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.
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!
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!