New Graduate Students

Hello new graduate students! The GT Women in Physics group would like to welcome you to the School of Physics! We thought it would be helpful to collect some tips from current graduate students about where to eat, what to do, and some tips on getting though the first year. Here is the list:

Where to eat:

  1. Lee’s Bakery has the best pork banh mi around.
  2. Pizza: Don’t bother with Rocky Mountain; go to The Porter, The Wrecking Bar, or The Brick Store instead.
  3. Pizza: Antico’s Pizza – Expensive but delicious Italian style pizza right in Home Park near campus.
  4. Pizza: Mama Nicki’s has better pizza than Rocky Mountain and $3 pitchers
  5. Budget Friendly: Moe’s Mondays ($5 burrito), Takorea ($2 tacos on Tuesdays), Gyro Bros ($5.99 gyro, fries, and drink on weekends and weekday afternoons), Ferst Place ($8 all-you-can-eat lunch buffet)
  6. Coffee: Octane has really high quality coffee and is a pretty good study environment; Inman Perk is larger, but farther away
  7. Take advantage of the food trucks! They can have pretty unique foods (like Bento Bus’ “Surrito”-sushi/burrito) and can be pretty cheap.
  8. Get $5 Indian food from a nearby temple for lunch (call ahead) they drop off at Howey.
  9. Raku – Ramen (Japanese noodle soup) near campus. Tasty, reasonably priced, and one of the few ramen places inside the city of Atlanta.
  10. Coffee: Coffee Snobs is too expensive and the coffee isn’t too great. Instead go to Java World, it’s cheaper, the coffee is better, but it only takes cash and BuzzCard.
  11. If you have a car, Golden Buddha’s lunch special is a great deal and can be ordered to go.
  12. Sublime Donuts is near campus and has really interesting donuts. Also try the Bangkok Latte which is delicious.

Things to do:

  1. Go to the CRC to keep yourself sane.
  2. The CRC has GIT FIT (goup fitness) classes for $58/semester for any class as often as you like; they have things like Zumba, Cycling, Kickboxing, Yoga, etc.
  3. Concerts in general – Atlanta seems particularly good for hip hop, rock, and blues but just try looking up concert listings for whatever music you like and you’re sure to find something coming up.
  4. Outdoor Recreation at Georgia Tech (ORGT) – Whitewater Kayaking, Sea Kayaking, Rock Climbing, Mountainbiking, Caving, Backpacking, whether you have never done it before or whether you are on the way to become an expert, ORGT is the place to enjoy fascinating sports with great people at all skill levels. Check out the upcoming trips!
  5. Go swimming at the CRC
  6. Dragon*Con is held on Labor Day every year. Even if you don’t want to spend money on it, the parade is always free.
  7. Regal Cinema Atlantic Station always has new movies playing and you can get reduced price movie passes from the student center.
  8. Appalachian Outfitters:  Kayak and canoe trips an hour from campus.
  9. Ferst Center offers discounted tickets to local attractions including The Woodruff Center for the Arts, Six Flags, and the movies.
  10. Cypress Street Pint and Plate – right near tech square and has some very good food. The Sublime Doughnut Burger is both disgustingly delicious and they have some good Trivia every Wednesday night
  11. Join organizations! Some favorites are Gourd Visual Artists to meet other artists (traditional and digital) – learn about art, and make artworks with free supplies and free food; the Trailblazers – if you would like to go on hikes and treks and biking trips; There is also the Society of Physics Students (SPS) and Club Math.
  12. Under the Couch – a venue in the Student Center featuring free (for Tech students) concerts from campus, local, and touring acts. Also has a practice space (including drum set) for bands that you can use by joining the student club that runs the venue.
  13. The community classes are free at Onlyoga ( and are currently scheduled 12:15-1:15pm Saturdays (donations excepted) 900 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 and
  14.  Stillwater yoga (  has open practices 931 Monroe Dr.
  15. Atlanta Science Tavern:
  16. 50 cheap things to do in Atlanta:
  17. Piedmont Park holds a farmer’s market on Saturdays form 9am-1pm

Study Tips:

  1. The lower floors on the main library are often crowded. I recommend the Architecture library (closes late at night, but there’s coffee/snacks right outside!) and the library on the second floor of Howey. Klaus and Clough can get a little cold sometimes.
  2. Go to the CRC to keep yourself sane.
  3. Always start assignments as early as possible. You will frequently get stuck so it helps to have time to mull things over, or see the professor in office hours before the assignment is due.
  4. Social media is very helpful for homework/test questions and organizing get-togethers.
  5. Try to have something else to do besides physics. I think it is definitely better to spend a much needed afternoon doing something you enjoy so that you can recuperate, than it is to get an extra few points on the homework every now and then.
  6. I shouldn’t have to say this, but I have seen it happen regardless: even if it is tempting due to stress and time restraints, etc, make sure you don’t copy homework from other students/online. Not only is it not ethical, you may end up getting that good grade on the homework, but when it comes time for studying later you will think you knew how to do those problems and probably not spend as much time on them and end up realizing at test time that you did not understand the material.
  7. Spend some time studying outside of Howey every now and then. After working on problems for a long time and not being able to figure them out, a change of scenery can help.
  8. Balancing teaching and work can be a bit difficult. Make sure you know exactly when you are supposed to grade and proctor so that you can plan accordingly. If you have to grade labs and papers, make sure to keep on top of them. Schedule to do them at a time where you can’t focus on your homework or need a break from homework. It usually doesn’t take too much time or concentration but still needs to get done.


  1. Get a bike so you don’t pay $2/hour for the 16 hours/day you might be here, or ~$900 for the privilege to park when there aren’t sporting events.
  2. Be careful of cars, though. The average Atlantan is not a highly skilled driver; this skill level is seen elsewhere as well.
  3. Make sure you have an umbrella! (Especially in the summer since it rains almost every day for a little bit)

Other Useful Services:

Communications Center

If you are presenting a talk or a poster and would like to practice your presentation with good feedback (that is not technical/science related), the Georgia Tech Communications Center in Clough will listen to your talk and give you feedback for free if you schedule and appointment. They also will help with job interviews, cover letters and resumes. They even have additional services for non-native English speakers. To learn more or set up an appointment, go to:

Website Space

You can make your own website! Besides what you are limited to when you log on to the Physics GT website, you can actually get website space and design your own using html, css or whatever you use. To do this, email Jeffery Sullivan in IT and ask for a home directory and for website space. From there, you can start designing your webpage to put up teaching hours, your CV, research, etc. Then you can link it to the page that is given to you when you log into the GT Physics website.

Georgia Tech Counseling Center

If you are feeling stressed and need to talk, the counseling center in the Flag building is really helpful and totally free! They have individual, group and couple’s counseling that is really useful if you are having a particular difficult time. Different groups start up every semester the first few weeks of the semester and it is really helpful to talk to other students with similar issues. For individual counseling, try to request this service early as there can often be a waiting list. They also have references to counseling services off campus if you would prefer this, but then it is no longer free. To get more information:

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