Even the Good Times have to End

Even the Good Times have to End

Hold on for one second! There’s no way that this is week 10 of our internship experience in Washington, D.C. This is the end of the road for most of us at the RAF (insert sad emoticon). This weekend, we pack our bags and head back home or back to school. I just wanted to take the time to reflect on some things that have made my (SHORT) time here so very memorable.


No pictures this time around. My last blog post is more about reflecting and preaching about the most amazing summer I've ever had. People are always going to ask me, or any of us, what we liked most about Washington. It’s honestly a hard question to answer, or at least I hope it's hard. It’s almost like asking someone who went to Spain for a semester what they liked most. The answer is EVERYTHING! Here’s what I’ll miss most:


Friends: the people I’ve met here have been my saviors. We all come together at night to vent, laugh, cry and, most importantly, have fun. I’ll never forget you or the times we’ve spent together.

The food: I really have been eating very well since I’ve moved to D.C. -- ask my bank account.

The sights: Nothing is better than walking by the White House every morning on the way to work or running by the Capitol with a friend. It’ll never get old and the pictures will last a life time.

The diversity: D.C. is no Grand Rapids, MI. This is as real a representation of what a city is and the people you’d be interacting with daily if you were to live here.

The opportunity: not many people are given an opportunity to work with the federal government in their undergraduate career. This shout out is to my host institution of Grand Valley State University for helping me connect with TWC and the experience!


Most importantly, and completely random, I have fallen in love with sushi since I’ve moved here. Maybe once a week I find myself, yet again, indulging in fresh sushi. This never happened before I moved here and I’m really ok with it! I’ve been told I'm a few years late on discovering the sheer deliciousness, but we have to learn at some point.


My Internship


My internship experience at the Department of Veterans Affairs was incredible. Though administrative at times, the work I was doing would be the same if I were my supervisor. We made it very clear at the beginning that my supervisor would never give me a task that he himself would never have to do, and that’s been very consistent from day 1 back in May. It was wonderful to see, hear and do what I’ve been reading in textbooks for the last three years; to apply what I've been learning in a real-life job setting. For a public administration major, this really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to have an internship in Washington, D.C.


You Have to Let Loose


I’d be lying if I said the nightlife here in the city wasn’t fun or worth it. This is where memories are made with friends. If you’re considering coming to D.C. for an internship, I’d encourage you to take a trip out to DuPont, Adams Morgan or U Street. The Metro goes there and you’re bound to have a lot of fun. If that's not your thing, the possibilities are still endless. Here’s a recent article about some great hidden D.C. gems that The Washington Center tweeted and I really found fascinating (although, it could have come a bit earlier during our stay here). I need to find some time in the next (last) few days to cross some of these out.


My friends and family back home in Kalamazoo and Allendale, MI miss me. Deep down inside, I know that it's time to head back. My fall semester awaits me with open arms and it’ll be good to be immersed back into the campus life. That said, I will always remember my time here in D.C. I’ll come back, for sure. Maybe in 5 years or 10, but I know D.C. will always have a place for me and all of us here at The Washington Center.


My Final Word


I can speak on behalf of every intern in D.C. this summer and say thank you to the mentors, vendors, restaurants, bars, park staff, supervisors and colleagues for the most incredible summer we have ever lived. It’s been real Washington, it’s been real.


Until next time…


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