November 5, 2012
Moving can be a difficult process. Lucky for me, this is my 10th move in two years; I consider myself to be somewhat of a professional by now. Still, this is the biggest, furthest and most permanent move I have ever made. My nerves were definitely acting up when I arrived!
Although I didn’t personally know anybody on campus (or in the entire state of Mississippi, for that matter), I had a few contacts waiting to hear from me upon my arrival. It was a huge comfort knowing I had someone to call after I checked into the hotel. If you’re going away to graduate school alone as well, I would definitely recommend getting in touch with other new students before you leave home. Just ask your graduate coordinator to put you in touch!
The first people I met were my new roommates, Idamis and Janice. We shared a hotel room on campus until we were able to move into our apartment three days later. They came to Mississippi from Puerto Rico, and they’ve already taught me some fun Spanish phrases (like “buen provecho” before eating a meal). They also studied Meteorology as part of their undergraduate degree… so I’m hoping they can help me if I get stuck on anything this semester. In turn, I can help them with their English (like how to pronounce the name of my favorite candy bar, a “Snickers”).
My second night here I had dinner with Jessica, a graduate student one year ahead of me. She took me on a driving tour of Starkville and then invited me out for ice cream to meet some of her friends. Like me, she came to MSU with a Geography background. She has assured me that jumping back into math of meteorology won’t be as terrifying as I am anticipating.
I also had a chance to meet some of my professors. Dr. B, who offered me the assistantship position, will be my advisor as well. I was a bit nervous to meet him, but he was great. He took me around the department, showed me my office, and helped me register for classes. I am excited to work with him this year!
After day three, my roommates and I were finally allowed to move into our apartment. My, oh my, was that a lot of work in the hot Mississippi sun! Luggage poured out of my car like clowns from a phone booth. We live on the third floor of a building with no elevator, and it took the three of us about ten trips just to unload our cars. Add in a few runs to Wal-Mart and Kroger’s, and you can understand what a long day we had.
Now that it’s the end of day four, we still have a few odds and ends to pick up from the store (I’ve found that I can’t sleep on a queen size bed with only two pillows), but we’re mostly settled in. I have to say, I love our new home! It’s spacious and comfortable, and I have my own room and bathroom for about half the price I paid back in Maryland. Plus, we have a balcony to watch the crazy Mississippi thunderstorms from! Things couldn’t be off to a better start.
Rachael has a B.S. in Geography from the University of Maryland and is currently applying to graduate school for broadcast meteorology.