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.

Welcome to the Club(s)

Hello, readers!

I know that when you’re looking at colleges, you’re not just looking at your degree program, you’re also looking at the things you can do there. Some people even pick their school based upon what they can do, not necessarily what they’ll study. Hopefully you’re looking at Riddle because you’re excited to study one of our degree programs offered in Daytona, but also because of the endless opportunities the university has to participate in something bigger than yourself.

Of course, we have a great athletic department, which is greatly increasing in size as we transition to NCAA. We have fantastic teams that compete very well! I have many friends on Track and Field, Tennis, Volleyball, and Basketball. It’s a great place to embrace your sport either from high school or from just pure interest, and be able to explore the collegiate opportunities there.

We have a few sororities and fraternities on campus as well; I’m not as familiar with Greek life, but I know plenty of people who are involved and absolutely love their Greek family that they’re a part of!

In terms of the clubs we have at Riddle, if you can think of an idea for a club, we probably have it. SCUBA diving, skydiving, sport aviation, rowing, motorcycle enthusiasts, archery, gaming – whatever it is that you enjoy, we probably have it. And if we don’t, its SO easy to create your own club. If you and a few friends want to have a movie critique club and can find a faculty member to sponsor it – go for it. (We might even have a club that does that, but I’m not sure – don’t quote me on that!). Flight Team, for example, is a club that isn’t designated as an AS (Aeronautical Science) only team/club. We have HF (me!), engineers, and mechanics alike. Go out there and see what’s there and have fun. The most important thing is to find something that you love and have some fun!!

As I’ve said in a previous post, I think it’s so important to be involved in some club or team that isn’t associated directly with your degree program. You get to meet people from other degrees and other countries and nationalities that you might have had the opportunity to otherwise. You might meet the people that’ll be your friends for life. It’s also a great place to network – meeting professors and other faculty members may become your mentors, your go-to people with personal and professional aspirations. They might also give you opportunities that you wouldn’t normally have – for example, I am serving as the Region IX SAFECON President for our Regional competition this fall for Flight Team. I wouldn’t have had such the honor if I hadn’t stuck my neck out and joined the team.

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Above is an image of me flying N53ER, the Flight Team’s old precision landings aircraft, the Maule MXT-7-180 Comet. Photo taken by Zack Wilkinson, Summer 2014. Another advantage of doing something outside of your major might include flying airplanes you wouldn’t normally fly!

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Above is an image of Ernie flying with me up to Virginia for the 2015 Women’s Air Race Classic. You never know where your team might take you! Mine teams have taken me across the country and back, literally.

There’s a lot to be said for research though – make sure you’re participating in at least one research project while you’re in school. It definitely doesn’t have to be for all 4 years, it can be for a semester or even a summer. The knowledge you can gain simply by participating or assisting in research can have end results that you might not even a imagine (a job offer maybe?!).

It’s intimidating trying to fit into a club or group with people you don’t know – I completely understand. But my best advice is to do something out of your comfort zone and have fun! Meet new people, do things you wouldn’t normally do (like skydiving!), and enjoy your time outside of class and study time. That’s what college is all about!

Every semester, the school hosts an Activities Fair, which is an opportunity for students to see all of the clubs and teams and Greek life you can be a part of! It’s a lot of fun (you never know what cool free stuff you can find….) so I encourage all of you to check it out if you’re on campus!

Enjoy the rest of your week – back to work for me!

Blue skies,

Emmy

Giving Up Our Letters to Help You Find Yours

The most stressful and exciting week in a sorority girl’s semester has finally come to a close! A couple of weeks ago, many young women from Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus found out which sorority they were meant to be in and ran home! For anyone who doesn’t know anything about Greek Life, I’ll give you a little overview…

Every semester, the Panhellenic sororities on campus hold recruitment for potential new members! “Which sororities are on the Daytona Beach campus?” you may be asking. Our location has three sororities to choose from: Alpha Xi Delta, Theta Phi Alpha, and Sigma Sigma Sigma. Although all three are very different, they are all great because of their values and philanthropies. The process is simple, the potential new members (or PNMs as we like to call them), go to the events that are held by each sorority, and eventually go through a mutual selection process to find out which one is their home!

Now since I am a sophomore who is already in a sorority, some might be wondering how all of this involves me. I was one of the fifteen young ladies on campus that was given the important job of being a Recruitment Guide, also known as a Rho Gamma. As a Rho Gamma, it is our job to help our PNMs with anything they need during recruitment. This ranges from supporting them when they decide which sorority they want to be in, helping them choose what they want to wear for each event, or even giving them a mint if they think their breath is smelling bad!

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My Recruitment Group!

Being a Rho Gamma was great, but there was one catch to the position. In order for us to support our PNMs without being biased toward our own sorority, we had to disaffiliate weeks before school began. This disaffiliation included never wearing letters in public, taking down all of our pictures
that showed which sorority we belonged to, and never talking to our sisters! For me, this was the hardest thing imaginable, because I currently live with several sisters in our sorority house and it was difficult not being able to talk to the people who you are the closest to.

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All the Rho Gammas running home after the Rho Gamma Reveal!

As I look back on my weeks as a Rho Gamma, I can truly say it was one of the most special things I have ever experienced. I was able to see the other side of recruitment, something I went through when I joined my sorority last spring. I bonded with Panhellenic women from other organizations on campus and learned more about their sororities. And the most special thing of all, I helped new members find their home, the organization that will help them grow into the women they are meant to be. Deciding to give up my letters to help them find theirs was probably the best decision I have ever made.

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Finally back with my sorority!

Go Greek!