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Graduate School: Applying, Living, Thesising

The Professional Student is a blog about everything grad school from the application process to my experiences living as a grad student, being a parent in grad school, and researching the role of chemistry in the evolution of our universe.

Road Trip to Grad School: Preparations are under way!

Olivia Wilkins

As soon as we finished unpacking from our year in Germany, Alex and I began preparing for a road trip to grad school. (You can follow my road trip to grad school, or RT2GS, on Twitter via #RT2GS.) Eight-and-a-half weeks, however, was not enough time. I am 15 days away from our departure date—September 3, 2016—and I am far from being packed. Between the ACS meeting in Philadelphia starting in a few days and some last minute visits with friends and family, I have a daunting task ahead of me.

Originally, we were planning on selling our Honda Pilot and flying to LAX in September, then driving our Chevy Cobalt out in December after Christmas. Somewhere along the line, we decided not to sell the SUV and that having an extra three-plus months with kitchen appliances (i.e. wedding gifts) and a car, especially with an infant, was worth making the drive twice.

Right now, we are going to try to jam a whole kitchen (minus cabinets, refrigerator, and dishes), baby clothes and toys, paintings, two desktop computers, cameras, bathroom supplies, and other entertainment things (PS4, easel, etc.) into our SUV; furniture will come from IKEA and Amazon. If we manage to do that, driving cross country will be undoubtedly feasible (even with an infant).

After we defeat the piles of boxes currently littering my parents' basement, Alex and I will pack up our Pilot and take to the road for California. We have a tentative plan for where we are going to stop, making our way via NRAO Green Bank, WV; Snowshoe, WV; St. Louis, MO (to see my friend Zev from undergrad); Oklahoma; Texas (for some good barbeque); NRAO Socorro, NM; and Arizona. For now, the goal is a six day trip, but with unplanned sightseeing and an infant to attend to, we have all the time (well until graduate orientation on September 18) in the world to get there.

Proposed route for the RT2GS