Sophomore year here at Embry Riddle has been going great so far. This year has been quite the journey, and distinctly different from last year. Let me tell you why being a sophomore is different from my previous years of education, and give you a few specific examples from the past week.
As a sophomore in the aerospace engineering program, I am going through what is colloquially known as “the gauntlet.” Every single aerospace engineer and electrical engineer here at Riddle is quite familiar with “the gauntlet”. It is called this because right now, I am taking courses such as Fluid Mechanics, Solid Mechanics, and Differential equations and Matrix Methods. These have been the most challenging engineering courses I have ever taken, but they are incredibly rewarding. After years of somewhat aimless studying in high school, it feels so refreshing to learn about material that I’m interested in. This same material that my professors are covering is material that is heavily used in aerospace engineering jobs today. Speaking of my professors, I’d like to say that they are an amazing group of teachers. For example, Dr. Hayashibara, my fluid mechanics professor, drives us to not just become another engineer crunching numbers, but someone who thinks for themselves and is able to grasp the big picture. As a highly driven person, I love this type of attitude and style of teaching, as it creates future leaders in the aerospace industry, rather than just an office worker. This is why being a sophomore is such a wonderful experience; we are finally learning how to affect and direct the industry that so many people here are passionate about.
Classes are not the only thing going on in my life too. This past weekend I stood guard for twenty four hours straight at the Veterans Hospital in honor of Veteran’s Day. Guarding the flag in this manner is known as Vigil. I did Vigil through the Detachment 028 Air Force ROTC Honor Guard, of which I am the commander. We rotated in thirty minute shifts to ceremonially guard the American flag through 18 degree weather. Having the honor to do this was an awakening experience, but we also had a ton of fun too. In our downtime between shifts I was able to spend time with my friends. At Embry-Riddle, you will form a group of really close friends due to the smaller nature of the campus. This is especially exaggerated by participation in activities, such as ROTC or engineering clubs. The group of friends I formed though experiences such as Vigil are people who I trust and I know I will be working with someday as we pursue our common passions for aviation and the Air Force.
Overall, life has been good. School is challenging, but incredibly rewarding. The experiences I’m having here only seem to get better with each semester. Until next time!