A Look Back: Cheers!
All good things must come to an end, right? Well I can hardly believe that two and a half months ago, I was packing my bags for two weeks in D.C. and two months abroad. Don't get me wrong -- some days it felt like I was going to be there for two years, but looking back offers an entirely new perspective.
While in D.C., we were introduced to The Washington Center staff and began the process of readying ourselves for London. We learned about arts, social cues, economics and politics. We also were given chances to go out and explore D.C. -- to orient ourselves with the workings of a major city so that once we got to London we would have the tools to be able to do the same. It is a great idea on paper, but I felt it really wasn't suited to all students. Before I transferred to SJU, I spent a year and a half at GW, which is located in the heart of D.C. Thus, for me, these activities were repetitive, as I was ready very familiar with the city, but the various requirements helped me to become closer with the members in my group.
London and D.C. are also very different cities, so I'm not too sure how much weight the parallel holds, but nonetheless it was helpful to get to know the people I would be spending most of my time with in Washington, instead of trying to learn about them and London simultaneously. The result, for me, of those two weeks was that I knew the strengths, weaknesses, similarities, differences, and affinities for all the members of our group. As is usual, some people became closer with others, and since we were all from very diverse backgrounds, many of us just remained friendly for the sake of the trip.
Regardless of our particular interests or reasons for interning abroad, we went to London at an incredible time. I got to experience, first hand, the only Diamond Jubilee of a British monarch that I'll ever (most likely) be alive to witness. I saw the city undergo major changes and prepare for the 2012 Olympic games -- and then got out before things got too hectic! I learned about London through the eyes of Londoners, and interned and learned from one of the most respected British men currently working in online publishing. I met new and different types of people, ate amazing food, saw unforgettable sights, and learned about myself as an individual.
So, to everyone reading this, I will leave you with the biggest lesson that I learned from my time abroad: go out and do what you think you cannot. Each moment holds a lesson, from the highest highs to the lowest lows, and you will always emerge stronger than when you began.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed following my adventures, from markets to the visits to other countries, as much as I have enjoyed writing about them. For the last time: Cheers!