And so another year at ICO begins. This time, however, I have a new outlook as a second year.
First years are in a frenzy, second years are rejoicing in their reunion after a long, well-deserved summer break, third years are just busy, and fourth years are in the midst of externship rotations. The first weeks at ICO are unlike anything else–a whirlwind to some and a huge awaiting obstacle to others. But, there is still excitement in the air.
I was part of the ICO orientation team this year. Working closely with 20 of my classmates reminded me of those first day jitters, and in feeling so, I wanted to be there and help those 164 brand new faces. Orientation at ICO is unparalleled in the depths that we go to not only welcome our new colleagues, but also make the transition to professional school as smooth as humanly possible. We jam packed four long days with information, activities, seminars, speakers, Chicago delights (delicious pizza), and most importantly new friends. Nothing was left to chance. We found it not only important to stress what academic and student life at ICO is like, but also what a Chicago lifestyle was like. What pray tell, does that entail? Our first years set sail on an architecture tour in the Chicago River sightseeing everything from the magnificent Navy Pier to the captivating Chicago skyline. Our orientation team also pioneered the way to several different cuisines–from succulent Italian to authentic Greek–in neighborhoods across the city. Truth be told, this is one of the best things about Chicago – that is, the pure culture that adorns each locality, and the delicious food that follows it.
As orientation came to a close and the schooldays began to take way, the students hit the ground running to get back into the swing of classes, exams and clinic. As first years were introduced into the rigorous coursework and second and third years were reintroduced into the ICO curriculum, I think most everyone had an eye on the approaching and competitive ICOlympics weekend. Classes awoke Saturday morning prepared to face each other in the ultimate field day (events included everything from dodgeball to limbo) and indulge in grilled foods and beverages for the taking. Friendly competition paved the way for the perfect welcome weekend back to school.
As the school year is still taking shape, there is no confusion in that along with all of the work and goals that will be achieved, there is still much fun to be had and many memories to be made (because next year I will train harder to win limbo).