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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » In less than a month, I'm moving to Nebraska

   
Author Topic: In less than a month, I'm moving to Nebraska
Lyrhawn
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Lincoln, Nebraska, to be exact. I posted here a few months ago that I got a full ride to their MA program for history, and now I'm less than 30 days from actually making the big move.

I have to say, it all just sort of hit me a few days ago. Earlier this week I flew into Lincoln to get a tour, look around, find an apartment, and meet some people. Before the trip, I was getting pretty nervous. I went to a commuter school for undergrad, so I was never very far away from family and friends, so moving across the country to a school where I really don't know anyone and don't have a support system is a new experience for me. Despite the fact that I just turned 27, I don't quite feel 27, and moving away was making me a little leery.

But I'm happy to say that as the move date draws closer, I'm getting more excited, and less spooked. I have an apartment now, which ended up being in a great location (though, perhaps not the best neighborhood...I'm still waiting to see how that works out), for a great price, and was recently remodeled, so I feel like I got a good deal. I'm actually pretty excited now to make the big move, meet my fellow first year MAs, and get into classes. I really like what I saw of Lincoln. I've never really lived in a big college town like this before, but, it really didn't seem overwhelming. We'll see how I feel when it's not summer and all the actual students are there.

If anyone has any advice on surviving the first couple months of a new grad school program, or surviving your first few weeks away from everyone you've ever known, feel free to share advice and anecdotes. I keep telling myself that even if things don't work out, it's only for two years and then on to the next thing in my life. This is really just a blip on the radar, and I'm determined to do my best to enjoy it.

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rivka
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Advice: Post lots here. [Big Grin]

You'll do great. [Smile]

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Samprimary
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Aaah, it's like a thread that is trying to get me to be the wettest blanket.

Good luck on your educational track, I'm sure nebraska won't be .. uh, it won't be that nebraska. Well, I hope, anyway.

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Bella Bee
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quote:
I just turned 27, I don't quite feel 27
Tell me about it. I have the same problem, and no way am I ready to be 27.

As for leaving friends and family - try to spend lots of time on the phone (or better and cheaper - Skype). Do lots of video calling and chat as much as you and they can stand.

The hardest part for me (I emigrated to a different country nearly 2 years ago) is that you miss out on how people and places change. If something big happens, get people to send lots of photos - it helps with the difference-shock when you go back.

I have no idea if this would be a problem in Nebraska, but if there's something you can't get, like particular kinds of food or whatever, try to get someone to send it to you. It'll make you feel more at home.

Try to keep funds available for travel for weddings and funerals and events like that. Missing a bunch of those (2 weddings and 2 funerals so far!) has been the hardest part for me (I couldn't get the time off work).

Enjoy your MA!

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Teshi
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I moved continents by myself last year (re-emigrated, actually, so it wasn't as dramatic as it could have been), but I had lived away from home for quite a few years.

For me, knowing that I would be going home at Christmas, if just for a visit, made a big difference. Plan your first visit trip now so you have an exact date when you will see your loved ones again.

I agree with Bella that people having their lives without you, even if you're involved via Facebook or Skype, is hard.

I think being very, very busy has helped me. I was working within a week of arriving in the country and I've been working flat out since. It also helped that I wanted to see as much as the country as possible while I was here, so I went to all the tourist sites in order to become acquainted rather than view my time here as a kind of purgatory. I think the worst thing you can do is focus on moving as away as exile. Instead, think of it as an adventure after which you may (or may not) return to your former home as a better, richer, more experienced person.

No adventurer is ever considered poorer for having gone on an adventure away from home, except certain Hobbits.

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Wingracer
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I spent a week in Lincoln about 2 years back. I kinda liked it. I've been just about everywhere in the lower 48 and you could do a LOT worse.
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MrSquicky
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MrsSquicky is a Nebraska-Lincoln alum and her brother lives in Lincoln now. I asked her if she'd be willing to give you some advice and she'd be happy to. If you email through here, I can set that up, if you're interested.
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MrSquicky
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I traveled a lot and one thing I've found is one of the best ways to make friends (and pick up women) is to join social sports leagues wherever your are, as long as you're at least semi into playing sports.
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Xavier
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Welcome to Nebraska [Smile] .

Niki (Valentine014) and I live in Omaha. Maybe we should have lunch sometime.

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Strider
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I traveled a lot and one thing I've found is one of the best ways to make friends (and pick up women) is to join social sports leagues wherever your are, as long as you're at least semi into playing sports.

