Sunday, August 25, 2013

Orientation/last weekend of freedom!

When I think back to being 18 years old and stepping foot on the Elmhurst College campus, I can remember how excited, overwhelmed, and happy I was. High school was "okay," and something deep down was telling me that college would be a million times better [it was.] Because I ran cross country, I was lucky enough to be on campus about a week before the other freshmen came along, and I tell you what, that was such an awesome boost to my first year. By the time everybody got to school, I knew the best time to go to the cafeteria, I knew how to get from dorm to dorm or classroom to classroom. I was a pro at getting downtown or to the bike path. I was no tourist. I was no out of towner. I was an Elmhurst College freshman professional! Those poor other freshmen, all confused and frustrated and lost - not me!

I am happy to say that this has once again happened to me. I was lucky enough to spend my whole summer on the MIIS campus, therefore, allowing me to figure everything out before all the other new students arrived. I must say, it does feel pretty nifty when someone says, "How do you get to so and so?" and I can answer, "Oh, you take this street...blah blah blah." Boom. Local. [Not really. I am terrible with the street names.]

This past week was my orientation for graduate school. I am going to be honest because well, I don't want to lie. My orientation was no bueno. In my opinion, it was disorganized, boring, pretty much unnecessary, and irritating. But, besides all that junk stuff, there were props, which included: a welcome reception with delicious snacks and endless glasses of free wine [which I am sure I am paying for in some way...hehe], a welcome/introduction to my degree program where all 40-50 of us piled into a room, introduced ourselves, learned about our classes, and met our faculty [I will be up on the MIIS website soon and will give you the link to my "bio"! neat.], an information fair where local businesses came and gave out free samples, coupons, etc. [I have never had so many awesome food samples in my entire life...smoothies, cookies, brownies, cinnamon rolls, candy, and the list goes on - and you betcha I ate it all. Poor graduate student!]

Once orientation was over, I tried my best to enjoy my last weekend without homework and stress! I went on an epic bike ride with some friends from my program, went to lunch on Cannery Row, went to a bonfire on the beach [those really do exist in California!], drove to a bike swap in Salinas, hung out with my BFF's Libby and Jack!, and did as much relaxing in the sun as possible. The weather this week has been in-cre-di-BLE! I'm talking beautiful, roasty toasty, nose warming sun. I even wore shorts and a tshirt today! Where am I?!

School starts tomorrow! I have two classes and I'm excited! Wish me luck!

I found a legit garbage can on my campus - how crazy/weird is that?!

I took some creeper shots at the info fair.
Watch the video below to see how this DELISH smoothie was made. California.

I know. I know. Awesome.

The world's cutest plum. It didn't taste that great. Still cute though!
My favorite place on campus.

Beautiful day - bustling wharf!

Who wants a super awesome Christmas present?!

Sampling all the clam chowders. You can pretty much eat lunch through sampling. Yum.

There is a small airport in Monterey. The planes fly right over the beach.

I really love bonfires. Kinda difficult to stay super warm though when everyone is fighting for the close spots!
The very blue Monterey Bay

Once you drive past Monterey and Seaside, a lot of the land turns into farms. This was near Salinas.

Different terrain, different temperature, different lifestyle even.

The coolest bike at the bike swap today. I would have loved this when I was little.

I love that Libby and Jack live close to me - visits from them make me so happy.
I would also like to take this time to brag about my AWESOME mom. She went skydiving today! As did one of her closest friends, my brother, and a few of his friends. Is this not the coolest picture ever!? [photo taken by Sandy Landcaster]

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