Balance & Blessings

Happy February everyone! This month is coming to an end and there’s a lot of exciting things in the works just around the corner. 

For AFROTC cadets in their AS200 year everyone seems to be holding their breath until Enrollment Allocations for Field Training this summer are released. Midterms are just around the corner, and preparation for projects and presentations are in full swing, with lots of quizzes and homework sprinkled in between. Am I stressed? Yes, but I am also extremely grateful to be in the situation I am in and I am genuinely enjoying the ride.

It is so easy to get caught up in the to-do lists and the responsibilities, but once you find a balance and ride the flow of everything, it’s almost beautiful how time management works. Now folks, you may be reading this and think I’ve cracked the code, but I’m still tired all the time, so its definitely a process. I would say the things that keep me the most sane are my friends, making time for myself to workout, do yoga, just breathe, getting packages from my family, phone calls with my grandma, facetiming my mom, texting my sister… not to mention a countdown to spring break, mini countdowns until the weekend each week, and keeping tea and an emergency stash of dark chocolate as my go-to when homework and studying keeps me up late at night.

Some of my friends and I after a sandbag beach PT!

I recently got news that I was rehired for my Resident Advisor position for the 2019-2020 school year and have the privilege of staying in my same building!

In other news, my flight from AFROTC had a bonfire on Friday night that was really great. You would be surprised that the people you see and interact with in training everyday are so multidimensional. Getting to know them on a personal level outside of only seeing each other in stressful situations is really an eye opening experience. You hear everyone talk about how getting to know your people is extremely important for a well functioning team, but until you actually make an effort to do so, it doesn’t resonate how truly important this is.

And now for a few facts to help you get to know me better:

I spent yesterday in the beautiful partly cloudy 85 degree February Florida weather volunteering with AFROTC at a Track Meet with some of best friends.

I love Kodiak cakes pancakes, and making pancakes, with fresh maple syrup and some sort of nut butter spread on them. Breakfast is my favorite meal hands down, and sometimes when I’m having a bad day I most certainly eat breakfast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The freedom in college is nice like that.

My new “thing” is smiling at strangers in passing when walking to class, because although everyone complains, it’s truly a good life and we’re lucky to be here.

I usually end my days with yoga and a cup of tea before bed.

Sometimes when I’m stressed I look up pictures of Romanesco Broccoli, which actually isn’t a broccoli, it’s a cousin of the cauliflower, which follows an infinite Fibonacci Fractal sequence. I discovered this vegetable’s existence last year in Paris with my sister and have been fascinated ever since. Nature is so beautiful.

Romanesco Broccoli per an ad to purchase this “broccoli” on Amazon. It’s wild looking, right?!

Will report back soon. As always, I am writing to you on a Sunday morning with a cup of tea and pancakes, I have a meeting in an hour, along with some homework I need to tend to. Until next time, enjoy the journey friends!

RA Life, AFROTC, & Rest

Happy December everyone! Finals are over!!! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, but in a few hours I’ll be in Orlando departing from MCO, then I’ll be heading back home to Norfolk, Virginia. 

Just a brief recap of fall 2018 before the new year and spring semester begins: This has single-handedly been the most challenging semester of my life, but I passed all of my finals and my classes, friends, so thank you so much for the support. Key shout-outs here go to the boxing girls and my best friend Obie wan.

Many students have already left Daytona, but RAs are the last ones to leave (as well as the first ones back) as we do health and safety inspections and have to check all the rooms to prepare our residence halls for shutting down and for opening back up to residents. Fret not though, this process only takes a few days and after that is freedom. 

I am so excited to be able to relax over break. I’m sure it will be filled with all the things I love and only get to have sparingly while I’m in college, including but not limited to: lots of working out, home cooked meals with fresh vegetables, yoga (YESSS), seeing my best friend home from college, living walkable distance from the beach, my dog Kita, and also my family. I may read a book for leisure, shocking I know, as well as listen to lots of music. I also will be sleeping in glutenous amounts and will be going to all my favorite local coffee shops. Taking a break every once in a while is so well needed and deserved for both students, professors, and faculty. Everyone has been working so hard since August, we all really deserve this chance to reset, relax, and recharge before the spring.

Next semester in AFROTC will be Field Training Preparation which is extremely exciting as well because after that comes Field Training during the summer, which is one step closer to commissioning and graduation. Field Training in a nut shell is essentially a 15 day “boot camp” which is very strenuous and is a required step to complete before GMC (General Military Course) underclassman become POC (Professional Officer Course) upperclassman in fall 2019. Over Thanksgiving my early Christmas present was new running shoes and, although I feel I’ve broken them in, as soon as next semester hits I will probably rethink that.  

Some of my family from AFROTC and me after our final Pass in Review ceremony of the semester

Also here’s a picture from when I contracted around this time last year and swore into the United States Air Force, which if I haven’t mentioned before, was an absolutely amazing experience and I 10/10 recommend.

