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Everyone getting settled?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Ollie123, Aug 6, 2007.

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  1. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    Just wanted to start a thread to see how my fellow first-years were doing.

    I just moved cross-country last week and am now "almost" done getting myself organized down here - which is why you may have noticed a drop-off in my posting. Have you all met up with the other students in your program yet? I've hung out with my class about 3-4 times now, met the 2nd year students, and will be meeting the non-clinical psych grad students sometime soon. So far everyone has seemed great, which I think is a good sign (esecially since I'm very picky about who I become friends with!).

    Got over to the lab a couple times now and my god was it intimidating. Huge off-campus lab, I think around 6 or 7 active grants right now. I obviously won't be becoming an expert on all of them, but I have a choice of what I want to work on and its hard to decide with everything that is going on. Awesome that even with the NIH cutbacks there is that much grant money flying around though.

    I have a few minor concerns at this point, and one major one, but I'm going to sort of put those on hold for a few months and come back to them later on when I have a better feel for things. Either way I think the program will be good for me, I just have some reservations about how hard I will have to push to go in the direction that I want to go, and whether I can do so without pissing people off.

    Best of luck to those of you still in the process of moving/getting settled and let us know how you're doing!
  2. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    What ironic timing....I was just wondering how all of the SDN 1st years were doing, being August now...most people moving into their respective residences for the upcoming school year.

    I DEFINITELY recommend trying to get to know upper-classmen. I got hooked in with a 4th year when I was a 1st year, and he gave me all of the in's and out's, and it made my transition much easier. I also got the scoop on the profs, good places to eat, and notes for various classes. The nice thing about grad school is that most everyone shares notes, which is REALLY helpful since certain people are better at some things than others.

    I throw a BBQ every year (including my 1st year) as a way to get to know classmates and upper-classmen. Remember....you are grad students now...which means any chance to have cheap/free food is usually taken!

    -t
  3. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    My school seems very good about the whole note-sharing and things like that. Not sure how helpful it will be for me since I usually don't bother taking notes (or at least not extensive ones anyways), but at least I know its there. Then again, maybe my note-taking habits will have to change in grad school, when (hopefully) the material will be complex enough I can't just sit back and absorb like I did in undergrad.

    I'm actually planning on having a dinner-gathering at my place for my fellow first years once I'm more organized here, and there's lots of other social activities planned with upperclassmen. I encourage others just starting to do the same - its already made a WORLD of difference to me since I had about 3 days of...not misery but lets just say less than happy when I first arrived here, but once I met the other students and actually had people I knew and could hang out with, it brightened things right up.

    Now I just need to sort out the research end of things and I should be good to go. Apparently 1st year classes aren't bad here so I'm not worried.
  4. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    Speaking as a former non-note taker....you will take notes. You pretty much have to take notes, and I mean..A LOT of notes. I use/used a laptop, and it made a world of difference....both for organizing (I clean up my notes, move stuff around, etc), and also for less hand cramping.

    You can still sit back and absorb it, but it is much more helpful to have the text read, underlined, and some basic stuff written down, so when the lecture comes around, you are filling in stuff and adding bullet points. You'll find out from upper-classmen which profs go right from a powerpoint/outline, and which ones shoot from the hip.

    I had a guy who had been teaching his diversity class for so long he would say the same EXACT things (I had notes from the previous year), in almost the exact same order. He would update his lectures with new research and examples, but the core stuff was mostly unchanged. I could sit there and between my notes from the reading, and the previous year's notes, I had everything I needed, and I just added the new stuff as he went a long. It was helpful because I could ask much more intelligent questions since I had an idea of what he would focus on, etc. The only downside was balancing how much you read from previous information, versus how much of the new research is incorporated, etc. I've had classes that change a lot from year to year because the research has changed a lot, so you have to watch out for those classes.

    -t
  5. RayneeDeigh

    RayneeDeigh

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    Oh god. This thread couldn't have come at a better time. I'm in need of some SERIOUS venting because I feel like I'm so stressed I'm on the verge of going into some sort of fugue state.

    I STILL haven't heard from my landlady when I can move in. Luckily the girl who's living in the apartment now told me that she'll be out on the 31st, but shouldn't a landlady kind of tell me that sort of thing? I've contacted her three times this summer to ask. This doesn't bode well for how living there is going to go.

    Now, I definitely do appreciate the current tenant telling me what's going on (she's a graduating psych PhD student from the same lab that I'm going into) and she's an absolute sweetheart. But... my classes start on the 4th. That gives me four days to get a student card, textbooks, cell phone, get my home phone connected, unpack, build all my furniture, get groceries, and register my vehicle. The circumstances surrounding this move are definitely stressing me out.

