The drive back down to Santa Barbara was awesome. I really got to enjoy Verena and test out the roof rack system with my bike on top. Despite having more stuff than I came up with, the increased space in Verena left me with plenty of visibility. Upon arriving in Santa Barbara I headed to Frank, Mark and Dave’s house whose garage would be my home for the next week.

Monday I attended a new student orientation for the Department of Computer science. I’m pretty sure I had heard most of the material already, but I was not there for the information. I was there to meet the new faces that I would likely be hanging out with for the next five years. Among the new Ph.D. students was a girl from Lebanon, a married man with two kids from South Africa and some other familiar faces.

Tuesday there was an all department TA orientation in which myself along with a few other CS students attended the breakout sessions TAing Engineering Students and Profiles of UCSB Students. The second session was rather interesting as I found the “profiles” of UCSB students to be rather accurate. Additionally it was also the first time I heard the phrase Helicopter parent, which seemed incredibly strange to me since my parents are definitely not that way, and as far as I can tell none of my friends’ parents are either. Nonetheless since I heard the phrase I’ve overheard people’s conversations with Helicopter parents and I must say it’s ridiculous how involved some parents are.

By Wednesday Scott and Adam were back and the three of us started the hunt for a place to live. We started with Sesame Tree, the place we originally planned to live, despite being told we didn’t meet their income requirement. We figured since we had plenty of income from the summer to cover expenses we could work around it. We were told us they would consider us.

Class started on Thursday and my only class was CS 594 which is a course offered by the Computer Science Department on writing and presentations. I took the course last fall, but my writing can always improve as well as my presentation skills, thus I signed up to take it again. Friday I received a call in the morning that we could live at Sesame Tree under one circumstance, paying all nine months rent up front. Given the apartment’s fair price, as well as its proximity to UCSB, we decided to pay a significant portion of our summer savings up front for nine months rent. It was by far the most money I had ever spent at once.

Friday night we were given the keys, and Saturday morning we got a U-haul to make the two trips from our storage unit to our new place. Most of the weekend was spent unpacking and settings things up, but by the end of the weekend I was fully moved into my room. Since this time I have absolutely loved my new room as it feels like an actual room, unlike the hallway-ish room I had for the last three years. Finally words cannot describe how awesome sleeping on my own bed for the first time since June was, however I can say that I was finally home.


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