Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Orientation & the DRC

I got back from orientation a few hours ago and I am absolutely exhausted. I had so much fun, but there was so much to do, so I am inevitably ready to sleep for 12 hours and I already took a nap on the car ride home. Needless to say, so much happened at orientation that I couldn't talk about it all, but I'll try my best to talk about as much as possible!

Day 0: (aka the day before orientation)
My dad and I took the 1 1/2 hour drive to UGA from our house because I had an intake appointment for the Disability Resource Center. (Which will now be referred to as the DRC because 3 letters is easier to type than 24. And I'm a little lazy.) I never had a 504 plan in high school, so having to get all of the paperwork from my endocrinologist and knowing what to ask for, accommodation-wise, was a little strange. At the Dawgs for Diabetes campus tour I went to last November, it was recommended that all diabetics going to college get involved with their campus disability resource center, since they can do a number of things to help out diabetics on campus. This includes writing letters of introduction to professors, so they know you are diabetic and also so they can list out the accommodations requested. I asked to be able to have food and water in class. (In case I have a few professors that don't usually allow any in their classrooms.) I'm also asking to have the ability to move test days/ have more time on tests in case my blood sugar suddenly drops or my blood sugar has been running high all day, since my ability to concentrate on anything decreases when my blood sugar is super crazy. (Side note: I don't plan on abusing that just because I haven't studied for a test. Even though I'm sure it may be tempting at some points...)

At my meeting, my dad and I met my disability coordinator. She's the person in charge of making sure I receive all of my accommodations and is the person I can call whenever I'm having any issues related to my diabetes and doing things on campus. She was really nice and we went through my medical history, my previous accommodations in high school, (aka none) and talked about teacher letters. She said that those might be emailed to teachers, but I might also have to take them to my professors myself, which I don't mind, since I plan on introducing myself to teachers anyways. She also gave me some tips about the gym; apparently, bags aren't allowed in the actual gym, so if I ever have issues bringing my blood tester or supplies in, I can give her a call and that should be cleared up. My meeting lasted around 20 minutes and was pretty to the point, which I can always appreciate.

We spent the rest of the day going to the music school to ask about the cost of private music lessons, since I'll be continuing viola lessons at the university. After that, we went to Target to get a shower caddy and sheets, since I was going to stay in the dorms for the night. Then, we headed back to the hotel and I worked on doing my alcohol and sexual assault online education courses that I'm pretty sure all colleges require now. (That's an hour and a half of my life that I'll never get back.) During the marathon of online courses, my mom called to let me know that my CGMs had been shipped (finally) and, needless to say, I was happy about that. We ate dinner at Taziki's Cafe, which has yummy Mediterranean food. (I recommend the grilled veggie gyro; it was delicious.) Of course, we had to go visit Insomnia Cookies for dessert. Everyone in Athens is obsessed with their cookies (probably because they deliver until 3 AM) and I got a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup cookie, which was so good (and probably definitely had tons of carbs).

Cue my obligatory Athens photo at the MLC: (I took this same photo last time I went to Athens.)

A photo posted by Sarah (@sarahspillerr) on

Day 1: (aka day one of orientation)
We had to be at the residence hall I was staying in for the night at 7:30, so I could move in and leave all of my stuff in my room. I was on the ninth floor and let me just say, I'm very thankful that I'm only on third floor in my actual dorm. After this, orientation began. Cue 20 million different panels/ meetings that included introductions to orientation leaders, talking about life at UGA, learning about the specific college your major is part of, and how alcohol inherently leads to anything and everything bad that ever happens on campus. As I was leaving the music major room to ask a few questions about minoring in music, a mom stopped me to ask if I had a pump and we talked about how her younger daughter was diabetic. She asked about what I was doing diabetes-wise to prepare for college and asked if my roommate knew about my diabetes. We talked for 5 or 10 minutes while my dad and my friend played Pokemon Go. (I refuse to play it.)

Later that day, I ended up getting on a bus super late and made some remark about how holding on to the straps on the ceiling of the bus would be fun, since I'm super short. A guy offered his seat to me, since he was way taller than me (which was very nice of him). I sat down and had to cover the lunch I just ate and got into a conversation with his mother about diabetes and endocrinologists. She told me that if I'm looking for a new endo, she recommends SEED, since she goes there. (That's two diabetes encounters in one day... I couldn't believe it.)

My friends and I had dinner made by the dining hall and let's just say that the veggie burgers, cupcakes, and everything else there was definitely a food highlight. I got back to my room after going to the resources fair, where I talked to a few people at the College Diabetes Network Booth and a ton of other organizations. This is also the point when I walked up nine flights of stairs to get to my dorm. #notfun I also found out that community bathrooms are not as bad as I thought they were and then I proceeded to go to bed because all of this in one day was absolutely exhausting.

Day 2: (aka the final day of orientation)
My roommate and I woke up late (as usual) and rushed to get to breakfast. Thankfully, we were only five or ten minutes late. I went to more sessions about how alcohol is bad. (Do you see a reoccurring theme here?) There were sessions about Greek Life and then I had my advising meeting, so I could start registering for classes. There were a few chemistry related class crises, but those were thankfully fixed. My dad and I also managed to lock the keys to our car in the trunk in the midst of all of this and having to break into the car to get those was definitely interesting. After all of this, we could finally head home. Orientation was super fun, but so tiring, so I was glad to be home.

Hopefully you guys didn't mind the word dump, but I wanted to share as much information about the DRC/ orientation as possible. Also a reminder for anyone going to orientation: make sure to bring snacks/ low supplies for nighttime because dining halls take forever to get to and I'm not sure if there are vending machines in the dorms. I forgot to bring glucose tabs, but the school gave everyone puppy chow, so luckily, I had something to eat for my annoying low that night.

If you have any questions about the DRC or orientation, feel free to comment below and ask thos or shoot me an email!

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