Campus Views & Current Schedule

Happy November everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach and my life recently has been busy, but when is it not? I’ve been utilizing the 24 hour computer labs and study spaces on campus a lot more lately, as most students tend to do towards the end of the semester when workloads increase and full-swing preparation-mode for end of semester tests and projects has commenced.

My favorite study spaces recently have been the library which can get packed with students – so my favorite calm study spaces are the Quiet Study Room on the third floor, reserving study rooms throughout the Union and in the library via SchedulER in ERNIE, the ROTC building computer lab, the top of the Aircraft Military Science (AMS) building that overlooks the flight line (which is particularly gorgeous at sunset), and the College of Business (COB) first floor computer lab.

Some additional helpful information as we’re nearing the end of the semester are the Hunt Library hours and the color-printer access hours in various computer labs around campus.

Early evening view around sunset walking to go study in the Union!

Aside from the early mornings and late nights the Florida views really do make the university experience so much better, as seen above the sky is beautiful!

View during the walk from my Residence Hall to class one morning!

In other news, I passed my Physical Training (PT) test for Air Force ROTC! Cadets in AFROTC take a recorded PT test once a semester, but typically have a few “practice” PT tests called Fitness Diagnostics (FDs) before the recorded score Fitness Assessment (FA), also referred to as a Physical Fitness Test (PFT). AFROTC physical requirements include meeting specific Body Mass Index (BMI) qualifacation, as well as passing all three components of the PT test including a 1.5 mile run, a minute of sit-ups, and a minute of push-ups. Additional Fitness Requirements for AFROTC can be found here. Current testing performance requirements for minimum and maximum scores on each component of the Air Force’s PT test can be found here, which vary for males and females, as well as between age brackets.

However, starting Jan 1, 2022 the Air Force will implement a new version of the PT Test including different options for measuring cardiovascular strength and muscular fitness. These options include either a 1.5 mile run OR a 20 meter High Aerobic Multi-shuttle Run (HAMR) Shuttle run component, a minute of push-ups OR two minutes of hand-release push-ups, and a minute of sit-ups OR two minutes of Cross Leg Reverse Crunches OR a forearm plank for maximum time. The scoring requirements for the new PT test can be found here, which similarly to the current PT test vary for males and females as well as between age brackets. While I haven’t had the oppurtunity to personally take a practice or official version of the new PT test I am excited for the changes and am looking forward to the different options! Keep on keeping on folks, will report back soon!

Balancing the Busy & Preventing Burnout

Happy March everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida, there’s approximately two full months of the Spring semester left, it’s Midterm season, its PT test season, and for me its a season highly saturated with Matlab coding. My go-tos for being very busy during this time are adding clay face masks to my nighttime routine (to help my skin combat wearing cloth face masks all day), drinking lots of coffee (and lots of water to balance the lots of coffee) and in the true nature of a college student – adding peanut butter and hot sauce to basically all my food for fast flavor for my microwave rice or noodles.

I am currently in the thick of it, in terms of being extremely busy. Something I struggle with balancing during the busiest times always seems to be powering down at the end of the day. Sometimes I have weeks of “on” mode, constantly go, go, go, next assignment next due date next quiz/test to study for, next time commitment, and it’s hard to actually slow down. While tapping into the productive flow state can be helpful for a few days or a few weeks, it is certainly not sustainable in the long term. That being said, I am absolutely guilty of planning my weeks ahead of time, scheduling my days with lists, and powering through by showing up for each item on my list. The thing most of us forget to prioritize in all that though, is time for ourselves!

Outside of yoga, coffee and conversation in car rides is one of may favorite ways to relax.

Usually when schedules get busier the first items that gets “kicked off” my To-Do list are the items that have to do with self care and taking time to wind down. This leads to burnout! 

I am a strong believer that we make time for the things that are important to us, but also that sometimes there isn’t enough time in a day to complete all the tasks we elect to do.

Tips and tricks I’ve found that help me center myself and prevent burnout: 

Balance is key! I have found that showing up for myself has never had negative effects. Taking a moment to calm down, meditate for a few minutes, go for a run or a workout, or nap when I need it is essential. You know your body/mind best so if you need to schedule time to check in to assess what you need to help you feel and perform your best, do so!

One of my other favorite ways to relax is looking at pictures from my sister of my puppy niece, Daisy! Never fails to brighten my day.

Let’s circle back here, while it is absolutely essential to take care of yourself, a balance is absolutely essential too. For example, I don’t like doing my homework, and my classes are stressful, but in order to eliminate my stressors I could either do my homework and get through them, or not do my homework and avoid them. Doing my homework leads me to be more stressed on my own time, but less stressed during tests/exams.

Not doing my homework and taking a break is sometimes needed, but it’s important to differentiate between taking breaks and neglecting your responsibilities. When you need a break, take a break, but if you find yourself not finding motivation to do ANY homework, circle back to why you signed up for the classes in the first place and think about your end goal.

Whether that goal is graduating, passing a class, earning any type of degree, commissioning into the military, all of us have motivation of what made us choose to be in college and why we stay. Find your reason and reflect on how it will feel to get your degree or reach your end goal. When things get tough, circle back to what keeps you going!

Keep on keeping on folks, stay safe, will report back soon!