Last time you heard from me I was packing up my last few things before leaving for my road trip to Chicago, with a stop in Minneapolis along the way. In Minnesota we stopped at the outlet mall in Albertville, but there weren’t too many great sales and we were promptly on our way to our primary destination, the Mall of America. Here I found awesome deals: I got lots of shirts for $5-10 each from places like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and Club Monaco.
After spending some time in the Mini Apple, we drove down to Schaumburg, a suburb of Chicago. We spent a day just exploring the community and its vibrant downtown, and we also visited the newly opened Chicago Premium Outlets in nearby Rosemont. The mall was filled with upscale shops that I couldn’t afford, but it was fun to look anyway. I enjoyed my last evening with family in Chicago at the Purple Pig on the Magnificent Mile. This place is tons of fun. The patio is tiny, yet they manage to cram so many people in it… let’s just say this isn’t the restaurant to go to if you’re planning on telling your big secrets.
Move-in day quickly arrived and I could barely contain my excitement, although I did drag my heels a little bit at the hotel because I knew I would soon be alone. I arrived at the school and was promptly greeted by some very pleasant second year students ready with their carts to get me moved in. The moving-in part took all of five minutes, and the unpacking and settling-in part took close to three hours. Getting acclimated is an ongoing process. I’ve had to make a few quick trips to Target for little things for the room, and these mini trips are a nice way to get out of the RC and wander the city a bit.
I had a lot of fun during orientation and got the chance to meet the majority of my classmates during the outings that were planned for us. It will take a couple weeks to be able to recite all their names, but at least I recognize who is actually in my class at this point. We had an architectural boat tour of the city, and it was really interesting to hear a little bit about Chicago’s history and to learn the names of some of the buildings and how they got them.
One of my classmates let me join her on a workout at the lakefront last week–it was awesome. It was a nice run/speed walk, and this week I had my roommate join me for a lake trip as well. It usually takes us about an hour to go there and back at a fast walking pace, but if you’re running the whole thing, you should be able to do it in about 40 minutes.
So far we have finished almost two weeks of classes. We have our exams starting next Wednesday with biochemistry, and then we’ll have an exam pretty much every other day from that point on. My approach to studying so far has just been “keep up with the material.” So every evening I’ve been going over that day’s notes and solidifying it in my brain–this strategy has made it very easy for me to add on information from the subsequent classes and leaves me with less studying to do at the end of the day because I picked up most of it during class. Though this has been working well for me so far, we’ll see how it goes once exams pick up. Additionally the labs have started, which are excellent for cementing the material in my mind in a more 3D sense. It’s much different from undergrad, where the lab didn’t always parallel the lecture very well.
As you know by now, I’m from Winnipeg; I don’t yet have a phone although I plan to get one. In the mean time, I’ve been Skyping my close friends almost everyday and chatting with them on Facebook. I’ve come to love Skype and I look forward to it at the end of every day.