Greetings from Evanston

13 08 2009

I made it!  Well actually I made it a few days ago but only just got internet installed yesterday afternoon.  The drive out wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared.  One of my friends drove out here with me and it definitely helped make the time go by very quickly.  It was kind of interesting to see the landscape.  I had never really driven past eastern Pennsylvania, so my whole experience with places like Ohio and Indiana was from 35,000 feet.  It definitely gave me a new appreciation for just how big the country is to drive for so long and only be about 1/3 of the way across.  As interesting as the drive was, I was glad on Sunday morning to see the Chicago skyline rise from the horizon.  My friend and I then spent the rest of Sunday, plus Monday and Tuesday being tourists in Chicago.  We went to a few museums (the Museum of Science and Industry is a must-see), walked through Grant and Millenium Park (the Bean is very cool), and visited the Hancock Center and Sears Tower – I’m refusing to call it the Willis Tower.  By far the highlight of the tour around the city was the “Ledges” at Sears Tower.  It was a little unsettling to step out onto what seemed to be a very thin piece of glass 103 stories above the ground, but also a pretty incredible sight.  It was a really great weekend and a fun way to get better acquainted with my new city.

I’ll admit that when I finally arrived in Evanston, I had a moment of complete shock and unease about what I was getting myself into.  The past few weeks had been so emotionally stressful, between saying goodbye to my friends and family, selling my condo, and moving out here – I think it all sort of hit me at once.  However, those feelings passed pretty quickly and since my friend left to go back to NJ on Tuesday afternoon I have been way too busy to think about missing people (cue foreshadowing).  Despite how much students told us how busy we were, I was actually surprised how quickly my calendar started to fill up.  To give a sense of what’s been keeping me busy:

  • Tuesday night I had dinner with a few former colleagues who are here in Chicago
  • Wednesday morning my furniture and belongings arrived at my apartment, with very minimal damage (so far the only casualties are 2 wine glasses and a coffee mug, and most importantly the big ticket items all arrived unscathed).  As soon as the movers left my apartment, I met for coffee with another former colleague who is currently doing an MBA at Berkeley, and is considering applying to Ph.D. programs – including Kellogg’s.  I spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking, then met up with a few classmates for drinks last night.
  • Today I’m continuing to unpack, as well as making trips to IKEA and Target to pick up a few things I need for the apartment.  Tonight there’s a happy hour for Kellogg students and alumni in Chicago, and I imagine people will be going out for drinks afterwards as well.

If the past few days are any indication, it’s going to be a very fun – and very busy – 2 years.  I’m sure that the time will fly by very quickly, so I want to make sure that along the way I’m taking the time to enjoy and appreciate the experience.