Well, I'm in my dorm and my computer's finally up, and I've actually managed to squeeze in some free time to return to these hallowed grounds.
I took a taxi from Midway Airport over to the loop (my family and i stayed in a hotel there for two days before orientation) and that was a beeeeeeautiful skyline approach. From my minimal experience in the loop (and north of it), it totally rocks, especially since we didn't have to rent a car to get anyplace. Although, the first day there I went all along michigan ave (magnificient mile for the unitiated), and that was the first day in my life that i've walked ~5 hours in one day. (How tired I was.)
The college itself and the surrounding neighborhood of Hyde Park is a dream. Much quieter and residential, of course, but still everything's walkable and the bus systems are clearly marked (and mapped!).
I'm not terribly fond of the surrounding south side neighborhoods, and of course all our college orientation aides are telling us to stay out of washington park at night, but i suppose it's the city.
So basically this is one huge culture shock. I don't see how I could ever return to suburbia after spending time in a city like this. (No! I never want to go back to the sunbelt!)
Although, this weather is scaring the bejeezus out of me. I went from 90 degree weather to about 60 (40 at night). I'm starting to think my winter stuff is reeeally going to be inadequate. Atleast I'll see snow.