Saturday, July 11, 2015

UChicago, Here We Go!

The view from the Omni balcony
Today was a big day, the day we would finally see UChicago and move in to the dorms! I must have been pretty excited because I woke up much earlier than my alarm. I took advantage of our last morning at the Omni hotel by going to the gym, taking a nice shower, practicing flute, and enjoying the view from the balcony and my window. We also had a nice breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

With our bags packed and ready to go, we departed the hotel and headed south to UChicago. As we passed by many of Chicago's famous sites and landmarks, I grew even more eager for my next three weeks in this city. There's so much to see and do, and I hope I'll have time to investigate a good deal of it.

When we arrived at the university, we first went to the dorms to check in and start moving into our dorm rooms. The dorms are really new, and so are very spacious and have several amenities. When I got to mine, my roommate was already there! I was so glad to finally get to meet her; her name is Abigail and she lives near Chicago. My room is also right across the hall from Brandon’s, which is convenient.

After briefly settling in, the Chicago cohort met up to go get our Chicago gear. The bookstore was full of options, and it was hard to decide, but I’m pleased with the maroon crewneck I chose. We navigated our way back to the dorms for one final picture, then made our way to Kent Hall for orientation. This is where we said good-bye to Alana. Even though we’ll be seeing her for check-ins and outings, it was still a little sad to say bye because we’ve had such great times as a cohort the past few days and Alana has been an amazing chaperone.
Chicago Cohort in Chicago Gear
Stephanie Friedman, the program director, ran the orientation. First she went over some basic expectations and guidelines for the program, and then she introduced the RAs. After that, all of us students went with our RA for a brief tour of campus. My RA is Katie, and she seems really sweet and quirky. After the tour we met up in the dorm lounge and she led us in some icebreaker activities, and then we returned to our dorms to finish unpacking.
My dorm!
For dinner, my roommate Abigail and I met up with three other girls, Morgan, Sayali, and Shrija to go across to the Cathey Dining Commons. It’s very convenient because the dining hall is located right next to our residential hall, but there wasn’t a huge variety of food. I enjoyed talking with the other girls though; they are all very friendly and we get along well. Shrija is going to be in Psychology with me, and I’m glad to have found someone else in my course. Sayali and I were excited to discover that we both run cross-country and play flute! Hopefully we can go on some runs together.

The campus is really pretty at night
After dinner, we wandered around campus a bit before meeting up for yet another meeting with our RA. This one was to go over behavior policy and curfew, and though it is obvious they are concerned for our safety, I’m pleased because we have a lot of freedom. This independence is a big part of why I’ve been anticipating this experience, and I look forward to developing through it in these upcoming weeks.

Today is actually Morgan’s birthday, so Sayali, Shrija, Abigail and I decided we should try to find cupcakes or something sweet to celebrate. The four of us, and Morgan, headed north on campus and then out to 53rd St., and though we couldn’t find cupcakes we got frozen yogurt instead. It was cool to start exploring the surrounding area of campus.

We returned from this excursion around 10 for our “study break”, which is basically just a time when our RA gives us snacks in the lounge area. The rest of the evening was spent hanging out with our RA group in the common space and then going back to our rooms. Today was a really busy day, but so far I love UChicago and am extremely excited for the next three weeks.

1 comment:

  1. So you know, when times were the toughest for us when we didn’t know about our financing, Stephanie was the one that pulled me from the abyss when she returned my emails while she was in Shanghai and told me that UChicago wanted us to send the four of you this summer and they were paying.

    And you’re 100% right about Alana being a great chaperone. We’re all so,lucky to have her with us.