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842 miles from the front of my house to the parking lot of SCO, my family clocked it when we drove to Memphis for the housing fair this past weekend. Hello, my name is Anna and I live in Northern Michigan (not the upper peninsula, but we're close). My house is about 5 1/2 hours north of Chicago on Lake Michigan.
I attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor majoring in biology and Spanish. Having spent my entire life (except for a 4 month study abroad stint in Venezuela and various traveling experiences) in Michigan, I wanted something different and new when choosing an optometry school. I interviewed at way too many schools across the east coast and midwest and liked SCO the best. Memphis is definitely different than what I am used to, but it does have a giant body of water just like home (even if I shouldn't go swimming in this one).
So, I have just finished my second-ever trip to Memphis, first time being for my interview in January, and I am starting to feel more familiar with the area. Of course, I expect to be surprised all the time with the new culture, vernacular, and culinary delights, but it was nice to pull in and see familiar faces at SCO and to dine in delicious restaurants for the second time around (Soul Fish in Midtown made my Sunday).
I even got around the city pretty well without the GPS telling me where to turn. Riding around on the classic greyhound-style bus for the Housing Fair may have helped a bit. We toured the Downtown and Mud Island area in the morning before making our way to Cordova in the afternoon. I couldn't believe what these apartment complexes were offering for amenities. I never thought that I would be able to afford multiple pools and tennis courts on a student budget. I'm more accustomed to "college housing" at a Big Ten school where you're lucky to pay the same amount as in Memphis to share a bathroom with six other people and have to park four blocks away. I didn't sign a lease or complete an application, but I am tremendously grateful for the housing fair and now have lots of apartments to choose from for next year. I'll figure housing out, but I'm not sure if I'll ever figure out how to adjust to that heat and humidity!