I even got to utilize this research later on in Dr. Silverman’s Contemporary Issues in Science (HU 302). The final exam allowed students to communicate in an array of media including papers, videos, and even a painting. I’ve been too busy to paint in my free time, so I eagerly informed Dr. Silverman I would illustrate the findings of my research through a painting.

“Hush, Hair” is the result of a qualitative approach to my research “Hair Talks, but do we Listen?” that consisted of a 7-woman focus group in which participants shared their struggles, origins, and perception of their natural hair dialogues within the workplace.

All-in-all, I spent last semester experiencing new things, networking (as usual), and finding a way to bridge my interests with my work. I think we can find enjoyment in just about anything if we make it so. As this new year starts, I look forward to maintaining the same open mind in my new courses and throughout the infamous grad school/job hunt. Step-by-step, right?

⋆ Dani

Why Riddle is More Lit than I Thought

I’ve been hearing about going to college my whole life – talk about freaking out my senior year in high school, everybody was freaking out. Will there be really hard classes and tons of homework? I hate trying to fit in when I don’t know anybody. I’ve been told this is what I’m supposed to do since elementary school. Really? And then, it is the end of August. I am so not ready for this.

Embry-Riddle is near my home and my dad works there. Ugggg! Guess where I am going… Everybody knows its rep as nerd school central. You know, pilots, engineers, science geeks and pocket protectors. Students all so laser-focused that they have already decided what they are doing after they graduate. Professors and Resident Assistants all uptight and straight-laced. Fun dies here, right?

Guess what? It is not like that at all! The people I have met know how to let loose and have fun. They are smart, funny, and interesting. Yes, you have to study, but it is not all cooped up in a dorm room and staring at a computer. It is way more Lit than I thought.

Orientation week eased all us nervous freshman into the process. O-Week was cool. No upperclassmen! This made the first few days of settling in, wandering around, meeting new people and finding the best places to eat much less scary. With the O-Team, everything felt like a judgment-free zone. Everybody started making friends right away.

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What a fantastic October it has been! Between my birthday, many Halloween movie marathons, Stetson’s Opera Showcase, fall break at Halloween Horror Nights, the Tri Sigma fashion show, Jessica Lynn speaking, Screamageddon, Kennedy Space Center and the biggest (and most spooktacular) party of the year! Now all that’s left is to decorate the house, carve some pumpkins and celebrate my favorite holiday!

O-Week evening events helped me meet even more people as everyone has to know each other. It started feeling like home, meeting people in your dorm–Doolittle Upper Shaft Rules!–and leaving your door open and playing music to let everyone know to come by and visit. All of a sudden, you have the chance to learn about so many different cultures and customs because everyone at Riddle is from somewhere else.

O-week was like summer camp–a familiar and fun place for any kid away from home for the first time. The week kept going–O-team meetings, pep rallies, information sessions and campus tours. At night, they had all sorts of fun stuff for us to do. We created memories with the people we had met that day. I made awesome friendships.

When O-Week is over and the upperclassmen start arriving, Embry-Riddle still worked hard to keep us entertained and occupied. The activities fair had so many different clubs and organizations. I signed up for SCUBA club, Touch N’ Go Productions, and P.R.I.D.E. Then Rush Week lets you check out Greek life. There are Thursday movie nights, intramural sports teams (I signed up for volleyball), comedy shows, pool parties, cookouts, paint rave, speakers series, and astronomy open houses. The Eagles men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams have games at night. These are all great ways to mingle and get to know new people. Do I have to go to class?
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Speaking of… classes are so different in college, everyone is much more engaged and the professors have a passion for what they are teaching that you never see in high school. My major is communications because I’ve always loved English and Psych, but I also might major in Meteorology. Homework is a lot less stressful than I expected, though studying for tests is way more important. However, you can study with a group of friends–which is so different from high school – and keep each other focused and help with questions.

Enough of that. I’m off to the Kennedy Space Center with friends this weekend. I was at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios last week with a freshman friend I know from Portland, and nighttime on the beach with a full moon and new friends is… well, it’s all way more Lit than I thought.
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