Ranking Some Of The Study Spots On Campus

“Money can’t buy happiness,” they say. To that, I say “It’s much better to study in a comfortable chair than on the ground.”

So, I’m back, and this semester has brought out a LOT more studying than the last one due to the challenging course load. And I’ve discovered some nice study spots on campus that I’ll be assessing. This is Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, after all.

Comfort (C): How comfortable is the spot? Could I sleep here, even though I shouldn’t?
Volume: (V) Is it quiet here? Again, could I fall asleep with the noise in the background?
Academic Productivity (AP): Do I actually do work here, or watch TikToks and say I work? Do I get distracted easily?
Proximity to Food (PtF): Studying requires snacks. How far away is some sort of snack or food?

As a baseline, I’m also ranking myself on these categories and how much it affects me. I fell asleep on final approach in a Boeing 747. You, on the other hand, may not even be able to sleep through straight-and-level flight.

C: Again, I fell asleep on final approach in a B747. (In fairness, I was also really tired.) I fall asleep in cars pretty easily.
V: I prefer quiet spaces when I study, but I can deal with a little bit of background noise.
AP: I get distracted by my phone notifications if the thing I’m working on isn’t urgent and/or a pain in the butt to do. But if it’s 11:30 and the assignment is due at 11:59, you bet that I’m not tearing my eyes away from the assignment.
PtF: I like food. How close am I to food, and better yet, free food?

Without further ado, let’s begin!

SPOT ONE: My Dorm Desk

Ah, yes, the ever-present college dorm. At ERAU, each room has a desk that you can move around wherever you’d like. I’m going to add a side note that I never study in my bed because I read it was bad for you psychologically. Something about your brain associating your bed (made for sleeping) for studying or something- either way, I don’t do it.

C: Very comfortable, except for the fact that half of the time, my dorm is weirdly cold even though the thermostat is at 74 degrees. So I bought a blanket and wore a sweatshirt. Problem solved. I’ve also never been able to fall asleep at a desk, which is good if I want to be productive. 9/10.

V: Completely varies. The guys next door enjoy playing loud music (on Monday night, they were screaming California Girls among other songs). Of course, suitemates make noise, too, but if asked, they are more than happy to be quiet. At this point, I think that I’ve just tuned out the guys next door. 7/10.

AP: It’s my dorm. And it faces the airport. I have a full suite, and I love my suitemates, so they can kind of get me off-topic. But again, if I ask, they’re more than happy to quiet down and not be super distracting. 7/10

PtF: Again, it’s my dorm. There’s always food somewhere… and I have a snack bin literally right behind me. 10/10.

TOTAL SCORE: 33/40
Best for studying: Overall, in my opinion.

SPOT TWO: The Study Rooms in New Res 2

ERAU has study rooms that just opened on each floor of New Residence Hall 2. These are separate from the common area and face the airport. They can hold 2 people (COVID restrictions) and have a whiteboard, TV, several chairs, and tables.

C: Comfortable, depending on what type of chair you sit in. The soft plush chairs are obviously more comfortable than the hard wood and metal ones. Also, it’s weirdly cold sometimes but it’s also been hot before. Total toss-up. 7/10

V: Pretty quiet, except for the sound of the air conditioner if you’re studying when it’s cold. If there’s another person in there with you, then that’s obviously going to add some noise. 7/10

AP: It’s a study room, so intuitively, I feel more inclined to actually do work and not take frequent TikTok breaks. 8/10.

PtF: Only if you bring it. But it’s allowed in here. 8/10.

TOTAL SCORE: 30/40
Best for studying: With a friend, especially if you need help from them.

SPOT THREE: The Main Areas of the Student Union

I don’t know exactly how many times I’ve used this picture, but I’m using it again. This part of the post is dedicated to the common space in the student union, not the library or study rooms.

C: Comfortable. The chairs in the student union are pretty soft, but the ones on the half-circle overlooking the main entrance are kind of weird (in my opinion). Choose your spot wisely. 7/10.

V: It’s the Student Union. If you’re there during the day, it’s pretty loud. There’s usually music playing in the background, and you can usually hear other people talking. Not quiet at all during the day, but it’s better at night. However, there is always a chance that the radio station, WIKD, will play music… 5/10.

AP: I never really get much work done, mainly because someone will pass me and I’ll say hello. And then I’ll get distracted… whoops. But if you’re really dedicated and alone at night, you can get stuff done. 3/10.