This is good advice. But it's not just limited to sports. Getting involved in other local organizations of interest is just as useful (and fulfilling). I've made many friends, as well as gone out on dates, with people I've met volunteering or from being involved with activist, social, or community organizations. It's just a matter of finding out the kinds of things that go on in your area.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
I have an apartment now, which ended up being in a great location (though, perhaps not the best neighborhood...I'm still waiting to see how that works out)...
Once you arrive, buy a key chain size pepper spray, and put it on your key chain. Pepper spray can completely remove a threat without training, weapons, or even a real chance of permanent damage, it is effective on dogs (extra effective actually) and if it is taken away from you and used against you, it is again, non lethal. The main thing you gain by having it is that you don't have to worry, and can walk your neighborhood with the confidence of knowing you can defend yourself.

The reason I say to buy it once you arrive is, you don't want to have it on your person when dealing with airport security, nor do you want it in your luggage, as not all luggage compartments are pressurized (as far as I know) and you don't want the little can to explode.

As to meeting people, I agree with MrSquicky and Strider, the best way is when you have a common activity. I personally prefer a local book club (check the nearest library or big book store) or if you have your nerd credentials, table top role playing games (check your nearest gaming store for a bulletin board).

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Valentine014
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A little late to the thread, but yes! We would love to have lunch with you! Let us know when you get settled!

-Niki

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Carrie
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I moved halfway across the country (WI -> AZ) for my first Masters program, and at the tender age of 21. It was disconcerting for me at first, mostly because of the drastic change in climate - Wisconsin isn't exactly known for its deserts, nor Arizona for its lush forests. I was helped, though, by the fact that while my family and I get along, we don't need to see each other. In fact, if we're in the same area for more than 48 hours, it's probably better that we not see each other. For me, phone calls and emails were more than enough to get me over missing home.

Well, that, and a healthy and active UW alumni group in the area. Finding people from the same roots is immensely helpful - I'm not sure I'd be nearly as happy here in NC without the Packers viewing group. Especially in big university towns, many people aren't locals. Seek out the ones from your neck of the woods, and it can be a refuge from the Jersey crazies. [Smile]

(PS - Good luck!)

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Tstorm
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I know a few people in Lincoln, Nebraska. It's a nice college town, and so far, I've enjoyed every visit there. We'll have to get in touch sometime.
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El JT de Spang
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There's nowhere in Nebraska anyone would want to live, except for Lincoln. So congrats!
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Xavier
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JT, have you been to Omaha?
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El JT de Spang
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Right! And Omaha. Forgot all about it. [Smile]
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aspectre
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"If anyone has any advice on...surviving your first few weeks away from everyone you've ever known, feel free to share advice and anecdotes"

Make a new friend, WarrenBuffet is looking for a successor.

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El JT de Spang
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FWIW, I have moving somewhere where you don't know a soul down to a science at this point. If you're not already working and in school, find a club or activity you can do. For me it ranges from D&D to Ultimate Frisbee to trivia nights at bars to hiking groups to Improv, etc. If you're already in school and working, you have a pretty large pool of potential new friends to begin with. And probably not a lot of free time.
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Xavier
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quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
Right! And Omaha. Forgot all about it. [Smile]

Damn straight!

And dammit, Phil! If you don't start logging out of my laptop, I will continue to post as you and start some hug threads under your screenname.

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rivka
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[Laugh]

Doo eet!

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Itsame
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I quite liked Lincoln based on a lunch I had while passing through. Do you know what classes you're taking?
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Lyrhawn
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Hey all. Started my big trip today. Made it to Iowa City, IA tonight. Few more hours tomorrow afternoon and ill be in Lincoln. Will be more or less camping in my apartment until Tuesday when the moving van arrives. Man that was a grueling drive today.

Leaving was actually harder than I thought it would be because I recently started dating someone, even though I swore I wouldn't do that for precisely this reason. Figures, I haven't dated anyone in quite awhile, and something finally clicks right before I leave the time zone.

Once I get settled in and my parents take off for home I'll inspect some of the meeting and advice offers I've seen here. Thanks for all your support, you guys, you continue to be my virtual home away from home.

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Parkour
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"It is better to have loved and Nebraskaed"...
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Tstorm
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We're close enough to Nebraska that some people call it 'God's Country'. Obviously, they're from Nebraska, and I only wish I were kidding.

Tell me what you think of their capitol building, Lyrhawn. Personally, when I first saw it, I thought Freud might have some insightful comments about it... [Smile]

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theresa51282
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I found grad school an easy place to make friends and I am by no means an outgoing person. The classes are small enough and the same people are in the classes that it is almost impossible to not become a social group.
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talsmitde
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Late arriving at this thread, but some advice for surviving your first semester in a grad program in history:

Book titles come at you fast and furious. A week in, I started making a list of all the books people mentioned in their comments. Each time it got mentioned again, I circled it. That gave me a good indication of what I needed to read/skim.

