So Sierra and I just got back from a nighttime tour of backwoods Athens. And by that I mean we got lost. It all started with a trip to Earth Fare...which, let me pause right there and just say that this store is amazing and if I had a lot of money to spend on food, I would spend it there. It's an organic/healthy food store and they have so many options and foods from other countries and like a thousand cheeses and yes I would live there if possible, scrounging up scraps from the floor and whatever people left behind. Anyway, it was amazing. So we went and it was a little far away from our apartments and somehow on the way back we missed a turn and ended up probably making a circle around the entire city (but this has yet to be verified by Google maps). It would have been a marvelous tour of UGA's agricultural farms, if we had night vision. Nonetheless, it was fun!
We also hung out earlier today to try and get my id (fail) and then grabbed some sweet tea (yum) and chatted before...orientations!!! Dun dun dun! All of which were way less terrifying than I imagined. First was all the incoming psychology students, and mostly consisted of introductions and reassurances about how awesome the department is and all the resources we have available to us. Next was the clinical psychology orientation (there are 7 of us- 6 girls and one guy). We learned a little about our class schedules and how things work. Last was orientation for the clinic where we talked about expectations and maturity and dress code and oh yes took surprise pictures we had no idea about that will hang on the department walls for years until there is no more room or the building is razed to the ground.
At each instance, professors emphasized a history of helpfulness and friendliness between students and faculty in the program. It was really nice to hear them say that we won't be left on our own to figure things out. We can ask questions any time and will be given help. I had heard so many things about how grad school is all about doing things on your own and you will basically be left to yourself - but I am not looking for that alone. One of the reasons I chose this program is the emphasis on research as a team effort and their appreciation for the process of learning together, as well as the fact that everyone seemed to be genuinely happy here. So it was a great comfort to hear that emphasized today!
I can tell it is going to be EXTREMELY busy. Most people say they are on campus from 8 to 8. There are 18 hours of "classes" and also research and teaching assistantship and a first year project and two classes that are groups getting together to talk about life and issues and sometime soon, beginning to see clients. But hey, I came here to work!!!! Tomorrow is grad student orientation in general, so time for some sleep!