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Messages - vkschicago

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Sorry I rambled, but one of my friends just went over there, and didn't listen to much of my advice.  He called last week saying his passport and 300 Euros were stolen in *you guessed it* Naples.  Email me if you want any specifics.  I spent 2 years running around W. Europe...

I also had my train pass, some cloths, and a phone card stolen from the Naples area.  Let my guard down because we were staying in a nice resort (for once) in Capri. 
The maid was the culprit we suspect. We did not expect that problem there, especially since we had been staying in youth hostels the rest of the time.  Just be careful.

One rule of thumb....NEVER keep important things in a backpack.  It is one of the easiest places for a pickpocket to access.  Use a moneypouch that you can wear in front, under your clothes.  You can buy thin ones just big enough for money and passport that aren't too uncomfortable.

We generally placed our backpacks across our fronts when we were in crowded areas, specifically on trains or buses.  It makes it harder for people to take things. A friend actually had her flipflops taken out of her backpack. Why? Who knows.

There are some advantages to going during down seasons, as you can guess.  We were able to get really cheap hotel rooms and hostels were generally not booked.

You can buy a Europass in the states before you leave.  When I was there (two years ago), you could not buy them there.  You can get them at most travel agencies.  There are specific ones for the continent and for the UK. 

One more note:  Beware of train and bus schedules, particularily in Italy.  They often dont run exactly on time (although that can be a problem anywhere).  Have a backup plan.  We slept in an airport, a train station, and a phone booth (dont ask) because of this. note: much of it was poor planning.

Despite what this may sound like, I loved every minute of it.  It was an experience that taught me more then I ever thought.  I actually studied in London and traveled on the weekends and during our two week vacation.  If you have any questions about London, I could talk about my experiences for hours, although I am sure that many people on this board have been there as well.

I wish I could go back :)

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Indiana U. Bloomington!
« on: February 03, 2005, 01:15:03 PM »

I applied there as well and have pretty much the same numbers.  Maybe I do stand a chance after all.

BTW, any other points about Wash. U?

Law School Admissions / Re: Give Me Your UGPA / LSAT information and...
« on: January 31, 2005, 12:59:47 PM »

Thanks :)

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Going to Paris
« on: January 28, 2005, 09:51:51 PM »
Yet another post advocating comfortable shoes.

When we were there we trudged around everywhere and my feet hurt regardless of the fact that I wore sneakers.

We also found people were much friendlier if we attempted to say at least hello or something of that nature in French.  We learned to count as well.  When we didnt try we generally got shuned, when we did we got a pretty good reaction.  We were also there in the fall of 2002 when the political situation was getting pretty rough in terms of Iraq, and even with all this going on, people did not seem to hate us. 

As for the sticking out as an American, you are going to regardless of what shoes you are wearing unless you have spent a significant time overseas and are very familiar with the culture.  We talked with several French when we were there about this, and those that we talked to said they could pick Americans out for numerous reasons, not just sneakers. We only stopped sticking out after we had been in Europe for quite some time, so wear what is comfortable and enjoy your time there.  Paris is a very interesting city. 

Law School Admissions / Re: Chiashu - Why are splits hard to predict?
« on: January 28, 2005, 06:53:49 AM »
Any comments on a 3.911/158?

Personally, I would find it hilarious (if I was in a decent mood at least).  But then again, I love snow, building snowmen, sledding, and ice skating.  I also think it says a lot about a person.  If it is going to snow, it is going to snow, and there is not a whole lot you can do about it (except complain).  Why not make the best of it and have a little fun?

Keep in mind this is an undergraduate experience, so take it with a grain of salt.

When my SO and I picked schools, we picked them for our own reasons, not for each other.  In the end, we were 2 1/2 hrs apart.  It was difficult at first, but not impossible.  We saw each other every weekend, even though it was just for one night.  Instead of falling apart that year, we actually got closer.  It can happen and 2 1/2 hrs is managable.  We did split eventually, but it was not because we went to different schools.  I would have been happy at his school (where he wanted me to transfer) but only as long as we were together.  When we split, I was glad I made my own choice.  He is still one of my very closest friends.  We still see each other every couple of weeks, so who knows what is in our future.  May I suggest there is also the ability to meet in the middle.  Find a place an hour from each of you where you can meet for dinner if you really need to see each other.  If you are supposed to be with him (i.e. true love) then he will be in your life regardless.

One more point.  Because he was two hours away, I was able to spend my time during the week making friends, keeping up my grades, and working.  Because of that, I was able to keep a high GPA which is something I probably would not have done if I had been with him every moment.  This has made my law school application much more competitive.  You never know how things are going to work out, or why they happen the way they do.  

Make your choice for you, not for him.

When my LOR came in after my reports were sent to the schools the LSDAS automatically sent out the letter in an updated report to the schools where that specific letter was directed in my file.  This included the schools who alread had the required number of letters as this letter was an extra to most of my files.  Some schools only take updated reports on Monday's though, so be aware of that.  If you notice they havent been sent out, call the LSDAS.  I had one school that didnt get an updated report and I had to call and have it sent again, but otherwise it was done automatically.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Roommate vs. living alone
« on: January 26, 2005, 06:38:18 AM »
I love living by myself, although since I went from having 5 roommates in London to living by myself in a small town in Indiana, that play a large role in my opinion.  Here it is nonetheless.

Living by yourself has many advantages, such as if you want it to be quiet, its quiet, but if you want it to be loud, its loud.  You control it and no one else.  Its nice for destressing.  If you want to leave cloths all over the house, you can and no one cares.  If you dont want to wash the dishes, you dont have to (not that I would recommend that). I had a very hefty classload and worked quiet a bit and found that the lack of roomies made time management easier.  I do live between two very good friends, so that kept me from being lonely.

There are also a lot of disadvantages.  It is very expensive.  Rent on one bedroom places tends to be very high and obviously there is no one to split it with.  It can get lonely.  If you are an easily frightened person, then I definetly wouldnt recommend it. 

I think that it all depends on your personality.  If you are someone that must have company all the time, then I would suggest a roommate.  If you are someone that likes their privacy and hates drama, then living alone may be for you.  Always keep in mind the additional expense.  I found it to be worth it to avoid all the fighting and drama that comes with roommates, but it is a personal choice.

Again, keep in mind this is all based on undergrad.

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