    Luckily I'm so stressed about all THAT stuff, I've hardly had time to worry about the actual school. And that's good, because there was actually a problem with my registration that I have to iron out once I'm there.

    Ugh. Tell me again why I'm doing this? :laugh:
  6. ljwelch

    ljwelch a Mom

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    hey "Mom" here and yes I am stressed...how come no one bothered to tell us that the refund money from the loans doesn't come in till the end of Sept? Now we have scrambled to get a little extra to cover us till the rest comes in...I swear if it isn't one thing it is another. We did get an apartment in the heart of Chicago close enough for my son to walk to class. As for his furniture well we will cross that when we get to it. :laugh:
    Does anyone record lectures with one of those small recorders then put them on their computers or ipods to listen to them? Is it allowed?
    The apartment will be rented the end of this week but he won't be moving in till near the end of the month. We got a deal if we took it by then hope it pans out. The rent check needs to be there Friday and the loan will be sent out on Tuesday....yep stressed here too...:scared:
  7. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    I know people who do this, and it usually isn't an issue....just make sure to ask each professor before taping them.

    -t
  8. ljwelch

    ljwelch a Mom

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    Thanks for the tip. I learn so much from all of your posts thanks. I am not too keen on him selling his eggs from the ETC ads on craigslist but that too is a good tip. :laugh:
    Should be something there for a quick few bucks. He has been working his butt off this summer once again at a place that cares for brain injured patients. He did it last year too. He is learning more then he knows and as far as making much money the gas prices are eating that up quickly. He is so ready to get back to the books.
  9. irish80122

    irish80122 Assisting Professors

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    Well, I would like to say I have done a lot and met my class, but unfortunately I just got out to Morgantown today. I have my apartment though, bought a bed, and am starting to get things setup. I still have a little time though before orientation starts, so I am hoping to take advantage of that.

    Things are going well so far, but again, I haven't done much. Everyone has been very nice and helpful, however, and I can't wait to get started. I definitely think this is the perfect program for me :). I hope you all feel the same way!
  10. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    I couldn't get over how friendly people are in WV. I have a good friend out there and whenever I go to visit it is the Bizzaro Miami. Everyone is super nice, not much cursing, clean streets, and more of "middle america".

    -t
  11. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    RD - first, breathe;) It'll be okay.
    Can you double-check the contact information of your landlady with the student/current tenant? Maybe she can vouch for how difficult/easy it is to get ahold of her, or would be willing to push the lady into giving you a call. It really sucks that you're having such a hard time getting ahold of her.

    And there's PLENTY of time for school stress once you get there, don't worry:) I'm....twitchy about a few things already. Not distraught yet (I have to build up to that;) ), but definitely twitchy.

    4 days isn't really that bad to get all those things done, I expect you will be fine. Just be sure to look up where DMVs are in advance since you may not have internet when you get there (I speak from experience....).
  12. paramour

    paramour

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    Damn, I feel so behind now. :oops:

    I'm still at home (old location) teaching a class and working at the med center. I WILL get around to moving (to new location) this weekend though--and hope that I have some time in there to get my students' final grades processed & submitted. They might be irked with me if I don't.

    Makes me wonder how many of my fellow first years are already there. I suspect more than not since we start having orientations & meetings next week. As usual, I wait 'til the last darned minute to do it all. :cool:
  13. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    You guys are way more on the ball with the DMV stuff. I think I went a good year before I finally got my FL license (long story). :laugh: I did have a debacle with registering my car and getting plates....once I started it took 4+ months (not kidding). Evidently my leasing company (Nissan/Infinity) lost my title amongst other things...so it took forever to get the paperwork to match my stuff. Lesson learned.....if you have other things, do them...because procrastination is a way of life!

    -t
  14. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    I think us being on top of the DMV stuff may come from being in a funded public university.

    I can't speak for others but if I don't get my FL license before I start classes, it means I don't get a tuition waiver next year (they will only pay 1 year out-of-state tuition, after that they only cover you if you are in-state).

    I'm normally all about the procrastinating, but I'm much less likely to procrastinate something that will cost me many thousands of dollars.
  15. RayneeDeigh

    RayneeDeigh

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    :laugh: Okay, now I'm breathing. Feels much better!

