I have a tradition with my roommates. It started at the end of our first year, and carried over to second year. At the end of each quarter, my roommates and I (there are three of us total) decide on a steakhouse to go to. What started out as a way to splurge on a meal and celebrate the end of our first year of optometry school turned into something more. It motivates us to make it through each finals week.
My roommates and ICO classmates have several other traditions, too.
The first Tuesday of each quarter, the majority of each class at ICO goes to Joe’s on Weed St. On Tuesdays, Joe’s has a special which includes two dollar pitchers and five dollar pizzas. There is also a DJ and a dance floor. This is a great way to break in the quarter, especially since a lot of people go home over the quarter break. We catch up with everyone and even welcome back some of the fourth years returning to Chicago from rotations. It’s something we all look forward to.
Besides Joe’s, we also have McGee’s in Lincoln Park. Although this past quarter we weren’t able to go that often, if there is ever a Friday with no exams, we try to make it happen. I remember one week where we only had exams Monday and Wednesday. The class of 2019 took advantage by getting a group together to go to a Blackhawks game on Thursday, and then a lot of us met at McGee’s after.
In addition to class and school traditions, my roommates and I have other traditions, as well. Our weeks get pretty full sometimes, between exams, practicals, clinic shifts, and various assignments due here and there. This means a lot of late nights for those of us that procrastinate. If we ever know it’s going to be a late night of studying, we plan accordingly to get some late night food. We have our go-to places for Chinese, BBQ, seafood, pizza etc.
If we ever want burgers and shakes, we usually go to Devil Dawgs in South Loop. If we ever want pizza, it’s usually Dominos delivery (they have a location on 35th that usually delivers within half an hour). If we’re ever craving a gyros, Maggie’s Gyro is usually our go-to.
It’s the little things like this that make not only the late night studying, but the pressures of grad school bearable. Things do get hectic sometimes, but school traditions made with friends, roommates, and classmates gets us through the tough times.