Second-year MA and PhD students seem ridiculously smart. They're not. At least, not that much smarter than you, they're just one year more experienced at grad school. You'll be able to contribute on equal footing sooner than you think, and they also felt like they were drowning their first semester.

Finally, I wholeheartedly endorse getting involved in something outside of the department, whether it be a sports league, a church, a service organization, a political campaign, what-have-you. It's very nice to know people in town who aren't other academic historians.

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Black Fox
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Hey Lyrhawn, what is your specialization in history? I would be going the history route for grad school, but I will be headed off to law school. I am kind of a law junkie, which would be okay if the legal market wasn't so terrible at the moment. Plus, I'm sure you know that if your goal is to get a PHD you need to start working on your second and third languages in your specialization area.
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dkw
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quote:
Plus, I'm sure you know that if your goal is to get a PHD you need to start working on your second and third languages in your specialization area.
THIS!

If you can get your language exams out of the way early, even if your school doesn't require they be done until you're ready to submit your proposal, you will free up a ton of time for other things.

Also, I'm sorry we're not in Council Bluffs anymore so we could meet you.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Black Fox:
Hey Lyrhawn, what is your specialization in history? I would be going the history route for grad school, but I will be headed off to law school. I am kind of a law junkie, which would be okay if the legal market wasn't so terrible at the moment. Plus, I'm sure you know that if your goal is to get a PHD you need to start working on your second and third languages in your specialization area.

20th century African-American history is my specialization. That might change, but it wouldn't go far afield, and regardless I'll always be an Americanist. They're only going to require that a second, not a third language, so I need to bone up on my French, since the language doesn't really matter a great deal for an Americanist. I'm going to try to reteach myself up to proficiency, but I'm not sure what level of fluency you need. I've always been told that you just sort of need to be able to translate a couple passages with a Whatever-to-English dictionary next to you in a certain amount of time.
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dkw
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Some schools have standardized language requirements for all humanities PhDs regardless of relevance to your specialty, so be sure to check the requirements for the schools you intend to apply to.

Also find out if they allow you to use an online dictionary instead of a paper one and practice translating with it. Speed is crucial. (Which is idiotic, since it's not at all crucial in anything you'd actually use the language for in your research, but there you go.)

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Dr Strangelove
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*sigh* Lyr... you're sure there's no way I can convince you to be a Europeanist? We're just so cool... [Razz]

Seriously though, it's awesome that you're getting settled and ready to dive in. I'm in the midst of comps prep, so I'm a bit overwhelmed by the crazyness of grad school right now. But once its over I'm off to Europe for research and dissertating (did I mention how awesome being a Europeanist is?), so the payoff is near.

Oh, and at my school they just made me translate a passage about Leibniz and Descartes. Which was surprisingly difficult, all things considered. But I think I only studied for a couple of weeks before and did fine.

I wish you the best though, and maybe we can catch each other at some AHA meeting in the future.

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Lyrhawn
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Yeah, the travel is the only thing you'll get me with. Justifying a trip to Europe as an Af-Am specialist is pretty difficult, though, not impossible if you're creative. [Smile]

I'll be doing some inquiry on the language test to see what they want from me. Hopefully a month of GRE-style cramming will get me through it. I still remember most of my conversational French, which is probably the trickier part to get down, my vocab just needs a lot of work.

I'm a mix of excited and anxious at the moment. I went in today to sign some papers for my TAship, got the key to my office (that I share with two others), saw my mail box, etc. It was all pretty surreal. I feel like I'm supposed to know all these things about being a grad student and being a TA, and I feel like I don't know anything right now. I'm a little confused as to when I was supposed to learn all these things. I'm praying that all the other incoming grad students are just as lost, and we can figure it out together.

Oddly though, the thing I'm worried about the least is the actual coursework. I'm expecting it to be time consuming, and challenging, but I'm looking forward to that. That's always been a mix of grueling and fun for me.

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scifibum
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quote:
I feel like I'm supposed to know all these things about being a grad student and being a TA, and I feel like I don't know anything right now. I'm a little confused as to when I was supposed to learn all these things. I'm praying that all the other incoming grad students are just as lost, and we can figure it out together.
I'm pretty sure the detailed instructions have been on display in the You Need This Information Annex of Building Q, for, like, the last six months. You didn't read them, did you? [Frown]

Well then...I guess all I can say is, uh, good luck.

[Wink]

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