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Ok, so I'm here, Now what?


sunshine6
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I've been wondering the same thing. I've explored the campus, well, at least the departments and facilities I'll be using most; explored the town, read until my eyes blurred over, and now I'm bored to death. I'm also tight on cash so that limits my options for entertainment as well. I have discovered Fancast so I'm able to watch television on my laptop until I can buy a new tv.

Any other suggestions? :)

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I've been wondering the same thing. I've explored the campus, well, at least the departments and facilities I'll be using most; explored the town, read until my eyes blurred over, and now I'm bored to death. I'm also tight on cash so that limits my options for entertainment as well. I have discovered Fancast so I'm able to watch television on my laptop until I can buy a new tv.

Any other suggestions? :)

Hulu is greatness.

Find library and read for fun.

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Pick a random number, find the corresponding bus route, and see where it takes you.

Write a journal about the last year, the transition, your choice, and why you want to be in grad school. You can re-read it when you can't remember what the hell you're doing there any more.

Find the library, figure out if they have any incredibly beautiful rare books in special collections that you can at least tangentially connect to your research, and spend a blissful afternoon in a reading room.

If you already have a student card, check out the pool/gym while the lines are still short.

Google "Historical Walking Tour of [your city]" and see if there are any online maps/booklets.

Call family and old friends. Send long e-mails to someone you've been meaning to get back in touch with.

Check out all of the grocery stores near you, then once you've found the cheapest/best, make yourself the most satisfying meal you can afford.

Scroll through the local radio dial and find a good station.

See, I can be all whimsical when it comes to suggestions for other people, but I know that my time between moving and school starting will look more like:

Play Rock Band.

Entertain the cats.

Think about painting.

More Rock Band.

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I've been reading like crazy, for fun and for research. I've found a great local coffee shop with comfy chairs to hang out in and I've ridden the bus around town. I'm getting out and walking around (even though I have a car), but I'm still having a hard time meeting new people. I'm doing my best to enjoy this down time; I'm sure I'll be wishing for some when the semester starts.

And I discovered Hulu today. Dacey you are correct, it is greatness.

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Also check around for forums for your respective school/program. If you're a sports fan, I can almost guarantee there is a forum out there somewhere. You'd be surprised the connections you'll make that way, too.

Don't rule out MeetUp.com and Yahoo Groups to find people in the area who have the same interests. I've joined two groups on MeetUp and one on Yahoo already. My husband and I went out to a local pub last night for a Yahoo Group event. While we never found the group, we fell in love with the pub and visited with the bartender quite a bit.

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Pick a random number, find the corresponding bus route, and see where it takes you.

Write a journal about the last year, the transition, your choice, and why you want to be in grad school. You can re-read it when you can't remember what the hell you're doing there any more.

Find the library, figure out if they have any incredibly beautiful rare books in special collections that you can at least tangentially connect to your research, and spend a blissful afternoon in a reading room.

If you already have a student card, check out the pool/gym while the lines are still short.

Google "Historical Walking Tour of [your city]" and see if there are any online maps/booklets.

Call family and old friends. Send long e-mails to someone you've been meaning to get back in touch with.

Check out all of the grocery stores near you, then once you've found the cheapest/best, make yourself the most satisfying meal you can afford.

Scroll through the local radio dial and find a good station.

See, I can be all whimsical when it comes to suggestions for other people, but I know that my time between moving and school starting will look more like:

Play Rock Band.

Entertain the cats.

Think about painting.

More Rock Band.

Wow! This is great...I know I didn't post this thread but these are great tips!

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Explore the local cemeteries?

Call up a philanthropic organization in the community, such as a soup kitchen, and sign up to volunteer for one day?

At one point in time, someone somewhere else on here posted http://instructables.com.

http://SurfTheChannel.com is good, too. (I highly recommend Dollhouse, for those who haven't seen it. It's Joss Whedon's latest brainchild.)