    The landlady always replies to my emails and basically says "I'll let you know when I know". I've been holding off bugging her for a billionth time, but now that the current tenant has given me the day that the place will be free, perhaps I should email the landlady and let her know that the information did in fact make its way to me. I'm trying to be polite about everything but I just feel so much better when I'm kept in the loop about things like this. lol

    Well at least we can freak out about school things with each other this year, as I'm sure I will definitely have a meltdown at least halfway into October. :D

    Luckily my dad went to vet school at my school so he remembers where everything is which is nice and convenient.

    I'm just nervous 'cause I'm a naive 21 year old who has always lived with her excessively generous mother. It's gonna be a bit of a shock to be on my own, that's for sure. Luckily I'm distracting myself from this and the moving-in date stress by spraypainting all my furniture bright neon colours. My apartment's gonna look like a drug-induced hallucination.
  16. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    Don't worry....you can come here and entertain us! I know I'll be looking for a break (like now), since I'm juggling getting my last big hurdle out of the way (oral/written comp exam), sorting through internship sites (I found an AWESOME placement...now I just need to get it), adding another side job in therapy/assessment since I have some free time this fall, and trying to schedule a pharma rotation....oh joy!!

    Not to worry you...but enjoy your 1st year as much as possible, because it only gets busier!

    -t
  17. RayneeDeigh

    RayneeDeigh

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    I was thinking like that too until I talked to my future advisor and some students and they said that this particular program makes the first year very intensive so that by the time you're doing a lot of research in later years, you've done your courses. I'm worried about fitting in TA work while doing so many courses this year, but I've been told that if I can get past first year at this school, the subsequent years will be more relaxed.

    So I just have to be superhuman for 8 months. :laugh:
  18. blindblonde

    blindblonde U.S. citizen, Dutch Ph.D

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    Good post Ollie! As others had said, I was wondering how people were doing as well.

    I'm still chilling at home for now, dealing with moving prep and such. I finally sent off my forms for school, although the health forms were being annoying with one delay after another. Anyways, I move to Winston-Salem in a week and a half and classes start at the end of the month. It is kinda on the late side, and I'll have a good week to settle in.

    Good luck everyone!
  19. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    Makes sense. Attrition seems highest in the first year for most programs, and then tails off to nil after that.

    -t
  20. JockNerd

    JockNerd

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    I haven't moved yet either. Leaving on Sunday. It'll be a nice drive, from Canada to Florida....
  21. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    No need to rush, it has been WICKED humid down here. Don't worry though, there will be PLENTY of Summer II left for you when you get here!

    -t
  22. RayneeDeigh

    RayneeDeigh

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    I still can't believe you'll be gone so soon. I'm so used to being in the same city as you. :laugh:

    It looks like I'll be one of the last to move. Ironic since I was one of the last to get an acceptance, haha. Story of my life! :cool:
  23. JockNerd

    JockNerd

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    Oh, oh, and I'm getting a scooter! Yay! Can't freakin wait to go puttering around town in a lil 49cc scooter! My parents are selling my car in Canada and transferring the money from it to me, so I'll be able to buy a beaut!

    ...even though when I was down for my interview I saw 50 hummers and 0 Smart Cars. Seriously, do they even SELL Smart Cars in the US??

    Not looking forward to the first few days without my cat or my bf, though :(

    I've been in constant contact with my prof this summer, and I hope that once I get down I can get on research asap.... have to publish publish publish!
  24. Markro311

    Markro311

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    I'm moving to Chicago on Wednesday. I can't wait. :) I'll have about three and a half weeks before classes get started, so I'll have some nice time to settle in a bit and get to know the city. And do all the fun stuff like get a parking permit, IL driver's license, find/join a gym, set up a new bank account, etc. Woo.
  25. Quynh2007

    Quynh2007 the oracle of destiny

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    thank god my advisor saw it fitting to only make me an RA and give the TA position to his older student.

    i've been living in a green city for the past 4 years and always walked/bussed. couldn't even bring myself to buy a car so I settled for a good bike since I live practically across the street from my classes and office (in fact, i can pick up my school's wireless! saves me a lot of $$ in internet bill :D)
  26. Ollie123

    Ollie123

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    eh its not too bad. I'm about 30 minutes from Canada and I made it down here:)
  27. blindblonde

    blindblonde U.S. citizen, Dutch Ph.D

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    ha...good luck. The first time I saw a smart car was when I traveled to France. However, the U.S. is slowly turning to more eco-friendly cars, and I have heard of places considering selling smart cars. I'm sure if you look for them, you could find them. However, a nice scooter works, too. ;D

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