Last week, I said my goodbyes and stepped on a plane in Boston, Massachusetts. Roughly two hours later, I entered a new time zone and touched down in Chicago. As of August 16th, I have officially completed my first year Orientation at ICO. Now, I’ve begun classes.
Things are moving along very quickly, but I am enjoying every minute of it! It is such a great feeling to know that I have accomplished one of my life goals and made it to optometry school. Here at ICO, I have met people from places ranging from Southern California to Nova Scotia and already begun to build great relationships. Through Orientation, I was given the chance to explore not only what ICO has to offer (which is a lot!) but also the city of Chicago.
It is hard to step out of your comfort zone sometimes and take on something new. I left Boston, a city where I knew my way around, would always run into people I know, and thoroughly understood the public transportation, to take on a whole different (and larger) city. My first night here at ICO, I attempted to use the CTA for the first time. For those of you who may not be familiar with the CTA it stands for the Chicago Transit Authority and encompasses the city’s buses and train system
Now, I can easily explain the ins and outs of the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority) in Boston. For the most part, the CTA is the same. On my first trip, however, it was the little differences between the two that began to throw me off.
Don’t worry, I wasn’t lost in the city for hours! I am quickly learning my way around and spent some of Orientation exploring. Although, like with the public transportation, Chicago and Boston have many small and large differences that I am beginning to love. Chicago is full of so much to do!
To complete our Orientation, we took the Chicago River architectural boat tour. Following the tour, some of us made our way to Michigan Avenue to eat and do some shopping (honestly, it was more window shopping because all we could think about was the amount of loans we just took out.) Next week, we plan to check out the lake and embrace these last summer months. Some of us have already began to plan trips to museums and orchestras!
So, to sum up my experience at ICO thus far and my experience with Orientation, I am filled with excitement. I am itching to continue exploring the city, use the CTA some more, and I am even looking forward to the start of classes. This is one of the most exciting times of my life and I am looking forward to making the most of it!