PtF: It’s the Student Union. Depending on what part you study in, you might be steps away from food. You’re also allowed to have it and take your mask off to eat (as long as you’re actively eating). And if you want, you can study in Starbucks. 9/10.

Overall Score: 24/40.
Best for studying: When you want to study, but don’t reeeeeeeally want to study.

SPOT FOUR: Student Union Study Rooms

The student union also has several study rooms available to students. These rooms can be reserved online, but sometimes, they’re empty and people will just sit in them. However, it’s good to make a reservation to ensure that you have the spot. They’re very similar to the study rooms in New Residence Hall 2; they have a whiteboard (right in the photo) and a TV that you can hook your laptop up to.

There are other study rooms on other floors, but I am in one of the first floor ones for the purpose of this post.

C: The chairs are nice; they’re vertically adjustable. I will say that the large table legs are kind of annoying if you want to be close to the table. The chair itself is pretty comfortable, though. 7/10.

V: It’s quieter than the main area of the student union, but the glass does little to provide noise absorption. There is always the possibility of someone tapping on the glass behind you, but the probability of that is very small. Again, WIKD might show up and play music. 6/10.

AP: Being in the study rooms, you’re not as likely to be focusing on the people around you and who passes by. The first floor study rooms are also slightly tucked away, so it’s less likely that people are going to say hi and distract you. 7/10.

PtF: Depending on what floor you’re on, and what side of the student union you choose, you could be really close to the campus Chick-fil-A. If you’re on the third floor, however, there are no dining locations up there, so you’ll have to walk back down. 9/10.

Overall Score: 29/40
Best for studying: With friends on non-urgent assignments.

SPOT FIVE: The Top of the AMS Building

The balcony of the Aviation Maintenance Science building is the only outside study spot that is going to be reviewed. It has an entrance on both the second and third floor and a staircase outside between the levels. The picture is from the top spot, where there are several tables.

C: Completely depends on the weather! If it’s hot out, then it’ll be hot. If it’s cold, then bring a jacket. It could also be raining. It’s outside, after all. The only chairs are the metal benches and tables as shown in the picture… or the ground. So, I’ll give it a 5/10.

V: Usually decently quiet. ERAU conducts flight training and activities on every day of the week, so you’re likely to hear one of our Cessnas or Diamonds taking off, landing, or flying overhead. There are also several other flight schools in the area, so there’ll be some activity. Occasionally, a big ol’ jet will come by and you’ll get to hear the roar of the engines. But overall, pretty quiet. 7/10.

AP: Extremely subjective! If you get easily distracted by planes… you won’t get much work done. But if you’re only interested in big jets, then you’ll be fine. Personally, I find the bigger jets more interesting than the Cessnas and Diamonds, and those don’t take off too much. But then again, sometimes I’ll get distracted and watch the Cessnas take off and land. So… 7/10.

PtF: You’re not near anything that you can buy, but you’re more than welcome to bring it. 7/10.

Overall Score: 26/40.
Best for studying: When you need motivation for your ‘Design a Whole Airplane’ project. Also good for non-plane-lovers to study on nice, sunny days.

SPOT SIX: The A²  Tutoring Lab

The A² tutoring lab is a great place to be (in my opinion). It’s free tutoring in various undergraduate classes that you’ll most likely encounter. ERAU pays students to tutor other students, and when it’s open, there will always be tutors to help you out. And

C: The chairs are nice. What I also love about A² is the dry-erase tables and free markers, so you don’t have to use a bunch of paper trying to do ONE problem. (Some of these integrals get very long.) However, if you’re socially anxious, the lab is located on the first floor of the College of Arts and Sciences, so you can see people who walk by. 8/10.

V: This is a tutoring lab, so it’s pretty quiet. Due to COVID-19, they also offer online tutoring, and sometimes one of the tutors will be talking to someone in the background. However, it’s easy to get help from one of the tutors and tune everything else out. 8/10.

AP: Again. This is a tutoring lab. They are literally there to help you study and keep you on task. 10/10.

PtF: There is no food in the COAS, and while the student union is nearby, you’re not supposed to have food in there, unfortunately. You can, however, keep water. 2/10.

Overall Score: 28/40.
Best for studying: Whenever you need help or to actually get work done.

So, as you may be able to tell, there are plenty of spots to study for your classes here at ERAU. Personally, my favorite is my dorm, but you might have a different one- which is totally fine! Everyone has their own preferences on where to study.