But for now, we are in break and de-stress mode and I will continue to get through the holidays with an open mind, lots of exercising and stretching, and good food. I miss cooking so much, but one thing I do not miss though is the cold weather. Perhaps I’ll have a white Christmas in Virginia? I do prefer the moderate climates a bit more though, as per expected with the majority of my year spent in Florida and other hot places.

For everyone traveling this holiday season, or even just driving a few minutes away, remember to de-stress and relax over break and state safe. Will report back soon! Happy holidays and almost happy new year!

New City & New Semester Prep

Happy August everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida.

I have officially moved back to Embry-Riddle’s campus and am currently taking part in Resident Advisor training. This includes a lot of informative sessions, crisis response training, and scenario practice, plus prepping creative hall decorations in preparation for my new residents to move in. I will be a Resident Advisor this coming fall in the Honors Living and Learning Community in New Residence Hall and am very much looking forward to meeting all my new residents.

Aside from RA training, I am helping prepare for student arrivals at the end of this month with Orientation Team and will be participating in Orientation Training in the weeks to come before classes start as well.

On another note, I am all moved in and am excited to get back on my school routine. I just finished setting up my dorm!

Bed!

Tapestry!

Nice views from my window!

This will be my second year in AFROTC and I can’t wait for all my friends to move back. One of my friends who is also in AFROTC, happened to be living in the same town in Kansas that I was temporarily at this summer while learning Arabic. She comes back to Daytona Beach in a few days and I can’t wait because I’ll have a workout buddy again.

Photo from after an event during my first semester in AFROTC with my friend from Kansas (middle)!

(Shout out to my amazing mentor and workout buddy from last year who graduated in the spring.)

My mentor from freshman year!

To update on the Arabic aspect of my life:

I genuinely miss speaking Arabic so much and constantly being around people who I could communicate with in the language. I find myself frequently slipping Arabic words or phrases into my conversations and unfortunately it only seems to confuse the English speaking people I’m talking with (oops). I am hopefully going to be able to continue my Arabic studies in classes here at Riddle this fall, but if all else fails I will be sure to join some Arabic language centered or Islamic culture related clubs. I am very eager to meet more Arabic speakers on campus to practice my language skills with. On another note, I have been actively communicating via texts with my old Arabic classmates and our professor via our group chat. Texting in Arabic is more fun than it sounds, plus it helps me work on my spelling! I wish I had more face-to-face time with Arabic speakers here in Florida, but hopefully I’ll meet some new Arabic speaking friends soon. Side note: I just ordered a new Arabic keyboard cover for my laptop which I’m so excited about!

Will report back soon!

Day to Day

Hello everyone!

I wanted to discuss a bit about what the average day looks like on campus. I know for me,  before coming to school I was very curious about what college is really like. So I decided I would speak a little on my schedule to help out those other curious people like me.

At Riddle we have an alternating schedule of fifty minute Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes and one-and-half hour Tuesday/Thursday classes. Every once in a while a class, typically a lab, will be offered in a three hour time block on one day of the week. For example, I had my airport management class from 5:15-8:00 pm every Thursday.

I normally schedule my classes back to back and earlier in the day. This means I get up and get classes done. Others prefer breaks so they can do homework, socialize, or get lunch in between. And one of the best parts of college is being able to choose classes that start later – sleeping in is truly the best! I also prefer the shorter classes, but I now choose to only have two on Monday/Wednesday/Friday and three on Tuesday/Thursday. This just seems to make the weeks go by faster in my opinion!

In class I usually bring a snack and a drink. I live off caffeine so the baristas at Starbucks and I are on very good terms. I also take notes on my laptop, but it’s all up to your professor. Some classes you’re in a lab with a computer provided and other times you have a professor who prefers no electronics. To me, classes feel very similar to high school. The sizes are small and the professors truly get to know you!

After class I head to work or to grab lunch. I usually find myself back in my room studying or in a lounge in the dorms. Resident Advisers (RAs) do contact hours where we are required to be available to our residents. I do mine after class. Also for this job, I have duty Wednesday nights. Duty is when RAs sit at the dorm’s front desk and walk around the building periodically. We are here to solve any problems in the dorms and be of help to all! On Monday and Wednesday I work as a Student Assistant in the Office of Development, which is basically fundraising for the university.

Homework-wise, because I know everyone is wondering, it seems as an Aviation Business major I have about a couple hours each night. This of course varies. I try to get a lot done on the weekends because after a day of classes, work, then clubs… I’m exhausted! There are jobs on campus where you can do homework during your shift and RA is definitely one. Some nights I will have nothing but others I feel very busy. It’s all about time management. The best advice I ever heard for college was to treat it like a 9-5 job. That means if you get out of class at 1 pm, sit and knock out your homework until 5 pm. When you get caught up in Netflix bingeing, it gets hard to get motivated again. It’s better to take that focus you had during class and burn through it in one sitting. Again, the amount of homework all just depends on your major, class, and professor.

