Its time to start Dental School – goodbye Buffalo, hello Phoenix! I have finally moved to the southwest for the start of the biggest chapter in my life thus far, and it has been absolutely incredible. The big new adventure is chronicled below!
Everyone said it: “your gap year is going to go by so fast, enjoy this time”. And obviously, they were right. Exactly one year ago I moved from Pittsburgh, PA, where I had just graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, back to my hometown of Buffalo, NY. I remember thinking, “what the heck am I going to do this whole year, and how am I going to survive living back home with my parents, in a city I really dislike..” (don’t worry guys, I love my parents but I just didn’t want to be told to clean my room, and what to eat, and what time to get up!). And then, *POOF*, the year came and went. And surprise, surprise, I survived! To find out what I did during my entire year, check out my post here: The Gap Year.
One thought you would have never found floating around in my buzzing brain back in June 2016, was how sad I would be leaving home to move to dental school. I laid on the floor of my room the night before I left, having a sleepover with my dog Logan, and I could not have been more nervous. I knew I would miss my family SO much because of the precious and lengthy amount of time we got to spend together. It was heart warming having them to come home to, and having them as a support system through my application cycle. Most of my nerves, however, had come from having to leave my Pug; because he’s and older dog and the veterinarian told us he doesn’t have much time left due to an illness, I don’t know if i’ll ever get to see him again, and that makes me sick to my stomach to think about.
But, we beat on, as Fitzgerald would say. I felt the nerves finally melt away as I saw the red mountains as we reached our final decent into Phoenix Sky Harbor. As I turned my phone off of airplane mode I was bombarded with text messages, asking how hot it was. Phoenix gets into the 100’s in the summer, with little to no humidity – an extremely dry climate that I hadn’t really felt before. On top of that, I ended up moving at a time where the city was experiencing a record breaking heat wave! I read the news the night before about how it was literally too hot for planes to fly and dogs to walk. I even thought about taking extreme precautions, such as packing oven mittens in my carry on to touch things that might be burning hot, like car door handles. Ha!
^(This is not me.)
My mom and I trotted through the airport down to baggage claim to pick up my 4 gigantic suit cases. We went outside, grabbed a quick Uber, hounded the driver with questions about the city, the area I was living, and the weather. It was then I realized that I had felt the apparent scorching heat of Arizona, and it was not bad at ALL! Its hot, don’t get me wrong, but now I know why people always say, “psh, it’s a dry heat, its fine”. It was 108 degrees at 11 AM, and I had not felt the slightest bit uncomfortable by it. I was not one bit sweaty or sticky either; the sweat instantly evaporates off of your body which apparently means you need to keep even more hydrated. My mom, on the other hand, grew up in hot, humid, and polluted India. She said when you add humidity to high temps, heat becomes “hellish”, and this to her was heaven. Humidity ruins lives. OK mom, I don’t know if I would say its heaven, but it was definitely easy to handle. If this is the worst of Arizona, I never want to leave! Anyone need anything from my surplus of snow shovels, snow brushes, and winter clothing? I’m all about the sun, surrounding mountains, and palm trees now.
My apartment complex, which exceeded all of my expectations, helped me get rid of those last jitters and be in full fledged excitement mode. I mean, how could it not?!
My car was shipped from Buffalo to Phoenix through shipyourcarnow.com. I had a great experience with this company; there were no hidden fees, free cancellation if needed, it was very professional, and my car was delivered in two days instead of the estimated seven! I was allowed to put items in my car as well, so I stuffed that thing up.
It took my mom and I two days to unpack and set up most of my apartment (besides the common areas shared with my room mate – who moves in a week later). Between unloading and unpacking everything I had brought, furniture deliveries, shopping for more essentials and household items… we found time to enjoy the apartment pool and check out the area around where I was living. We also visited my dental school, The Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, and indulged in some Phoenix eats!
On my mom’s last day here with me, all of our errands were complete; we used the day to relax and sight see:
Desert Botanical Gardens:
Sikh Gurdwara (Temple)
Old Town Scottsdale
Even though I already miss home, my family, my dog… I have been anticipating this chapter of my life for as long as I can remember, and I feel so wholeheartedly thankful to be able to live out my dream. Now that it is finally here, I can’t wait to savor every part of it – the rollercoaster ups and downs of school itself, the new city, and new friendships. ❤