See you in the next post… or hopefully at Riddle someday!

Everything I Did Since Coming Back From The Break

Not like “everything” everything, but these were some major events.

As of January 20, classes are back in session here at Embry-Riddle. I got here a few days before they started, arriving at KDAB at 10 PM. And just to give you a little insight as to what Riddle students do, here are a few major things that I did.

Missed my parents. Yeah, Fall 2020 Carly would also be confused. It’s college, right? You’ve got the freedom to do whatever you want (within reason) whenever you want. Are you going to quietly eat ramen at 3 AM in your dorm while procrastinating your classwork? That’s not a great idea, but nobody is stopping you.

Aaaaaand let my parents ship me an emotional support stuffed cat that looks like my real-life cat. He came vacuum sealed, so I ended up having to throw him in the dryer for a few minutes. Don’t you see the resemblance?

Lost my AirPods Pro on Wednesday, and got one back on Friday. I’d lost them in the Walmart on Wednesday. One of my friends took our friend group to Walmart, and I somehow lost them separately. So, I searched all over campus and called the Walmart, where an associate had found a single AirPod Pro. So now I have one AirPod Pro, the case, and a reluctance to buy a replacement since they’re expensive.

Had a friend take this picture, because I thought it was funny. Ironically, this picture was taken before I had lost my AirPods. I have four classes back-to-back on Wednesday, and this was my mood after the fourth.

Yes, I got some stares, but the picture is funny.

Attended Fire Friday. Fire Friday is a tradition that started last semester, and it continues this semester. It’s run by a different person, but the premise is the same: on Friday nights, people host a bonfire in the fire pit between New Residence Halls 1 and 2. Anyone can attend, and sometimes there will be free sodas or food.

This Fire Friday was the first one since last semester, but it was still pretty crazy. A bunch of people brought their longboards- including two guys who brought electric longboards and let other people try to ride them. I tried, but I think I’ll stick to leg-powered longboards.

Yesssss!

Tried to look super cool standing on a longboard. You can be the judge of the coolness factor.

Yes, this was on Fire Friday!

And yes, I attended class (and got homework). This is college after all…

Either way, it’s been good to be back at Embry-Riddle. It’s a drastic change from Kentucky weather. I can wear a T-shirt here and be outside for longer than five minutes. I like my classes so far, and I’m excited to see what this semester has in store for me.

See you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle someday!

Spring & Back in the Swing of Things

Happy January everyone! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida. First week of Spring 2021 semester down, and it’s definitely been an adjustment getting back into the swing of things. At this point, this is the start of my 8th semester, not including summer classes, and you would think it gets easier as time goes on, but it still takes me a little time to get back in the flow of things. I find that I enjoy my breaks so much that returning sometimes is a little difficult, as I’m sure a lot students find coming back from the leisure and comfort of a relaxing break.

Hiking in VA while I was home in December!

That being said, in order to thoroughly enjoy resting I work hard to get to the end of each semester, so it’s well earned and thoroughly enjoyed, although short lived. The next 3.5 months of Spring semester will surely fly by quickly, full of busy schedules, challenges, and (unfortunately) no Spring Break. As the weather gets warmer hopefully I’ll get some free time to get outside and relax as I got to do while home in Virginia!

My favorite things about Spring semester in Florida are outdoor workouts, $5.00 smoothie day (typically post-run) at Smoothie King on Fridays, and the beach. I also enjoy being back at school because I listen to a lot of new music. I like to listen to music on Spotify (where it’s only $5.00 a month for Hulu + Spotify for students!!) while I do homework, study, and answer emails/GroupMe messages. I also enjoy checking out suggested new songs while on walks and during workouts, which helps me look forward to the things I would typically enjoy a little more, which is always extra exciting!

Spending downtime outside over break!

I thoroughly enjoy doing YogaWithAdriene videos on Youtube in the mornings too. I had a morning Yoga routine all Fall semester and getting back into a new school routine for Spring is always nice. I recently tried out the GetBendy program with ElleFitActive that is basically a yoga incorporated stretch routine which is perfect for the mornings, nights, and before or after workouts. Super important tips for getting through the Spring semester, especially when the weather starts to warm up, are staying hydrated, stretching in between workouts, and getting enough sleep!