Around 5:00 pm is when all the clubs get started. The campus is still bustling with involved students this late in the evening! I do have clubs that meet at 9:00 pm but those meeting are typically an hour. That was the weirdest part of transitioning from high school to college, seeing everyone out late studying and going to meetings! I love coming back to my room after a busy day and relaxing or even being super productive and cranking out homework. I live in the new dorms and they are very nice and a quick walk to and from classes!

Overall this is a rough outline of my schedule:

(Notice: your schedule will change every week and no day will be the same but you will always have time to relax and have fun!)

Weekends are genuinely open for me to do homework or spend time with friends. While campus is a little emptier on the weekends, there is still a lot going on. Many times I am invited to volunteer opportunities or events with the clubs I am involved in!

Curious about how this schedule actually plays out? Preview Day is coming soon and is a day where you get to experience college classes and learn about the clubs and activities on campus! Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 7, 2018, 8 a.m.– 4 p.m.!

Maybe see you then?!

– Maddie

Springing into the Semester & Meet Maddie!

Happy spring semester all!

I would like to begin my first blog by introducing myself! I am from Castle Rock, Colorado (in-between Denver and Colorado Springs) and a sophomore studying Aviation Business here at Riddle! My passion in life is traveling, hence why this is the perfect school for me! On campus I am in the Honors program, an RA (Resident Advisor) in the New Residence Hall for the Honors Living and Learning Community, Associate Justice on the Student Government Student Court, secretary for Women in Aviation, ambassador for Women Ambassadors, a Business Eagles member, student assistant in the Office of Development, ambassador for the Orientation Team, a sister in the sorority Theta Phi Alpha, and now, a student blogger! Needless to say, I keep busy on campus!

With all this involvement comes a lot of time management practice. This time of year we are all rebooting since our schedules have changed so much! The past few weekends I have spent in training or at retreats. I love that the activities you partake in during college are mainly student-run. All organizations must have an advisor, but the students run the show! During RA training all meals are catered, so a lot of good food (even though you have to come back a week early from break)! Since RAs are meant to be a resource for students, we do a fall and spring training to keep the most up-to-date and as reliable as possible. The Student Government Association and my sorority also held retreats. Good food is provided here too, of course!

One of my favorite things about being on campus is all the activities that we have! Clubs range from skydiving — to the Microgravity Club that is currently working on a project with NASA! There is truly an activity for everyone to get involved with. Not only does this help your resume, but it’s a great way to make friends and take a break from school. Not sure what clubs to join? There is an Activities Fair in both the fall and spring where the campus is teeming with students checking out what all clubs have to offer!

While the activities are fun and all, classes have also begun. It is always a little nerve-racking to start again, but our professors are so interesting! One of my professors is an attorney and another was in airline marketing before changing over to teaching! I have learned lots about long-haul low-cost airlines and alliance codeshares in the past week. Learning things like this make going to my 8 am a lot easier!

I hope everyone is starting their semesters off strong!

– Maddie

Theta Phi Alpha

Women Ambassador

Orientation Team

Business Eagles at a Southwest Camp

Women in Aviation Tour

Women in Aviation Conference

 

 

 

New Residence Hall

I mentioned in one of my last posts that I had the opportunity to move into the New Residence Hall in January. I was an RA (Resident Assistant) in McKay Hall, which has now been replaced by the New Hall (it doesn’t have a name yet). Because of my RA position, I was automatically moved into the New Hall for the spring semester!

I know everyone is excited to see what it’s like inside! I’ll start by going through some features:

  • Two laundry rooms on every floor
  • Two lounges with TVs on every floor
  • Multiple study rooms on each floor
  • Large 1st floor lounge with pool tables and multiple tvs
  • Large 1st floor study area
  • Vending machines

Next, the most important part, what are the rooms like?

  • Four residents per suite, two residents per bedroom
  • One toilet, one shower, double vanity (all in separate rooms)
  • Closet for each resident
  • Microwave
  • Mini fridge
  • Kitchen storage cabinets
  • Ceiling fans
  • Carpet flooring

This hall was definitely designed with students in mind. There are so many places to study, socialize, and even do laundry! Residents have been enjoying this hall for about a month now, and are loving their new home.

As of right now, there aren’t any specifications on the ERAU website, so I took a few pictures to showcase the New Hall.

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Hallway inside the New Hall

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Laundry room on every floor

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Lounge space on the first floor

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Study area

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Hospitality area on the first floor

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More lounge space

I hope these pictures gave you a better idea of what the New Hall is like! If you want to see it for yourself, come visit us on campus! Take a tour or come for Preview Day, and we’d love to show you around.

Until next time,

Lindsey