The Capital of The World

The Capital of The World

As I write to you right now, I am actually sitting here at Gate 28 of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, waiting 55 more minutes until I can board my plane back home to Miami, FL. I'm using the [super slow] internet access here at the airport and clicking through my Washington, D.C. Facebook album, looking back on this experience as a whole.

What can one really say in a short blog post about their life-changing 15 week experience in the nation’s capital? Should I describe each of the new friends I’ve made; all of the new customs (and recipes) I’ve learned from the countless international students; how different I am from people from Ohio, or Indiana, or Massachusetts -- and how different they all are from each other? Even though that blog post could probably go on forever and would include things like different accents, dissimilar cultural backgrounds, and sharply contrasting opinions of Lebron James, I don’t think I would like to write a post like that. Instead, I think I’ll focus on our similarities, how it doesn’t really matter where you’re from when you’re all placed in the same situation, and what’s coming up next for all of us in the near future.

I didn’t really know what to expect when I got on the plane to Washington, D.C. from Miami, FL. What are students my age from other states like? Everyone in Miami knows that there is no other place like it in the rest of the country. Even the way I speak is different. Have most of these people even met someone from Venezuela like me? Are we really going to have anything in common?

What I found was that everyone was in the same boat. We were all worried about liking our roommates and about being good roommates ourselves. We had all come here from different states, from different countries, to work in an actual office or law enforement agency or embassy or nonprofit organization, to get a taste of what life was really like outside of college, and perhaps meet a few people who could help us along the way.

A lot of us came to D.C. not knowing anyone that was going to be there when we got there. Coming to D.C. not knowing anybody is a great way to put yourself out there and make new friends. Mostly everyone is friendly and wants to get to know you as much as you want to get to know them. Planning activities to go explore the city in groups was fairly easy because everyone was very cooperative and wanted to learn as much about D.C. as possible. If you needed someone to go with you somewhere, you could just post the event on the TWC Intern Facebook page that one of the students made, and people would like your post or comment that they would love to go with you. Concerts, protests, yoga classes, monument tours -- you name it. Chances are, someone would be willing to go with you, and you could make a new friend just like that.

While we were here, mostly everyone I met was bright and motivated to succeed and help others with their future careers. That was one constant factor that I noticed everyone carried with them.

Where are we all now? Well, a lot of my TWC friends just graduated (Congratulations!). They're all setting up job interviews at police departments or accounting firms or sustainability research facilities. Still others are applying to graduate school, hoping to further their education. They can all use this experience interning as part of TWC to demonstrate their motivation, flexibility, and daring nature in applying for their respective positions. As for me, I still have one more year of undergrad at the University of Florida, and plan on spending my summer at Psychology and Law research labs at a local university in Miami while studying for the GRE. Some of the connections I made as an intern in D.C. have provided me with alternative plans for my near future, such as applying to be a contractor with a federal agency for a couple of years before applying for graduate school. If I hadn't gone on field trips to the Secret Service headquarters or spoken to a representative from the FBI through my job at Interpol, I might never have considered these options.

The blood (mostly papercuts), sweat (despite the snow), and tears (don’t fall in love with anyone here, especially if they live more than 5 states away from you!) of these last 15 weeks were definitely worth it, and I don't think I would have done anything differently.

As an aside, I would like to personally thank Chris Mason, my Forensic Psychology professor Dr. Dario Dieguez, Reid May, LadyStacie Rimes-Boyd and Tiffani Toston, and Andrea Barron for being so very kind, motivating and available to help students, and for sharing their knowledge, wisdom, and warmth with me throughout the last 15 weeks. It wouldn't have been the same without every one of you. Thank you for this opportunity, and I hope you've enjoyed my blog posts at least half as much as I have enjoyed writing them for you and for future TWC interns. Thank you.


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