Sometimes being back at school (especially with online classes) can be monotonous and adding little bits of variation and fun/happy moments to break up your days are extremely beneficial! If you can fit in a quick walk around campus in between classes, a short yoga or workout video on YouTube, or even a healthy snack or an afternoon tea/coffee pick-me-up, it might work wonders for an afternoon slump from staring at a computer all day. I hope you find creative and personalized ways to help you get through a semi-to-fully virtual semester! I will be reporting back shortly with some tips and tricks that I’ll be trying out over the next few weeks to combat the health slumps that usually accompany the stress each semester brings. Keep on keeping on folks, stay healthy, will get back to y’all soon!

Spring Semester & School Supplies

Happy 2021 everyone! I am currently blogging from my hometown of Norfolk, Virginia where I will soon depart to head back to Daytona Beach, Florida within the next couple days to prep for Spring semester!

My favorite game of the holiday season de-stressing before returning to the ebb and flow of everyday life at school was hands down, Blokus! I like Blokus because it requires enough thinking to be considered tactical, but is also full of colors and shapes and fun, so it’s a great stress relieving, mind stimulating game!

Results of a family Blokus game!

A new semester always brings new responsibilities and different obligations, but some things stay the same that I like to call the bare necessities for back-to-school survival. Whether your classes are purely online, hybrid, or fully in person I suggest having these top three item power tools along with you. BONUS: if you procrastinate, as I sometimes find myself doing when prepping for a new semester, these items are all available at the ERAU bookstore on campus too.

Item 1: A planner/calendar! I use my Outlook Ernie email multiple times every day and being able to sync my Outlook calendar with my personal Apple calendar is essential! Now, if you prefer pen and paper I recommend taking some time at the beginning of the semester to write down all your deadlines and due dates. Pro tip: use one color/class so deadlines never get too confusing!

Item 2 (which compliments item 1 very well): Colored pens/highlighters! As a college student, whether your major is Aerospace Engineering or Aviation Business, you will probably find yourself (at some point sooner rather than later) taking notes in a classroom or virtual lesson setting. Organized notes are the key to academic success! Especially when looking back over your older lessons during finals prep at the end of the semester. You may even need your class info for future semesters and having an easily navigable notebook (or iPad virtual note folder) is the way to go.

Item 3: Paper! Engineering paper, lined paper, index cards, and my favorite and preferred paper – the blank white printer paper variety, will be your go-to all semester, so make sure you stock up! I use printer paper for homework assignments, making study guides, preparing formula sheets for quizzes/tests, and for scratch paper when trying to further understand/apply concepts. Get enough paper to last you…trust me on this one, you’ll use more than you think!

A visual of how we all plan to attack 2021, via my sister’s puppy playing with a holiday candy cane colored toy.

I hope you stock up on all your calendar, pen, and paper needs for school this semester, the ERAU bookstore is fully stocked and is a life saver for last minute needs. Sending productive and positive vibes! Keep on keeping on folks, will report back soon folks!

Home & Holidays

Happy December everyone! I’m currently blogging from Norfolk, Virginia. I’m home for the holidays and enjoying the rest and relaxation that comes along with it. I’ve spent the past couple days enjoying spending time with family, eating good food, watching the newest season of the Mandalorian on Disney +, going to Hot Yoga, and sleeping!

One of my favorite parts about being home for the holidays is spending time with family, including this Christmas pup!

I finished out the semester strong and I’m mentally preparing to take on spring classes and looking forward to summer plans! I’m currently applying to a few backup study abroad programs focused on language studies for my Arabic maintenance and improvement. Since this summer will be the last before I graduate and commission from Air Force ROTC into Active Duty Air Force, this will be my last chance to study abroad.

COVID-19 rules and regulations are paramount when considering any study abroad options and opportunities, but it can never hurt to keep your options open and apply to what interests you! I like options, so having a main plan and a few backup plans is my typical style. Since global and local conditions are ever-changing it’s hard to predict if I will actually be able to travel this summer, but if I am I will be!

I recently spent some time fishing with my dad for rockfish and it was so much fun! We left at about 3:00 am, drove 2 hours north to the dock, and stayed out on a charter boat until about 3pm with fresh fish! A very fun experience.

Fishing with my dad!

In preparation for Spring semester, I’m resting up and enjoying the break. Time to decompress is extremely important and while I am still doing some behind the scenes work for ROTC and Student Court on the break, I am definitely taking time to catch up on rest too. Keep on keeping on folks, will report back soon!