Do you blog? Start one about your grad school experience?

Can you contact your professors and purchase your books online in advance (and usually for a LOT cheaper!)?

OH OH and http://phdcomics.com. Webcomic about grad students at Stanford -- there are years of archived strips to wade through for hours. Entertaining to no end, and depressingly true to life (or so I've heard -- ask me again in about 3 months?). Plus, the phorum is a WONDERFUL way to P(rocrastinate)!

(I really like the idea someone posted about journaling now and using it later to re-motivate yourself/not drop out of grad school.)

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This could be your last opportunity to do so until you're tenured. Take advantage!

I'd say anyone who seriously has no time to read for fun from when they start graduate school to when they are tenured (or even just in graduate school) has some time management issues. It is one thing if you no longer feel like reading for fun because you have so much academic reading. However, if you want to read for fun and don't have time, that is a problem. If reading for fun is something that helps you relax, find time for it. I find that reading non-academic books before bed helps me relax.

Anyway, on the topic of the post, you've been given lots of good suggestions, I'd agree with most of them. Good luck finding things to do until the semester starts.

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Along the lines of pleasure reading, someone somewhere else on here suggested "Getting What You Came For" by Robert Peters. It's essentially one of those "how to survive and succeed in grad school" books. If you're like me and have a proclivity to obsess over things, it might be of interest. I've only read a portion but intend to seek it out when I arrive at my new home tomorrow.

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This is exactly why I avoided moving until the last minute and the one week before my department's orientation is already looking like it's going to consist of "sooo, what do I do now?" My mother has suggested, repeatedly, "clean. Aren't you going to have to clean?!!!" Apparently the process of sanitizing my already rather clean apartment takes days. Who knew?

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This is exactly why I avoided moving until the last minute and the one week before my department's orientation is already looking like it's going to consist of "sooo, what do I do now?" My mother has suggested, repeatedly, "clean. Aren't you going to have to clean?!!!" Apparently the process of sanitizing my already rather clean apartment takes days. Who knew?

I've cleaned my new apartment because moving made it look like a bomb went off.

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I would suggest meeting random people who don't go to school in the town. Seeing if there are any clubs/sport leagues you want to join. Explore the local wine or beer world, if you're into that. Work on hobbies (man, I wish I had time to work my bike :()

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Explore the local wine or beer world, if you're into that.

Oohhhh... yes! When my husband and I went to my PhD city for a condo hunt, we would duck into liquor stores whenever we had time to check out their beer selection. There are a lot of local/regional microbrews that we absolutely love in our current city, and are sad to leave behind. We can't end up drinking Coors Lite (With God as my witness, I will nevah drink Coors again!). Luckily a friend of ours told us about a maaaagical beer store with five hundred different kinds of beer that's hidden in an odd part of town. We will certainly be making a pilgrimage early on, and sampling the local wares.

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Excellent point! We found a local brewery here and I went on the tour with some friends who visited last week. For a whopping $10, I couldn't drink all my samples! Definitely going back.

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I experienced the same thing when I moved for undergrad, and the school was not in a college town so there weren't too many other bored kids about to start school around. I suggest if you want to get out and find social local activites in your community that you try meetup.com. It is great for finding people that are intersted in the same things you are, and the activities range from free, to concerts and the like, to vacations. There are a lot of "Urban Adventure" groups that already know the town and will give you a group of people to explore around with.

Also, yeah.. reading.. but won't you be doing enough of that soon? ;-)

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Dawn of War II certainly ate up quite a bit of my summer. So did Overlord II. How did I get anything done!?

We're giving away our TV to a friend and won't be able to afford the shiny flat screen we want until our moving costs settle down, or I'd be cleaning up the last few sets on Rock Band in preparation for Beatles Rock Band. Once we have a TV, though... watch out! I spent the first term of my MA playing an hour or two of Guitar Hero a day. I have no I idea why I don't have a semester of Bs to show for it.

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